A Week in Oban

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June 11th 2018
Published: June 11th 2018
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If you ever find yourself in the Argyll and Bute region of Scotland, spend some time in the beautiful town of Oban. If you know your whisky, you might have heard of a distillery with the same name. The name actually comes from the Gaelic word “t-Òban”, which means “Little Bay”! What an appropriate name, especially when you consider the picturesque horseshoe-like harbour.

We loved the charming harbour town. A week allowed us to explore the area at a leisurely pace, but we were never bored during our stay. Listed below are several reasons why you must visit.

McCaig’s Tower

This structure is impossible to miss when you’re in town for two reasons. First, it dominates the local scenery since it is perched on Battery Hill. Second, it bears a striking resemblance to the Colosseum of Rome. The building was the project of local banker John Stuart McCaig who had the granite structure commissioned in 1897. Sadly, his death in 1902 would halt the construction work. It was a short walk from the center to the tower, where the amazing view and lovely garden provided us with a peaceful retreat.

Oban Distillery

We mentioned this above, but this is a great place to learn more about the community in an unconventional manner. It is actually one of the oldest distilleries in the country. Founded by brothers John and Hugh Stevenson, it has been in operation since 1794. The establishment is actually older than the town itself. Take a tour of the plant and enjoy the craftsmanship of the brewers like we did. The complimentary drams and the great view of the village were certainly worth writing home about.

Falls of Lora

Nature-lovers will love this tidal rapid! It forms whenever the water level in the open sea drops below that in Loch Etive. We were certainly lucky to have witnessed the stunning phenomenon! It is also a popular spot for kayakers and divers due to the added excitement provided by the tides. The more daring can opt to join in on the fun. Just keep in mind that the waves are not constant, so it’s important to check the tide table before heading out here.

Dunstaffnage Castle

This intriguing castle might have originally housed the MacDougalls, but it has been under the possession of the Campbells since 1470. While the site is partially in ruins, it still took us back in time. We explored the battlements and had a lot of fun pretending we were defending the castle against invaders! Don’t forget to take a quick walk to visit the atmospheric 13th-century chapel that is hidden away in the trees. This isn’t an attraction for the fainthearted, however. Keep an eye peeled out for the resident ghost called the “Ell-maid of Dunstaffnage”.

Rural Accommodation

If you've had enough of staying in generic huge hotel chains, then you'll love the quaint options available here. There are plenty of charming B&Bs where you can start the day with a delicious homecooked breakfast made using fresh local produce. If you're looking for some alone time with your family or partner, then a self-catering holiday cottage might be the best option for you.

These were just some of the reasons why we love Oban, it is a thriving town that has plenty to offer tourists. Not to mention the fact that it is accessible by boat, rail, and road so you have no excuse not to visit!


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