I went to Oban in February for a few days having not visited in years. My closest friend comes from Oban, too, so she was able to advise me of what was hot and what was not, so my boyfriend packed our bags and headed off for a couple of days.
Oban is roughly about 100 miles from Glasgow and is a lovely coastal town with links to quite a few of the Scottish isles. It has a large Ferry harbour and links to the town from the major cities by bus and train.
There are a few attractions in and around Oban itself. There is the Oban distillery first of all, although I haven't been in. There is also the Scottish Sea Life sanctuary which is a good day out. There is also McCaig's tower in Oban itself which is a large, circular tower overlooking the town. There are some good views but expect a bit of a climb! There are loads of boat trips available from Oban, not only on the ferry, but also boat trips aimed more at tourists visiting the town. Again, nearby there is the power station of Cruachan which is built under a mountain and can be visited, also. You can also, of course, hop on a ferry to go to a nearby island. Oban also has a Tourist Information which is open during the summer season.
There are some shops in Oban (most aimed towards the tourists, so expect quite a few of your typical 'Scottish' type shops) but also some other High street chains such as New Look and Argos. There are two supermarkets: a Co-op and a Tesco with the Tesco being the largest and some other smaller, independent shops. It isn't a hub of shopping, that's for sure but has more shops than some other small towns I've been in!
There are loads of pubs in Oban and most of the ones I've been in seem friendly enough although I did only pop into a few.
Places to Eat:
There aren't a huge number of places to eat but then, it is a small town. There is a fish restaurant overlooking the sea and an Italian called La Piazza which was very nice. There are a few fish and chip shops dotted about but these seemed really expensive if you wanted fish which I found strange considering we were near the sea! There are also some smaller cafes dotted around and some of the pubs also do food.
The best option, really, would be to take a car with you to Oban as that way you can access the surrounding areas easily but if you don't drive, the next best option is buses. These weren't hugely frequent when we were there but the timetables do improve in the height of the summer season. The main bus provider here is West Coast Motors and I found their service very friendly and their prices very reasonable.
Since we went in February, a lot of the attractions/boat trips etc. either were shut for the season or had reduced opening hours. I was also saddened to see the town seemed to have been hit by the recession as have so many other places. A few shops had shut since the last time I'd been there and the small cinema and arcade had closed down.
I'm sure in the summer Oban will be busy as usual, however, with day trippers in particular going for the views and to eat a chippy by the sea. It is a nice town and is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area but try to head there in the summer season when you'll get the most out of the attractions.
Oban is a small town located on the West coast of Scotland. I love the highland and a few times when I've been up there on holiday I've stayed near Oban. Oban lies opposite the island of Mull and lies in the county of Argyll and Bute.
The town only has a population of around eight thousand but this often swells in the summer due to tourism. The town lies on the coast and is surounded by beautiful mountain scenery. The nearest town is Fort William which is about an hour away by car.
Oban is often called 'The gateway to the isles' and quite a few of the locals still speak Gaelic. Oban is a great place to hop on a boat and travel round the magical islands which lay off the coast here. Oban lies in the Firth of Lorn and is right at the West end of the Great Glen.
The town itself has a small harbor, many people make a living fishing out on the sea. There are always plenty of boats sailing in and out of the horseshoe bay. There is no real beach at Oban is mainly just a harbor.
There is plenty to do in the town. There are all the things you would expect such as supermarkets and petrol stations, and then there are more tourist shops that are interesting to look around. There are some nice pubs and bars around as well, and some good places to eat if your wandering around the town.
One of the attractions in Oban is the distillery. You can go here and have a tour and see how Oban Whisky is made. There is also a nice gift shop where you can buy yourself a present. One thing to note though is that the shop in the distillery is expensive. If you head down towards the harbor there is an excellent whisky shop. They have a massive selection of many popular and some rare whiskys. The prices in here are cheaper than in the distillery.
There are plenty of places to stay in Oban. There is a selection of hotels dotted around town. There are also some nice cottages in the area that you can rent. Of course there is always the option of going camping up here as well, either on a camp site, or if your brave in the wild.
To get to Oban you have a few options. There is a train station in Oban and though I have never been on it, I'm told its quite a spectacular journey up through the mountains. The most likely way you will be traveling is via road. Oban lies at the Western end of the A85. I've driven this road a few times and its very nice scenry and not to difficult to drive on. Then I suppose you could also get there by boat as this is a coastal town.
Overall I would say Oban is a really nice place to visit. There is some wonderful scenry in the area and you can use the town as a base for traveling in the area. There is plenty to do and see in the town and lots of places to stay. So if your ever in the Northwest of Scotland Oban is well worth a visit.