It’s 2024 and I like to kick off the new year by looking back at my favourite pictures from the previous year. It’s a great opportunity to look back and remind myself of what I’ve been up to. I’ve had some wonderful adventures in 2023 and a lot of lovely pictures as a result!
Each picture has a brief description of the adventure it came from and a link to the story, so if you want to read more just click the link.
Without further delay, here are my favourite pictures of 2023!
#10 – Cormorant Rock
One of my favourite coastal walks in Dumfries & Galloway is the coastal circuit walk at Stairhaven. Featuring a lovely coastal tracks, dramatic cliffs and beautiful sea views, one of the most notable features of the walk is the abundance of wildlife.
Roe Deer, hares, seals and a huge variety of coastal birds are a staple of the walk and this picture of a group of cormorants enjoying the sunshine on a rocky outcrop is one of my favourites of the year!
#9 – Messi in a Blizzard
Early in 2023 I went to the small village of Moniaive, which lies in the north of Dumfries & Galloway, to see the striding arches which lie high in the hills above the town.
During the walk, strong winds began to whip up the snow, turning things into quite the blizzard! I love this picture of Messi, alone in the blizzard.
It’s remote and lonely. I love it!
#8 – The Summit of Benniguinea
One of the smaller yet notable hills is the wonderfully named Benniguinea. Sitting above Clatteringshaws Loch, it offers beautiful views over the loch to Meikle Millyea, Merrick and Corserine all for very little effort in a short walk.
The windy summit (with a wind-swept sidekick) made for a lovely picture on a moody, grey day.
#7 – Killantringan Lighthouse
Killantringan Lighthouse was built in 1900 and offers a beautiful circular walk from the very pretty town of Portpatrick in Dumfries & Galloway.
I did this walk on a bright day and I just love this picture of the lighthouse, with the white waves crashing against the rocks and the ruins of the MV Craigantlet in the sea on the left of the picture.
It feels like a scene from the far north of Scotland rather than a spot a brief drive from Stranraer.
#6 – Looking Out to Sea at Killantringan Lighthouse
Sticking with Killantringan Lighthouse, this image of Messi and myself, looking through the rocks at Sandeel Bay is one of my favourites.
This was taken at about the halfway point en route to the lighthouse, the grey clouds had temporarily rolled in and it made for a wonderfully moody picture.
#5 – The Ridge at Merrick
One of my favourite walks in all of Dumfries & Galloway, Mullwharchar via Loch Enoch served up many memorable moments for me and a lot of wonderful pictures as a result.
One of my favourites of the day (though not my top favourite…) was this image taken below Mullwharchar, looking towards the Merrick ridge. I love the sunlight on the yellow moor which contrasts with the pale greys, blues and whites of the ridge and sky.
#4 – Messi Rolling off a Cliff
On a very warm summer day, I had a great time bagging Lamachan Hill (and the demon that is Curleywee). An overlooked hill in Dumfries & Galloway, Lamachan Hill is a fantastic ridge walk with a spectacular ampitheatre high above Glentrool.
I took a lot of good photographs that day but my favourite (and I know I am cheating a bit here) is this selection of photographs of Messi, rolling around on the moor…and right over the edge of the cliff.
Thankfully he had a soft landing below. His only bruising being to his ego as I had a good laugh at his expense.
#3 – Boats at Little Ross Island
Quite possibly my favourite viewpoint in Dumfries & Galloway, my recent walk to Torrs Point from Kirkcudbright offered up many lovely pictures including this lovely shot to Little Ross Island. With a selection of boats bobbing gently in the sea, and the Isle of Man in the background, it was a beautiful place and my 3rd favourite picture of the year!
#2 – A Roe Deer in the Woods
Still at Torrs Point and this time on the way home, walking through the woods when I stumbled upon this roe deer, calmly feeding on berries at the side of the path. The woods were silent as gentle sunshine flowed through from the canopy above. It was a lovely, peaceful nature scene.
I got as close as possible before inevitably being spotted but I got one of my favourite pictures of the year in the process!
#1 – A Sheep at Mullwharchar
My favourite picture of the year came from one of my favourite walks in the South of Scotland. My walk to bag Mullwharchar was spectacular and one of the highlights was to see the beautiful Loch Enoch, which sits high in the hills below Mullwharchar.
I intend on fishing this stunning loch in 2024 and it was a real treat to see it in the winter. What I couldn’t have asked for is one of the local sheep to pose so perfectly for me, atop a rock face just above the loch, with Mullwharchar stretching into the clouds on the left.
It was a beautiful moment in a beautiful place and definitely my favourite picture that went out on the website in 2024.