Places to explore in Oban, Scotland
Here you can find a whole host of things to see and do in Oban and the surrounding areas, from extreme sports like mountain biking to more leisurely activities like trekking around the wonderful landscapes. We're sure there's something for everyone!
A mixed conifer and broadleaf wood on the steep sides of Beinn Lora, with a trail leading to the summit, providing exhilarating views over the Firth of Lorne to Mull and beyond. There is a route diversion at Beinn Lora. A section of the Lower Loop – Coastal Climb walk and the Eagle’s Eyrie and Summit walk will be closed until further notice. This is due to tree damage caused by recent gales. A diversion is in place – please follow the diversion signs. For your own safety, please observe all warning and prohibition signs.
Bienn Lora forestry walk
A mixed conifer and broadleaf wood on the steep sides of Beinn Lora, with a trail leading to the summit, providing exhilarating views over the Firth of Lorne to Mull and beyond.
There is a route diversion at Beinn Lora.
A section of the Lower Loop – Coastal Climb walk and the Eagle’s Eyrie and Summit walk will be closed until further notice. This is due to tree damage caused by recent gales. A diversion is in place – please follow the diversion signs.
For your own safety, please observe all warning and prohibition signs.
Delivery and collection available from RCS Cycles. Mountain bikes, hybrids, tandems, trailers and various accessories available. Daily rate from £14 and weekly rate from £35. Telephone 01866 822736 or 07791 974152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cycling in the Forests
Cycling in the forests of North Argyll you will find dramatic scenery, interesting archaeological features and abundant wildlife. For more information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland where you can also download the Forestry Commision leaflet containing routes (also available at our reception)
As part of the National Cycle Network, Sustrans are currently developing the Oban to Fort William cycle route. Nearby completed sections include Ganavan to Dunbeg and Sea Life Centre to Creagan. For more information visiit www.sustrans.org.uk or www.argyll-bute.gov.uk
Wheely Good Bike Guides offer a mountain bike guiding service, mountain bike hire and mountain biking instruction in Fort William, venue for the Mountain Bike World Cup and 2007 World Championships. They can cater for all of your mountain biking needs from gentle forest tracks catching stunning views of the beautiful West Coast mountain scenery, guided trips around the World Championship trails to the adrenaline pumping action of the World Cup Downhill track. Visit www.wheely-good.co.uk for more information.
Nevis Range, Fort William also offers bike hire, bike school and gondola uplift for downhill tracks. Visit www.nevisrange.co.uk for more details and prices.
The picturesque car-free island of Easdale is accessed by a 3 minute ferry crossing from Seil. It has neat rows of whitewashed houses which housed the slate quarrymen and the history can be found in their own museum. The Easdale Folk Museum aims to show a snapshot of life on Easdale Island as it was in the 19th Century, when the Island was the centre of the Scottish slate industry. The island also has a striking community hall building which is well worth a visit.
Easdale Island Folk Museum
Easdale Island Folk Museum has well designed displays depicting a range of topics from the slate industry, army volunteers, education, and public health to geology, boats, and entertainment. There is a free quiz and small play area to keep the kids happy. The museum today is owned by the community under the auspices of Eilean Eisdeal, the island charitable company.
For more info call 01852 300 173 or visit www.easdalemuseum.org
World Stone Skimming Championships
The World Stone Skimming Championships are held every September in one of the disused quarries on Easdale Island. Contestants hail from around the world and the championships now attract over 300 participants and many spectators. Can you guess who this handsome former winner is?
Finn Falconry was founded by Paul Finnigan to raise awareness of the importance of birds of prey to our ecosystems and habitats through informative static displays, talks and lectures, interactive hands-on hawk walks and photography workshops.
The Falconry is located in the stunningly beautiful forested area of Inverawe Country Park about 15 miles east of Oban on the A85.
Paul carries out 2 flying displays a week on Sundays and Thursdays at 2.30 p.m. The birds are in attendance from about 12.00 noon in preparation for the flying display. Paul aims to fly at least one species of falcon, hawk and if he’s in a good mood, Egor the Eagle. The displays last about 40 minutes depending on how many people are present.
