Said to be like Edinburgh without all the tourists, Stirling is a city found north and halfway between Glasgow and the Capital. Its castle is one of the largest and most significant in Scotland, and childhood home to Mary Queen of Scots. Then there is the National Wallace Monument, a striking 67m high structure overlooking the location of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace led the Scots to victory against the English.
10. Have a Nordic adventure in the Shetland Islands
The Shetland Islands are an archipelago with a rich Viking history, which erupts each year at the Up Helly Aa fire festivals heralding the end of winter. There is a diversity of wildlife to be found here, from puffins to whales, dolphins, otters and seals and it is one of the best places to spot the Northern Lights.