A lone tourist admires the view on Loch Morlich, which appeared to have disappeared overnight after it froze over, leaving onlookers struggling to tell where land ended and water began. Locals and tourists were greeted with the awe-inspiring sight yesterday morning as temperatures across the Highlands plummeted to as low as -9C minus nine degrees celsius.

The photo of the frozen loch, which is situated close to Aviemore, contrasts sharply with scenes from the summer, when the country faced some of the highest temperatures ever recorded.

Hundreds of visitors and sunseekers jostled for a place on the beautiful stretch of sandy beach fringing the loch and basked in the sizzling heat.

The natural landmark, which sits at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains, is also famous for being the highest in the UK and is the only freshwater beach to have won an award. It is not the first time the loch has frozen. Its high altitude, which is 300 metres above sea level, makes it particularly vulnerable during cold spells.