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Independent Sound&Vision

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Traveller Audio: Undiscovered Rotterdam

Simon Calder finds the occupants of this dynamic city welcoming and friendly and the architecture staggering. Travelling to Delft, he visits the 'old church' where Johannes Vermeer, is buried, before journeying to the Hague to see some of the painter's most famous works in the Dutch Royal art collection.


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Transport yourself in an instant and discover what's new in travel. Available as free downloads from iTunes

  • Innsbruck's Alpine Inspiration

    In the heart of the Alps, Innsbruck is a skiers' paradise in winter and a great location for hiking and biking in summer. Simon Calder discovers the ‘Golden Roof', used by the Roman emperor Maximilian I to watch events in the town square and takes a tram into the mountains to survey the stunning surroundings.

  • Huatulco: The Real Mexico

    Considered by locals as 'the real Mexico', Huatulco is an ecological paradise on the Pacific coast. Simon Calder samples the fresh papaya and refried beans of local cuisine, attends a ‘boarding’-school for aspiring surfers, and explores the area's magnificent bays and traditional chapels.

  • Jamaica: Beyond the Expected

    Jamaica has something for everyone; Independent traveller Simon Calder takes a terrifying wire-harness tour of the forest, tastes local cuisine at Faith's Pen, and visits 56 Hope Road, better known as Bob Marley's former abode.

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  • Walking in Jersey

    From the rock formations of Bouley bay to the capital, St Helier, Simon Calder's walking tour takes in some of Jersey's most pleasant spots as well as the many remnants of the island's occupied past.

  • Lapland's Winter Wonderland

    Simon Calder checks out Santa's ice sculptures, secret grotto and post office. He also finds time to see the city's Arktikum Museum (‘Museum of the Arctic'), and wilderness of Kittilä, perfect for snowmobiles, huskies and reindeer-led sleigh-rides.

  • More to Madeira

    Madeira's striking capital, Funchal, is a whitewashed town built on dark volcanic rock, while the municipal market is an Art Deco masterpiece. Simon Calder enjoys all the beauty as well as the energetic nightlife and the fishing village Câmara de Lobos, meeting the self-proclaimed ‘Cocktail King' of the island along the way.

  • Malta's Marvels

    Go back in time with Simon Calder as he hops on Malta's 1960s buses in the island's capital Valletta, the first planned city in Europe.

  • Marrakech Overload

    Simon lets himself get lost in the winding streets of Morroco's Marrakech, exploring the traditional market places, and marvelling at the architectural wonder of the Koutoubia Mosque tower, before winding down in Yves Saint Laurent's Jardin Marjorelles.

  • Nice: A Day in Provence

    Beginning in the Promenade des Anglais, Simon Calder explores the Matisse Museum and admires the beautiful views of the hills of Provence. He also samples the region's cuisine, trying traditional corn pancakes and dining at the luxurious Aphrodite restaurant, before tasting some locally produced wine.

  • Sharm El Sheikh: Egyptian Playground

    Sharm El-Sheikh's reputation for luxury is borne out by Simon Calder's experience of the Four Seasons resort. After a dazzling snorkelling trip, Simon heads into the desert on a quad-bike, and takes tea at a Bedouin campsite. Crossing the Gulf of Suez, he visits Hurghada, a bustling tourist city with a more authentically Egyptian identity.

  • Singapore: At the Crossroads of the World

    Beginning in the Buddhist 'Temple of the Tooth', Simon Calder experiences Singapore's diverse population. He visits the multi-ethnic Chinatown, before exploring the village of Kampong Glam, getting a fresh view of the city by riverboat, and filling up on worldwide cuisine at Glutton's Bay.

  • Exploring Tenerife

    There are many sides of this tourist hotspot for Simon Calder to discover, from the seventeenth-century building containing Tenerife's history museum, to the Augustan monastery in the quiet town of La Laguna. After walking on the summit of central mountain Teide, Simon visits the manmade beach of Las Teresitas, and the cultural capital, Santa Cruz.

  • Life on the Lonely Planet

    Simon Calder speaks to the founders of the Lonely Planet, Tony and Maureen Wheeler. In a wide-ranging interview they discuss the history of their now ubiquitous travel guides, the controversial Lonely Planet guidebook to Burma, and their thoughts on the future of the travel industry in the face of concerns about its impact on the environment.

  • Sleep on the Cheap

    In this interesting one-off podcast, Simon Calder finds out how the Youth Hostel Association is adapting to a changing travel industry, whilst continuing to offer cheap and cheerful accommodation to its 250,000 members and other budget travellers around the world.

  • Athens: Not As You Knew It

    From the ‘Hotel Periscope’ and the Acropolis, to sandal-buying and wine-shopping, Simon Calder explores the ancient and the modern sides of the spectacular Greek capital. Join our intrepid explorer as he learns to snoop out the hidden delights of the Athens retail experience, marvels at the late-night eating, samples traditional cuisine, and tries to keep up with the nocturnal partying habits of young Athenians.

  • Peru... Land of a thousand marvels

    "Prepare to recalibrate your sense of wonder" that's Simon Calder's advice for when first you experience the New World Wonder that is Machu Picchu. But on a journey of discovery through Peru, from the steamy, soupy Amazon to the austere beauty of the High Andes, Simon shows there is far more to Peru. Meet the locals along the world’s mightiest river; marvel at the mysteries of the Nazca Lines; and take the pulse of Lima, one of the most exciting capitals in the Americas. download here

  • Something to Declare (part 2)

    Something to Declare is the UK's only travel magazine radio programme, presented by Ben Ross and Frances Tuke. The aim is to translate to radio The Independent's long-held values of inspiring, informing and entertaining travellers - with production standards to match the best of the BBC. The programme mixes expert advice from studio guests with reports from travellers and the travel trade across the world.

  • Something to Declare (part 1)

    Ben Ross of The Independent's travel desk presents our new travel magazine programme.

  • Night and Day in Barcelona

    Simon Calder experiences the stunning modern design and Roman roots of the Catalan capital, Barcelona, taking in the art, architecture, food and fashion of a truly 21st century city.



A new broadband site offering outstanding documentaries, films are offered on a pay per view or a monthly subscription basis.

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Independent Music Radio


Welcome to Independent Radio, radio offspring of Independent Music magazine

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  • Episode Four

    Interviews with Martha Wainwright, Scroobious Pip and Cherry Red Records founder Ian McNay. We are joined live in the studio by soul singer Alice Russell performing Lights Went Out. Plus music from Dan Le Sac, Born Ruffians, The National, Sun Ra, Vetiver and more...

  • Episode Three

    Our resident DJ, Marcus O’Dair, interviews Jamie Lidell and Jose Gonzalez (pictured) as well as Vince Power, founder of Mean Fiddler. Plus music from Bjork, Madam aka Sukie Smith, Clinic, Frightened Rabbit, The Last Shadow Puppets, Thomas Leer, Crystal Castles, Outhouse and a live performance from Chris T-T.

  • Episode Two

    In this show, we will be speaking to Super Furry Animals singer Gruff Rhys about his new project Neon Neon, and playing an exclusive live track from Mercury nominated folk singer, Kathryn Williams, who will be joining us as guest reviewer. Plus a look through current album releases, including twisted techno titans Autechre, and back from the undead, resurrected goth act, Bauhaus.

  • Episode One

    The first ever edition of Independent Radio and James McNair gives us his tips for the hottest acts of 2008. We talk to two enormously acclaimed bands: avant-rock super-group Battles and all-female keyboard trio Au Revoir Simone, plus music from ChemistS, The Duke Spirit, School of Language, Nada Surf, Willy de Ville & much much more...

Travel Videos


Take an armchair trip to some of the world's most interesting places

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  • Twin Track: a trail of Two Train Travellers

    Northern Spain boasts some of Europe's most beautiful railway lines - and one of the greatest luxury trains. The toss of a coin decides whether Ben Ross or Simon Calder will indulge aboard El Cantabrico, while the other takes the budget option. But whatever the outcome, both will get to enjoy the rich heritage, countryside and shorelines of "Green Spain".

  • Simon Calder's Enjoy England

    From Edwardian seaside destination and health resort to cool bohemia, Brighton has always been more than a city by the sea. As Simon Calder discovered when he went to look for some of its hidden gems sent in by users of the Enjoy England website.

  • Simon Calder's 48 Hours in Singapore

    The Independent Traveller spends two eventful days in dazzling Singapore, an extremely diverse and welcoming city with a fascinating history.

  • 48 Hours in Fez with Simon Calder

    Fez is a stunning medieval city, a mere three hours from London by plane. Simon Calder haggles for some beautiful Fez pottery, gets a crash course in Moroccan cuisine and sheds all for a trip to a hammam.

  • The Future of Flying

    Simon Calder looks at the aviation industry's grand designs for dramatically improving the flying experience for passengers.

  • Simon Calder's Guide to the Lake District

    On a scenic journey through the stunning Lake District, Simon Calder enjoys the area's sights, history and culture, from Roman times to the 21st century.

  • Simon Calder's Guide to Bilbao

    A trip around one of Simon Calder's favourite cities. From the Guggenheim to traditonal cod shops, Bilbao is a place with strong sense of the past and the future.

  • Spain's hidden secret

    That sums up Zaragoza, the surprising capital of the beautiful region of Aragon. But this year the secret is out, because this northern Spanish gem is host to Expo 2008. Join Simon Calder as he compresses 48 Hours in Zaragoza into just 15 minutes - distilling the best from a rich past, a delicious present and an exciting future.

City of London Festival


Edward Seckerson interviews some of the world's preeminent classical musicians on their artistic development and what music means to them. Click here to book Festival tickets

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  • Edward Seckerson interviews... Patricia Rozario

    Patricia Rozario on her emergence as the first internationally established Indian opera singer and her extraordinary relationship with the composer John Tavener. Music: from Tavener "Akhmatova Songs" Rozario/The Vanburgh Quartet (Hyperion CDA 67217)

  • Edward Seckerson interviews... Mark Elder

    Mark Elder discusses his part in the renaissance of the Halle Orchestra and his COLF programme of memorable valedictions from Strauss, Wagner, and Brahms. Music: Wagner "Good Friday Music"/ Strauss "Four Last Songs"/ Halle Orchestra (Halle Label)

  • Edward Seckerson interviews... Judith Bingham

    Judith Bingham talks about life after the BBC Singers and writing the music people want to hear. The one-time star-struck child actor speaks of the importance of singing and melody and her field-trip to the Jungfrau. Music: "The Snows Descend" - Fine Arts Brass and Thomas Trotter (organ) (Naxos 8.570346) & Choral Piece

  • Edward Seckerson interviews... Nigel Short

    Nigel Short on life after The King's Singers and the foundation of Tenebrae, a choral group with diverse aspirations and a sense of theatre. Music: Short "The Dream of Herod" (tracks 18 & 20) (Signum Two SIGCD 046)

  • Edward Seckerson interviews... Christian Poltera

    Cellist Christian Poltera - erstwhile BBC New Generation Artist - on his Swiss musical heritage and the best kept secret of Othmar Schoeck whose music he champions in his two City of London Festival concerts. Music: Schoeck "Concerto for Cello & String Orchestra"/"Sonata for Cello & Piano"/Song Transcriptions/ Poltera/Julius Drake/Malmo Symphony Orchestra/Ollila (BIS CD 1597)



Exclusive short films exploring the confluence of art, science and technology in work and play.

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  • Work. Rest. Play.

    Superstar dj and music producer Mark Ronson and globe trotting Independent Traveller Simon Calder discuss the positive effects technology and the internet have had on their work.

