January’s brilliant moments, as seen on Instagram

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Here in Scotland, we want to make sure 2014 is a year to remember – whether it’s at unforgettable events like the Ryder Cup or the MTV EMAs, or simply taking in the country’s wonderful scenery and wildlife. We’ve been asking you to share your brilliant moments for 2014 with us on Instagram, and so far the response has been phenomenal: from sunsets and cityscapes to adorable animals and gourmet meals, loads of you have got snap happy and showed us how you’ve been making the most of all that Scotland has to offer.

After much deliberation, our photography buffs have managed to whittle down January’s Moments of the Day into just five fantastic images. Check our favourite photos below, along with comments from one of VisitScotland’s experts on what makes them just so great.

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Highland Cow
Everyone loves a Highland Coo, but who knew they liked swimming?! Think this wee guy’s hoping for a late entry into the Commonwealth Games? @weencentt witnessed this brilliant moment on the Isle of Mull last month – we loved the unusual setting and the humour in this picture, and judging by all the ‘likes’ it got, so did many of you!

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Edinburgh Old Town
A wander around Edinburgh’s historic wynds and cobbled closes is bound to uncover a few hidden gems. This striking shot by @wilde_oates features New College near the Royal Mile, home to Edinburgh University’s School of Divinity – you can just make out the statue of John Knox, arm raised in mid-sermon fervour, on the left. As our photographer says, “This photo really captures the sense of awe you feel when exploring Edinburgh’s Old Town.”

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Glentress in the Scottish Borders
Another fantastic image by @wilde_oates, who braved the elements to go mountain biking at Glentress in the Scottish Borders and even managed to capture a few stunning snowscapes en route. To quote our photographer, “It’s the man against nature aspect of this photo which gives it such great impact, as well as being a striking landscape in its own right.” Nice work!

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The Skye Museum of Island Life
@mrsg1106 mixes dramatic history with natural beauty in this charming picture of traditional crofts on the Isle of Skye. As our photographer points out: “At first glance idyllic, the foreboding sky and rowing boat remind us of the harsh winter conditions these families could expect.” The cottages are now home to the Skye Museum of Island Life, giving visitors a vivid taste of 19th century life – you can practically hear the songs sung around the open peat fire.

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The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, Edinburgh
Artist Xia Nan replicated China’s famous Terracotta Warriors as life-sized lanterns for the Beijing Olympics back in 2008, and now the vibrant army has come marching into Scotland for a one-off exhibition at Edinburgh’s Old College Quadrangle. In this image @badalki manages to portray the radiant colours, peaceful atmosphere and the warriors’ austere expressions all at once – check them out from 4-9pm until 7 February to snap them yourself.

One month down, eleven to go! There’s still loads of time to share your adventures around Scotland with us, so follow @visitscotland and tag your pics as #brilliantmoments on instagram for a chance to be featured as our Moment of the Day, or even in next month’s Top 5. Good luck!

instagram.com/visitscotland 

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Sophie Cameron

Content Executive at VisitScotland
Originally from the Black Isle, Sophie lives in Edinburgh and spends most of her time reading, running and roaming around Scotland.