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Kent dockyard loses out to Lake District national park as UK's next world heritage site

St Kilda, Island of the Birdmen, Festival Theatre

This opening production of the international festival was an ambitious and unique operatic event about a lost community on the most westerly of the Scottish islands, now Britain's only dual World Heritage Site.

End of Sri Lanka's civil war brings back tourists

The end of Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war has seen a rapid jump in the number of tourists visiting the island – a leap that officials say represents part of the peace dividend. Tourist arrivals in July increased by 28 per cent from a year ago, the second straight rise since May.

Finalists named for '7 Wonders of Nature' poll

The Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef are competing with 26 other spectacular natural landmarks in the final phase of the global poll to choose the "New 7 Wonders of Nature," organisers said today.

Travel By Numbers: World Heritage sites

As the longest aqueduct in Britain joins Unesco's premier league of global attractions, Ben Ross assesses the dimensions of the list's other highlights

Aqueduct named as World Heritage Site

A 200-year-old aqueduct in North Wales has been named as Britain's newest World Heritage Site.

Is Unesco damaging the world's treasures?

It's supposed to be the gold standard for conservation. But is Unesco's World Heritage project harming the very places it seeks to protect? Simon Usborne investigates

Walkon can star in Triumph for King

If the good wishes of neutrals could be translated to his sinews, then Ebadiyan would indeed be as hard to beat in the JCB Triumph Hurdle today as his ebullient trainer, Oliver Brady, has been predicting. Sadly, the horse who has already raised so much money for good causes may find that the charity stops on the hill at Cheltenham.

Will Unesco pour cold water on Bath's riverside project?

A new development may threaten the city's World Heritage status, says Ian White

So, was the 'lost' city of Machu Picchu ever lost?

US explorer who 'found' Inca site 'didn't get there first'

Development puts Bath's UN heritage status at risk

Unesco team visits today as Preservation Trust expresses fears over project

Raise a glass to the best vineyards in the world

Oz Clarke has travelled from Bordeaux to Barossa to taste his favourite vintages. To get what a wine is about you've got to visit the place where it's made, he says

24-Hour Room Service: Zabola, Transylvania, Romania

That a journey through deepest Transylvania should be a hair-raising experience is not that surprising. But it was the partially surfaced roads, seemingly non-existent speed limit and renegade horse-and-cart drivers – rather than shades of Gothic horror – that made our drive from Brasov to Zabola an alarming 45 minutes. Drawing up at the tall iron gates of the estate at dusk, however, our spirits lifted – this was the kind of entrance that would have made Dracula proud.

Mystery of Stonehenge moves closer to solution

Archaeologists today moved a step closer to solving the mystery of Stonehenge when they disclosed findings to support their theory that it was a prehistoric 'healing centre'.

Dyson's threat to scrap £50m design school

The inventor Sir James Dyson has threatened to scrap his £50m plan to build an engineering school of excellence in Bath over "bureaucratic" delays to the project.

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there