Patio heater, fire pit or a bigger jumper? How to stay warm while relaxing outside this winter

The coronavirus crisis has left many of us desperate to make the most of our gardens and yards. Here is an ethical, expert guide to keeping toasty Sales of patio heaters in the UK are rising: Homebase has nearly sold out and sales on eBay have soared. Mensa Heating UK recently sold 750 infrared heaters […]

The meaning of leaf: an autumnal tour of England’s arboretums

Planted by specimen collectors in the 18th and 19th centuries, arboretums are a ‘living library of trees’ that have become an invaluable public resource for recreation and education Autumn’s blaze of glory, all flame-red leaves and burnt-gold foliage, offers an opportunity to marvel at the brilliance of the natural world before hunkering down for winter. […]

What Victorian-era seaweed pressings reveal about our changing seas

A ‘women’s pastime’ practised by Queen Victoria, ‘seaweeding’ spread from the UK to California – now the samples are providing a glimpse into history On his first day as the new science director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California in 2016, a giant blue storage locker caught Kyle Van Houtan’s eye. The locker was […]

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Italian chocolate pudding

In the UK, a pudding can mean so many things, savoury and sweet; in Italy, budino means this soft, moulded chocolate dessert – delicious in any language Like most children growing up with two languages, my son, Luca, was slow to speak. Then, when he did, slowly, he mixed them. Not so much confused but […]

20 of the UK’s best Christmas light trails

With so much Christmas fun likely to be cancelled this year, these brilliantly imaginative winter trails offer some much-needed festive sparkle and reverie Walk-through displays of Christmas lights have sparkled ever brighter in the UK’s grand gardens over the lpast decade or so. They often include tunnels of fairy lights and themed illuminations (animal-shaped lanterns […]

UK residents: tell us about the impact coronavirus is having on your household

We would like to hear how your livelihood and income have changed since the start of the pandemic A joint report has called for a “family stimulus” package to help parents and children from falling below the poverty line this winter. The IPPR thinktank and the TUC have said hundreds of thousands of are at […]

‘He beat me many times’: how trafficked women are sexually exploited in UK

Victims reveal broken promises, physical and verbal abuse and almost constant surveillance Priti Patel urged to stop UK being ‘pimp’s paradise’ Elena was enticed to the UK by a Romanian man she met online. He promised they could live together and that he would find her work in a restaurant. But as soon as she […]

Our Brexit future? Come January, it looks more and more like 1980s Russia

The shorthand we used to understand Russia back then was: nobody could get a pair of Levi’s. An upcoming VAT change could create something similar in the UK Masochistically, if I ever see a story about VAT, I’ll read it. In the old days, it just made my brain ache (17.5%? What kind of maths […]

The great rebalancing: working from home fuels rise of the ‘secondary city’

A fall in commuting due to the pandemic is already prompting workers to move out of the major metropolises Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Amy Kaper has never met her colleagues. Though her employer is based in Washington DC, she works from her apartment in Arizona. Kaper’s chronic health issues made […]

‘She left a strong legacy’: children’s book tells story of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Friend of Maltese journalist recounts her battles against corruption for young readers Her death brought thousands of people on to the streets of Malta and led to the resignation of a prime minister. Now the life of the investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has inspired a book for children. Written and illustrated by her friend […]

I want to move back to the UK. How can I convince my husband to give it a try? | Annalisa Barbieri

You both need to say how you really feel – and be heard, says Annalisa Barbieri. Only then can you work out what happens next I met my husband at university, while he was studying in the UK. He returned to his home in mainland Europe and we had a long-distance relationship for some years […]

Are you meeting family and friends in European countries to avoid quarantine?

We would like to hear from those who are meeting others in countries that are listed as safe to travel to without quarantine Friends, families and couples who have been separated by coronavirus restrictions and want to avoid quarantine are able to meet in some European countries that are listed as safe to travel to. […]

What are green jobs – and why are they important?

