Scotland

Your most-read Scottish stories of 2018

The BBC Scotland news website has looked back at our most-read stories of the year. This is the top 20 for 2018, with the ranking based on the number of page views.

1. Frightened Rabbit

Image copyright Earl Gibson III

The death of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison was the most-read story of the year.

The 36-year-old was reported missing before his body was found at a marina on the banks of the Firth of Forth.

His family said there had been recent concerns about his mental health and they were "devastated" by his death.

Body confirmed as missing Frightened Rabbit singer

2. President Trump in Scotland

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Donald Trump played a game of golf at Turnberry, the course he bought in 2014

US President Donald Trump's on-off visit to the UK finally took place in July.

After meeting Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers and the Queen at Windsor, the president made a private visit to the Ayrshire golf course he bought in 2014.

While the US leader played a round of golf at Turnberry, protests were held across the country and close to the golf course.

Thousands joined Trump protest as US leader played golf

3. Art school destroyed by fire

Image copyright Rocco Giudice
Image caption The fire could be seen throughout Glasgow city centre

In June, Glasgow's world-famous School of Art was destroyed by a huge blaze, four years after part of the building had been devastated by another fire.

Flames ripped through the celebrated Charles Rennie Mackintosh building and the blaze spread to nearby buildings, including the Campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue.

Glasgow fire: Art school's Mackintosh building extensively damaged

4. Snow in winter

Image copyright NEODAAS/University of Dundee
Image caption A satellite image shows half the UK under snow and cloud

Surprisingly, this weather story is not the infamous Beast from the East that brought chaos to the roads at the end of February and start of March.

Instead, it was the amber warning for snow issued in January, which saw hundreds of drivers stranded on the main route between Scotland and England.

Fresh snow alert sparks travel warning

5. Game of Thrones wedding

Image copyright PA
Image caption The newly-weds travelled to Wardhill Castle in an old Land Rover Defender

Kit Harington and Rose Leslie - who played on-screen lovers Jon Snow and Ygritte in Game of Thrones - got married in real life in June.

Guests lined the path outside Rayne Church, near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, showering the newly-weds with flower petal confetti.

The couple then got into an old Land Rover decorated with paper hearts and tin cans as they drove to the reception at nearby Wardhill Castle.

Game of Thrones: Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Scottish wedding

6. Alesha MacPhail's death

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Alesha MacPhail died just days into her school holidays in July

The death of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the island of Bute in July was one of the most-read stories of the year.

A 16-year-old boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - has appeared in court charged with abduction, rape and murder.

7. Whistleblower taped and gagged

Image caption BBC Scotland obtained a photo of the restraint DeeAnn Fitzpatrick claims to have been subjected to

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick went to an employment tribunal claiming years of bullying and harassment at Marine Scotland's Scrabster office.

Ahead of the tribunal the 49-year-old alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged by colleagues in 2010.

This was not considered during her hearing as it was said to have happened more than three years before the complaint was brought.

Ms Fitzpatrick was later informed by the employment tribunal that it would not be upholding her complaint.

Fisheries officer DeeAnn Fitzpatrick loses harassment claim

8. Teenager died of flu virus

Image copyright Bethany Walker
Image caption Bethany Walker contracted the flu virus which developed into pneumonia

At the start of January, the number of cases of flu rose rapidly.

Among the thousands of cases, it emerged that 18-year-old Bethany Walker, from Applecross in Wester Ross, had died from the virus.

Teenager dies after catching flu virus

9. Five killed in crash

Image copyright Jasperimage

Five people, including a four-year-old boy, died and several others were injured when a minibus and 4x4 crashed in Moray in July.

Three local people in a Nissan X-Trail - two women aged 69 and 70 and a man aged 63 - died in the crash.

The young boy and a woman, who also died, were in the minibus, which was carrying Italian tourists.

Boy, 4, and four adults die as minibus and 4x4 crash on A96 in Moray

10. Lottery win

Image copyright Andrew Milligan
Image caption Fred and Lesley Higgins are £58m richer

A retired couple won a £58m lottery jackpot - despite the winning ticket being mistakenly ripped in two.

