Informally known as the Gateway to the Isles, the bustling and lively town of Oban is situated on the west coast of Argyllshire, at Oban Bay. Enjoying splendid views across the water to the Scottish Isles, the town is a fantastic base for exploring, with cruises and ferry running along the coast and across to many of the islands. The centre offers a great range of cafés and restaurants, and is dubbed the seafood capital of Scotland. If you are feeling energetic, take a hike up the hill to the striking McCaig Tower. The colosseum style ruins enjoy a commanding situation overlooking the town, and fantastic views! Oban Distillery and visitor centre offers a great day out, where you can enjoy a tour of the facilities. Clan MacDougall were based in this area historically, and the ruins of two of their strongholds can be found nearby, Dunollie Castle on the shores of the bay, and Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel further along the coast overlooking the Firth of Lorn.
Argyllshire is one of the larger of the Scottish counties. Located in the west, Argyll incorporates the coastline and isles between the Mull of Kintyre up to Ardnamurchan. The area’s biggest attraction is its immense range of landscapes; with miles of rugged cliffs and mountainous highland scenery to discover, as well as beautiful woodlands, the area is a dream destination for nature lovers. Why not visit the magnificent volcanic rock island of Staffa, where the puffins make their summer home? Or join the Beaver Trail to spot the elusive mammal recently reintroduced to the area. You could also take in the Gulf of Corryvreckan on the island at Jura, the third largest natural whirlpool in the world! Island hopping tours are a great way to discover the isles of Argyll, and for keen walkers, the mountainous landscapes of the likes of Ardgour, and the westerly range of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park are well worth a visit. Towns to take in include Oban, a resort town nestled on the Firth of Lorn; Dunoon, home to the famous Cowal Highland Gathering, an annual highland games; and Campbeltown, the county’s historic centre for whisky, fishing and ship-building.
Highlands and Islands
This region takes in Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Sutherland, Caithness and the islands include the Inner and Outer Hebrides as well as Orkney and the Shetland islands. For spectacular scenery the Highlands of Scotland provides some of the best, with a huge expanse of area full of mountains, lochs and glens full of romance, wildlife and scenic beauty. The heritage of this area includes Culloden, taking the ferry to the Isle of Skye or just taking in one of the many castles like Eilean Donan. There is also an immense range of wildlife to be found.