Oban

Oban location in Scotland
Population: 12,467

Oban is known as the Gateway to the Isles since the town's south pier runs car ferries to Mull, Coll, Tiree, Barra, South Uist, Colonsay, Lismore and Islay. The town was founded just over 200 years ago as a fishing village however it soon grew into the commercial centre of the area and was awarded burgh status in 1811.

There are a number of attractions in and around Oban including McCaig's Folly which sits prominently on the hillside. A wealthy banker and philanthropist wanted to leave a lasting monument and planned an elaborate structure based on the Coliseum in Rome. The structure was started in 1895 as a public works project to relieve local unemployment but when McCaig died in 1902 his family halted construction and the tower remains an empty but imposing shell.

Oban also has an attractive harbour and a pier where you can buy fresh seafood. There is a visitor centre at the distillery in the centre of the town and there is a cinema, a golf course and a number of pubs and restaurants.

Oban is always busy during the tourist season and has a large tourist information centre. It is a beautiful place which anyone travelling on the west coast is bound to pass through at some point.