Travel Punta del Este

Q. I'm keen to visit Punta del Este and/or Montevideo in Uruguay, ideally as a package holiday. But I can't find any operators that do it. And even if I could, would booking individual flights and accommodation be a better strategy? It seems amazing that BA still don't fly direct! Russ Williams, London

Britons to carry on cruising in record-size style

New monster of a ship will have 1,812 cabins, 17 decks, 12 restaurants, three pools, a cinema, gym and theatre

Ask the Traveller: volcanic-ash cloud

I just heard someone on the radio say that, if I booked a package holiday, I would be looked after whatever happened with the volcanic-ash cloud from Iceland. From what I heard about last year's event, I'm not sure he's right. Is he?

The Monkees, Royal Albert Hall, London

The second, semi-ironic burst of Monkeemania, caused by the reformation of the "Prefab Four" in 1986, is itself a nostalgic memory now. These days, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork get back together every few years on some pretext or other – the band's 45th anniversary this time. (Mike Nesmith, the richest, most talented ex-Monkee, appeared in 1996 and then left them to it.) All the contradictions in their strange career play out precisely tonight.

Simon Calder: Feelgood factor is as fleeting as a cloud of confetti

The man who pays his way

Big tour operators to gain amid chaos

The travel chaos caused by the recent political revolutions in North Africa will boost big package holiday operators against their independent rivals the long run, according to an industry expert.

David Usborne: The genie of change is already out of the bottle

Gay visitors to Havana no longer need to lurk at a certain street corner in hopes of a whisper in the ear about the location of that night's clandestine party. For the last few months there has been an officially tolerated gay club in the historic district close to the National Theatre. Who'd have thought?

Market Report: Thomas Cook plunges on 'zero growth' warning

Raised fears over the state of the package-holiday industry prompted Thomas Cook to plummet towards the bottom of the mid-tier index yesterday, at one point reaching its lowest level since 2008.

Simon Calder: Travel peak season, pay peak prices

The man who pays his way

Simon Calder: A high price for low-risk holidays

The man who pays his way

Letter from the editor: Eating out - the new theatre

One or two readers have pointed out, politely of course, that our feature yesterday on Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant was a little rich for their taste.

Government to widen Atol protection

Six million holidaymakers who book their trips through low-cost websites will be protected if their tour operators go bust.

A new spin on Shakespeare

Propeller, theatre's celebrated all-male ensemble, has a reputation for witty, adventurous takes on the Bard. Alice Jones visits rehearsals for its latest double bill
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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
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Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
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High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
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Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz