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Holidays in Oban

A horseshoe bay on the Firth of Lorn

Oban coastline

The attractive town of Oban sits on gentle hills above a sheltered bay, looking out to the islands of Mull and Kerrera. It’s known as the Gateway to the Isles thanks to its ferry terminal from which many of Scotland’s more remote islands can be accessed. But Oban has plenty more to offer than just a place to stop en route to the islands. It has a range of shops and pubs, and fascinating architecture including its own Colosseum-lookalike, McCaig’s Tower. In the summer months, the streets of Oban are often bustling with visitors and there is plenty to see, including spectacular views from the hilltops above the town and one of Scotland’s oldest whisky distilleries.

Perched on a hilltop above Oban sits a remarkable structure. At a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a replica of Rome’s Colosseum. In fact, this is McCaig’s Tower, named after a banker called John Stuart McCaig who commissioned the project in 1805. A stroll up the hill from Oban town centre will take you to the tower, where you’ll be greeted by stunning views across the bay, and an impressive garden within its structure.

Oban Tower

Oban lives up to its name as seafood capital of Scotland with a large number of excellent restaurants where you can order a fresh plate of the day’s catch. One of them is Waterfront Fishhouse Restaurant , which specialises in locally caught seafood and provides the perfect excuse to settle down with a glass of wine and watch the sun set on the Oban Bay. Whisky is Scotland’s most celebrated export and a trip to Oban would be incomplete without a pilgrimage to the town’s distillery. Oban Distillery is one of Scotland’s original producers of single malt whisky. Unusually, it’s nestled beneath towering cliffs in the centre of town and visitors can take a tour to learn more about the production of Scotland’s best-loved drink. There’s plenty going on in Oban and it’s worth keeping your eye on which events coincide with your visit.

“The attractive town of Oban sits on gentle hills above a sheltered bay, looking out to the islands of Mull and Kerrera.”

One of the town’s most popular events is the Oban Games , which sees competitors battling it out to win a series of traditional Highland competitions including tossing the caber. It’s a fantastic day for the family, and a chance to experience a traditional bagpipes performance. Oban is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, with water sports and huge expanses of spectacular, unspoilt countryside just a short drive away from the town.

While you’re there

Oban Distillery

Take a guided tour of one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, dating back to the 1800's.

McCaig's Tower

Enjoy the spectacular gardens and wonderful views.

Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary

A fantastic family attraction with over 50 fantastic displays.

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