The Gateway to the Hebridean islands, and the Western Highlands, Oban is a picturesque place of endless Victorian charm and elegance. The name means ‘Little Bay,’ and this humble town swells dramatically in size during summer, when it welcomes thousands of visitors to revel in its serene setting amid some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Three storeys of elegant, slate-roofed buildings gather before the inky expanse of the Firth of Lorn, offering a warm welcome to the lochs, fantasy castles, and green and gold glens of the Highlands.
The unmissable granite curve of McCaig’s Tower stands high over the town, and beautiful views unravel down below it. Set among a scattering of crumbling coastal castles and sweeping panoramic vistas, Oban is Scotland at its most wild and romantic. Wander the quaint streets, sampling local artisan chocolates, or call in to the esteemed, history-steeped distillery - which has been perfecting Scotland’s famous export, smoky whiskey, since 1794. Head to the waterfront to breathe in the salt-whipped air and watch as boats fuss and walkers battle seagulls intent on stealing their fish and chips. A little further along, you’ll stumble across the romantic ruins of Dunollie Castle.
Hop between the sandy beaches of nearby islands, and hike glacier-carved valleys among stags adorned with tree-like antlers. Or, embark on scenic coastal drives to the grand gardens of extraordinary stone castles. Nearby, Loch Fyne is renowned for its juicy seafood – in particular, plump oysters. Keep an eye on the smooth waters, basking sharks sometimes appear, cruising through the sea loch, hoovering up plankton. You can also visit the majestic rounded turrets of Inveraray Castle on the loch’s banks - a glorious Gothic Revival creation, plucked straight from a fairy-tale.