Fred and Lesley Higgins, from Aberdeenshire, matched all the numbers in the Euromillions draw on 10 July.

But when Mr Higgins checked his numbers, the shop assistant initially told him it was not a winner, ripped up the ticket and threw it away.

When the machine then told them to contact Camelot, it was quickly retrieved from the bin.

Ripped-up lottery ticket wins £58m jackpot

11. Lorries topple on ferry

Witnesses to a "major incident" on a ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland described how a "big dip" caused lorries to topple over.

Lorry driver Niall Mcerlean said "all the wrecking took place" about halfway through the journey.

No-one was badly hurt but some people were stuck in vehicles.

Lorries toppled after 'big dip' on Larne to Cairnryan ferry

12. Jobcentre joke

Image copyright Adam Rowe
Image caption Liverpool comedian Adam Rowe was a popular choice for the award

"Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day."

Liverpool comedian Adam Rowe's joke was chosen as the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

Jobcentre joke is the funniest at the Edinburgh Fringe

13. Missing man's body found

Image copyright PA
Image caption Liam Colgan went missing in February

Liam Colgan, from Inverness, went missing while out on a stag do in Hamburg in February.

His disappearance sparked major searches in the city and widespread appeals on social media.

It was more than two months before his body was found in the River Elbe.

Missing stag do man's body 'found in river'

14. Irn Bru panic

Image copyright AG Barr
Image caption The new recipe will start to appear in stores this month

Makers of the fizzy favourite Irn Bru reacted to the impending levy on sugary drinks by saying they were changing the formula to cut the sugar content by almost half.

Cue social media outrage and a "Hands off our Irn Bru" petition.

Irn Bru panic as fans stockpile before recipe change

15. Ruth Davidson gives birth

Image copyright @ruthdavidsonmsp
Image caption Ruth Davidson tweeted a picture of herself with Finn and her partner Jen Wilson

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson gave birth to a baby boy at the end of October.

Ms Davidson said her son had been named Finn Paul Davidson, and weighed 10lb 1.5oz when he was born.

Ruth Davidson gives birth to baby boy

16. Law officer says UK can cancel Brexit

Image copyright ECJ
Image caption The case was heard by the full court of European judges last week

At the start of December, a top European law officer said the UK should be able to unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU.

The non-binding opinion was delivered by an advocate general of the European Court of Justice.

A group of Scottish politicians had asked the court whether the UK could call off Brexit without the consent of other member states.

Article 50: Law officer says UK can cancel Brexit

17. 'People stared and laughed at me'

Image copyright Rory McGuire
Image caption Rory McGuire was bullied from an early age and at one stage accepted it as part of his life

A young man who was bullied over his appearance told BBC Scotland he was using his terrible experience to help others.

Rory McGuire's birthmark saw him tormented and abused from an early age and despite surviving more than 20 operations, the abuse he has endured has been far more damaging and painful.

The 24-year-old is now fronting a campaign to encourage victims of abuse over facial differences to report these hate crimes to police.

'People stared and laughed and I don't want others to go through that'

18. 'I was the sex guru's bodyguard'

Image copyright Alamy

Scot Hugh Milne told BBC Scotland how he was a disciple of Indian "sex guru" Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh from his very early days.

But his dream of an enlightened community based on love and kindness came crashing down in spectacular style.

The Scot who was the sex guru's bodyguard

19. Car deliberately driven into children

In March, a teenage girl was seriously hurt when a car was driven deliberately into a group of children in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow.

The children, aged between 12 and 14, were standing on the pavement near shops when Gerald Gavan drove his silver Vauxhall Astra at the group.

He had been targeting a man crossing the road close-by.

Gavan, 22, from East Kilbride, was later sentenced to 11 years for attempted murder.

Girl seriously hurt after car drives into group of children in Glasgow

20. Should rock stacking be banned?

Making a pretty pile of rocks on a beach seems like a nice way to spend a sunny afternoon.

But there is some backlash against the art of stone stacking.

John Hourston, founder of the Blue Planet Society, believes it's a worrying trend.

Should rock stacking be banned?

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