Environment The Nathusius’ pipistrelle weighs just 7.6g and is the size of a human thumb

A tiny bat the size of a human thumb has become the first to be recorded crossing the North Sea from Britain to mainland Europe – before meeting an untimely end in the Netherlands.

By next week, temperatures are expected to reach 20C in the south east

Just in time: Dry, sunny weather predicted for Bank Holiday weekend

The unseasonably cold weather in southern areas and the Midlands will make way for a dry and sunny Bank Holiday weekend, forecasters said.

Services sector boosts economic recovery

The UK's return to growth was underlined today as revised figures confirmed the dominant services sector helped the economy expand by 0.3% in the first three months of the year.

To fully relax in retirement, pensioners may need the help of an adviser

Julian Knight: When it comes to annuities, an adviser can be invaluable

Many finances can be DIY, but retirement income needs an expert eye

Seismic survey doubles estimate for Xcite's Bentley field

The prospect of a resurgence in Britain's long-declining North Sea oil industry received a boost today when the explorer Xcite Energy revealed that its giant Bentley oil field held 134 million barrels more than previously thought – worth about $14bn (£9bn) at current prices.

Sterling's silver lining

The chances of incoming Bank of England Governor Mark Carney finding a triple-dip recession in his in-tray this summer could fall on Tuesday as manufacturers attempt to bounce back from a January slump.

Gas price fears recede

Fears of rising domestic energy prices eased slightly when prompt gas prices slid 15 per cent to a two-week low.

The passengers set out from Tyneside's ferry port at North Shields on Friday afternoon on a £48-a-head break to the Netherlands. 

British tourists left feeling queasy after mini-cruise to Amsterdam sees them spend just SIX MINUTES in Dutch capital after 30-hour ferry journey from hell

Bad weather and rough seas meant their overnight ferry arrived 13 hours late at its destination.

Trouble in store as snow and cold weather hits gas supplies

Britain's supplies are at the mercy of the weather and volatile markets unless it increases its meagre storage capacity, says Tom Bawden

Families may be forced to turn off heating as their gas bills soar

Gas crisis: consumers face shock £200 rise in bills as cold weather and snow lead to low fuel reserves

Families may be forced to turn off heating as their gas bills soar

Cairn taking the plunge in Senegal as Greenland disappoints

Cairn Energy has signed a deal to acquire an interest in Senegal for the first time, as it continues to broaden its reach beyond Greenland, where expensive drilling has yet to yield results.

Margareta Pagano: George Osborne has to nurture Mr Happy's confidence

The Bank of England Governor has tentatively called the recovery, and UK Plc appears to be in agreement. Now, the Chancellor has to reinforce it

It didn't sink! Full-size, sewn-together replica of a Bronze Age boat launched to trials success

For the first time in almost 3000 years – a full size Bronze Age style sea-going boat has been launched in Britain. Slipping gracefully down a slipway today into Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall, the 15m-long vessel was then paddled by its 18 person crew for two 500m trial trips.

Builders lighten UK economic gloom

The UK's post-Olympic hangover is likely to be less painful than first feared this week, as the latest figures on the economy's performance at the end of 2012 gives some respite for the Chancellor.

Postcard from... Süderoog

The tiny North Sea island of Süderoog lies surrounded by drying sandbanks just a mile or two off Germany's north west coast. A century ago the writer Detlev von Liliencron looked out from the island at low tide and observed that it was encircled by wrecks protruding from the sands like “the ribs of dead camels in the desert”. But in recent times travellers to Süderoog, have seen nothing but sand and mud when visiting the island.

Editorial: We must not talk ourselves into a 'triple dip'

Yesterday's keenly awaited GDP figures allowed the doom-mongers to forecast that the UK was headed for a "triple-dip" recession, if we were not in one already. The Chancellor, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, professed himself disappointed with the news, even as he vowed to press on with Plan A.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

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Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

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Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

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