As well as helping the economy recover after the Covid-19 pandemic, new jobs in clean-electricity generation and low-carbon heating solutions could help the UK meet its net-zero targets Jobs that have a direct, positive impact on the planet traditionally involve renewable energy, electric transport, energy efficiency or nature conservation. But right now, as more sectors […]

Green jobs for graduates: what should you study and how can you reskill?

As the UK moves towards a more environmentally conscious society, more roles will be needed in the emerging green jobs market. So which degrees best prepare graduates? Leah Bennett has always wanted to make a difference. The 23-year-old graduate from Preston has volunteered to clean up beaches, investigated the politics behind the Amazon forest fires, […]

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, […]

Is Wizz Air flying in the face of the Equality Act over face masks?

I am exempt from wearing one, but it says it can insist I do I am exempt from wearing a face mask under current UK rules. However, according to Wizz Air’s website, I may be forced to wear one for a flight, or else denied boarding. Its conditions of carriage state that exemptions will only […]

‘My mental health had never been worse’: loneliness of the UK’s isolating students

Amid Covid restrictions and online teaching, some students are deferring, dropping out or thinking of doing so Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage When Maria arrived at university for her first year in September she knew the student experience would be unusual – but not that she would be mostly alone. After […]

The room where it happens: why writers’ rooms make for great TV

It’s been a staple of American shows for decades, but the collaborative model has proved less appealing in the UK. So what is the reason for the new cultural shift? Watch a behind-the-scenes feature on any American TV show and you will see the clip where a gaggle of Biro-twiddling, Evian-sipping writers sit around an […]

Diets rich in tea, berries and apples could lower blood pressure – study

Effect of greater flavan-3-ol intake is bigger in people with hypertension, research finds Diets rich in tea, berries and apples could lower blood pressure, according to the first study using objective measures of thousands of UK residents’ eating habits. Foods and drinks such as tea, apples, grapes, red wine, and cocoa contain flavan-3-ols, which are […]

Parents and teachers: share your experiences with free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic

We’d like to hear from parents and school staff in the UK about the surge in free school meals applications during the coronavirus pandemic An estimated 1 million pupils have signed up for free school meals in the UK for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many families to cope with […]

UK outdoor workers: Share your tips for coping with the cold

We’d like to hear from people who work outside in the UK about how they manage the cold weather Despite the cooling temperatures, socialising outdoors remains a necessity for people across the UK living under tier 2 and 3 measures. We’d like to hear from people who work outdoors about their tips for staying warm […]

Parents struggle to get help for mentally ill children during pandemic

Psychotherapist says accessing NHS is harder and most services offered only online or by phone Figures lay bare toll of pandemic on UK children’s mental health When Ellie’s 13th birthday came around this year, what should have been a day of celebration was tinged with deep sadness for her family. She revealed that she had […]

When it comes to watches – forget being smart and get wise with your time instead

As we seek more control over our digital lives, is it time to embrace the Japanese minimalist aesthetic – and trade in your smartwatch for a beautifully simple timepiece? In the smartphone age, checking the time can easily turn into wasting time. Who among us hasn’t innocently glanced at their phone, seen a notification, and […]

UK cities plan Covid-safe festivities as Christmas markets are cancelled

Many seasonal events have been axed, but light displays and trails will go ahead illuminating cityscapes, stately homes and gardens Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage As if we didn’t have enough reasons to hate Covid-19, now it’s threatening – Grinch-style – to steal Christmas, too. Growing numbers of cities are cancelling […]

‘We’re like athletes’: the secret lives of giant-vegetable growers

From onions as big as babies to pumpkins that weigh more than a car, it has been a record-breaking year for oversize veg. But what motivates someone to grow an 8-metre beetroot – and is skulduggery involved? The pumpkins are as big as Cinderella’s carriage, and so heavy that a tractor is required to hoist […]

UK students: Have you been ridiculed over your accent or background?

We’d like to hear from students at UK universities who have been mocked over their regional accent or background by other students or staff Students from northern England are being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds at Durham university, and even forced out, according to a report compiled by student. Lauren White, who is in […]