A stunning photograph of a Lanarkshire bridge has been recognized as one of the top images of 2021 by VisitScotland.
The Mauldslie Bridge, situated beside Carluke, was glistening in the snow when a local snapper took the breath-taking picture.
And after gaining more than 42,000 likes on Instagram, it has been ranked the second most popular photo in Greater Glasgow and Clyde for last year.
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The picturesque bridge in South Lanarkshire is within the village of Mauldslie which crosses over the River Clyde.
It was once a private bridge for access to the now demolished Mauldslie Castle but is now a public bridge.
The magical image was captured by account @aileens.ecosse and platform again by VisitScotland, attracting thousands of admirers.
Finishing top of the list of most popular images was a festive picture of the vaulted ceiling at the University of Glasgow.
The photograph of The Cloisters adorned with twinkling lights was captured by @pandeyrr received and got more than 51,000 likes when it was shared on VisitScotland’s Instagram account, making it the highest performing post of the region last year.
The third highest performing post was taken by @mark_callander and showed the spectacular red sky above the iconic St Mungo mural in Glasgow’s High Street and attracted more than 33,000 likes.
Between January 2021 and January 2022, VisitScotland’s Instagram reached people over 183 million times with 460 user-generated posts.
The channel has played an important role in keeping Scotland front of mind and inspiring potential visitors during the pandemic.
VisitScotland launched its global marketing campaign Scotland is Calling last year, aimed specifically at overseas visitors who, research suggests, spend longer planning and researching their trips.
VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Jim Clarkson said: “The rich history and vibrancy of Glasgow and Clyde Valley and the stunning scenery and sights on offer in the wider area are a fantastic source of inspiration for photographers and these images have captured some of the many reasons visitors are drawn to the region.
“VisitScotland’s social media channels have played a significant role in the last two years in continuing to keep Scotland front of mind and offering inspiration to our global audiences.
“We know there is pent-up demand for travel, and we want to ensure that we inspire potential visitors with what Scotland has to offer and make it their first-choice destination when they can travel.
“Our marketing activity reflects our drive to attract visitors to Scotland throughout the year.
“By adopting a regional and geographic approach, we are showing the diversity that Scotland has to offer and ensuring that tourism brings benefits to communities right across the country.”
Aileen Crawford, head of tourism and conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau – part of Glasgow Life – also praised the quality of images.
She added: “It’s brilliant to see these images being so well-received online.
“As we know from our own People Make Glasgow digital channels, user-generated content is invaluable to inspiring new visitors. It provides that authentic presentation of a destination that as tourists we’re all looking for.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.