Once a tiny fishing port, Oban grew with the development of the railways and is now the western gateway to the Highlands of Scotland and the main ferry terminus for Mull, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Lismore and other islands.
It is evident from the number of boats to be seen in the harbour that Oban still has a large fishing fleet and is also popular with recreational sailors. On a bright summers day Oban is a scenic town and attracts a large number of people, many just passing through and others attracted by the waterfront, shops and restaurants.
The town is dominated by McCaig's Tower a Colosseum shaped folly that overlooks the town and Oban Bay. From there you will get great sea views and photo opportunities. If the weather is poor take a tour of Oban Distillery, in the centre of town. Here you can witness the distilling process and purchase a bottle of the finished product.
Oban Area Tourist AttractionsYou can visit the islands of Mull, Iona and Staffa on the ferry and take coach day-trips from Oban.
Isle of Mull
Mull is a large, unspoiled island with attractive waterfalls, sea caves, forest walks and beaches and a population of about 2500. Tobermory in the north is the capital of Mull, has brightly painted buildings on its seafront and the harbour is often full of boats and yachts.
Isle of Iona
This three and a half mile long island is maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. In the summer it is very popular with tourists who come mainly to visit the Abbey. On the way to the Abbey visit Iona Nunnery, a 13th century ruin with colourful gardens. Iona also has fine sandy beaches. There are no cars on the island, but you can hire a horse-drawn carriage from the ferry dock.
Staffa and the Treshnish Islands
Staffa is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is a National Nature Reserve.
Sealife and Marine Centre Near Barcaldine, 11 miles north of Oban
Explore over 30 fascinating natural marine habitats containing everything from Octopus to Sharks. Every day there is a range of talks and feeding demonstrations and the chance to hand feed some of the sharks and rays. Their seal rescue facility includes a busy Seal pup nursery. Beautifully situated on the shores of Loch Creran.
Open: Feb-Nov. Tel: 01631 720386
Rare Breeds Farm Park New Barran, Oban
This thirty-acre park, part of a typical working farm, aims to conserve rare and minority breed farm animals and to make visitors aware of the need to keep these breeds alive. Includes pets corner and woodland walk.
Open: Daily from late Mar to late Oct, 10am-5.30pm. Tel: 01631 770608
Easdale Island Folk Museum Island of Easdale
Displays photographs and local artifacts covering every aspect of life during the sixty years when the quarries were at their most productive and seeks to record the day to day activities of the present community.
Open: Daily from April-Oct, 10.30am-5.30pm.
Dunstaffnage Castle 3 miles north of Oban
The ruins of Dunstaffnage Castle are situated near the village of Dunbeg, at the mouth of Loch Etive. The earliest parts of the castle were constructed in the 13th century and it was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1309.
Open: April-Sept: Daily, 9.30am-6.00pm. Oct-Mar: 9.30am-5.00pm, except Sun am, Thurs and Fri.
A World In Miniature Kilninver, 8 miles south of Oban
Take the scenic trip to Kilninver to see this exhibition of miniature houses.
Open: Easter to Oct, daily from 10am-5pm.
Oban Distillery Stafford Street, Oban
Located in the centre of the town, overlooking the harbour, the distillery has been producing Oban single malt whisky since 1794. Includes guided tours, audio-visual displays and a shop.
Open: All Year, Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm. Easter-Oct: Sat 9.30am-5pm. July-Sept: Mon-Sat 9.30am-8.30pm Sunday: 12 noon-5pm. Last tour one hour before closing. Dec-Feb: Restricted hours, please call. Tel: (01631) 572004
Oban Tourist Information CentreOban Tourist Information Centre
Argyll Square, Oban, Argyll Scotland. Tel: +44 (0)1631 563122