Lochs (n.b. not pronounced locks) should most definitely be on every Scottish Wanderer’s bucket list. If you're blessed with fewer deadlines this half of the semester why not take a break from the beach to enjoy some alternative bonnie Scottish scenery. Or if those essays are still getting you down, just take your work on the road to a study setting even more stunning than St Mary’s Quad…
I know what you’re thinking – why would I go to Crail for a coffee when I can go to Taste/Starbucks/Costa/Beanscene/Bibi’s just five minutes from my house. Well, you can only understand if you’ve done it. And trust me, it’s worth it.
In November, whilst braving the wintry weather amidst an onslaught of deadlines, summer can seem like a lifetime ago. Yet, as I procrastinate the hours away, scrolling through Spotify, I can’t help but let my mind wander back to the blurry nights of summer music festivals. Whether it was watching Biffy Clyro play from a Ferris wheel against a backdrop of Loch Ness or going a little crazy with the crowds of Red Hot Chilli Pepper fans in Madrid, the summer festival is the perfect antidote to a year of slogging over books in the library. Indeed, the only thing keeping me going through this pain of essay-writing is the consoling thought that in a few short months the line-ups for summer 2013 will be released. And then there’ll be the all-important decision of which one(s) to go to. In the past, it would’ve been no contest for me; UK all the way. However, having now had a taste of what the rest of Europe has to offer, I’m inclined to look to the less muddy options over the Channel.
Passing away my teenage years in the Highland tourist trap of Inverness, my friends and I had to be inventive in how we spent our homework-free weeknights. Back to visit friends a few months ago, I noticed some new and old delights perfect for the wandering St Andrews student, whether they’re searching for the ultimate explorers break or the very alternative party town of the North – I say this with a hint of skepticism in my voice.
I love my porridge. A nice hot bowl of creamy, oaty goodness, a mug of coffee and an episode of Frasier is all that stops me hurling myself out the window every morning at the thought of another day chipping away at my 100,000 deadlines.
Scottish mountain bothies are small stone shelters dotted around Scotland that are free and open to use for anyone at anytime. They were originally used by agricultural workers during the summer months, but now lie abandoned across the Scottish countryside. Whilst there is a big community for wild camping in Scotland, in the colder months, a more stable and wind sheltered environment may be more welcome for your St Andrews mini breaks.
Graduation dates are out, accommodation is organised and post graduation meals booked. Sorted? Not quite. The post-graduation holiday is a must. You may want to aim for something a bit less trashy, and bit more classy than an Inbetweeners-esque A-Level results break. But where?
“Robert Burns is the only man to have a statue on every continent – Shakespeare doesn’t,” proudly proclaimed the Chairman of the evening, Eric Brown of the Scores Hotel. Did you know that? I didn’t. It was just one of many things I learned last night at the Belated Burns Supper held by St Andrews’ very own Fine Food & Dining Society and the At Home and Abroad Society at the Best Western Scores Hotel.
Just a fifteen-minute drive from St Andrews is Cambo Estate, famous for its snowdrops that carpet the acres of woodland every spring. For this week only, the gardens are open in the evenings to visitors who want to see them lit up under the moonlight. As someone who knows very little about snowdrops, or gardens for that matter, even I am tempted to drop by and wander through the fairy lit paths. The walk takes about an hour and you can even get a cup of tea in the Snowdrop Tea Room at the end of the evening.