While for you this might only mean the hassle of having to flash your passport when crossing the border, it’s still as good an excuse as any to get up there this summer.

The cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow are fantastic, but for a true escape you can’t beat the wilderness of the Highlands.

It’s a world of monsters and mayhem; overwhelmingly dramatic and stunning scenery; haunting vistas and incredible tales of dreadful bloody and tragic battles. Here are the top things to do…

Trek to Braveheart country and sip on whisky:

Start the day with a forest walk into the Highlands where guides will tell tales of clan rebellion. Listen intently while walking through Braveheart country to the National Wallace Monument.

Taste some whisky while taking in the Grampian mountains at Aviemore. Listen to the tales of battle at Killiecrankie before heading to Pitlochry where you can go water rafting.

Head to the Isle of Skye:

Cross the water to the Isle of Skye, seeing if you can spot the Loch Ness Monster on the way. The magic of Faerie Glen, stunning lochs and amazing waterfalls will stun those who visit into silent awe. Climb up the distinctive rock formation on the Isle of Skye, especially the Old Man of Storr, an overwhelmingly beautiful sight – the kind that leaves you misty eyed (yep, even you tough types).

Find haunting landscapes and Harry Potter:

Leaving Skye, check out the famous Eilean Donan Castle, then north to Torridon and test for vertigo at the Corrieshalloch Gorge, which means ‘ugly hollow’ in Gaelic, but is totally undeserving of that title – it is stunning. Discover the unique setting of the Black Isle before heading to the Highlands capital of Inverness.

Next, head to the west coast of Scotland, taking in the Glenfinnan viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films – and the Bonnie Prince Charlie monument, as well as Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. And then to the haunting landscape of Glen Coe, where you can imagine the battles fought out in the tales of the highland outlaws as though the air still echoes with their battle cries and the earth is still stained with their blood.

TNT Tour Search offers Scottish breaks at finance-friendly prices. Book your trip here.

Travel to the Trossachs:

Take in the Standing Stones at Oban and hill forts of ancient Scotland before making your way through Argyle and into the Trossachs National Park, known as the Scottish Highlands in miniature. Travel into the heart of William Wallace country and learn about Scotland’s fight for independence from the English – which they are still fighting to this day.

When we asked a Highlander if they like the English, they responded, “We like the English really – just not the football supporters.” Which is fair.

Do the Chariot of Fire run:

Spend time in Dunkeld, the first capital of Scotland, and stop for a forest walk in the beautiful Hermitage. On to St Andrews, famed for its golf course, its beach (the celebrated Chariots of Fire run) and where Kate met Will. Then enter the Kingdom of Fife and head down the coast, getting the best views of the world-famous Forth Bridge, and back to Edinburgh.

%TNT Magazine% SH2

Organised tours:

MacBackpackers and Haggis Adventures both offer excellent-value-for-money tours with affordable accommodation. The companies offer a freedom pass, so you can go where and when you want, but their five-day and three-day tours to Skye and the Highlands are especially good, taking in all the major sites, with expert guides leading the way and evoking the scene of each battle en-route.

Staying at hostels and small, comfortable bed and breakfasts along the way, both companies offer tours to the Highlands whisky distilleries and Loch Ness excursions, as well as learning about the famous haggis – although when you learn what is actually in it, you may prefer the vegetarian version.

Outdoor adventures:

The rugged terrain of the Scottish Highlands is ideal for mountain biking. There are miles of purpose-built trails and many off-road, unmarked routes through the wilderness considered the best in Europe. Some companies offer two- to five-day long trips staying in tents or bothies along the way.

In Cairngorn National Park there’s a wealth of companies offering a variety of outdoor adventures. From zip-lining, white water rafting, canyoning and gorge walking to kayaking, canoeing, hill walking, rock climbing and abseiling and bungee jumping. For more details visit g2outdoor.co.uk.

TNT Tour Search offers Scottish breaks at finance-friendly prices. Book your trip here.

Image credit: Thinkstock