01 March 2021.

Oban, Scotland

Oban is a busy tourist hub on Scotland’s west coast and is the gateway to several Hebridean islands. The town is built around a secluded horseshoe bay which is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by the islands of Kerrara and Mull. The town supports a thriving port while the bay provides safe anchorage for many a seafaring vessel including large fishing trawlers, ferries and sailing yachts.

Oban’s town centre and main drag stretch around the bay with several big hotels located at the northern end. Between the hotels and port which is found toward the southern end, a waterfront promenade is lined with shops, churches, two cathedrals, restaurants, delicatessens and cream cake cafes. And on a hill overlooking all of this sits the town’s most prominent feature, McCaig’s Tower, a Romanesque folly built by a wealthy banker, John Stuart McCaig, in the 1950’s.

On the hillsides rising up from the bay much of the town’s private residences, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts can be found – many of which offer sea views toward Kerrara with the mountains of Mull looming in the background. These dwellings are mostly stone built, dating from several periods including the Victorian and more recent Edwardian.

Getting to Oban can be an adventurous experience in itself with a Glasgow based company providing sea plane transport to the town. Oban is also well linked by road and rail to Fort William and Glasgow although train passengers need to change at Tyndrum for Fort William. The town is also accessible by ferry from Barra, Coll, Mull, Tiree, Uist and several more Hebridean islands.

On the outdoor activities front, Oban is pretty biased to water based sports like scuba diving and sea kayaking. But, it also boasts pleasant coastal walks and some great off-road and back road cycling. Along the Gallanach Road heading south out of Oban yachts can find moorings while on Kerrara – a five minute ferry ride away – a marina also provides safe haven for boats.

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