If 2015 was dominated by one social media network for me, it’s definitely Instagram. What used to be a place for blurry night out photos is now a highly curated gallery of my best travel snaps!
I’m not quite sure how or why, but around June this year I fell in love with Instagram and it’s completely changed how I live my life. I seek out Instagrammable restaurants. I order Instagrammable food. I wear Instagrammable shoes. I spend hours every day staring at a tiny screen, engaging with fellow Instagrammers and editing photos.
A few centuries ago I would have been accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake, but in the 21st century this form of madness is deemed normal so let’s not worry about me just yet. Instead let’s focus on the fact amazing new people I’ve met through Instagram and the 18.5k superstars who now follow me (are you following me yet?).
That’s why I thought it might be fun to trawl through the archives and find the photos that got the most love. In descending order these are my most popular Instagram photos of 2015…
10. Oban, Scotland
This photo was snapped in the window of McCaig’s Tower in Oban – an impressive structure inspired by the Roman Colosseum. Are you surprised this harbour town made my list of the most magical places in the Scottish Highlands? Neither am I.
9. Sand dunes, Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is home to an impressive 400-hectare stretch of sand dunes which are a magical place to get lost – although please don’t actually get lost unless you’re bringing lots of water and a parasol. Don’t forget your camera because this place is seriously Instagrammable… You can find out all about this island in my spa guide to Gran Canaria.
8. Maulbronn Monastery, Germany
The Maulbronn Monastery is home to one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in Europe and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. It’s surrounded by lush fields and the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), so it’s a perfect place to do a little hiking! And yes, it’s not too bad to look at either.
7. Mediterranean Steps, Gibraltar
The Mediterranean Steps are possibly the most beautiful nature trail in Gibraltar. The path was originally built by the British military and it links the town to the top of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. Once you enter the reserve you can expect lots of lush greenery and wild macaque monkeys who might even pose for a photo. Luckily for me, the view seems to have been enough!
6. Jasper, Canada
Alberta is one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever been to. The crystal clear lakes, the ginormous mountains, the tall trees – of course it made the top ten! Do I get brownie points for those superhero leggings and excitable jumping?
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5. Singen, Germany
At first sight the industrial city of Singen might not seem that charming, but it’s all about the beautiful nature around it. Nestled at the foot of the extinct volcano of Hohentwiel and a short drive from the impossibly blue waters of Lake Constance, its surroundings beg to be explored and photographed. How beautiful is this sunset?
4. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is a beaut. It’s got so many beautiful castles (like Edinburgh Castle in this photo) and spectacular views that it almost feels like it’s bragging. But it’s impossible not to love this Scottish city, especially when you realise that every corner is an Instagram shot waiting to happen. Have you read my spooky guide to Edinburgh yet?
3. Oberdingen, Germany
Oberdingen is in the middle of the wine-growing region of Stromberg-Heckengäu, which makes it a great place to stay in overnight and enjoy all the local delicacies… or just run through the vineyards in a summer dress like I did. It even made my list of seven cutest German towns you’ve probably never heard of!
2. London, UK
I often find Instagram quite unpredictable – I never thought this photo of Neal’s Yard would be particularly popular yet here it is, smugly holding its silver medal. But I suppose it’s not too shocking because this little colourful oasis really stands out among London’s fifty shades of grey.
1. London, UK
My most popular Instagram of all time is a snap of me posing in front of the Houses of Parliament in London in a feathery skirt and high heels. I love that, because I feel like it captures the essence of ‘Girl vs Globe’ – travel, fashion and adventure.
It may not seem daring from where you’re standing but you should have seen the huge drop behind me… Oh, Instagram. The things I do to make you love me.
What do you think of my most popular Instagram photos of 2015? Which is your favourite? Do you have a travel Instagram you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a link in the comments below!