From campervans and Yorkshire's hidden gems to whales In Mexico and bush retreats in Cairns

Travel agenda

From Barcelona, Brazil and Bilbo to William III's palace and Aldi ski gear

Travel agenda

From Barcelona, Brazil and Bilbo's house to William III's palace and Aldi ski gear
National Rail, which is in charge of rail infrastructure, has been set a minimum punctuality target for the first time

Nearly one in three of Britain’s trains are late according to strict new National Rail statistics

Delays as small as a minute are recorded as regulator sets arrival targets for first time

A Virgin train passes along the West Coast mainline route near Abington in Scotland

Network Rail breached contract over punctuality, complains Virgin Trains

West Coast main line company Virgin Trains is to take action against Network Rail (NR) over what it claims is breach of contract concerning train punctuality.

Rail punctuality figures reveal fewer than half of trains on main routes ran on time

Fewer than half the trains ran on time on some main line routes in the last 12 months, according to official figures.

Wigan fans at Wembley

Virgin Trains statement delivers final insult to FA Cup final fans

Late kick-off for Wembley showpiece between Wigan and Manchester City has been criticised

Oh, mother! Why couldn’t you break your hand off-peak?

It's no surprise that train companies receive poor customer satisfaction ratings in the latest survey. Plus, a snapshot of times past on the BBC

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Why can't I buy a cheap rail ticket from London to Penrith at Easter?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Heavy snow hits the UK bringing widespread disruption across the country

Commuter chaos to follow the weekend whiteout: snow forecast to last until Thursday

Britain’s big freeze is expected to continue until at least Thursday, with more snow forecast to blanket Britain.

Get off the train or we’re not leaving, passengers told

The chaotic scenes come just a week ahead of the introduction of an above-inflation fare rise

More travel misery for commuters following cancellations on busy lines including Gatwick Express

Rail commuters endured rush-hour travel misery for the third day running today.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin

Anyone but Branson? Mails trawled for evidence of 'anti-Virgin' bias over rail franchise

Thousands of internal Department of Transport emails are to be trawled for evidence that civil servants wanted to hand the lucrative London to Scotland West Coast train service “to anyone but Branson”.

Virgin Trains is expected to be given an extension to its West Coast Main Line franchise

Civil servants 'bungled West Coast rail deal', MPs told

Civil servants committed an "accumulation of significant errors" that led to the collapse of the handover of the West Coast rail franchise, an independent inquiry has found.

Investment Column: Hold tight on Stagecoach but buy FirstGroup

Stagecoach: Hold. Price: 280.5p (-1.3p) FirstGroup: Speculative Buy. Price: 184.6p (-6.1p)
Patrick McLoughlin confirmed The Independent’s report about department staff cuts

Long-term West Coast deal may not be settled until 2016

Virgin asked to keep running line until new contest can be held after franchise fiasco

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home