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Oban is a picturesque town in Scotland, and it is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the Highlands. The town sits in a bay in the Firth of Lorn; the surrounding areas have some of the most spectacular scenery you’ll ever see.

Oban has many excellent options when it comes to accommodation, and there are a number of top class restaurants in what is often referred to as the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’.

As well as the lovely scenery, Oban is popular because of its many surrounding attractions and opportunities for outdoor activities. Many visitors will choose Oban as their base before heading off to explore the wonder of the Scottish Highlands.

There are plenty of things to do in Oban; below are just a few examples of how you can occupy your time during your stay in the beautiful town.

Visit Scotland’s answer to the Colosseum

In 1897, a wealthy banker decided he wanted to build a lasting memorial to his family, and that would provide work for stonemasons in the area during the winter months as well. John Stuart McCaig based the design on the Roman Colosseum, with plans for an art gallery and museum that would house statues of himself, his parents, and his siblings. However, only the outer walls were completed as McCaig died in 1902. These days the tower sits high above the town of Oban and is popular with tourists, as it provides magnificent views of the nearby islands of Mull, Kerrera, and Lismore.

McCaig's Tower Oban
Known as McCaig’s Tower (or Folly) dominates the skyline of Oban.

Explore one of Oban’s many castles

There are a number of ruined castles in the lands surrounding Oban, and many can be viewed while on a cruise around the inlets and lochs of Oban’s waters. They can also be explored on foot. One of the most famous castles is Dunollie Castle. This castle is situated to the north of Oban, on Scotland’s west coast. Visitors can enjoy magnificent views of Kerrera Island from the ruins, and the site has a museum, café, and faerie garden. There are many other castles in the surrounding area including Dunstaffnage Castle, Castle Stalker, and Castle Sween.

Take some stunning photos at the Falls of Lora

At certain times of the year, white water rapids form at the Falls of Lora, which is a tidal race at the mouth of Loch Etive. The site is popular with tourists who want to take some fantastic pictures, as well as those who enjoy diving and white-water rafting.

Visit the Inveraray Jail Museum

From 1820 to 1889, Inveraray Jail was used as a prison and courthouse; it was reopened in 1989 as a living museum and tourist attraction. Those who visit the jail can see what life was like for the inmates who were incarcerated there, as well as witness re-enactments of trials that were held in the courthouse.

Enjoy a Corryvrechan Adventure Cruise

We offer tourists the chance to enjoy the Corryvreckan Whirlpool Cruise, which leaves Dunstaffnage Marina and heads to the world’s third largest whirlpool – the Corryvreckan Whirlpool. Naturally, we think it’s one of the best things to do in Oban! Along the way, there will be plenty of opportunities to sit back and relax while scouting for wildlife such as minke whales, porpoises, and sea eagles. Full commentary onboard will give passengers the chance to learn all about the surrounding areas and the various Corryvreckan myths and legends.

Corrywreckan Whirlpool

Cruise around Oban’s castles

Clyde Cruises have another fabulous cruise from Oban. The Dolphin, Whale & Castles Adventure cruise is ideal for those who want to learn more about the history of Oban’s many castles. The cruise takes in the many islands, inlets, and sea lochs around the town of Oban and passengers will be given the chance to glimpse some of the most amazing sea creatures, including porpoises and whales. Castles along the route include Dunollie, Duart, Dunstaffnage, and Gylen castles.

See the standing stones in Kilmartin Glen

Kilmartin Glen has over 350 monuments from the Bronze and Neolithic Age and is a hugely popular tourist attraction. One hundred and fifty of the monuments date from prehistoric times, and many are adorned with cup and ring marks. The nearby village of Kilmartin is the home of the Kilmartin House Museum in which visitors can learn all about the history of the glen and its many monuments. Some of the most notable features at Kilmartin Glen are the Nether Largie Standing Stones. These nine large, upright stones are arranged in four pairs set seventy metres apart, with one stone in the middle. Surrounding these stones are another seven stones plus one that has fallen. Visitors to Scotland often travel to Kilmartin Glen just to see this famous site.

Glenmarting Standing Stones

A trip to Oban is the ideal way to enjoy all that Scotland has to offer. Beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife await around every corner, and there are many opportunities for outdoor pursuits. Those who visit the town can enjoy hillwalking, cycling, and many water activities in and around Oban Bay. As well as fantastic cruises, there are opportunities for kayaking and swimming.

Oban is the perfect base for those who want to discover the Highlands of Scotland. From here, it is possible to travel to other parts of Scotland as well, taking in the many scenic delights along the way.

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