Towering castles dotted across the landscape stand testament to Scotland’s turbulent and dramatic past, while neolithic stone circles and standing stones that pre-date the pyramids give you a glimpse of what life was like in Scotland over 5,000 years ago.

In Shetland, Vikings were among the earliest visitors. Their influence lives on, not least in the dramatic annual fire festival, Up Helly Aa.

The dark waters of Loch Ness retain a mystery that has remained unsolved since the year 565AD when Saint Columba first sighted a fearsome creature in the loch.

Image credits: Kenny Lam, Damian Shields