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Out & About

Oban, Argyll

The Town Centre

Buzzing with cafes and local restaurants, there is much to see and do in the centre of Oban.  Choose to browse in the shops, walk along the seafront, or take in some of the highlights below:

Oban whisky distillery

 

Oban Distillery

Nestling beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban you will find the Oban Distillery – one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt Scotch whisky.  You can be taken around the Distillery by a guide, learning about each stage of the whisky making process.  At the end of your visit you will finish with a sample of the Distillery’s Oban 14 year old single malt.  http://www.discovering-distilleries.com/oban/

McCaigs Tower, Oban

McCaig’s Tower

Overlooking the bay and offering spectacular views stands Oban’s landmark, McCaig’s Tower; a gothic Colosseum built 1897 but never fully completed. The structure was commissioned by wealthy banker John Stuart McCaig, who wanted to provide lasting monument to his family, and provide work for the local stonemasons during the winter months.  A lover of Roman and Greek architecture, his death brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed.  http://www.obanargyll.com/mccaigs-tower.html

Dunollie CastleDunollie Castle near Oban

Dunollie Castle is situated about ten minutes walk from Glenburnie.  It was the seat of the MacDougalls, the Lords of Lorne, who once owned a third of Scotland. You have to climb a small hill to reach the ruins, but it’s well worth it for the view overlooking the northern entrance of Oban harbour.

 

Dunollie House

Situated minutes walk from Dunollie Castle, Duonollie House is the seat of the Clan MacDougall and home of The Hope MacDougall collection.   The 1745 House at Dunollie is a new museum and cultural centre in the former servants’ quarters of the house. Exhibitions and a range of activities for all ages, showcasing the heritage and collections at Dunollie.  This includes the renowned Hope MacDougall Collection, a fascinating social history collection drawn from the Highlands and Islands. http://www.dunollie.org/

Kayaking

Sea KayakingOban is perfect for sea kayaking.  The National Kayak School is based in the town centre and offers everything for beginners to advanced Kayakers.  It’s great fun and is a super way of visiting beautiful places that are otherwise often challenging to access.  No kit?  Don’t worry – the school can provide everything that you need for your time on the water. http://www.nationalkayakschool.com/

The Islands

Oban is known as the Gateway to the Isles.  The town’s South Pier is where you can catch ferries to Mull, Lismore, Islay, Coll and many more http://www.southernhebrides.com/ .  Close to the South Pier you will find the slipway where you can take a short boat ride over to Oban’s closest neighbour – Kerrera Island.

Kerrera Island

Kerrera from GlenburnieThis beautiful island is 6 and a half miles long and can be seen from Glenburnie.  The Kerrera ferry takes only a few minutes from the slipway in Oban town centre.  http://www.kerrera-ferry.co.uk/kerrera.html It runs regularly throughout the Summer months, and six times a day during Winter.  The island is home to about 40 people, so there are few cars.  It’s an ideal place to walk or cycle – and the views are breath taking.  Whilst there are no shops on the island, there is a wonderful Tea Room which shouldn’t be missed, combined with The Waypoint Restaurant – which is perfect for a spot of lunch as you watch the boats go by. 

Seil and Easdale

About 20 minutes’ drive from Oban, you’ll find Seil and Easdale Islands.  Easdale is very close to the Island of Seil, which is connected to the mainland by the 200 year-old Clachan Bridge, known as the “Bridge over the Atlantic”. There are no cars on Easdale, which is served by a small ferry.  The island is fascinating, offering unrivalled views of the Firth of Lorn to the north and many other islands to the south.  The beaches are terrific for beachcombing or simply soaking up the fresh Atlantic air.  Other things to see on the island are the historical remains of what was once the centre of the Scottish slate mining industry. The still pools, which are a defining feature of Easdale, were once active slate quarries.   A visit to the Island would not be complete without a stop at The Puffer for a delicious lunch, or a cup of tea and homemade cake. 

If you’re feeling like an adventure, take one of these exhilarating tours http://www.seafari.co.uk/oban/index.html by boat.  Based where you take the small ferry across to Easdale island, Seafari offer a wide range of exciting wildlife tours by boat.  Once dressed in your oil skins, you’ll climb aboard one of Sea.fari’s commercial RIBS and embark on a trip you won’t forget for many years to come! 

Lismore

Just 7 miles by car ferry from Oban, Lismore is a wonderful day trip.  The island is tranquil and unspoiled, and surrounded on all sides by stunning mountain scenery, from Ben Nevis in the north – snow-capped in winter – to the hills of Mull in the south.  Lismore’s English name is taken from the Gaelic ‘Lios Mor’ – literally translated as ‘Great Garden’.  This gives a clue as to why the island is worth a visit.  Together with its historical sights, there is an array of flowers and wildlife to see.  Lismore is only 10 miles long, so, if you don’t feel like taking the car, it’s super  just to take a bike instead.       

Mull, Iona and Staffa

A day trip to Mull and Iona is one of the highlights of your visit to Oban.  The islands are best visited by taking an inclusive excursion.  There are many to choose from and the Oban Tourist Information Centre can provide names, prices, schedules etc.  Most tours include the ferry crossing to Craignure on Mull, a journey across the Ross of Mull and then another ferry to Iona where you can visit the Abbey and the burial place of many Scottish Kings.  Sea and weather permitting, it’s also possible to visit the Island of Staffa with its famous Fingal’s Cave.