Oban Tourist information, things to do and places to visit, recommendations and pictures
Oban is often referred to as the seafood capital of Scotland and with the famous Oban Whiskey Distillery right at the heart of the town. Oban has earned its reputation as a holiday resort town because of its spectacular view of the port and the bay view shops along the bustling road running right through the town. The town has a population of just over 8,000 and is capable of hosting up to 25,000 tourists.
In the 1700s, Oban was a village with only a few cottages but the prot started growing rapidly as roads and bridges were built, the Crinan Canal opened in 1801 and the Caledonian Canal in 1822 with fast steamer services establishing connections with Glasgow, Inverness and Fort William. It became one of the most popular holiday destination in Scotland by 1850s amongst Europeans.
Oban stands for little bay in Gaelic, sheltered from the Atlantic storms in the west by the islands of Kerrera, Lismore, Mull and the Granite Mountains. As a result, the town offers spectacular views during the sunset when the sun disappears over the mountains creating magnificent display of lights in the sky.
Things to do in Oban
Sunset from McCaig Tower
The watch tower created by John Stuart McCaig in 1897 with his own architectural skills and using Bonawe Granite is the perfect place to watch the sunset with breath taking views of the sun disappearing behind the mountains. The inside of the 200 metre circumference tower is laid with a magnificent garden that provides a perfect picnic spot too with views of the islands of Kerrera and Mull. A quick tip for the information of our readers, alcohol is prohibited in the garden, but that is not an issue as you will find it as enchanting without having to sip anyway.
Address for McCaig Tower in Oban:
Post Code: PA34
Phone: 44 1631 563122
It is a short 10 minutes’ walk up hill and by uphill we mean it can be very steep for some. You can also drive up to the base of the tower and then walk up to the garden by climbing up a short flight up the stairs.
Opening times: All year in 2013
Map and directions to McCaig's Tower, Oban
For the whiskey enthusiasts, Oban may just be one of the top places to go for a whiskey tour in the oldest as well as the smallest distillery in Scotland. Oban being the only surviving distillery in the west highlands, hosts regular whiskey tours (£7.50 for adults as of 2013) demonstrating the process of traditional craftsmanship of whiskey making as well as the links between the Town Oban and the role it played in evolving of the town. You are also given the chance to taste the Oban 14 year old West Highland Single Malt at the tasting room and there is a gift shop where you can buy whisky in gift boxes, whiskey cans and tasting glasses and other gift items for very reasonable prices.
Address for Oban Distillery:
Stafford Street, Oban, Argyll
Post Code: PA34 5NH
Phone: +44 1631 572004
Opening times: All year in 2013, last tour starts at 15:30 and tickets often get sold out so it is advisable to turn up early
Shopping and Restaurants in Oban
Oban boasts a large number of shops including many independents local produce offering variety of fleeces, waterproof wears, knitwear and gifts from many gifts and souvenir shops. There are quite a few fantastic seafood restaurants contributing to Oban’s title as the seafood capital of Scotland.
View Places to visit in Oban, Scotland in a larger map