Wild swimming isn’t a new fashion and is no threat to wildlife | Letters

Pat Simmons and Paul Williams on the pleasures of swimming in rivers, lakes and seas in harmony with nature Wild swimming “the latest fashionable activity” (Letters, 26 July)? Hardly. Seventy years ago I learned to swim in the River Wey, in the company of other local kids (and a lot of water voles and a […]

The Grand Tour: Lochdown review – Clarkson, May and Hammond drive Scotland out of the union

The patriarchy’s Cheeky Girls bumble their way through a bants-filled Highlands holiday, leaving carnage – and surely a spike in support for Scottish independence – in their wake I had high hopes for this diplomatic incident masquerading as a TV travelogue through Scotland. Fingers crossed, patriarchy’s answer to Katie Hopkins and the Cheeky Girls would […]

The Scottish parliament must take a stand against the farcical Queen’s consent rule | Andy Wightman

The procedure is deeply anti-democratic and violates the parliament’s founding principles. Here’s how it can be opposed In 2002, as the Scottish parliament was debating a bill to provide the public with a groundbreaking new right to roam, the independent MSP Dennis Canavan spotted a provision that exempted the Queen’s private Balmoral estate from this […]

Leading the charge! Can I make it from Land’s End to John o’Groats in an electric car?

New petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030, and sales of electric vehicles are rising fast. But with drivers reliant on charging points how practical is the greener option? One writer finds out Range anxiety hits hard on the A9 in the Highlands of Scotland. For the uninitiated, this is […]

People shielding five times more likely to die of Covid, Scottish study finds

High-risk individuals were still much more vulnerable to catching virus and dying in first wave of pandemic Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage People advised to shield in the first wave of the pandemic were five times more likely to die after a confirmed Covid infection than those considered at low risk […]

Loch Lomond: calls for safety measures after four people drown

Family of a previous victim and a local MSP say demands for action to prevent tragedies have been ignored Urgent calls have been made for water patrols and safety warnings on Loch Lomond after four people drowned during the hot weather in Scotland. The family of a teenage girl killed there last year and a […]

Man, woman and child who died in Loch Lomond named by police

Edina Olahova, 29, son Raza Haris Ali, 9, and a family friend, Mohammad Asim Raza, 41, were survived by Raza’s son A man, woman and child have died in Loch Lomond, bringing to six the number of people who have been killed after getting into difficulty in the water in Scotland in 24 hours. Edina […]

As UK restrictions end, what will be the new normal for pubs?

Pavement drinking, table service and ordering by app are here to stay – and there’ll be more Wetherspoons Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A week after England’s coronavirus restrictions came to an end on 19 July – with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland not too far behind – the pubs sector […]

Charities call for ‘Amazon anti-waste law’ after firm denies destroying in-date food

Allegations grow against online giant as new footage appears to show good food and electronic equipment marked as waste at a depot in Scotland Charities have written to the prime minister calling for a new anti-waste, or “Amazon law”, to be introduced in the UK as the online retailer was forced to deny new allegations […]

‘It’s incredibly poor’: Scottish islanders angry at failing ferry service

Ageing fleet hit by breakdowns and cancellations, with capacity low on services that do run due to Covid Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The perfume and toiletries shop overlooking Brodick Bay on Arran is normally packed in the summer, as day-trippers and holidaymakers stream off the mainland ferries at the busy […]

UK key workers: how are you experiencing this stage of the pandemic?

We would like to hear from public facing workers such as retail workers, bus drivers and refuse collectors about their current experience While most social distancing restrictions came to an end in England this week, and eased in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the number of coronavirus infections has continued to rise sharply. On Tuesday […]

Does warm weather mean you are less likely to catch Covid?

According to epidemiologists, meeting outside helps minimise infection risks but heat itself has a negligible effect on the virus Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage With the recent rising temperatures and more people now mixing outdoors as restrictions have been lifted in England, and eased in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, experts […]

Tell us: how has the rise in Covid infections affected UK rural areas?

We’d like to hear from those living in rural areas about any impact from the latest rise in coronavirus rates. Share your experiences We would like to find out how rural areas across the UK have been affected by the latest surge in Covid infections. On Monday, England lifted most of its remaining Covid restrictions, […]

Green Man festival ploughs ahead as slew of events across UK are cancelled

Boom Village in England and Party at the Palace in Scotland abandon plans, with uncertainty pervading the live music industry Green Man music festival has announced that it will be going ahead in August but a number of other UK events have announced cancellations amid ongoing uncertainty for live music. The festival, held in the […]

Scottish villagers bid to buy most remote pub on mainland Britain

Accessible only via an arduous two-day hike or by ferry, the Old Forge in Knoydart is up for sale at offers over £425,000 It is known as Britain’s last true wilderness, and anybody making the mountainous two-day trek into the Knoydart peninsula on the west coast of Scotland would surely be dreaming of a thirst-quenching […]

