Travel

The journey home – 'home' still being the word I instinctively use for the house I grew up in, atop of wild Welsh hillside, even if today it's where I go to escape everyday life – begins with bustle. The battle on the Tube with a case, the dash around Euston juggling handbag-paper-coffee-lunch. It's wise to stock up: the journey to Pen-y-Bont takes over four hours, via Crewe and Shrewsbury. It's very much not the route a crow would fly...

Mangan waits on Whinstone

Trainer sends unfancied Conna Castle to Aintree but his best runner may miss out

One made it home, one did not: bomb disposal experts given George Cross

Soldiers who became friends while serving in Helmand showed 'selfless commitment and unswerving devotion to duty'

Hole-in-one double for young golfer

A teenage golfer was celebrating today after notching up two holes-in-one during the same round.

Carnage in Shropshire as man slaughters his family

Town of Oswestry was scene of another double murder-suicide in 2008

Man's body found after mother and daughter's murder in Shropshire

A man was found dead today just hours after the murdered bodies of a mother and her teenage daughter were discovered by police.

Why enthusiasm is key when looking for your first teaching job

A bit of passion is going to be needed to get a job in teaching this year. The job market is complex, with regional and subject variations but overall it is looking pretty grim for the 38,000 new teachers. Professor John Howson, of Education Data Surveys, says: "The job market is poor for most, except perhaps for teachers of early years in London."

Shirley Dent: The pernicious malady jeopardizing all hope of poetic justice

Doctor of medicine I am not. But I still feel qualified – nay, obliged – to warn you, gentle reader, that we appear to be in the grip of a pernicious malady sweeping the country from north to south. Yet without medical classification, but real in its effects, let us call this pandemic by the name poet-oxemia.

Four quizzed in murder probe

Four men were being questioned on suspicion of murder after a fatal stabbing.

Stay the night: Eco log cabins, Ludlow

These log cabins provide a cosy hideaway that's both friendly to the environment and luxurious

Treasure island – the best archaeological finds in Britain

The recent discovery of the biggest hoard of gold ever found in Britain has brought tears to the eyes of experts and amateurs alike. Last month, Terry Herbert stumbled upon the huge trove of Anglo-Saxon treasure - worth at least £1 million - while metal detecting in a Shropshire field, while earlier this week, David Booth unearhed a £1 million Iron Age hoard.

Brian Viner: 'Much as it pains me to say it, Yorkshire is the best source of unusual words'

My friend Ian, who has lived all his 50-odd years in a village on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border, introduced us some years ago to an expression so localised that nobody I've tried it on in Leominster, eight miles down the road, understands what I'm on about.

Album: Julian Casablancas, Phrazes for the Young (Rough Trade)

On 2006's First Impressions Of Earth, Julian Casablancas seemed in terminal retreat from his muse, apparently bent on bringing The Strokes' waning momentum to a halt.

'Ditch fall' search woman arrested

A woman who sparked a five-day police search after claiming she had fallen down a ditch has been arrested on suspicion of wasting police time, detectives said today.

Missing ditch woman walks into hospital

The search for a woman believed to have fallen down a roadside ditch was called off today after she walked into a hospital.

Shrop' till you drop ... discover secret hills and learn new skills

British breaks: Shropshire
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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
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own