Golden sunset in the Sound of Kerrera
McCaig's Folly above the town of Oban
A rusting hulk in an Oban sunset
Oban
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In 1773 during a tour of Scotland, Doctor Johnson and Boswell visited Oban and found 'a tolerable inn'. Well, at least they found something open. I visited Oban in January and found stuff shut. As well as a number of closed coffee houses, practically all of the town's tourist attractions were closed: the distillery, the museum, and the chocolate factory. All that was really missing were big gates at either end of George Street with signs saying, 'OBAN CLOSED - GO AWAY AND LEAVE US ALONE.' I mean, cripes... what are you tourism guys and guyesses playing at? I suppose, in all fairness, that it's a chicken and egg thing: what came first - the tourist or the tourist attraction? I'm inclined to think that once you start to shut things down at certain times of the year you're on a slippery slope to nowhere. Anyway, the train journey from Glasgow to Oban is without doubt one of the finest, most exhilarating and most scenic in the world. The little train clings precariously by its fingertips to the side of massive mountains offering stunning vistas down into magical glens where castle ruins peep above misty lochs. It is truly wonderful. Sections at Loch Lomond, Loch Awe, and the Pass of Brander are particularly fine, and it is a train journey worth doing for the window view alone. And once in Oban there are in fact things to do. As well as the simple pleasure of being somewhere new, you can gaze across the Sound of Kerrera and plan a ferry-trip somewhere else. But you'll be back.
THE SOUND OF KERRERA AT SUNSET
OBAN AND McCAIG'S FOLLY
A RUSTING HULK IN AN OBAN SUNSET
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How to
GET THERE


You can get a train to Oban from Glasgow Queen Street Railway Station.
Scotland’s online tourist guide – tartan hippo logo