Fort William, Scotland
Flanked by the UK’s tallest mountain on one side and Loch Linnae on the other, Fort William – or “Bill” to the locals – is what you imagine when it comes to Scottish Highland towns. Verdant moors stretch as far as the eye can see, pastel painted houses front the water and it is not unusual to see pipers in kilts on street corners. But while Fort William may play to certain critics’ idea of a cliché, the pretty town goes far beyond tartan cushions and wee drams of Scotch (although there is a fair amount of this too!). Fort William has everything you could possibly want while in the Highlands. The High Street has plenty to keep you occupied with its good range of shops, cafes and restaurants - a lunch of locally caught seafood or the iconic haggis, neeps and tatties is a must. Because of its privileged location sitting in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis (standing a proud 1,345 metres high) outdoor enthusiasts are especially well catered for. Unsurprisingly so, as Fort William is considered the UK’s outdoor capital. But it’s not all high adrenaline sports. Certainly, those who want to climb up a rock or hurtle down white water rapids will find their nirvana, but if gentle fishing, a quiet county walk or curling up in cosy pubs warmed by an open fire are more your glass of whiskey then you’re catered for. The West Highland Museum in the centre of the town is excellent, while St Andrew's Church, towards the north end of the main street, has a very attractive interior. Also well worth a look is St Mary's Catholic Church, on Belford Road, and no visit should be considered complete without a look at the Old Fort, almost invisible to passing traffic. Add a wildlife cruise amid stunning scenery and the steam train that took Harry to Hogwarts and you can easily spend a day in this lovely port.