5 Reasons To Visit Oban, Scotland
We’ve all had to put our travel plans on hold this year, and it hasn’t been easy as our urge to reconnect to the world is stronger than ever. The good news is, that as of the 15th July 2020, our beautiful town Oban and West Coast Cottages will reopen and give us the chance to reexperience the joy of travel all over again.
To get us excited, we have put together 5 reasons you should make Oban your first escape after Covid19.
1. Best Seafood in Scotland
The fishing port of Oban is considered to be the seafood capital of Scotland – you can try the fresh and best seafood in Scotland, if not in the entire UK.
Oban Bay is a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera, and beyond Kerrera lies the Isle of Mull. To the north is the island of Lismore giving the perfect scenic setting to sit and sample some of our seafood.
If you walk through the scenic bay of Oban you will come across a variety of places to such as Nories Fish & Chip shop, to one of the town’s top fish restaurants Coast and Waterfront.
Along the road from West Coast Cottages, lies the Barn Bar - a converted cattle byre, this tiny pub serves homecooked wholesome food as well as freshly caught seafood from local fishermen down the Glen.
Heading out of Oban, if you head north to the Pierhouse Hotel at Port Appin. Sitting on the shores of Loch Linnhe with views of Lismore and Mull, the setting couldn’t be better. Or Head south to the Loch Melfort Hotel at Arduaine (down the road from Grannda Mhor, one of our houses at West Coast Cottages.) for yet more great seafood complemented by wonderful coastal views.
However, if you fancy just relaxing on your self-catering holiday and enjoying the spectacular views our Cottages have to offer, head to Oban’s famous Green Shack on the CalMac Pier and pick up enormous seafood platters, sizzling scallops, whole cooked lobster and more from local fisherman John Ogden.
For more restaurant suggestions have a look at our places to eat page.
2. Gateway to the Isles
Oban is also known as “Gateway to the Isles” with its busy port and ferry terminal it’s just a ferry ride away to enchanting isles such as Kerrera, Lismore, Mull, Iona, Coll and Barra. It is the perfect spot to base yourself for trips all around the Inner Hebrides.
Every Island serves up great food, whisky and the chance to spot majestic White-Tailed Eagles as they glide over the Sound of Mull. As well as the opportunity to sight seabirds including the adorable Atlantic Puffin during the months of April to mid-August, while even out of season a visit to Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa is sure to leave you amazed.
Please click here to see more information about the islands and ferry times.
Walking is popular with most visitors to West Coast Cottages and Oban as there are plenty of 'Munros' (Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet) for hill walkers to conquer along with spectacular views.
The walking potential is limitless and vast, if you are planning to do a fair amount of walking would be best advised to invest in some of the many guidebooks specifically written for the area. These are available from the Oban Tourist Information on 01631 566606. There are books that cater for all lengths of walk, from half hour pre-teashop rambles to all day walks up the many mountains in the area.
The new website www.walkhighlands.co.uk features excellent walks around Scotland also in our area as well as pages on safety and gear to use. Particularly useful if you are travelling around Scotland and are staying with us as part of an extended visit.
4. Oban Whiskey Distillery
Opened in 1794, located in the centre of the town (just around the corner from Argyll Mansions and Imperial Apartment, two popular choices at West Coast Cottages.) The Oban Distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland as well as one of the smallest having just two pot stills.
Don’t hesitate to visit the tour around the Distillery – for £10 you get 1-hour excursion where you’ll learn all about the malt whisky making process and its unique taste and 2 tastings of whisky, one of which is pretty unique – you’ll get to try some very strong whisky right from the cask! And of course, you’ll get a branded glass as a present.
5. McCraig’s Tower
Dominating Oban’s skyline McCraig’s Tower is a prominent landmark in this fishing town.
The building is a slightly unusual, unfinished replica of Rome’s Colosseum.
John Stuart McCaig, a philanthropist, appointed this as a memorial to his family. His intention was that its construction would provide employment to local stonemasons during lean economic times. However, the landmark never reached completion before McCaig died.
Today, McCaig’s Tower, or McCaig’s Folly as it is known locally, is a walled garden from where there are panoramic views over the Sound of Kerrera and the islands near Oban bay.
Follow the signs for the ten-minute climb from Oban’s George Street to the tower. Strong calf muscles and a stronger cardiovascular system are mandatory. Entry is free.
For more activities, please visit our things to do page.
Also visit our Instagram page for lots of beautiful pictures of our cottages, the views and Oban.
Published by: Victoria Mossman