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Your Weekend in Oban – With Puffins!

Feb 06 2023

Puffin tour from Oban to Mull

The coastal town of Oban, known as ‘The Gateway to the Isles’, is a destination in its own right. With beautiful beaches, an abundance of history and access to incredible hiking. Whether you are arriving by train, bus or air – the easiest way to reach Oban is transiting through Edinburgh or Glasgow. Here you can find coach and train links to Oban, and car rental. The scenic drive along the Loch Lomond shores has spectacular views of the highlands and lochs to set the scene for your Scottish adventure.

Once arrived in the bustling port town of Oban you’ll want to check in to your Highland stay. Oban is packed door to door with independent bed and breakfasts, as well as hotels and some bunkhouse options to suit every budget, but you must book in advance as this popular destination sells out during the summer!

Our tip – If you are renting a car, make sure to book accommodation which offers parking.

A weekend in Oban will give you your first taster of our charming town, there is no shortage of things to keep you busy! The day light in the spring and summer months is long which gives you plenty of chance to get out and explore. Our favourite way to start the day is with a coffee from Hinba, brewed locally on the Isle of Seil, Hinba coffee roasters is incredibly popular and for good reason. You can enjoy your coffee looking over Oban bay, watching the boats go by, with views of the Isle of Kerrera. Take a walk through the town and check out the independent arts and local produce, before heading towards the woods of Dunollie.

The shore here is a popular place to look for otters and other wildlife, you may see wildlife photographers snapping away. Follow the walking trail though the woods, one of the last Scottish rainforests. Walking through this ancient, native woodland will lead you to the historic Dunollie castle. Check ahead of time to see if the castle is open, and if there are any events on here:

For those who want to stretch the legs a bit further, from the woods you can follow the trail to Battleship Hill, be sure to close the gates behind you as you pass by livestock. This short walk will take you to some incredible panoramic views of Oban and beyond. By now you are probably ready for lunch! It’s only a short walk back in to the town, where you can fill up in any of the cafes, we love Roxys for lunch and a cake, the Potting Shed also has a good selection of delicious vegan options! If you are looking to enjoy the quintessentially Scottish tradition of eating a chippy by the sea then you’ll find plenty of options to tick this off your list too – just watch out for the seagulls!

After lunch its time to head out and see more of the sights, we head back towards Dunollie woods but this time keep following the road down the coast until we come to Ganavan beach. Before reaching the main beach you will pass two smaller bays too, enjoy a swim or snorkel as part of the Argyll Swim Trail or relax and take in the fresh air! Buses also cover this route if you have had enough walking for today. On the way back swing in to the Oban Chocolate Company to enjoy some delicious hand crafted chocolates and hot drinks – this will definitely warm you up after a swim!

If it isn’t quite beach weather, after all – we are in Scotland, check out the Oban Distillery where you can enjoy a tour and samples of our local delicacies! But do remember to pack your waterproofs, embracing time outside is all part of the fun.

One of the best parts of being on the west coast is the sunsets, stroll up the hill to McCaig’s tower – a strange Colosseum shaped structure, which has very much become an icon of the town. Through the arched open windows you can get a stunning view of the sunset over the Inner Hebrides. Finish the day with more fabulous food and rest up for your big day out tomorrow.


To see more of the spectacular Hebrides today we are taking a boat trip out to the Isle of Lunga, part of the Treshnish Isles, and home to thousands of seabirds. Our journey starts at Dunstaffnage Marina, a short drive out of town, a taxi will be able to drop you off if you didn’t bring a car.  You’ll meet the crew and jump on board – we set off, catching Oban from a new angle, past the castle of Dunstaffnage and out towards the Sound of Mull. Here you can see the iconic Lismore lighthouse and Duart Castle on the Sound of Mull as we enter the calm passage between the islands and the mainland. Travelling through the sound we will keep an eye out for the fins of porpoises and dolphins, as well as seals and eagles.

We pull in to Tobermory for a quick shore stop, chance to use the restrooms and get a quick snap of the colourful town you may recognise from Balamory! We continue further through the sound, taking in the spectacular scenery, before following the coast of Mull towards the Treshnish Isles. Here in the deeper, more exposed water, there is chance to see minke whales, dolphins and even basking sharks!

We arrive at the uninhabited island, the puffins wheeling off the cliffs above and seals howling from the nearby rocks – as we prepare the dinghy to land ashore. Arriving on Lunga is an adventure in itself, this wild island doesn’t have a pier, so we make our way up the rocky shore to the clifftop where we are greeted by thousands of puffins! These cute little birds burrow along the edge of the cliff, where you can sit almost beside them and watch them go about their daily lives. The island is also home to kittiwakes, shags, razorbills, fulmars, skuas, storm petrels and a large colony of guillemots. Choose to enjoy your packed lunch with the puffins or explore the island further – to the dramatic sea stack of Harp Rock. This trail will take you past all the species of birds you can find on the island, and to the spectacle that is tens of thousands of guillemots chattering!

Leaving this special island is always the hardest part of the day, we make our way back following the same route, and keeping a keen eye on the water for any last fins! Its about 5pm when we arrive back at the harbour, a day on the water certainly makes you a bit tired – you can head back in to the town and enjoy your last meal of the mini break watching the sunset over the water.

There are so many things to do in our wonderful town, we are sure you will be back for more!

Ready to join us on an adventure?