5 Cheap and Cheerful January Destinations

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Britain in January is decidedly miserable.  The merriment of the festive season has faded, New Year’s Day was spent in a state of hungover confusion, and you’ve already suspended all of your resolutions until February.  Survival is the name of the game.  So, what better way to get you through the grey days than a cheap and cheerful escape?  We’ve put together (with the help of our good friend, Skyscanner) a list of our top 5 destinations to help you beat those January blues. 

Thank us later.

Copenhagen 

Return flights:

From Edinburgh – £23

From London – £19 

We know that Copenhagen isn’t renowned for being cheap upon arrival but when the flights are this ridiculously affordable, can you really say no to this wintry escape?  Visit the famous Little Mermaid statue, stroll around the highly Instagrammable Nyhavn area or wrap up warm for a canal cruise.  Just make sure to stay topped up on hot beverages (or something stronger). 

Brussels

Return flights:

From Edinburgh – £22 

Return Eurostar from London – £58 

Known for its Christmas markets, Brussels in January can still be pretty special.  Visit the Grand Place, wander around the numerous art galleries and museums, and indulge in some of the finest waffles in all of Europe (apparently). 

Berlin 

Return flights:

From Edinburgh – £25 

From London – £25

When the flights are this reasonable, who could say no to a holiday in Berlin?  I went a few years ago and it was the cheapest holiday I’ve ever been on, with public transport in particular being efficient and inexpensive. If the weather isn’t fantastic, make sure to visit Libeskind’s Jewish Museum and, of course, the Reichstag’s dome. 

Krakow 

Return flights:

From Edinburgh – £49 

From London – £23

A destination growing rapidly in popularity, Krakow has some beautiful Christmas markets which are set to last into the first week of January.  Everyone seems to enjoy the magical quality of Krakow, with its tradition of folklore and enchanting history.  There is also a rumour that the city is home to the best hot chocolate in the world.  Book your flights now. 

Venice

Return flights:

From Edinburgh – £43

From London – £20

Venice has made the list due to a January visit being an alternative way of seeing this usually overcrowded and overheated city.  You will be able to find inexpensive accommodation as well as getting a taste for local life, with the canals being relatively empty in comparison to the summer season. 

No matter where you travel this winter season, make sure to do it safely. The UK Foreign Office’s Travel Awarecampaign has helpful guidance and key information for students and young people to ensure that your travels go smoothly and safely. For more information about travelling abroad, with country-specific advice and entry requirements, insurance tips and general travel guidance, visit https://travelaware.campaign.gov.ukand follow @travelawareon Instagram. 

#travelaware

Review: CATWALK Launch

The launch of one of my favourite events in the St Andrews social calendar certainly perked up my Tuesday evening this week. Taking it from the lows of the library to the buzz of Beacon Bar, I was greatly impressed by both the professionalism and sense of fun captured in this year’s CATWALK Charity Fashion Show Launch party. 

First, a dull but essential comment on housekeeping:  Upon entry I was greeted by some lovely ladies at a coat rail who ensured that everyone was able to find their North Face Puffer at the end of the night.  Pleasantly surprised by the absence of Mount Canada Goose and confidently handing over my jacket, I was in a good mood.  

Photography: Annie Pritchett-Brown

As a choice of venue, Beacon Bar worked well.  The room felt busy but not overcrowded and was tastefully decorated with pictures of the models on the windows and large golden balloons spelling PLAYTIME, the show’s creative theme.  This theme was somewhat less tastefully manifested in a blow-up ball pit filled with inflatable toys including a large doughnut. Other St Andrews fashion shows wouldn’t have been caught dead in that paddling pool, and that’s perhaps why I loved it so much. 

Photography: Henry Memmott

Indeed, the creative theme of Playtime is different from previous years of CATWALK and, I believe, from any other fashion show in the town.  In the dreary winter months, it’s a welcome dose of sunshine. 

