For some language courses, a year in Paris is usual. But if you're reading Arabic, you have to travel a little further afield, as Rosie Collington found out

Travel Challenge: A half-term family holiday in the sun

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a holiday in the sun for February half- term. Prices are for a family of four (with two children under 12) and require no time out of school.

Ospreys raise glass to James' singular double

Scarlets 14 Ospreys 21

Simon Calder: A serene spot to mark a true moment of madness

"Only 15 miles from London, the picturesque Esher venue offers outdoor event space as well as flexible indoor facilities with ample parking" – so trills the publicity for Sandown Park racecourse.

The Traveller's Guide to the Red Sea

Blue skies, golden sands and a rainbow of dazzling colours beneath the surface make this body of water the ideal winter warmer. Matthew Teller dives in

My Life In Travel: Frank Gardner

'I dodged pirates and went skinny-dipping in Thailand'

Griddled prawn and asparagus salad

Serves 4 as a main

Undeterred pirates hijack four more ships

Undeterred by US and French hostage rescues that killed five bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked four more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the waterway at the centre of the world's fight against piracy.

The Complete Guide To: Petra

Retrace the footsteps of Roman generals, nomads and Indiana Jones as you explore the ancientmonuments of Jordan's desert.

World's ships held to ransom by pirates' growing greed

The 1,000 or so Somalis creating chaos in the Indian Ocean are living like kings, and there's little anyone can do to stop them

Family travel: 'Where's best for baby-friendly winter sun?'

Q My husband and I are looking for a winter sun destination for us and our two-month-old baby in early December. We are desperate for a beachside activity-based holiday, with watersports, tennis and golf (if possible). However, I am struggling to find a crèche that will take a baby that young. Surely there are other young mums like myself out there who are keen to line up a postnatal activity break? Can you suggest some hot, baby-friendly beach and activity destinations? L Cameron, via email

Fried chilli prawns with pea shoots

Serves 4

Elissalde manages to cramp Geraghty's style in the sunshine

England tiro runs himself into ground as French limp home

Sailor to recreate Phoenicians' epic African voyage

On the ancient Syrian island of Arwad, which was settled by the Phoenicians in about 2000BC, men are hard at work hammering wooden pegs into the hull of a ship.

Russian police head to London for Litvinenko investigation

Vladimir Putin is sending a special squad of Russian police to Britain to investigate the killing of former spy Alexander Litvinenko.

How to improve holidays with children

Hey Mum, let's rough it in the wild
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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