TIMPI Top Picks for January

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Ah January, the notorious comedown month – a time when the cold weather no longer feels festive, the gluttony guilt sets in, and we’re all, well and truly, out of pocket. Yep, not a month most people look forward to. Well, we’re here to change that. We want to show you that there’s more to January than a few resolutions and a lack of alcohol. Don’t believe us? Check out our top picks below…  

Top event picks

Lumiere London

Forget Christmas lights, from 18th – 21st January, magical installations will be popping up all over London, transforming the city into one hell of an art exhibition. If you can’t wait that long, head to the Lumiere Festival website for a few teasers. With one piece called ‘Flamingo Flyaway’ and another ‘Love Motion’, we’re already sold. 

 

Burns Night 

If you were expecting a quiet, and dry, January, you’re clearly not Scottish. For the 25th of this month signifies the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, and the subsequent tradition of Burns Night. Far from a quiet poetry reading, this is an evening of haggis, whisky, bagpipe music, ceilidh dancing and a whole lot of tartan. Grab your kilt and join the celebration.


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Theatre Pick 

OVO, Cirque du Soleil at Royal Albert Hall

From 7th January – 4th March, Royal Albert Hall will be infested with insects (but in a good way), as Cirque du Soleil’s latest masterpiece hits London.

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Music Pick

Celebrating David Bowie at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire/O2 Ritz Manchester

On the back of its huge success this year, Celebrating David Bowie is coming to the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 12th January and O2 Ritz Manchester on 13th January. Which can only mean one thing – it’s time to dance. 

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Fitness Pick

January Gym Deals

Ate a few too many mince pies this Christmas? Don’t worry, this is the perfect time to bag a great deal with your local gym, and start the new year as you mean to go on.

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Wild Card Pick

Wakakusa Yamayaki, Japan

Every year, on the fourth Saturday in January (27th January this year), the grass on the hillside of Japan’s Mount Wakakusayama is set on fire, able to be seen across all of Nara. This spectacle is part of the festival, Wakakusa Yamayaki, the origins of which are thought to either come from boundary conflicts between Nara’s great temples, or as a method to drive away wild boars. Whichever it is, this is quite the sight to behold, especially with the accompanying fireworks, and is the perfect excuse to head to Japan in the new year.


Destinations to visit in January

Costa Rica

If you’re looking to escape the cold this January, Costa Rica is ready and waiting at a sizzling 35-37 degrees. With both the Pacific and Caribbean seas lapping at its edges, there is plenty of ocean to cool off in, and this is whale calving season, so there’s much to see beneath the surface too. Back on land, there are activities a-plenty, from zip-lining through jungles to trekking up volcanos. And, for film buffs, this is the country that inspired Jurassic Park. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we can’t give you dinosaurs, but keep an eye out for sloths and an abundance of other wildlife.

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Barbados

Home to some of the world’s best beaches, Barbados is the perfect place to go for a winter getaway – but make sure to move off your sunbed and into the sea, as the turtles are waiting to meet you. Off the beach, too, there is much to look at – plantation houses sitting amongst fields of sugar cane, famous rum distilleries and many a farmer’s market. Oh and, come evening, don’t miss the legendary  Friday night fish fry at Oistin’s.    

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Maldives

January may be one of the Maldives’ coldest months, but don’t fear, temperatures only drop to a balmy 27 degrees and there’s little rain. Which makes this a great time to head to this beautiful country. Whichever of the many islands you stay on, book yourself a water bungalow for your base, head out snorkelling in the day, and spend your evenings stargazing. In between the two, make sure to take a sunset cruise and enjoy some of the amazing seafood the island has to offer.

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Goa, India

Marginally bigger than Devon, Goa may be India’s smallest state, but it still has a lot to shout about. To start with, there’s its 80 miles of coastline. Mix in the sunrise yoga sessions on the beach, the Roman Catholic churches standing side by side with Hindu temples, and the many waterfalls and lagoons, and you have the recipe for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. The clue’s in the name – Go.

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Dylan Winn-Brown