Travel

Now... Depart any day this month for a walking holiday of the Cinque Terre – an idyllic string of five fishing villages on Italy's Ligurian coast. The self-guided trip with UTracks costs £490pp, with six nights' accommodation and train tickets. utracks.com

Top gun: Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in 'The Walking Dead'

This is the life

Jack Davenport and Andrew Lincoln are among the British actors wowing audiences in the US. By Sarah Hughes

High life: The pool overlooks the estate

24-hour room service: The Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia

Angus Thirlwell has a Willy Wonka twinkle in his eye – or at least that's the impression I get from the photograph in the brochure of his latest venture, a hotel in Saint Lucia. Thirlwell is the British co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, the chain of grown-up chocolate shops found throughout the UK. With a name and an idyllic location already in place, a hotel was the next logical step: the Hotel Chocolat opened on Thirlwell's cacao plantation last spring.

British woman dies after garden cliff fall

The family of a British woman who was killed after plunging from the top of a Caribbean clifftop on Christmas Day have described her death as "a terrible accident".

Fame Academy: Tracey Emin is the RA's new, high-profile professor

Editor-At-Large: The royal liggers should stick around in hard-up Britain

Buckingham Palace has a terrible sense of timing. As the latest figures show unemployment reaching the highest level for 17 years, one group of plucky Brits can look forward to a spot of sun and fun in 2012, and, even better, they won't have to pay: the hard-up British taxpayer will. Lavish plans to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee were unveiled last week, just as the number of women out of work passed a million, just slightly more than the number of jobless young people. Given that Great Britain plc is staring at the very real possibility of a double-dip recession, and personal debt is higher than ever, you might think the bureaucrats who organise events for the Royal Family would have some sense of appropriateness, of adapting to straitened times. Sadly, not.

Travel Agenda: London's West End; Papaya Playa; low-cost Caribbean; Inghams' winter ski programme; Disneyland Paris Express

Today: The West End of London welcomes Christmas shoppers. Oxford Street and Regent Street are closed to traffic this weekend, opening up the roads to pedestrians (westendvip.com). Meanwhile in Tulúm on Mexico's Mayan Riviera, Design Hotels is hosting a pop-up beach camp of 99 rustic-chic cabanas. Papaya Playa is open to guests until 5 May 2012 (papayaplayaproject.com).

Halliburton sues BP over Gulf spill

The US oilfields contractor Halliburton is suing BP in the US for "negligent misrepresentation, business disparagement and defamation" related to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster last year, which killed 11 people and caused the worst offshore spill in US history.

Amy Winehouse planned to adopt

Amy Winehouse was reportedly in the process of adopting a 10-year-old girl when she died.

No charges yet in St Lucia rape case

Police on the Caribbean island of St Lucia wrongly announced they had charged six men with the rape of two British women, officials have said.

Six charged with raping Britons on St Lucia

Six men have been charged with the rape of two British women on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, officials said today.

DNA profiling used to track rapist

Investigators tracking the Night Stalker used cutting-edge techniques to try to build a picture of the man from his DNA.

Walcott's meditation on dying wins poetry prize

Nobel laureate Derek Walcott was honoured with Britain's most prestigious award for poetry last night when he won the TS Eliot prize.

Boyd Tonkin: Poet who combines high art with common life

A couple of years ago, I heard Derek Walcott speak at the St Lucia high commission in London to an audience largely made up of his fellow-islanders. As always, he insisted that pride in a place and a home should always combine with a keen embrace of the best the wide world of culture has to offer. "Art is as necessary as sewage," he said.

Caribbean crime wave linked to US deportations

The crime was horrifying enough — a nightclub owner, hacked to death with a machete, was found buried in pieces. But what really outraged people was that the accused killer had been deported from the US to his native Grenada as a convicted felon.

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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 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence