2014 truly was a year to remember in Scotland, with thousands of visitors enjoying the country’s landscapes, activities, food and drink and an enormous programme of events, bookended by phenomenal Hogmanay celebrations.
We asked you to share your #brilliantmoments with us via Instagram, and the response was fantastic. From breathtaking landscapes and adorable wildlife to colourful cityscapes and vibrant festivals, the quality and variety of the photos made it a real struggle to select our top 5 each month – have a look at our previous blogs for a look at our favourites.
Here’s our final round-up of 2014’s #brilliantmoments, featuring five of our favourite images taken around Scotland in December.
Reindeer in the Cairngorms
@a.view.of.nature shared this brilliant picture of reindeer grazing in the snowcapped Cairngorm mountains last month. While Rudolph and co. are naturally associated with Christmas, you can meet these guys all year round at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, home to the UK’s only herd of these magnificent creatures. The views are stunning no matter what the season, too!
Here we see Stirling as a soldier might have with this great photo from @julychouette. Taken from the ramparts of Stirling Castle, it looks out over a cannon towards the National Wallace Monument on Abbey Craig, built in honour of William Wallace in the 19th century. Why not pay a visit to the castle to discover its dramatic history, or climb the 246 steps of the Wallace Monument for sweeping views over the city?
@edinburghphotowalks captured this magnificent winter sunrise on a morning stroll around Duddingston Loch. Set just below Arthur’s Seat on the outskirts of Edinburgh, this tranquil loch is great for fishing and is home to a wealth of birdlife. Scotland’s oldest pub, the Sheep Heid Inn, is just a minute’s walk away – the ideal spot for a bite to eat after a walk around the water’s edge.
Staffa, Argyll & The Isles
It may be best known for the awesome Fingal’s Cave, but the surface of Staffa can be equally impressive! This photo by @nancyvgoncalves highlights the unique landscape of this uninhabited island, with its rugged coastline and distinctive basalt columns in black and pale grey. Take a boat trip from Oban, Tobermory or Kilchoan to explore this enigmatic island for yourself.
Glencoe, The Highlands
Famed as the site of a brutal massacre that took place during the Jacobite rising of 1689-92, Glencoe is also an area of wonderful natural beauty – just take a look at this great winter snap by @aiqb1 for proof! This stirring image really shows the scale of the mighty Highland mountains, and the contrast between the snowy peaks and the colourful moorland below is brilliant.
That’s a wrap for 2014, but the #brilliantmoments don’t end there! We want to see what you’re getting up to around Scotland in 2015, the Year of Food & Drink.
Whether you’re island hopping around the Outer Hebrides, mountain biking through the rugged Highlands, fine dining in Scotland’s cities or on some other unforgettable adventure, be sure to share your photos with us by tagging them as #brilliantmoments – check out our Instagram for more inspiration!