Travel

Lose yourself in the enchanting scenery and crystal waters of this historic chain of islands – perfect for relaxation and activity alike

Sophie Heawood: Women rarely say, gosh, I've had the baby

I'd never given the American pop star Jessica Simpson much thought before. Nice blond hair, reality TV show origins, some songs I can't remember. Until last week, when she became so fully gestational that all her famous friends started banging on about it. "Has Jessica Simpson had that baby yet?! I'm getting anxious," tweeted fellow pop star Katy Perry. TV presenter Chelsea Handler, recently voted one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine, asked much the same thing, only worse: "How has Jessica Simpson still not given birth to this baby? I'm getting frightened." At the risk of suggesting that a woman who hasn't had a baby might not know as much about the subject as one who has, it is clear that neither Perry nor Handler know what it is to be very, very pregnant.

Rail union urges passengers to protest over ticket office closures

Thousands of rail passengers were today urged to back a union campaign to save hundreds of smaller ticket offices from closure.

From the Hans-Peter Feldmann exhibition at the Serpentine

Jester has the last laugh

The Serpentine Gallery's retrospective of Hans-Peter Feldmann proves that this prankster's work is playful but far from puerile, says Adrian Hamilton

From the Hans-Peter Feldmann exhibition at the Serpentine

Hans-Peter Feldman: Serpentine Gallery meets anarchic conceptual art

The Serpentine Gallery's retrospective of Hans-Peter Feldmann proves that this prankster's work is playful but far from puerile, says Adrian Hamilton

Harriet Bridgeman: The first lady of fine art

She owns more than 300,000 works by great artists from Da Vinci to Monet – or, at least, she retains the rights to reproduce their images. As Harriet Bridgeman's incredible art library celebrates 40 years, John Walsh meets its charismatic chief curator. Plus, she picks her favourite 'acquisitions'.

Zoe Leonard, Camden Arts Centre

The world usually rushes at us so quickly – its perfume, noise and changing weather, the skewing angles of our emotions and thoughts – that we find it hard to see.

How Soon Is Now?, By Richard King

To the younger generation of music fans, "indie" is a genre, a ubiquitous term used to describe artfully scruffy purveyors of white-boy guitar pop. In the late Seventies and Eighties, however, it was an abbreviation of "independent", used to distinguish the small, self-financed, artist-friendly record labels - the type started in garages, garden sheds and behind the counters of record shops - from their corporate counterparts.

Sporting glory: The opening ceremony of the 1924 Paris Olympics

Forgotten field of dreams: Visit the scene of Britain's triumph at the 1924 Olympics in Paris

You probably know the place, at least on screen. If you have seen either Chariots of Fire or Escape to Victory, you will have seen the centrepiece of those sporting thrillers: a stadium in the north-western reaches of Paris. Or, rather, you will not have seen it. Because the Stade du Matin is represented in the former feature by Bebington Oval in the Wirral, and in the latter by a stadium in the Hungarian capital, Budapest. Yet by some miracle of neglect, the venue for the most celebrated 400m race in Olympic history – not to mention the 1938 World Cup Final – is still there, buried in the banlieue, and all yours to race around.

Chill factor: The splendour of the Grand Canyon in winter

A wintry, ice-draped Grand Canyon? Cool!

Presidents have praised the magnificence of this geological scar in the south-west US, yet most people only see it in summer. To enjoy this landmark in solitude – go with the snow, says Chris Leadbeater

Album: Pugwash, The Olympus Sound (Lojinx)

With the Seventies back in guilty-pleasure fashion, The Olympus Sound could be the album to bring Thomas Walsh's Pugwash the success he deserves.

No mod cons: Soneva Fushi in the Maldives offers guests
neither phones nor TVs. It's one of a new breed of
destinations where less (distraction) is more (relaxing)

'Black-hole' resorts: Turn up, tune out, log off

'Black-hole' resorts where mobiles are banned and the internet is anathema are set to be huge this year

A place of the beautiful and damned: Aerial view of Mauritius

The Prisoner of Paradise, By Romesh Gunesekera

It is 1825. Lucy Gladwell, a callow young Englishwoman, arrives in Mauritius to live with her aunt and uncle in a grand plantation house. She is, of course, ardent and plucky, idealistic and hopeful that here, away from stuffy England, she will be emancipated, find her true self and an all-consuming love.

A Card from Angela Carter, By Susannah Clapp

Dear Angela, wish you were here

Troubled Clinton Cards and JJB fight back with strong festive figures

Two of the high street's most embattled chains, JJB Sports and Clinton Cards, gave their battered shareholders cause for hope yesterday with an improvement in their trading over Christmas.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker