Scotland is a such beautiful country with so much to offer. As you know I recently did an amazing 8 day trip to Oban which also included journeys out to Glen Coe, Isle Of Mull, Seil, Trossachs National Park and Ben Nevis. For this blog post I will be breaking down my experience of each of this locations and areas that I recommend you visit as well as sharing photographs that I have taken along the way (and there are a lot of photographs to share!). So to begin this small series I will be talking about places that are worth a visit in Oban.
This small town in Western Scotland is the gateway to the Hebridean islands. With a population of nearly 9000 people this little fishing village has lots to offer and lots of adorable shops and fun activities to take part in during your short stay there. I have kept this list short and sweet and if you wish to find out more click on the headers which will then take you to Visit Scotlands website that will provide you with more information about each activity or recommendation.
One of the top places that I recommend you visit is Oban’s Chocolate Company, this shop and and chocolate factory sells their homemade goods which are just an absolute delight. When you first walk in you are greeted with a faint scent of chocolate in the air as well as all of the products they have to offer. As you go further to the back this is where you can order a bite to eat to satisfy all of your chocaholic needs and enjoy the views of the ocean whilst relaxing on a cosy sofa.
There is a viewing window which allows you to watch the production of chocolate, and the process that goes into it, the best time to visit the shop if you wish to see this is late in the morning. But nothing beats sipping on an organic hot chocolate, or munching on one of the many chocolate dishes they have on offer whilst watching the ferries sail in and out of the harbour. If the weather isn’t the best when you visit Oban then this place will make you feel warm and fuzzy when the wind and rain are lashing down outside.
It seems to be that every place I visit now, I seem to go on a boat cruise. It all started off in London when I took Jonatan on a sunset cruise down the River Thames, then again in Amsterdam so now it has become a little activity that I enjoy doing if they offer it at a reasonable price.
In Oban you can catch a few boat trips that can take you to many little islands surrounding the mainland. One of the most popular journeys is a ferry over to the Isle of Mull where you can visit the capital, Tobermory. Also known as Balamory for everyone who used to watch that show when they were little (including me). If you need a reminder watch the opening theme song here it might jog a few memories – Balamory Theme Tune. Do any of you remember watching that show when they were a child?
I will talk about the journey to the Isle Of Mull in more detail in another blog post but if you want to stay in Oban then one of the fun activities you can do whilst you are there includes going on a boat cruise. For the price of £10 for adults and £5 for children you get a one hour trip to go see the seals basking in the sun on one of the islands surrounding the shore. There wasn’t any seals relaxing on the rocks when I went but one did pop its head up, out of the water as the boat was going past. I didn’t mind too much about not seeing seals and the journey itself was very enjoyable.
When you walk around Oban this is one of the buildings that are really quite striking. It overlooks the town and is an iconic feature. With just a short 15 minute walk to the top you are embraced with the most glorious views over Oban. The hill is fairly steep so take it slow if you struggle with more sharper inclines and pack an inhaler if you have asthma.
During my weeks stay there I ended up visiting the tower twice because I really did enjoy the views and it is such a stunning structure. The first time I visited there was with my Aunt, we went when the fog was rolling in from the sea making everything seem a bit hazy and eerie. Most of the view was covered but it was quite nice to see the fog roll in.
The second time I visited was when I had a spare day to relax in the town, in the late afternoon I decided to go back up to Oban’s tower to enjoy the last light of the afternoon before the sun set. This time I was able to see more of the town and the Islands in the far distance and the view more even more breathtaking. I stayed up there for almost two hours just watching the boats come in and out of the harbour and enjoying the views around me. So come morning, midday or afternoon, McCaigs tower is a brilliant place to visit be sure to pack your camera as you will want to take pictures of the views.
I don’t like Fish so having Fish and Chips along the seafront is something that isn’t for me but it is a favourite of many people who visit a seaside or a coastal town.There are a few chip shops to choose from which is always good and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the views. You don’t have to worry to much about the seagulls at Oban, they aren’t as aggressive as the ones you would find in Llandudno, which would practically attack anyone with food.
This castle, now in ruins, can be explored for a small entrance fee or you can just enjoy the views of the castle from the road or on a boat. It is perched high on a hill and overlooks the boats coming into the harbour.
I chose not to pay to go see the castle and instead explored a little secluded beach on the opposite side of the road. After going through a gate and down a small path you can see the town from another perspective and explore the views from a less known part of Oban.
Scotch Whisky is a classic drink made and sold in Scotland, so it is only fitting that there are plenty of distilleries that showcase how they make the drink. So when travelling up North keep an eye out to see how many distilleries you come across. I think I came across 4 in total, and those were the ones I noticed but a lot of shops sell Whisky so there is plenty to choose from.
There is a distillery in the heart of Oban so if you want to have a tour of the place and learn about the process of making Whisky then prices start at £10. Which is worth the money if this is something that interests you.
So overall this has been my top 5 things to do in Oban, as well as a bonus recommendation. If you have even been to Oban yourself, what areas do you recommend people visit? If you are planning to go to Scotland what area will you be visiting? I would love to hear back from you.