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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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas