The letting agency that welcomes tenants on benefits with open arms

A little kindness – and practical help – goes a long way to helping people get back on their feet, says a landlord turned social entrepreneur “If you’re just kind, great things can happen,” says Susan Aktemel. Kindness isn’t a trait landlords are famous for, but Aktemel is on a mission to change this with […]

Food charities on the Covid frontline: ‘Without support, more people would fall through the gaps’

Across the UK, charities that offer food and essential household goods are facing record levels of demand as underlying economic and social issues are laid bare by the pandemic. How are they rising to the growing challenge? “This pandemic has amplified issues of food insecurity that have been around for many years – but it’s […]

‘Another year wasted’: A-level and GCSE students react to cancelled exams

Four school pupils share their thoughts on England’s announcement that summer exams will not go ahead Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage After months of insisting A-level and GCSE exams in England would go ahead, the government confirmed this week they would be cancelled, with Northern Ireland also cancelling exams on Wednesday […]

Maradona lifts the World Cup: David Yarrow’s best photograph

‘I bribed a stadium guard with whisky and got dead close just as he was lifted on to another player’s shoulders. It was like a biblical scene. He looked magnificent’ On the final day of exams at Edinburgh University in the summer of 1986, most students partied, but I flew directly to Mexico City. I […]

UK students: tell us how the national lockdown is affecting you

We’d like to hear from students across the UK about how Covid-19 and the national lockdown are affecting you this term. Share your experiences With the UK heading into a national lockdown that could last for months, students across the country have been thrown into disarray. Those who travelled home for Christmas may be unable […]

Animals and plants reclaim Scotland’s abandoned spaces: photo essay

From a former airfield to a disused explosives factory, many of the country’s forgotten places are teeming with life as nature reinhabits abandoned manmade structures Since the idea of rewilding took hold, it has generally been seen as a rural pursuit involving withdrawal from farmland so that animals and vegetation can restore their own ecology. […]

Dogs to the rescue in Scotland – in pictures

Photographer Murdo MacLeod spent time in the Cairngorms with a search and rescue team whose dogs and volunteer handlers help the police and mountain rescue teams hunt for missing people Dog Tom, as he is known to his mountain rescue colleagues, has spent close to three decades searching for lost and injured souls across Scotland’s […]

New Covid variant and looming Brexit disruption deepen UK economic gloom

Our latest snapshot of key economic indicators show retail sales falling, job losses soaring, GDP growth and stock market stalling A perfect storm has pitched UK plc into troubled waters David Blanchflower: the puzzle of rising wages The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections has rapidly escalated across the UK in the past month, fuelled […]

Paul Moore obituary

HBOS whistleblower who had warned against its unsustainable lending and the sale of financial products such as PPI In the years leading up to the economic crisis of 2007-08 few challenges were made to excessive and opportunistic financial activity and since then few individuals have been called to account for the damage it caused. Paul […]

I followed the magic of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture into Fingal’s Cave | Nayantara Dutta

‘Listening to music in lockdown helps me see the world in a deeper way, and reminds me of my adventure to the Isle of Staffa’ In lockdown, I’ve been traveling in a different way. I listen to music and close my eyes, revisiting songs that bring back memories. Listening to playlists and records is my […]

How a canny Kilmarnock grocer took whisky from the glens to the world

Walker family used latest technology and ruthless advertising to head £5bn market, new book reveals Johnnie Walker has come a long way. Two centuries ago bottles of the blended whisky were confined to the shelves of John Walker’s modest grocery store in the little town of Kilmarnock in west Scotland. Today it is the planet’s […]

Best winter adventures in the UK: readers’ travel tips

Swimming and bikepacking, walks and wildlife – and even some witchy social history – make for memorable cold-weather trips Head to Scotland’s beautiful twin islands of Mull and Iona in winter and you will have beaches and caves to yourselves. Take a warm tent, a decent wetsuit and warm clothes for exploring the cliff paths, […]

From Sudan to the Park Inn: the tragic story of a migrant’s killing

A mass stabbing in Glasgow in June revealed the plight of asylum seekers crammed into hotels during lockdown On the last Friday of June, at about midday, Badreddin Abadlla Adam left his room at the Park Inn hotel in Glasgow, walked down to reception, and stabbed six people. The 28-year-old, an asylum seeker from Sudan […]

Scotland’s oldest miniature steam railway finally runs out of puff

Kerr’s half-mile line has delighted visitors to Arbroath for 85 years; with a last blast of nostalgia it has blown its last whistle “It’s a bit excessive, but if you can do it, why not?” a train driver shouts to a crowd as he shovels extra coal into the firebox of a navy blue 1930s […]

Scotland residents: how are you affected by the latest Covid restrictions?

