Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

Wakehurst Place: Kew's country cousin is as accessible as tricky terrains come

"Ahh, I long to have flowerbeds neatly mulched like this," says my godmother, covetously, eyeing up the azaleas. We are at Wakehurst Place in Haywards Heath, Sussex, admiring the neatly kept gardens, now all kitted out for summer. We've wandered through the bluebell woods, admired the long views to distant birch plantations, and done the sums on a June wedding hosted in the Elizabethan mansion. And it's not even lunchtime.

The Blagger's Guide To...The Return Of The Essay

'The perfect size and shape for brilliant ideas'

Nixon pulls out of Simonseeks

Simon Nixon, the entrepreneur behind Moneysupermarket.com, has walked away from his online travel venture after two years saying the business model was "simply not viable".

Budding photographers: Snap to it

This is your chance to win a classic Olympus camera and a travel guide commission worth £3,000

A prize-winner's tale about the giants of Malta

Marie Kreft, who won our travel-writing competition in 2010, follows a history trail

Rules for The Independent on Sunday / Bradt travel-writing competition 2011

1. By entering the competition you agree to be bound by these rules.The Independent’s standard competition rules (located at http://www.independent.co.uk/service/independent-competition-rules-759575.html) also apply.

A no-longer lonely planet comes to Britain

Gowalla, a social networking site based on where you know as well as who you know, is set to become the latest social media site to open an office in the UK. It comes as the company sets its sights on doubling the size of its operations this year and reshaping itself as a "social Lonely Planet".

The land of junk food and celebs

England is a nation of celebrity-obsessed junk food addicts, according to the latest Lonely Planet travel guide. It describes the British economy as "looking dicey" and said there may be "choppy waters ahead".

Album: Various artists, The Rough Guide to Bellydance (World Music Network)

With feminist groups in Europe and America now espousing it, this really is a danse sans frontières.

BBC takes full control of Lonely Planet

BBC Worldwide has taken full control of Lonely Planet, buying the remaining 25 per cent from its founders, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, for £42.1m.

Romantic Moderns, By Alexandra Harris<br />Britten, By John Bridcut

Sometime in the early 1960s, not too long after its consecration, I remember taking a coach trip with my mother to see the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral. It hardly needs a hotshot psychologist to spot why a whole day of his mother's undivided attention should leave such an indelible trace on a small child with three brothers (how did she find the time?). Whatever the motive, that day remains my earliest memory of intense aesthetic pleasure: Basil Spence's light-filled, sandstone-walled interiors; the blazing stained-glass windows of John Piper; Graham Sutherland's imperious tapestry; Elizabeth Frink and Jacob Epstein's massy, muscular sculptures.

Where the weird things are: Meet the pangolin, the mammal that thinks it's a reptile

A 15kg walking artichoke? A metre-long ant-eating pine cone? Even though the pangolin is fairly widespread in savannah woodland right across sub-Saharan Africa, it's hard to describe in animal terms. For a start, this bizarre mammal is the only warm-blooded creature on the planet that is completely covered in scales.

The world in award-winning images: The Insight / IoS Travel Photography Competition

BA steward Steve McDonald will see more than airports with his first prize: a &#163;3,000 commission from Insight
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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
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

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
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own