Poppy is the author of A Bard's Lament and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima with her husband and young son.
Scotland's Loveliest Seaside Town
Oban is a historic city on the west coast of Scotland. Known mainly famous for its delicious, locally produced whisky—which is available all over the world—this little town, with its charming buildings and port, attracts visitors who are seeking refuge from city life. It is also a great stop-off for people traveling further north to the Highlands.
If you are staying in Oban for a couple of days, here are some great things you can do to make your trip an enjoyable one.
1. Visit Oban Distillery
Oban whisky is a really delicious variety of this world-famous alcoholic drink. The distillery is available for tours (must be booked in advance), during which you can get free tastes and a special glass as a souvenir. If you decide to take a tour, you'll learn all about the whisky-making process and see the inside of the distillery.
There is also a bar where you can try different kinds of Scottish whisky, as well as a souvenir shop selling hats, shirts, scarves, and of course, bottles of Oban whisky.
Opening times depend on the time of year, but the distillery is typically in service every day. See the official website for further information.
2. Eat Fish and Chips
Fish and chips—the classic British dish! There are several fish and chip shops in Oban, but one I recommend is George Street Fish Restaurant and Chip Shop, which is right on the pier and just a few minutes walking from the train station and the distillery.
You can get different kinds of fish with or without chips, as well as choices such as chips and curry, gravy, and other toppings. The shop is takeaway only, but there are some picnic benches nearby where you can eat. The fish is fluffy and the chips are wonderfully thick, here, so give it a try!
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3. Take a Walk on the Pier and Watch the Sunset
Since Oban is on the west coast, it stays lighter for longer, and when sunset comes, you can watch the sun sink into the sea, creating a colorful and gorgeous view. Take in the peaceful atmosphere and enjoy a romantic stroll.
4. Take a Ferry to Isle of the Mull
The west coast is a haven for island lovers! One accessible island from Oban is the Isle of Mull, which is well-known for its famous castle (which has been featured in many movies), boat trips where you can see local wildlife, and the stunning town of Tobermory. It takes 46 minutes to reach the Isle of Mull by the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and is a great day trip from this town.
Tickets cost extra if you are bringing a vehicle onboard with you. For full details and more ferry information, visit the Calmac Ferry website.
5. Visit McCaig's Tower
One of Oban's most famous landmarks is McCaig's Tower, a lasting monument to the local McCaig family who provided work for local stonemasons. It is recommended to go only if you are physically healthy, as there is some walking and light hiking involved to reach it.
The inside of the tower has well-maintained gardens, and the tower itself has some really gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean and Oban's port area. It is well worth a visit if you have a free afternoon in Oban.
6. Take a Boat Trip to See Local Wildlife
There is a number of boat trip companies available in and around Oban for this popular activity. The Scottish isles are amazing for seeing local wildlife such as seals, puffins, sea eagles, and if you're lucky, maybe even a (harmless) basking shark or two in the summer!
Note: If you're visiting in peak season, be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. You should also check the different animals' seasons. For example, you're only likely to see puffins in summer since they migrate in late August.
Oban is a truly wonderful place to visit, and as long as you are respectful and clean up after yourself, you will be very welcome here! The town has plenty of bed and breakfasts, hotels, and hostels available, and with these activities, you are sure to have a fantastic time during your stay.
© 2018 Poppy