Magnetic north: how moving back to Scotland brought me closer to my family

Louise Zecevic, 40, moved from London to Bishopbriggs, just outside Glasgow, with her husband Brendan, 41, and their two children to be closer to her parents and brothers As told to Rosie Mullender “We bought our maisonette in Tulse Hill, south London, in 2013 when our daughter Rosa was eight months old. It was an […]

Guidance to induce minority ethnic pregnancies earlier condemned as racist

Draft Nice guidelines for England, Wales and Northern Ireland will not solve poorer maternity outcomes for women of colour, say doctors Proposed guidance that recommends inducing labour at 39 weeks in pregnant women from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds has raised concerns from doctors and midwives and been branded “racist” by activists. White women […]

Scotland to move to level 0 Covid restrictions from 19 July

Nicola Sturgeon says latest wave of infection appears to have levelled off but some requirements will remain Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland will move on 19 July to a “modified” form of level 0 of her government’s five-tier system of Covid controls, but with continuing […]

Half-pipe dreams: girls on the edge of skateboarding glory

Skateboarding makes its debut at the Tokyo Olympics next month. We talk to the UK’s top skateboarders to find out why more women are taking up the sport In 2003, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Sunday Times selected 20 British under-21s who they believed would be multimillionaires by the year 2020. Some of […]

Lloyds fined £90m for letters’ pledge on competitive insurance

Renewal letters suggested customers were getting ‘competitive price’ without backing up claim Lloyds Bank’s insurance arm has been fined £90m for sending insurance renewal letters to customers suggesting they were getting a “competitive price” without backing up the claim. Between January 2009 and November 2017 almost 9m letters were sent to home insurance policyholders under […]

Great North Road: cycling the old route from London to Edinburgh

Following the original coaching route to Scotland for his new book, our writer enjoys a more evocative journey brimming with history As any cyclist will tell you, there’s something strangely uplifting about being on the road early. Mostly it’s a case of enjoying empty roads and morning light, but perhaps there’s a smidgeon of self-righteousness, […]

10 great UK boat trips, chosen by readers

The waters of Scotland and the West Country offer great sightseeing, but tipsters also love stirring journeys in urban settings The best boating experience we had was paddling an open Canadian canoe with friends across the lochs and canals that make up Scotland’s Great Glen Trail. We were amazed by the breathtaking scenery and much-appreciated […]

Protests call for end to NHS underfunding and understaffing

Anger grows over recommended 1% pay rise, as nurses and doctors consider taking industrial action Dozens of protests have called for an end to underfunding and understaffing in the NHS across England, Scotland and Wales to mark the health service’s 73rd anniversary. Campaigners from Keep Our NHS Public said they wanted an end to health […]

Just one solitary idiot shouting abuse at me at a footie match? I call that progress | Romesh Ranganathan

I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to England v Scotland at the Euros and, despite the match being a sedate affair, I came away from Wembley feeling hugely positive By the time you read this, I have no idea what the situation with England at Euro 2020 is but, as I write, we […]

The Guardian view on England and the union: we need to talk | Editorial

Politics in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is focused on the way the UK is working. It is time the largest nation got more serious too This country needs a serious conversation about England. Not about the England football team – that’s for another day. The conversation this country – the United Kingdom – needs […]

Edinburgh fringe: plans unveiled for far smaller ‘joyous’ festival

Venues include beaches, city squares and pedestrianised streets as organisers adapt to Covid rules What to see at Edinburgh fringe 2021 The producers of the Edinburgh festival fringe are hoping for a “joyous, beautiful experience” after unveiling the schedule for a far smaller season of theatre, dance, comedy and music. Tickets for this year’s fringe […]

Scotland becoming ‘lawless’, says councillor targeted by fire and acid attacks

Conservative Graeme Campbell says he has been driven from his South Lanarkshire home by criminals A councillor who says he has been driven out of his home by criminals has claimed that Scotland risks becoming a “lawless society” as he steps back from politics following a campaign of intimidation that has left him “broken”. Graeme […]

Covid travel: which countries have moved to the UK’s green and red lists?

A quick guide to all the changes in the latest update of the Covid traffic-light system Full report: UK eases Covid travel rules for tourist spots despite cabinet rift Malta, Madeira and the Balearic islands are the European destinations from which travellers arriving after 4am next Wednesday will not have to quarantine. The changes will […]

One woman dead and 430 affected by Scotland cervical cancer screening error

Scottish public health minister says women were wrongly told they did not need to be screened for cervical cancer A woman in Scotland has died from cervical cancer after more than 400 women were wrongly told they did not need to be screened. Maree Todd, the Scottish public health minister, said a “serious adverse event” […]

Rothesay is a microcosm of the best of the west coast of Scotland

The Isle of Bute seaside resort where our writer spent childhood holidays has added a gin distillery and Syrian-made pastries to its perennial charms It’s the early 1970s and we’re in the Austin 1100. Me, my mum and dad and my granda, and Simon and Garfunkel on the eight-track. We’re heading for the Firth of […]