New Year in Scotland is legendary for its Hogmanay celebrations and the extra bank holiday that those south of the border don't get. Its vast open spaces make way for even more grey in the sky that normal and the biting winter wind feels like it'll rip the face off of you.
I stayed in Ayrshire where the sky was grey and the buildings were no different, with the small towns along the coast missing the hustle and bustle of people going about their business, preferring to either stay inside in the warm or holiday in Spain for the Christmas break. The peace that this should have generated though was constantly interrupted by the lorries coming up from Stranraer port and thundering through the towns and villages that have yet to be bypassed.
The bigger cities were little different, Glasgow and Edinburgh both relatively quiet except for the normal tourist destinations and the Christmas Markets. This did give me a chance though to explore the backstreets, paths and alleys, poking around without the chance of being challenged, or people lingering in my shot where I didn't want them.
But it's not all grey skies and cold stone. When the weather breaks in Scotland there seems to be a pull to get out in it, go wandering, take in some air, and some breathtaking scenery.
A trip down one side of Loch Doon was indeed breathtaking, and offered natural beauty, a fascinating history, demonstration of modern engineering and traditional architecture.
Indeed, the image of Doon Castle below has made it into my Room With A View series and is available from my Print Shop along with the print of Jacksons Lane in Edinburgh, both limited editions of just 25 copies.