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One of the most important relics of indigenous Viking culture will leave Scotland for the first time in its 1,100 year history to go on display at the British Museum this week.

255th anniversary of the British Museum: Google Doodle celebrates institution's opening

Google has celebrated the 255th anniversary of the British Museum with a Doodle on its search page.

Figures such as this 7th or 8th century tomb guardian show a new side to China

More than just vases: British Museum showcases the worldly masculinity of the Ming dynasty

An exhibition at the British Museum will show that Cold War-era ideas on China’s past gave a short-sighted view of the country

Proposed sell-off of Government land and property could pave the way for thousands of new homes

New property search engine will allow everybody to search the government’s £330 billion property portfolio by town and postcode

It's a date: 10 best diaries

They come in all shapes and sizes and range from discreet to eye-catching orange calfskin. With one of these diaries, you need never miss an appointment

Hung, poisoned and mutilated alive: our atrocious abuse of elephants

Elephants are among the most intelligent, gentle creatures on the planet. Yet they have suffered for centuries at the hand of man.

Raising the bar: the hotel's drinking den
‘Swan Lake’ at the Royal Opera House

Success of BBC’s move to Salford leads to calls for other leading cultural institutions to be relocated to cities in the north of England

New 'national economic strategy' could see institutions such as the British Museum and the Royal Opera House moved away from London and the South East

Video: Frieze Week 2013

Watch the videos below to see some of the highlights of the Frieze Art Fair in London and the events around it, picked out by our writer Alice Jones

A 37m-long Viking warship is coming to the British Museum

IKEA, Viking-style: longboat to arrive at British Museum in 'flat pack'

Huge wooden warship dubbed the Norse 'weapon of mass destruction' at the centre of new exhibition dispelling 'fluffy bunny' scholarship on Vikings

New College of the Humanities

History: Founded in the summer of 2011 by the philosopher A.C. Grayling with the participation and advice of some of the world’s top academics, New College of the Humanities is a private undergraduate college.

Torchbearer and London Underground employee John Light carrying the Olympic Flame onto an underground train at Wimbledon Station, London

Olympics legacy: Yes, there were fewer visitors. But the Games were better for tourism than anyone dared to hope

Last year wasn’t a brilliant one for  the British tourist industry. Yet the  future may be considerably brighter as a result. Simon Calder reports

Falkland Holdings boosted by UK exhibitions

The company which owns much of the Falkland Islands' infrastructure and a stake in an oil explorer there beat the City's predictions for its profits thanks to an unlikely source.

Indigenous plurality of expression: Angharad Price
The Longship (Roskilde 6). The largest Viking ship ever discovered. The 37 metres long warship was built in southern Norway around 1025, and deliberately sunk in Denmark in the mid-11th century.

British Museum to display largest Viking ship ever discovered following £135m building revamp

Senior figures at the British Museum will next year realise a dream when they display the largest Viking ship ever discovered as part of a major new blockbuster exhibition.

Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum – British Museum: Priceless treasures from the cities destroyed by the Mount Vesuvius eruption will aim to satisfy the international fascination with the disaster when screened on 18 June

Charles Darwent on art: Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum - The day that death hung on the breeze

As Vesuvius erupted, a strong easterly condemned two towns to extinction – and immortality – as an outstanding exhibition recreating Roman life shows

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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'