Travel Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Video: WestJet Christmas miracle - Airline surprises passengers with festive stunt

Passengers were left startled when they were presented with Christmas gifts they had asked for before boarding a flight

Eddie Murphy became the latest victim of a Twitter hoax this week

Paul Walker tragedy sparks Eddie Murphy Twitter death hoax

Eddie Murphy became the latest victim of a Twitter death hoax when a series of online Chinese whispers escalated

It can be tough going financially for Winter Olympians like Ed Drake

Kevin Garside: Ed Drake works on a building site and pays to transport his own skis. It’s no way to maximise your Winter Olympic medal chances

'I might have to walk on the plane in my ski boots. I’ve seen guys do it'

Britain’s Zoe Gillings was eighth in the snowboard cross at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and has high hopes of doing better than that in Sochi in 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Zoe Gillings is a hopeful jump ahead

British winter sport is no longer a joke. Robin Scott-Elliot meets a genuine medal prospect for Sochi, where no competitor will be better prepared

The 10 Best action cameras

Capture your most daring stunts and terrifying tricks with one of these head- or body-mounted beauties

The name's Terry, Terry of the mountains

I'm in the French Alps, skiing in a small British village called Val d'Isère. I suppose that technically it's French but you wouldn't know it. The place is packed with Ruperts and Tobys teaching their broods to ski so that they might better be able to network once they get their first job in banking. French is spoken here, but only if absolutely necessary and is definitely frowned upon.

Ski news: You should have booked by now

February half term is crunch time for ski holiday bookings, particularly in the French Alps, which is the UK's most popular destination for ski holidays. With good snow conditions, next month looks like it will be very busy indeed.

Skiing: Woods wins again to reach Sochi

Great Britain's James Woods has won his second straight ski slopestyle World Cup event in the latest round in Colorado.

British snowboarder Emily Watts in critical condition after accident in French Alps

A British student left critically ill after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps is still fighting for her life, her family said today.

A splash of the special treatment

From peppermint facials to artificial ice caves, Juliet Kinsman hits the on-trend spas

Fjord focus this winter

Matt Carroll heads to a little-known Norwegian wonderland for perfect powder on the pistes

Jackson Hole reveals its softer side

This famed resort isn’t just about extreme skiing, says Matt Carroll

Snowboarder Jenny Jones

My life in travel: Jenny Jones

‘Don’t plan your holidays – it leads to adventures’

Snowsports for all: accessibility is vital

Disability skiing: The rise of accessible ski resorts

Think pistes are just for the able-bodied? Not so, says Mary Novakovich

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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
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk