The stories behind my 2018 Instagram top nine

Glenfinnan monument

That’s right. I don’t post anything for months and have the nerve to rock up at the end of 2018 with the tales behind my Instagram top nine.

I’ve really missed blogging the past few months; after my masters was over I felt stuck and didn’t know what to write, so I left it. After stewing for far too long, I have decided the best thing is to get back into it and see if my inspiration comes back. Since it’s the end of the year, we’re all reflecting on what the past 12 months have held for us and I love looking back on photos.

I remember this day so vividly. I was walking through the city on a Friday night after finishing a lecture for a class that I absolutely loved. Honestly, that class put me in a great mood; not only because it finished so late I didn’t have to work on a Friday night but because it challenged the way I approached problems and made me think about things in different ways.

The light in town was beautiful and as I walked past the end of Victoria Street, I could see why it’s said to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.

No, I didn’t go back to Canada – I wish. This would have been about a week before I handed my dissertation in (which was about Canada) and let me tell you that writing 20,000 words about a place you love makes you miss it. A lot.

Finnich Glen, Scotland; June 28th

If you’re from outside the UK, you may not know that we had a really hot summer this year. I am not a heat seeker, so I struggled with it. So what’s a pale person to do when it’s 27C? The answer is: find a deep canyon to hide in and stand in the water.

We’d seen photos of Finnich Glen somewhere on social media a few weeks before and it seemed like the perfect place to escape the heat. And it was. As soon as we walked back out, the heat hit you like when you get off an airplane in a hot country.

At some point, I’m going to get around to posting about this place because it’s so beautiful and parts of it feel like you’re in Jurassic Park.

Glen Etive, Scotland; June 11th

This was taken on a weekend trip to the west of Scotland with some of my course mates and course leader. It was still far too hot, so we went to a swimming hole. I didn’t end up swimming because I hadn’t packed for any kind of occassion and even if I had I think I’d have been too terrified of hitting rocks on the way in.

Glen Etive is a little turn off from Rannoch Moor on the way to Glen Coe. I’ve been to Glen Coe a few times and had never even noticed the turn off for Glen Etive. It was so beautiful, green, and peaceful. I definitely want to go back, take Daz with me, and explore the glen some more. If you’re heading over that way, it’s worth your time and is probably a nice place to stop and have your lunch or a snack – because what is a trip anywhere without snacks?

Another throwback to Canada! I’m gonna talk about these two photos together since they were taken a couple of hundred metres apart. These were taken at the Inkpots, which is a hike you can follow on from Johnston Canyon (I wrote all about it here). It’s a steep hike but the views are so rewarding when you reach a beautiful alpine meadow, with a handful of colourful pools (the Inkpots), a river, mountains, and trees everywhere. We were really surprised at how quiet it was here – most people don’t venture much further than Johnston Canyon it seems.

This is one of my favourite photos of the year. Daz and I visited The Hermitage in Perthshire during the autumn because we wanted to be surrounded by orange leaves and we were not disappointed. I intended to write a whole blog post about it because it was misty and really atmospheric but didn’t get around to it – maybe I will anyway and it’ll be completely out of season, but hey.

We were headed back to the car and I spotted the path, surrounded by all the trees and thought it might work and whipped out my tripod. And hey, it worked!

Ross Fountain, Edinburgh; August 3rd


This is the Ross Fountain, in Princes Street Gardens. It had been undergoing renovation for months and months and was reopened just as the Fringe Festival started. Due to all the delicate restoration there were loads of signs asking people not to play in the fountain and what do you know? People are letting their kids play in the fountain and it had to be shut again a few days later for repair work. *Eyeroll*

Mini-rant aside, the fountain looks fantastic and with the castle peeping into the background, I couldn’t help but feel really lucky to be living here.

Whenever I see this photo, it reminds me of the summer. We got to enjoy the Fringe Festival this year and went to three shows; we enjoyed delicious food from the food trucks; I handed in my dissertation; in short, it was just nice to be in Edinburgh this summer.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh; May 1st

This is one of the most iconic shots of Edinburgh, so I’m sure you’ve seen a photo like this before. Calton Hill is a great place to watch the sunset over the city – again, I wrote all about it here. To be fair, it’s a great place to go at any time of day – do take care up there at night if you’re on your own, though.

The great thing about Calton Hill is that if you walk around it, you get views over the entire surrounding area. You can see the castle and Princes Street; you can look out towards the Pentlands; you can see the bridges in the Firth of Forth and look over towards Fife; and you can see out across the sea and towards East Lothian. If you’re ever in Edinburgh, I would put Calton Hill at the top of your list. It might be an almost cliche thing to do when you visit Edinburgh now but it is well worth it.

I always find it interesting to find out what my most liked photos of the year were to see how they compare to my favourite photos of the year (most of my absolute favourites haven’t featured in this). I’ve been working a lot on improving my photography and editing this year, and plan to continue doing so in 2019.

Shameless plug time; if you want to see more of my photos from the past year, you can find me on IG at @rosie_baillie.

What are the stories behind your favourite photos, or top 9, photos of 2018?

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