Drama student Barry Carruthers, 22, from Glasgow found a lost memory card outside a multistorey car park on Bath Street in Glasgow city centre on December 23.

After discovering the memory card contained over 500 pictures of an unknown family’s holiday across central Scotland, Barry decided he had to try and return them: "If someone has their phone stolen they don’t care about the phone itself, it’s what’s on the phone that’s important. I’m really a sentimental person in that way.”

The pictures chart the family’s round trip of Scotland, beginning at Glasgow Central, before snaps of Ayr Beach and the Edinburgh Festival took the tourists to Loch Lomond for a snap of some boats on the water. "There's a photo of some independence campaign posters, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Military Tattoo so they must have been here around August."

After posting a selection of the photos to a Facebook group called Scotland from the Roadside the drama student was amazed by the response from fellow good Samaritans and amateur sleuths trying to solve the mystery and return the images to their rightful owner. Barry said: “I posted the photos on Saturday evening, and by Sunday morning they’d had 700 shares."

The pictures have since been shared over 20,000 times by people all over the world in the hopes that someone will recognise the tourists.

Barry has even enlisted the help of camera manufacturer Nikon, hoping that the family could be traced through the camera serial number hidden in the memory card’s files.

But clues to the nationality of the family have left everyone guessing. Barry said: “People think they’re from Barcelona, or around that area as there are random photos of them pointing at a tour bus, as the tour bus company links back to Barcelona. Opinions differ however, as Barry adds: "A lot of people think they’re from America as well due to their clothing.”

A hashtag was started on Twitter as the search spread further afield across social media and the world in the hope that Barry would get the chance to return the found photos.

Three days later, on Wednesday, 7 of January, Barry finally made contact with the family thanks to the manager from the Ibis hotel where the family stayed while on their trip to Edinburgh.

He appeared on STV Glasgow's Riverside Show to speak about his rather 'productive Christmas break' and the family's response when they heard their photos had been found. Barry said: "I have only spoken to the son of the family, but they are from the Catalonia area and the son studies in Barcelona. He is completely shocked. The guy from the hotel, Jamie got in touch with the mum after seeing the photos on Facebook and she's delighted."