  • Poise: The Surgeon and the Chef

    Surgeon Tim Lloyd and sushi chef Kazutoshi Endo discuss their work, from the art and science of facial deformity surgery to crafting the perfect sushi meal.

  • Poise: The Paraglider and the Surfer

    Bruce Goldsmith, paraglider, and surfer Sam Bleakley explain the joys of their adventurous pursuits.

  • Poise: The Industrial Designer and the Architect

    Michael Rodber, industrial designer on the Eurostar, explains the train's iconic design. Matthew Bedward, architect, discusses his work on the spectacular Farnborough Airport.

  • Work. Relax. Play.

    Record label owner and renowned Radio 1 dj Giles Peterson discusses how technology and the internet have revolutionised his work and listening habits. While property developer, website owner and tv presenter, Sarah Beeney, enthuses on the impact of the internet on her projects.

  • Virgin Galactic

    Virgin Galactic's astronauts and engineers explain their pioneering project to offer suborbital and eventually orbital space travel to members of the general public

Green TV


Environmental and ecological issues explored on film

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  • Design to make you green with envy visits Cavendish Square in London to see the latest trends in ethical and fairtrade fashion for the upcoming season. From handbags, clothes and shoes to ethical jewellery, eco-fashion is really hitting the mainstream.

  • Urban Wind

    Stunning timelapse film of the construction of 3 wind turbines at Bristol Port. The turbines will produce over 15 million units of new green electricity annually, enough to save around 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year for the next 30 years.

  • Destination Antarctica

    About 30,000 travellers visit Antarctica every year, but should we be there at all? Destination Antarctica looks at the wildlife and landscape of one of the Earth's most fragile environments.

  • Sumatra

    In the past few decades, Sumatra's lowland forests have shrunk dramatically, from 16 million hectares in 1900 to just 500,000-600,000 hectares today; and if we don't act now, the Harapan Rainforest and its amazing wildlife will be gone in five years. This film details the dangers facing the Sumatran rainforest. To learn more, visit

  • The Forests of South East Sulawesi

    Local people have developed a sustainable community-based forestry co-operative. The land was purchased by the community and is farmed for teak. The co-operative is the first in Indonesia to achieve Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for sustainability. This has helped to regulate timber production and secure fair prices. However, this forestry program is under continued threat by Indonesia's endemic corruption.

  • Future in Fusion

    Nuclear fusion - will it produce a limitless source of clean, green energy? visits the Culham Science Centre, home of UK fusion research, to find out if fusion is the future.

  • The People of Bukit Lawang

    In Bukit Lawang, devastating flooding attributed to illegal logging in the surrounding Gunung Leuser National Park caused over 239 deaths in 2003. Since the floods, this village community has been involved in voluntary forest governance enforcement schemes in an attempt to curb illegal logging in the National Park, and has embraced the important role of ecotourism in the preservation of their surrounding forests.

  • Jeunesse Park

    The United Nations Environment Programme has awarded this year's Sasakawa Prize on the theme of Climate Change to an individual, Jeunesse Park, CEO of Food & Trees for Africa.

  • Sam Suds and the case of PVC - The Poison Plastic

    Sam Suds, PI. (Poisons Investigator) protects the Johnson household from dangerous toxins. Word around the bathroom was he was washed up: until she floated in...

Food & Drink


Cookery tips from Mark Hix

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The latest dispatches from sailing correspondent Stuart Alexander

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Columnist Comments


Deborah Orr: For a man to refuse to acknowledge a baby he has fathered is as low as it gets

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Ryanair's cheap flights have been a huge force for the opening up of Europe


Johann Hari: No wonder 'Gone With The Wind' has failed

Lordly lordy lord Miss Scarlett, this musical be one biiiiiig turkey!


Claudia Winkleman

'My husband says he's wheat-intolerant. He's given up bread. No biggie, I thought. But I should have hit the panic button...'

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