We want to hear from people living and working in Scotland about how new coronavirus restrictions will impact them A ban on drinking indoors in pubs, bars and restaurants across Scotland for 16 days is set to take place from Friday at 6pm. Places will have to operate a food and non-alcoholic drinks only service […]

Pubs and restaurants: do scientists think Covid closures and curfews work?

While virus can spread easily in crowded indoor venues, 10pm cut-off is questionable Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Pubs, bars and restaurants in Scotland will be banned from serving alcohol to customers indoors for more than two weeks, while pubs in northern England face the possibility of tighter restrictions. But what […]

Tackling Jock’s Road: a dramatic walking adventure in the Scottish Highlands

This challenging route over the Grampians passes through history, wilderness and glorious scenery Scotland is rich in wild histories. Ruins, relics and the stories behind them are found throughout its more isolated landscapes − forgotten, overlooked and often hidden by dint of sheer geographical remoteness. There was one particular journey and historical narrative I had […]

Whisky, gin – and fruit wines: five of Edinburgh’s best local tipples

Is it the water, the ancient herbs or the heather that make Scottish spirits so distinctive? Have a fine old time making up your mind on a visit to the capital. Sláinte … Why does Edinburgh have such an eclectic array of local spirits? Ask a whisky distiller and they’ll tell you it’s in the […]

How to go skiing despite a winter of Covid restrictions

Planning a ski holiday may seem daunting but resorts are open – and if the continent seems too far, hit the slopes in Scotland When Covid-19 closed Europe’s ski season in early March – leaving thousands of skiers stranded when their resorts shut and others having to cancel trips – some assumed they would be […]

Pubs, bars and restaurants: how will new rules in England, Scotland and Wales affect you?

We’d like to hear from people employed in pubs, bars and restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales about how you feel new restrictions may impact your work Pubs, bars and restaurants in England and Wales will have to shut by 10pm from Thursday under new restrictions to halt a rise in coronavirus cases. Scotland will […]

What are the new coronavirus rules in England?

See the key points from Boris Johnson’s announcement of more robust restrictions Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Boris Johnson has announced a series of new, more robust coronavirus restrictions to come into force across England in a speech to parliament, followed by a TV address on Tuesday evening. These are the […]

Covid cases and deaths today: coronavirus UK map

Are UK coronavirus cases rising in your local area and nationally? Check week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latest figures from public health authorities Please note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in […]

Boris Johnson’s in-tray: what are the key issues PM needs to address?

From coronavirus to Brexit, prime minister has several major problems to sort out Boris Johnson’s curtailed mini-holiday to Scotland could soon start to feel a distant memory, with MPs returning to parliament on Tuesday, and the prime minister facing an overflowing political in-tray. Here are some of the more immediate crises he must face in […]

Teachers and parents: share your thoughts on face coverings in UK schools

We want to hear whether you or your children will be wearing a face covering in school to reduce the spread of coronavirus Secondary school pupils in Scotland have been advised to wear face coverings if it is impossible to physically distance, from Monday. The Scottish education secretary has underlined that it is not mandatory […]

Scotland: mixed feelings about school return following coronavirus closures

Anxiety about distancing and potential second wave balanced with excitement about seeing classmates again Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Parents and children across Scotland have described a mixture of relief, anxiety, loss and celebration as pupils begin their phased return to schools across the country this week. “I can be flippant […]

How to host a safe, socially distanced barbecue this summer

With lockdown restrictions relaxed, we can safely invite people into our gardens for a slightly adapted style of barbecue. For it to be a successful night, remember it’s all in the planning … Since coronavirus has shrunk our social spheres, intimate garden parties have become something of a trend. Thanks to street-wide WhatsApp chats and […]

Why ‘stronger than ever’ union is wishful thinking from Boris Johnson

It is not only pressure over Scottish independence that is exposing cracks in No 10’s claim The Downing Street press release previewing Boris Johnson’s visit to Scotland says the prime minister would be sending the message that the union was “stronger than ever”. This is, however, largely wishful thinking from No 10, with pressures being […]