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More than 700 primary schools have failed to reach minimum government standards in the three Rs

Joy ride: See Devon's coastline by boat

Great British Escapes: The coast

Explore the outer edges of our island heritage

Fire ravages home on private Green Island in Poole Harbour

Firefighters are tackling a blaze on an island owned by a multi-millionaire.

Search for ferry passenger halted

An air-and-sea-rescue search for a ferry passenger who is believed to be missing overboard was suspended last night after five hours.

Search launched for kite surfer

An air, sea and land search has been launched for a missing kite surfer.

Bournemouth hit by flash flooding

There was flash flooding today after torrential rain hit the south coast.

Last Weekend: Room for more on the Isle of Purbeck

"Burnbake campsite is full," said a woman's voice on the answering machine. "We do not take bookings. We will change the message when pitches become available."

Premier mulls Wytch Farm buy

Premier Oil is considering buying BP's 68 per cent stake in the Wytch Farm oil field in Dorset.

Bournemouth appoint Lee Bradbury as manager

Bournemouth have appointed Lee Bradbury as their new manager.

Chandlers forgive, and seek help for Somalia

Paul and Rachel Chandler, the British couple held captive by Somali pirates for more than a year after their yacht was hijacked, want to make closer contact with the people of Somalia and try to persuade the international community to help restore law and order in their country.

More tests on bodies of father and son

Police were conducting more tests today to find out what happened to a man found dead with his young son.

Pensioner is hurt 'tombstoning'

Coastguards warned about the dangers of "tombstoning" yesterday after a 75-year-old man jumped from an 80ft beauty spot and was seriously hurt.

Bournemouth starts its own weather forecast

Bournemouth has launched its own weather service, claiming a "disastrous" Met Office forecast put off thousands of potential visitors last year.

European herons relocate to Kent as temperatures rise

Britain has a new breeding bird species – or at least, it very nearly does. A pair of purple herons have begun nesting at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' (RSPB) reserve at Dungeness in Kent, and are thought to be sitting on eggs.

Millionaire wins battle to build eco home on own island

A millionaire has won a fight with planners to build a luxury eco-home on his own south coast island.

Conservationists hope fake nests will see ospreys stay

Ospreys, the majestic fish hawks which are spreading in the wilder parts of Scotland, the Lake District and Wales, are being offered the chance to set up home in the gentler landscape of Dorset – in fake nests.

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David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
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New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
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A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
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Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
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Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
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A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
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Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
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Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments