Oban – Gateway to the Scottish Isles


June 5, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Destination Guide


The popular resort of Oban has long been known as the Gateway to the Isles and more recently the Seafood Capital of Scotland as it has several award-winning restaurants. The main landmark is McCaig’s Tower, a Colosseum-like folly which stands above the town and offers spectacular views over it and across Oban Bay to the neighbouring islands.

Many of the cottages in Oban to rent are in fact apartments, in a handy central location. Cottages4You have over 40 properties in and around Oban. Scottish Cottages have a couple of properties in the town: Oban Bay View and The Gallery Flat. Sykes Cottages also have a couple of holiday homes in Oban: Bay View Apartment and Whiskeybae.

The ferry company Caledonian McBrayne are an institution on the Scottish west coast and islands, their red and black funnels an icon. Known by most as Calmac, they provide a vital link for the many scattered island communities, transporting food, mail and other essentials as well as holidaymakers.

A short car ferry trip from Oban lies one of Scotland’s largest islands, the Isle of Mull. This wild and beautiful island has over 300 miles of dramatic and scenic coastline. It is renowned for its sandy beaches, wildlife and diverse landscape. The island’s main town, Tobermory, is one of the prettiest ports in Scotland, famed for the cheerful colours of its waterfront buildings and the yachts bobbing in the natural harbour, as well as being the setting for hit children’s TV show Balamory.

The very small island of Iona lies just off the south-west tip of Mull and is home to one of Scotland’s most historic and sacred sites. For many centuries, Iona has been an island of special significance for all Christians. Iona Abbey was founded by St Columba in the 6th century when he arrived here from Ireland to spread the gospel in Scotland and the north of England. The abbey graveyard contains the graves of many early Scottish kings, as well as kings from Ireland, Norway and France. As a celebrated focus for pilgrimage, Iona retains its spiritual atmosphere and remains an enduring symbol of worship.

Off the west coast of Mull lie the islands of Coll and Tiree, with daily sailings from Oban. These are the most westerly of the Inner Hebridean islands and enjoy some of the highest levels of sunshine in the UK. They are low lying islands of golden sands and deserted beaches where wildlife lovers can discover the local flora and fauna.

For those who wish to venture further, there are ferries to the Outer Hebrides from Oban, with sailings to Barra on the southern tip of this windswept archipelago taking nearly five hours.

My pick of cottages in Oban to rent

Cottages in Oban to rent choice

This four bedroom detached cottage has stunning views over the Firth of Lorne to the islands of Lismore and Mull. It lies a mere 300 yards away from Ganavan’s white sandy beach a mile north of Oban. For more details click here