Oban is Scotland’s most popular west-coast holiday town, known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ and the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’. Translated as “little bay” in Gaelic, Oban is a great base for exploring the surrounding Argyll islands, such as Kerrera, Lismore, Mull, Iona, Coll, Colonsay and Tiree as day trips. Calmac is based here and the town’s marine heritage is evident all around with two bustling piers and a step-ashore pontoon for visiting yachts, cruise ship tenders and pleasure boats. The town grew up around its famous distillery and its iconic chimney is dwarfed only by McCaig’s Tower – a perfect spot to view the sunset.
Loved by Locals
Medieval Church and Bishopric
A short stroll from Cologin Farm across a well laid field path bordering a burn will take you to the splendid ruins of Kilbride church, currently the focus of academic research. Current owner Liam Griffin's knowledge and enthusiasm for the Clan MacDougall are unequalled!
Cuil Bay - otter sighted!
Cuil Bay - pebble beach with scenic walks out to the point, with spectacular views down Loch Linnhe towards Mull, and north towards Fort William. Otter was sighted in the second bay over on the way to the point - he seemed very at home and familiar here.
Panoramic views from Ben Lora, Benderloch
A pathed walk until the last 1/2 hour. Walk up Ben Lora and get an eagles view in 360 degrees- north towards Glencoe, east towards Ben Cruachan, south to Jura and beyond, and west over the Morvern Hills. Trig point at the top. Picnic bench at the end of the track. Ben Lora cafe afterwards for scones
Cuil Bay- Great for walking, swimming, relaxing
Cuil Bay has three bays. You can park next to the first beach and relax. Good for swimming. You can walk on to the next two bays and then down to the point. Some folk fish from the beach.
Glen Stockdale, with views down Loch Linnhe
A walk up Glen Stockdale, Appin, is beautiful. Follow a landrover track from Kinlochlaich. A few minutes up and you get this view looking down Loch Linnhe and a glimpse of Castle Stalker; keep going and 1/2hr later you reach a bridge and the peaceful glen opens out. You can often spot Sea Eagles.
On a hill overlooking the town, this granite tower inspired by Rome's Coliseum is most visible from the sea. It's worth the walk via Oban's winding, steep and narrow streets above George Street for the views alone. Go at sunset and look out over the firth of Lorne and the Inner Hebridean islands.
Ocean Explorer Centre
This is an exhibition of the marine world designed and run by SAMS - the Scottish Association for Marine Science, which is next door. It is full of interest for those interested in the sea and what it's like under the sea and under the oceans.
One of the highlights of our visits north, at any time of year, is the trip out of Easdale in these high speed RIB's, with the vast array of wildlife all around - whales, porpoises, Golden and Sea Eagles, seals and otters, Mountain goats... Well worth the trip just south of Oban for all ages.
Cuill Hill, the walk up behind Duror Village Hall
Fantastic views up towards Glencoe, across to the Morven Hills and down Loch Linnhe towards Mull. It doesn't take long to gain the height and reach the top for a stunning panoramic view. 25-35 minutes up at a good pace!
The Fairy Bridge
The Fairy Bridge is an enchanting small stone bridge above a waterfall. Along the edges of the bridge stand a series of upthrust stones, it's like something from Lord of the Rings and is in a magical setting in lush woodland.
Castle Stalker and the Jubilee Bridge
Castle Stalker can be viewed from many angles but one of our favourites is from the Jubilee Bridge. You can walk along the cycle path (the old railway line) and across the morach to Jubilee Bridge- from here you get stunning views of the Morven hills, with Loch Linnhe in front and the castle too.
Otters at Craobh Haven
Take a walk along the breakwater in Craobh Haven at dusk and if you’re luck’s in, you may see a family of otters playing in the seaweed at the water’s edge. They are wild creatures, so very unpredictable, but well worth looking out for!
Cycling on Lismore Island from Port Appin Ferry
You can either hire bikes in Port Appin or bring your own. Catch the ferry across to Lismore from Port Appin. It is a beautiful island to cycle on - to Port Ramsay, to the broch, two castles to visit and the heritage centre. Ferries run regularly.
Beinn Donn, the hill behind Kinlochlaich, Appin
You can walk from Kinlochlaich! Head up under the kids treehouse, up the fence line, through an old gate and then up! It is one of these hills that has several false summits. It's steep and steady with no path & pausing to rest you get fabulous views down Loch Linnhe. Fab views of Castle Stalker.
Indoor climbing for all ages, bouldering wall and one of Europes biggest climbing walls. Great cafe and shop, a must do whilst up in this region for climbers of all abilities, and also superb for children.
This is very special short circular walk. Clach Thoull is part of the limestone seam that continues on the Isle of Lismore, so has cliffs, caves and a spectacular limestone arch near the point. There are wide views up and down Loch Linnhe. Stop at the Pierhouse on the the way back for tea or a beer!
Enjoy the stunning landscapes of mountains, islands and lochs in the Oban area, as well as a whole host of activities, from wildlife and boat tours to adventure activities.