More than a quarter of Britain's pubs have closed since the millennium

Reports that 'more than a quarter of Britain's pubs have closed their doors since the turn of the millennium' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) "said the number of pubs had fallen from 52,500 in 2001 to 38,815, with landlords on the outskirts of major cities most likely to have called last orders for the final time".

The Times (subscription) reports that homebuyers are again being offered "huge mortgages, leading debt charities to warn that they are being lulled into a false sense of security after more than a decade of low interest rates". The paper says that the Darlington Building Society "has the biggest mortgage loan-to-earnings ratio on the market, being prepared to lend homebuyers six times their salary". It adds: "Other lenders typically offer between four and 4.75 times salary, according to the financial data site Moneyfacts."

The Financial Times (subscription) carries a review of a new book on the story of London’s Crossrail project. It says that the book celebrates a "triumph" in that the scheme is largely built. But it adds that the scheme’s opening has been delayed, creating a "great cliffhanger" in the story.

The Telegraph reports that an Italian clifftop village "has caused controversy by charging visitors to enter its historic centre". The paper says that "tourists have to pay €5 (£4.40) to enter the cobbled heart of Polignano a Mare, a spectacularly sited village of whitewashed houses and churches perched on top of vertical cliffs in the southern region of Puglia".

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