5 of the best urban days out in England

Experience a burst of activity or just some scenic calm with these city-based trips, featuring a kayaking tour of Tyne bridges to yoga on a paddleboard.

21st-century fox: how nature’s favourite outsider seduced the suburbs

Not so long ago, they were the pests that made a mess on the lawn. But now they have crept into our homes – their images on mugs, cushions and tea towels – into TV adverts, fashion and literature

The river London forgot: how the Lea is being reborn

For years, it has been the city’s back yard, a place of fridge mountains, distilleries and scrapyards, but now there’s a fresh plan to turn this ancient valley back into a green playground. We walk the newly opened Leaway riverside path

On the waterfront: Lisbon’s riverside regeneration

Boyd Tonkin finds great buildings, a bold new art gallery and custard pies to die for in Portugal’s capital

Buffalo stance: New York state’s forgotten city is coming in from the cold

After decades of industrial decline, the second-biggest city in New York state is enjoying a new lease of life, as galleries, restaurants and music venues make the most of its architectural heritage.