Think of Scotland, and perhaps the name conjures up images of mountains and misty glens, whisky and kilts and shortbread. While all of these are on offer in this beautiful destination, it’s also a modern European country with inspirational cities and its own sense of self.

A Scottish break can mean so many things to so many people. Edinburgh, the capital, has the perfect setting with its castle looming over the city and the historic Royal Mile is a must-see too. Take in a visit of the Royal Yacht Britannia, head for Edinburgh’s famous festival in August or the Military Tattoo. Head there for Hogmanay when castle provides the perfect backdrop to thousands of fireworks.

Over on the West coast, Glasgow has much to offer too. Scotland’s largest city, this is the place to go for retail opportunities – pedestrianised shopping streets, malls, arcades with quirky little stores – it has the lot. It’s also a cultural centre, with theatres, concert halls, museums and art galleries galore. And it’s only 20 minutes’ drive to the spectacular Loch Lomond.

In the north of the country, take in Aberdeen, the UK’s oil capital and known as the Granite City thanks to the grey stone that makes up much of its architecture. It has a lively nightlife and interesting museums, and is also the gateway to Royal Deeside and whisky country.

The Highland capital of Inverness, on the other hand, has a lovely setting on the River Ness, near Loch Ness – ideal for Nessie-hunting! Take a trip to the Moray Firth to see if you can catch a glimpse of the bottlenose dolphins off the coast.

Anyone seeking a peaceful getaway should choose an island break – whether to the far north, to the Orkney Islands or Shetland Islands, or to the Western Isles. Each area has its own very distinct charm and atmosphere, and you’ll feel like you’re a million miles from everyday life.