West coast places are finalists in competition

Oban at dawn seen from McCaig's Tower on Battery Hill

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A number of Argyll and the Isles places have been shortlisted in a search for Scotland’s most beautiful towns and villages.

The online competition organised by the website Hidden Scotland has seen Oban, Tobermory, Killin and Portnahaven on Islay make the final list.

The website says: ‘We’re on the hunt for the most beautiful town or village in Scotland and we need your help.

‘We asked you on social media what you thought was the most charming and picturesque town or village in Scotland and below is what you came up with. Have a look through the towns and villages shortlisted and cast your vote.’

The website says of Oban: ‘It’s a gateway to the Hebridean islands. The Colosseum-like McCaig’s Tower overlooks Oban Bay.

‘Seafood eateries cluster by the harbour.

‘Outside town is the ruined Dunollie Castle, once the seat of Clan MacDougall. The nearby house museum, from 1745, explores clan and local history.

‘On Loch Creran, the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary has an aquarium and rescue centre.’

It is far more terse in describing Tobermory: ‘Tobermory is the capital of, and the only burgh until 1973, on the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.’

Killin is ‘a village situated at the western head of Loch Tay in Stirling’.

Portnahven is described as: ‘A village on Islay in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. The village is within the parish of Kilchoman.’

The winner will be announced in August. For more information, go to https://hiddenscotland.co/