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Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Oban

Surrounded by castles, beaches and west coast islands, the seaside town of Oban is bursting with visitors enjoying fish and chips and peeking into the town’s tearooms and craft shops.

For most visitors, Oban is the jumping off point for a holiday in the Hebridean isles. Ferries run to Lismore, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Barra and South Uist, with Oban being by far the most popular port on Scotland’s northwestern coast. With activities like diving, sea kayaking, hiking and cycling, Oban is also a base for outdoor enthusiasts.

Many of Oban’s visitors choose to climb the steep hill up to MacCaig’s Tower, a Colosseum lookalike with great views across to the isles of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull. Other attractions include Corran Halls theater, Phoenix Cinema, Oban War and Peace Museum and of course, the Oban Distillery. Easy to spot just off the main seafront, Oban Distillery is one of the oldest single malt producers in the country and has been producing whisky since 1794.

There are sights to see just outside of town as well, with the nearby ruins of Dunollie Castle, fortified since the Bronze Age, and the dramatic Dunstaffnage Castle flanked on three sides by the sea and located just a few miles west. Ganavan Sands beach is also two miles away.

Every August, Oban hosts the Highland games known as the Argyllshire Gathering, with all the caber-tossing and bagpipe-blowing anyone could wish for.
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Glencoe (Glen Coe)
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42 Tours and Activities

Glencoe offers some of the finest landscape in Scotland, indeed the whole of the UK, where dramatic mountains sweep down to glens (valleys) until they meet the moody waters of the lochs.

While this is a site of historical significance due to the Glencoe Massacre of 1692, the primary draw is the magnificent natural surrounds. There are numerous well-marked walks in the area and it is also popular with rock-climbers. This is one of Britain’s premier ski areas in winter, but a chairlift operates year round to offer the best views of the area.

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Kilchurn Castle
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15 Tours and Activities

On a tiny peninsula at the northern tip of Loch Awe surrounded by glens, Kilchurn Castle is one of the most photographed spots in Scotland. The castle of 1,000 calendar covers, Kilchurn has had many lives: it served as the powerhouse of the Campbell clan from the year 1440 and was even later used as barracks able to house up to 200 troops during the Jacobite Risings. In the 1750s, however, a huge fire caused by lightning ran right through the castle, and its ruins have been abandoned ever since.

Kilchurn is for anyone who has ever dreamed of having a ruined Scottish castle all to themselves, with no tourist trinket shops around. There isn’t even an attendant at the door of this picturesque ruin, but despite being unmanned, there are plenty of information boards throughout the castle. Climb to the top of its four-story tower for views of the loch and surrounding hills, and remember to say hi to the sheep on your way out!

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