Top ten most viewed stories of 2014

Illustration: Iain McIntosh

Illustration: Iain McIntosh

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IT was a year that the world’s gaze was fixed firmly on Scotland as the country voted on independence, hosted the Commonwealth Games and staged the Ryder Cup.

Stories on the Scottish independence referendum made up five entries in the top ten stories on The Scotsman website of 2014 with the other half made up of an eclectic mix ranging from the useful - 25 things to do in Scotland before you die - to the bizarre in the form of a man being fined for impersonating a ghost.

However it was the now well-known fact piece detailing how Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn that was the top story of the year for the second year in a row.

The story has always been a magnet for visitors from the United States and saw a spike in traffic following US anchor’s John Oliver’s explanation of Scottish independence in September which featured unicorns.

1 - Scottish fact of the week: Scotland’s official animal, the Unicorn

Views: 288656

How the unicorn came to be Scotland’s national animal

2 - Hardship alert 245102

Views: 245102

A letter from a Norwegian living in the UK who wrote to The Scotsman during the independence referendum campaign questioning Yes supporters’ belief that Scotland and Norway were similar

3 -Socialising in pubs “boosts mens” mental health

Views: 164772

A study Medical Research Council which argued men spending time in pubs was good for their mental well-being

4 Scotland’s decision: The Scotsman’s verdict

Views: 163870

An editorial column from the editor of The Scotsman which considered the arguments for and against Scottish independence

5 - Salmond: We don’t need referendum for independence

Views: 139165

Alex Salmond raised the prospect of Scotland becoming independent without going through another referendum

6 - Irn-Bru ice cream unveiled in Glasgow

Views: 128091

The makers of Scottish favourite Irn-Bru unveiled a new ice-cream lolly made from the soft drink

7 -”Yes landslide” if Westminster breaks powers vow

Views: 113974

Dr Matt Qvortrup warned Westminster that failure to deliver on its powers promise could prompt a second Scottish independence referendum - with the result a landslide victory for the Yes campaign

8 - Man fined “for pretending to be ghost” in cemetery

Views: 100382

A man was fined after pretending to be a ghost in a Portsmouth cemetery

9 - In full: General Sir Richard Shirreff’s letter

Views: 98656

A letter from leading British Army officer General Sir Richard Shirreff warning against the break up of the UK

10 - 25 things to do in Glasgow before you die

Views: 75091

A guide to Glasgow’s attractions both well and little known

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