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Top five things to do in Oban

Emilija Morrison: Business Development Assistant

After the glorious train journey from Glasgow, you will arrive at Oban with few ideas of what to do. It is a place you may know little about or a place you may be visiting for the first time.

Having spent time volunteering and living at the local youth hostel at the beginning of 2019, I fell in love with the seaside resort. Despite being Scottish and hailing from Fife, I knew little of Oban, a place I had once visited when very young. Thankfully, after spending time here, I now know the place fairly well. Read on to hear of my favourite spots.


a group of people standing next to a body of water

1. Wake up early and go for a walk along the Corran Esplanade

I’d say aim to go just as the sun is rising, when few people are about. Savour the early morning sun. Later on in the morning, treat yourself to chips and cheese at the Food from Argyll at the Pier. Walking along the esplanade with the chips really is heavenly. (Food always tastes better outside!) Moreover, reading at the esplanade is a great idea. In the summer months, I’d recommend bringing a book and sitting at the bench by the Oban War Memorial.


a bridge over a body of water

2. Take a trip to McCaig’s Tower

No trip to Oban is complete without a visit to McCaig’s Tower. Arguably one of Oban’s most famous spots – and most photographed – the place was built in 1897 by local banker John Stuart McCaig. Once arriving at the tower, you will be faced with spectacular views of the town.


a body of water with a mountain in the background

3. Go to Dunollie Castle

Visitors to the historic site have hailed the place as having stunning scenery, so definitely a place to bring your camera. Unfortunately, this site isn’t open year round and is only open from April to October, so plan your visit.

Find out more here.


a view of a living room

4. Visit the Oban Phoenix Cinema

The Oban Phoenix Cinema place reminds me somewhat of the Edinburgh Filmhouse or the Glasgow Film Theatre, a real arthouse vibe. There you can catch a mixture of blockbusters and Oscar-bait films. A perfect night out.

Discover the cinema for yourself here.


5. Take a walking tour with a local guide

At 10.30am in summer, head along to the VisitScotland iCentre for a tour with us. On this one hour tour, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds as you travel back through the centuries to discover the history and culture of Oban. Your local, expert guide will bring the gateway to the Isles to life through tales, traditions and stories. The tour includes visits to Oban Distillery, SS Breda Shipwreck, War and Peace Museum and, of course, McCaigs Tower.


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