On a hawk walk you can fly your own hawk for an hour on the beautiful Nature Trail through the spectacular woodland of Inverawe. You can marvel at the speed of the Harris’ Hawks as fly through the woods like ghosts - you only know they’re there from the sound of their bells as they whizz past. Paul will guide you in the safe handling of the hawks and point out any other interesting wildlife.
These usually last for 3 hours and cover:
1. Safety induction
2. Basic hawk handling
3. Introduction to the different birds you will handle
4. Falconry methods and equipment
5. The falconers knot
6. A Hawk walk
This is the perfect stepping towards a falconry course as you will handle and fly all the different types of raptors used in falconry.
For further information, go to www.finnfalconry.co.uk or call 01631 710732
Iona is thought to be the first Christian site in Scotland. As such, this tiny island (1 mile wide, 3.5 miles long), now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, is very popular with pilgrims and the thousands of tourists who come to visit the Abbey in the summer months. Reached by ferry from Oban, then overland by bus or car on Mull Island, then by passenger-only ferry to Iona. If the area around the Abbey gets too busy for you, then find one of Iona’s sandy beaches and relax. The south and western parts of the island are not so well visited, but well worth seeing.
The Abbey is open daily and an admission fee is charged by Historic Scotland. Guided tours are also available and services are held several times a day. It is about 15 minutes walk from the ferry. There is a small gift shop accessible from the cloisters and a small museum with carved gravestones. For information about the abbey, visit the Iona Community web site.
Iona Nunnery can be found next to the school on the way from the pier to the Abbey, these 13th century ruins and their colourful garden deserve at least a few minutes of your time.
Iona Heritage Centre once the former manse next to the church is now the heritage centre. Open Monday – Saturday (tel: 01681 700576).
There are several good craft/gift shops and a book shop on Iona.
For organised tours from Oban including Mull, Staffa and the Treshnish Isles visit Bowman’s Tours or call them on 01631 566809.
Visit www.calmac.co.uk for Caledonian Ferries and bus information.
Nestling in a mature spruce forest on the shores of beautiful Loch Creran the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary enjoys one of the most picturesque settings in Britain, and is home to some of the UK’s most enchanting marine creatures. In crystal clear waters you can explore over 30 fascinating natural marine habitats containing everything from Octopus to Sharks. Come nose to nose with the graceful rays as they swim to the surface to greet you or stand in the middle of a huge shoal of salmon making you dizzy as they constantly swim around you in our unique shoaling ring. Every day there is a range of talks and feeding demonstrations from our team of marine experts which may allow you to hand feed some of our sharks and rays or perhaps to learn about and hold some starfish and crabs.
Tickets available at a reduced rate at Tralee reception
Only a mile from the park. A small walk and very peaceful.
Shian Wood is a fine example of the ancient semi-natural woodlands typical of the Atlantic coast of Scotland. The wood stands above the surrounding land on a low, flattened ridge of land which juts out from the southern shore of Loch Creran. Dominated by fine mature oaks festooned in mosses and lichens the canopy in spring covers a carpet of primrose, wood sorrel and bluebell and is home to many species of woodland bird.
Best time to visit:
Spring for flowers and breeding birds
- Visit for:
For more information vist Scottish Wildlife Trust’s website www.swt.org.uk
The reserve is directly adjacent to the parking area. Go through the gate, and follow the track up the hill. Waymarkers indicate the footpaths.
Shian Wood lies on the south shore of Loch Creran, on a minor road off the A828(T) north of Benderloch. On the north side of Benderloch, leave the A828 and take the minor road sign posted to South Shian. After about 1.5 miles, at a crossroads, turn left for the Island of Eriska. The parking area for the reserve is on the right about 3/4 mile from the crossroads, before you reach Balure Farm.
The above access and directions – Courtesy “Scottish Wildlife Trust”