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Oban & Lorn Main Page

Oban & Lorn covers the north and north western parts of Argyll & Bute: in effect everything to the west and north of Loch Awe, plus areas around Dalmally and Bridge of Orchy. For accommodation in Oban & Lorn see the links in the menu on the right. See the map below for an outline of the area and links to surrounding areas.

Oban is the largest port in the west of Scotland, and the main ferry terminus for the Hebrides. Ferries from here serve Mull and many of the inner Hebridean islands as well as Barra and South Uist in the Western Isles. Oban is also the main base for the Hebridean Princess, the superb small luxury cruise ship which sails throughout Scottish waters.

The town is a popular resort, overlooking a beautiful sheltered bay and having many attractions for visitors including McCaig's Tower, a lookalike of Rome's Colosseum, Oban Distillery, two cathedrals, St John's Episcopal Cathedral and St Columba's Roman Catholic Cathedral, a superb viewpoint in Pulpit Hill, the ruins of once magnificent Dunollie Castle, and the excellent Oban War & Peace Museum.

Visitors travelling from the east should visit the Falls of Lora at Connel. Closer to Oban you can drop into Dunstaffnage Castle, just off the A85 three miles north of the town. A few miles further east is Taynuilt, an attractive village close to the southern edge of Loch Etive, complete with the excellent Taynuilt Hotel. From here you can cruise one of the less well known lochs in Scotland. Here, too, you can explore an interesting piece of the area's industrial history at the Bonawe Iron Furnace. In the village is Muckairn Church, built on a site with a long history of worship. Taynuilt is also on the route of the Coast to Coast Walk from Oban to St Andrews.

Further east the main A85 skirts the northern end of Loch Awe, passing through the village of Lochawe itself, with its truly remarkable St Conan's Kirk. A little beyond is the shell of Kilchurn Castle, on a neck of land projecting into Loch Awe. Continue east and you pass the attractive village of Dalmally, whose Glenorchy Church is well worth visiting. To the north east the single track B8074 leads up Glen Orchy to Bridge of Orchy, the most north easterly settlement in Argyll & Bute.

South of Taynuilt is a large and sparsely populated area which stretches from Loch Awe in the east towards the coast. Roads are generally single track, and settlements are few and far between, and tend to be very small. On the west shore of Loch Awe are two impressive hotels, the Ardanaiseig Hotel and the Taychreggan Hotel. Nearby is the small village of Kilchrenan, and Kilchrenan Parish Church.

North from Connel the main road takes you through Benderloch and Barcaldine en route to the bridge over Loch Creran. In the mouth of the loch is the Isle of Eriska, home to the exclusive and luxurious Isle of Eriska Hotel. Near Barcaldine is the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary, an ideal weather-proof visit. Head east from Benderloch along the north shore of Loch Etive and you pass Ardchattan Kirk to come to Ardchattan Garden and the ruins of Ardchattan Priory.

Oban & Lorn, Showing Main Settlements & Surrounding Areas
Oban & Lorn, Showing Main Settlements & Surrounding Areas

North of Loch Creran you enter Appin. A slight diversion from the main road takes you to Port Appin, from where you can catch the passenger ferry to the island of Lismore. This is also home to two excellent hotels, the Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant overlooking the pier and the Airds Hotel & Restaurant on the approach to the village.

Just a short distance from Oban itself is Dunollie Castle, while only a little further afield is Ganavan Sands and there is good walking on the Isle of Kerrera, the island protecting Oban Bay. A little south of Oban is Lerags Cross, a freestanding late medieval cross.

A sixteen mile cycle ride south, or a drive if you are feeling lazy, takes in the island of Seil the most northerly of the Slate Islands, and one of the few Scottish Islands accessible without use of a ferry. The main village is Ellenabeich, from where a small ferry takes passengers to Easdale Island. From the southern tip of Seil the Cuan Ferry links to another of the Slate Islands, Luing. Its main village is Cullipool.

Further south, beyond the village of Kilmelford and Kilmelford Church, and you come to the National Trust for Scotland's beautiful Arduaine Garden on its hilly headland projecting into Loch Melfort. Close by is the excellent Loch Melfort Hotel. Beyond it is the Craignish Peninsula, where you find the thriving village of Ardfern with its yacht centre and the Galley of Lorne Inn. Also on the peninsula is Craignish Parish Church, and the remains of the Old Parish Church, complete with a remarkable collection of early grave slabs. On the north side of the Craignish Peninsula is the marina and holiday village of Craobh Haven, built during the 1980s.

Driving Tours: Much of the area is included in our Oban & Inveraray Driving Tour, while parts of the north of the area are traversed by our Oban & Glencoe Driving Tour.

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