Travel

Under £200... Capital Christmas shopping

Tune Hotels offers a budget pre-Christmas stay in the English and Scottish capitals, with double rooms for £50 at some London properties and £25 in Edinburgh. These rates apply on a few nights between now and Christmas, with availability good on 23, 24 and 25 December. tunehotels.com

Charlotte Wakefield as Maria in The Sound of Music

Theatre review: Regent's Park is alive with The Sound of Music

Regent's Park may be not able to run to an Alpine peak, but the Open Air Theatre in its bosky embrace proves to be a lovely location for this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic in which the presence of the mountains is so strongly felt.

Red for danger: Corinne Winters as Violetta and Ben Johnson as Alfredo in La Traviata

Classical review: La traviata - More a dying swan than a golden goose

ENO won’t be able to cash in on its new Verdi, which chooses polemic over pure passion

Felix Baumgartner

Edge-of-space skydiver Felix Baumgartner in court over alleged road-rage

His spectacular free fall from the edge of space may have won Felix Baumgartner a place in the record books, but the Austrian sky diver is now threatened with a fall from grace over a court case in which he stands accused of punching a Greek lorry driver in the face.

Cellist Laura Moody prepares for take-off in 'Mittwoch'

Mittwoch aus Licht, Argyle Works, Birmingham

You wait for years for a helicopter and then... four come along at once, in Birmingham as in Edinburgh. What a whirl!

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Is Greece the word?

Football in Brief: Rangnick goes for Salzburg

Rangnick goes for Salzburg

A million attend Pope's open-air Milan Mass

Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated an open-air Mass for a million followers, capping three days of activities in Milan, Italy, aimed at showing support for the family.

Travel Challenge: Active Austria

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: an active family holiday in Austria during June half term. Prices are for a family of four, based on two adults and two children travelling together. Each package includes a week's accommodation, flights from Gatwick on Saturday 2 June and transfers.

Dvorak Rusalka, Royal Opera House

It’s on occasions like this that the star-rating system runs into irreconcilable difficulties. I honestly cannot remember a time when musical and theatrical values were in such total divergence.

Elizabeth Connell: Mezzo and soprano acclaimed for her Verdi and Wagner interpretations

The opera singer Elizabeth Connell enjoyed 10 successful years as a mezzo before becoming a soprano and enjoying over two decades more of international acclaim.

Dvorak's dark side set to light up the stage

I'm all for cats at the opera – a fuzzy feline will always raise a smile. But isn't there something alarming about it when a mermaid meets one? We all know what cats do to fish. It looks as if that might happen to the unfortunate Rusalka, the eponymous heroine of Dvorak's post-Wagnerian take on The Little Mermaid, in the opera's first-ever production at the Royal Opera House.

Deals of the week: Berlin, Niederau, Sri Lanka

Less than £200... Berlin bound

Starting from 3 June, the airports of Birmingham and Manchester will be directly connected with the German city, thanks to new flights from Lufthansa. Visit the Opodo website before tomorrow (26 January)to take advantage of some early booking offers. Return economy fares start at £83; while three-night packages including accommodation areavailable for £186 per person fortravel between 3 June and 31 December. Opodo.co.uk

‘Which way to the beach?’ asks Capello as England book Marbella trip

Week at the beach shows Capello's change of tack

Fabio Capello's attempt to change the style of England's build-up for the European Championship next summer from their preparation for last year's World Cup finals was underlined this weekend when the Football Association announced the team would be spending a week in Marbella.

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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 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'