Mallaig lies at the end of the West Highland Line and is both a busy fishing port and a gateway to the islands off Scotland's west coast. It's hard to imagine today, but the village didn't exist at all until 1840, when local landowner, Lord Lovat, moved his tenants away from inland farms and towards the coast. Herring fishing remained the mainstay of Mallaig's economy for the rest of the 19th century, until the arrival of rail sparked off a new wave of growth and laid the foundations of a modest tourist economy that continues today.
Trains to Mallaig arrive at an attractive two-platform terminus that dates back to 1901. Though the station has shrunk over the years - it has lost a turntable, a line extension to the nearby harbour and a glass canopy over its platforms, removed in 1975 - its facade remains a charming sight, with stone walls, pitched slate roofs and a pretty bay window.