Arts and Entertainment

Something strange happened while I was watching the new series of US legal drama The Good Wife (More4) this week. I found myself humming the theme tune from Australian soap opera Home and Away. It was my unconscious mind's way of serenading new addition to the cast, Melissa George.

Park life: many holiday parks organise pool activities

Carry on camping

Holiday parks go well beyond a tent pitch or caravan – now you can expect swimming pools, circus skills, nature walks and even spa facilities

Hot and cold: Alpentherme spa complex

Off piste and into the spa: Austria's Bad Hofgastein offers far more than skiing

Past the town's cross-country skiing track, a little further on from an icy-looking pond peppered with hardy ducks, steam was rising from the valley floor. A series of low-rise modern buildings, large windows brightly lit against the surrounding mountains, awaited me, grouped around a striking dome and a simple glass box.

Out cold: The King’s Trail crosses some spectacular and savage terrain

Sweden: Go wild in winter

An extraordinary trek on cross-country skis across the Swedish tundra leaves Simon Birch dazzled by the Arctic landscape

Twelfth Night, New Diorama, London

Faction Theatre's account of Twelfth Night is terrifically fresh in its stripped-back - not to say, at one point, half-naked - inventiveness.

Lime Wood in Hampshire

The Big Six: English spa hotels

Lime Wood, Hampshire

Playing in a sauna delivers healthy dividends

United and Arsenal profit in Asia as City try to 'break' America

Full Circle, By Ferdinand Mount

"Elegant, interesting and funny," says The Independent quote on the cover, though the hardback review also included the words "oxymoronic" and "limping". Well, this Independent review says: overblown, verbose and unpersuasive.

The heat is on for Finnish art festival

It's not often that an art installation sets your heart race racing and gets you hot and bothered. But that's something that residents of the Finnish city of Turku are going to have to get used to this summer with the arrival of SaunaLab, four genuine working saunas that also happen to be installation pieces. Dotted around the city and open to the public throughout the summer, the artist-designed saunas were commissioned as part of Turku's tenure as European Capital of Culture 2011 and are intended to update and re-imagine traditional Nordic sauna culture while presenting art to the public in an innovative and unusual way.

Queen of the castle: Ruby Wax lives it up in Bavaria

Forget the United Nations – world peace is only a massage away at the Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa and Cultural Hideaway in Bavaria

'My husband phoned to say he was going to the sauna...we never saw him again'

Anatoly Krasovsky is one of many Belarus dissidents to have vanished under Europe's 'last dictatorship'. Jerome Taylor reports

Silent Voices, by Ann Cleeves

Snack-loving sleuth who's all clued-up

Enjoy a warm welcome to the inner circle

The Arctic: Scandinavians have visited the Arctic in summer for years. Could a new package tempt Brits to join them, asks Adrian Mourby

Full steam Ahead: The sauna has become the latest must-have for pampering at home

There's something about a home sauna that conjures up an era of prawn cocktails, swirly carpets and suburban swingers. Quite why it is that these innocent Nordic heated cabins should inspire such Seventies connotations is a mystery. Of course, there are "those" sorts of saunas – open late in backstreets – but surely we've all been to enough gyms and spas for a post-workout muscle relax, in a no-hint-of-slap-and-tickle environment, to overcome the giggly reactions?

Get fitter, the lazy way

Forget crash diets and ambitious gym regimes – making a few small changes can make a really big difference to your health in 2011. Kate Hilpern reports
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

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