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The seafood capital of Scotland and the gateway to the Hebridean Islands, Oban is a beautiful waterfront town on a near perfect horseshoe bay. Located within the Argyll and Bute council area, Oban is surrounded by dramatic shores and spectacular country wilderness, making it a great place for exploring the coast and the Highlands. It is a great place for a holiday and there is nothing quite as relaxing as enjoying the country’s freshest seafood while watching the sun set over the dark blue waters of the Firth of Lorn.
What to See in Oban
Oban’s town centre is compact and it is easy to walk to most landmarks. You can wander along the seafront to Dunnollie Castle, built by the MacDougalls of Lorn in the 13th century. The castle is ruined, after being abandoned by the MacDougalls in 1746. Today, it is open to the public as part of the Dunnollie Museum, Castle and Grounds, which features exhibitions about the history of the castle, the MacDougall family and life on the west coast of Scotland. From the site of the castle, you can see the island of Kerrera and enjoy amazing views over the town, its harbour and nearby isles.
Oban Distillery has been in operation since 1794 and is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, and actually older than the town of Oban itself. The distillery has proudly never moved or expanded and there are currently seven employees and every drop of whisky is made by their hands.
McCaig’s Tower was built in 1897, commissioned by local banker John Stuart McCaig, as a way of providing work to local stonemasons and creating a monument to the McCaig family. You will find well-maintained gardens inside the tower and its locaiton atop a hill above the town means there a spectacular views over Oban Bay.
Just over three miles north from Oban is Dunstaffnage Castle, built by the MacDougal Clan around 1220 on a huge rock above the Firth of Lorn. Since 1470, it has been in the possession of the Campbell Clan, the most powerful family in the area. Today, it is partially ruined but is considered one of Scotland’s oldest castles. It is open to the public, with the exception of the 16th century gatehouse, which is private property.
A short drive from the castle are the Falls of Lora, a tidal race at the mouth of Loch Etive. Loch Etive is an Atlantic fjord which means it has a slightly different tidal regime to the open ocean so at times water rushes in or out the loch at breakneck speed. Watching this spectacular force of nature against the backdrop of verdant scenery is a unique Highland scenery.
For lovers of the outdoors, Oban is considered to be one of Scotland’s best sea kayaking destinations. The waters around Oban offer both sheltered shores and wild rapids which means beginner and expert kayakers can enjoy an adventurous experience. The great thing about kayaking around Oban is the chance to see some incredible wildlife including otters, whales, seals, basking sharks and sea eagles.
Of course, Oban is known for being one of the best points to access the Inner Hebrides. The port is the key mainland ferry terminal for ferry crossings to Mull, Kerrera, Lismore and Iona. If you’re interested in visiting Oban, please take a look at our Prehistoric Britain tour, which spends two nights in Oban. On our Tracing 5000 Years of Scottish History tour, we spend two nights in Oban and use it as a base to visit the Isle of Mull. On the History of the Jacobites tour we visit Dunstaffnage Castle and stay overnight in Oban.
Articles about Scotland published by Odyssey Traveller.
The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Scotland when visiting;
- Visiting Scotland
- Scotland & Scotch Whisky
- Visiting Edinburgh places to consider visiting
- Country Spotlight; Scotland
- Nelson Mandela Place; a Glasgow story
- Peat and Scotland
- Glasgow’s Architectural heritage
- Stone circles
External articles about the City of Edinburgh and Scotland for travellers.
We also publish articles to give more information to our loyal and prospective clients. You can start by reading our our country spotlight on Scotland.