Oban

Nicknamed the seafood captial of Scotland, Oban is a well-known resort town and fishing spot, on the west coast of Scotland. Fishing along the shore, or out on the water, is a popular pastime here, with catches including species of trout, cod, and salmon. Oban’s relationship with the sea continues through its opportunities for sailing, scuba diving and other water sports, but these arent the only thing it’s known for.

A historic town, Oban grew up around a distillery, which opened in 1794, and still remains today as one of the oldest producers of whisky in Scotland. In the 1880’s the railway, and with it tourism, arrived in the town, while in World War II, Merchant Navy and Royal Navy Ships made use of Oban and it’s port. Since the 1950’s tourism has been the main industry in Oban, with plenty of accommodation, activity providers, and tourist attractions drawing people in, and providing employment for local residents. The tourist trade has also enabled other businesses, such as shops and restaurants to flourish.

Oban and the surrounding area offer a large number of primary schools, along with a high school which provides education up to sixth form or year 12 level. They offer standard Scottish qualifications, and vocational courses in industries such as childcare, rural skills, and hospitality. There are also adult learning options run in Oban and surrounding towns, organised by Argyll and Bute Council.

Living in Oban, you will find yourselves well served by bars and pubs, restaurants, shops, and supermarkets. There is a leisure centre, many opportunities for outdoor/water sports, and a traditional Scottish music venue and nightclub. If you’re looking for something to do with the family on weekends, or holidays, then there’s the Oban War and Peace Museum in town, while the surrounding area features the Lismore Heritage centre, and Dunstaffnage Castle among the attractions.

Oban is also an important transport hub for those wanting to explore the Hebridean Islands either by ferry or by air. Oban Airport offers flights to many of the islands including Tiree and Islay. Colonsay is also well worth a visit. Although just 135 people are said to live on this island, it’s a hub of activity, which includes agriculture, oyster farming, a bird sanctuary, and honey production.  It’s just over 2 hours from Oban by ferry, and offers self catering cottages, and a small hotel to anyone wanting to stay and explore thr stunning scenery and wildlife on offer.

If you are looking to travel further afield, for business or pleasure, Oban has its own train station, which offers services into the city of Glasgow. There are also more direct services scheduled from 2014 onwards to support business travellers on this route. Oban is also around 2 hours from Stirling, and 3 hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh by bus, coach, or train. Head over to Glasgow Airport, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, or Edinburgh Airport, for connections to the rest of the UK, Europe, and further afield.

A survey by Argyll and Bute Council asked for the views of locals living in Oban, to find out what was important to them, and what they thought of the town. One person was quoted as saying “small enough to be cozy – big enough to be interesting”, which sums up this Scottish seaside town perfectly.