Oban Area List
Telephone Code (+44) 1631 from outwith Britain
From within Britain 01631
Oban at night with McCaigs Tower on the hill.
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Oban is a busy, bustling
town. The fishing port is extremely hectic and the town
is the main ferry terminal in the area for the western islands.
You will find all of the large major shops here, as well as laundry facilities, hospital, pharmacy and everything else you would expect in such a busy small town.
This is just a short look at Oban and will be expanded at a later date. The area around Oban has so much to offer the visitor, there are many attractions such as a zoo, sealife centre, cruises, castles and much more, not forgetting of course, the fantastic views of the area.
McCaigs Tower in the daytime.
The tower is known as "The Crown of Oban". It is built on Battery Hill, which, as the name suggest was previously the site of gun emplacements.
The construct is 190 feet in diameter.
The tower was built, like so many other "follies" to provide work for local stone masons.
Whatever the reasons behind the building, or the inspiration, the tower has provided Oban with another attraction and this one is never forgotten.
The views from the tower are stunning. It's position is perfect as it looks out over the harbour, Kerrera Island and the whole bay.
Originally there was also a tower, museum, art gallery and chapel to be built at the site, however, none of this happened.
The likeness of the building to Rome's Coliseum has prompted suggestion that the tower was modelled on Rome's famous landmark, you can understand why.
The tower is now owned by Oban Town Council who have added floodlights and maintain the property. The floodlights have ensured that the tower dominates the town at night (as seen in the picture above).
Kerrera Island is a lovely island which is mainly used as a mooring and for farming. It is possible to walk round the island but be warned that this walk is about 10 miles and will take you some time. It took us four hours and we were pretty tired by the time we got back. However the castle (Castle Gylen) is very pretty as is the whole island.
Buses are available from Oban to the ferry terminal to take you to the island.
In the summer ferries tend to run every half hour (starting at about 8.45am, except Sunday when there is no early ferry) until about 6pm and when you are on the island and want to be picked up you have to turn the board back to black and the ferryman will come over for you.
Boat trips around the island can also be arranged and there is a seal colony on the far side of the island. Wild goats can be seen on the island and it is ideal for taking your mountain bike if that is your thing.
There is a small shop on the island which supplies refreshments but it is not open all of the time.
Gylen Castle is a Clan MacDougal stronghold which was built in 1582-1587. It, like many other Scottish Castles has a chequered history.
I found the castle most attractive with it's many gargoyle and fancy cornices.
Take a walk down to the shore and be sure to find the tunnel which runs under the castle as well.
The castle is currently under repair - thank goodness, as it would be a real shame to lose such a beautiful building as this, but is still worth a visit.