Photography: Annie Pritchett-Brown

Director Isi Webb-Jenkins told me:

“We were bored of the serious noir themes that seem to dominate the student-run fashion shows of the town and thought it was time to embrace a more fun-loving side. That’s what CATWALK is all about, philanthropy and having a bit of fun and we just hope everyone enjoys it.”

The clothes aim to reflect this more light-hearted approach.   With a cupcake in one hand and a CATWALK “Refresher” cocktail in the other, I got chatting to Noemie Jouas, the show’s in-house student fashion designer whose collection is set to take to the runway next semester:

“I’m aiming for bright colours, with elements of childhood memory whilst not looking too much like children’s clothing. Big and bold, with lots of texture, I play with proportions a lot too, so the clothes appear almost unwearable. That’s sometimes exactly what fashion is.  Really, I just want to make everyone smile.” 

Noemie was also wearing a jumpsuit which she had made that very morning from some curtains, and she looked fabulous.  If that’s what she can do with a day and some drapes, I am dying to see what her collection for CATWALK has in store. 

Photography: Annie Pritchett-Brown

The floor was cleared, the lights dimmed, and the volume turned up.  The models, all in white shirts and black bottoms, were introduced through some impressive choreography, credit to the show’s choreographer, Charlotte Hoyle.  The professionalism of the event was perhaps best captured in this moment. The models’ walk was neither overly complicated nor too short or simplistic.  Their crisp white shirts combined with fun splashes of colour in their makeup complimented the theme, and the music went down a treat, the crowd seeming to greatly enjoy the spectacle. 

Photography: Annie Pritchett-Brown

Overall, CATWALK’s launch has left Owl Eyes excited for what the show itself has in store and hoping that the Union makes the “Refresher” cocktail a permanent fixture. 

Preview: Starfields 2019 – Summer’s Closing Ceremony

Every year, students descend upon Lower College Lawn to enjoy Starfields, an event which marks the culmination of a jam-packed Freshers’ Week and the beginning of the new university year.  Owl Eyes has been given the inside scoop on this year’s festival and we are more excited than ever for all of our readers to attend.

As one of the UK’s most popular student-run music festivals, with previous headliners such as Michael Calfan, Gorgon City and Klingande, Starfields 2019 promises to be bigger, better and more environmentally friendly than ever.  The line-up of Saturday 14th September promises a night filled with all of your summer favourites.  Featuring “Rinse and Repeat” DJ Riton and house and hip-hop favourite, Crazy Cousinz. Summer, and indeed Freshers Week, 2019 will be concluded by headliner, Matoma.

Starting in Spring this year, FS’s Head of Music, James Wearmouth has been working closely with Executive Director, Daniel Craig to capture the sound of summer.  James says “What we wanted to do at Starfields was to allow people to relive summer through the music and atmosphere – drinking, catching up with friends and, of course, dancing the night away to a summer vibes soundtrack”.


Not only will you enjoy soaking up the last dregs of summer (and hopefully sunshine) but your itchy feet are sure to find solace in this year’s line-up.

The environmental aspect of the event further peaked our attention. Within the official press release, the committee promise “a revolutionary take on a summer music festival”, with the adoption of a more sustainable ethos, complete with recyclable cups, water cartons and compostable materials.

Also emphasised was the importance of minimising waste produced at the event.  The team are intent on making event culture within St Andrews, and across British universities, more ethical and ecologically-minded.

Since birth, Starfields has held a special place in the St Andrews calendar, concluding Freshers and welcoming us all back to the bubble for another semester.  Georgia Davies, head of press, says “We want to capture the electricity and excitement of Freshers’ week, providing students with a night they will want to remember” with the event aiming “to merge cutting edge dance music with a carefree night of fun before the semester’s work begins.”

Owl Eyes are extremely excited to experience another year of Starfields, summer’s closing ceremony, and we look forward to seeing many of you there.

There’s even a Starfields 2019 playlist on Spotify to help you get the party started.

To buy tickets go to this link and keep eyes peeled on their Facebook page for regular updates.