ENCHANTING OBAN: A SCOTTISH GEM TO DISCOVER ON FOOT
One of the most picturesque towns on the Scottish west coast, Oban dominates the surrounding bay offering breathtaking views. A walking tour around this lovely town popular with tourists takes us around the enchanting seafront, picturesque town centre, lively harbour and a green hill to unveil true architectural gems such as majestic Victoria buildings, the elegant Gothic Revival cathedral and the imposing McCaig's Tower inspired by Rome’s Colosseum.
What we will see
- Walk among elegant Victorian houses
- Breathtaking view of the Kerrera, Lismore and Mull islands
- Visit to the Cathedral of Saint Columba boasting amazing windows
- Battery Hill: walk among colourful plants and flowers
- Stop at the McCaig’s Tower and picture-perfect views
- Return walk through the lively harbour
What we will do
- We start our tour to discover Oban along the enchanting seafront to admire the imposing Victorian housesoverlooking the bay, and enjoy breathtaking views of the fjord and of the islands of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull.
- We continue as far as the Cathedral of Saint Columba, built during the first half of the last century and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert, the famous architect who also designed Liverpool Cathedral. Made of fine blue and pink granite and abundant oak, the Gothic Revival cathedral boasts countless architectural peculiarities such as the amazing windows that will certainly capture our attention.
- We then start to climb Battery Hill, a green hill dotted with colourful plants and flowers at the top of which we find McCaig’s Tower. According to local banker John Stuart McCaig who commissioned the construction, what was to become Oban's most famous monument was erected to provide local stonemasons with work during the winter months, traditionally the harshest time for the local economy, but also as a homage to his family.
- The building was inspired by Rome’s Colosseum and construction started in 1897 but was interrupted in 1902. Originally, there was supposed to be a large central tower with statues of the McCaigs inside it, but the project was never completed and the site was then turned into an enclosed garden.
- Since then, thanks to its position, McCaig’s Tower has been offering such amazing views over Oban and the nearby islands that many of the photos found on the postcards sold in the souvenir shops were taken from this vantage point.
- After taking in the fantastic panorama visible from the arches of McCaig’s Tower, we climb down the hill as far as Oban’s town centre, which grew around a lively harbour. As we observe all kinds of boats ranging from fishing boats, ferries and leisure boats to yachts, we proceed along the southern seafront to the starting point.
What you need to know
- This excursion includes an uphill stretch to reach McCaig’s Tower at the top of a hill which therefore requires a good level of physical fitness.?