Oban is a small town with a bustling harbour in the west of Scotland. It’s often described as the gateway to the Hebridean islands and is known for its fresh and tasty seafood eateries and the Colosseum-like McCaig’s Tower which overlooks the picturesque Oban bay.
HOW TO GET THERE
If you’re based in Scotland, then the easiest way to get to this gorgeous harbour town is via car (3 hours from Edinburgh) or by train (direct from Glasgow Queen Street Station) or coach. If you’re a little more further afield, you can fly to Glasgow or Edinburgh airport and make your way to Oban from there. Check out Oban’s website here, which gives more detail about the various travel routes to Oban- there’s even a cycling option!
THINGS TO DO
For a fairly small harbour town, there are a number of things to do and see in Oban. Have a walk around the port and watch the fishing activities and the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries go back and forth to the Hebridean islands.
Stop for a bite to eat
Enjoy fish and chips or fresh mussels on the harbour wall from one of the many seafood eateries (top recommendations would be the Oban Seafood Hut and Seafood Temple). Not a seafood fan? Head to Roxy’s coffee and tea house or The Little Bay Cafe – it’s bright yellow and right by the harbour so you can’t fail to miss it!
Hit the small-town shops
There’s also a very good Waterstones to wile away the time if you’re waiting for one of the ferries, as well as a WHSmiths for that holiday magazine (my current favourites are Frankie Magazine but I also love Suitcase) and a Boots.
Stimulate your taste-buds
Oban has its own distillery, which is based in the very heart of the town. Take a sneak peek into the ins and outs of their working distillery by experiencing their Sensory & Flavour Finding Tour for just £10. Whiskey Connoisseur? For a much heavier price-tag (a whopping £75 for two hours) you can try their Exclusive Distillery Tour. Find out more here.
Soak up the history of Oban
On a rainy day, why not pop into the Oban War and Peace Museum? It’s free of charge and is full of interesting war memorabilia. It’s fairly small so does not take long to go around and you’re bound to learn something new!
GO ON AND EXPLORE THE LOCAL ISLES
From Oban port, you can catch a ferry to the Isle of Mull, Lismore and Iona. If you’re planning on travelling during the summer months then it’s well-worth booking the ferry in advance (especially if you are planning on taking a car) as the spaces fill up very quickly.
There are a number of day trips you can do from Oban, which are ideal if you’re short of time or want to tick off a number of different isles quickly.
Stay tuned for a number of Scotland Staycation posts, where we explore the best of the Hebridean islands!