The solidly Victorian resort of OBAN enjoys a superb setting distinguished by a bizarre granite amphitheatre, dramatically lit at night, on the hilltop above the town. Despite a small population, it’s by far the largest port in northwest Scotland, and the main departure point for ferries to the Hebrides. If you arrive late, or are catching an early boat, you may have to spend the night here; if you’re staying elsewhere, it’s a useful base for wet-weather activities and shopping.

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