After undergoing an intensive training programme and exam, 12 plucky guides now hold Yellow Badges from the Scottish Tourist Guide Association, which means they are certified and fully insured.
As ambassadors for Oban, they are extremely knowledgeable about the town, and share fascinating tales of its history, culture and legends as they guide visitors along its scenic esplanade.
Tours leave from the Visitor’s Centre every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10am and 2pm, and cost £10/person, kids 16 and under free. To book, go to www.obanwalkingtours.co.uk or the Visitor’s Centre.
In our next series of blogs, we’ll meet the team!
Kay McDonald, Town Ambassador and care assistant
Fun fact: Kay’s family have been in Oban since the early 1700s, with one side coming from the Isle of Mull and the other side from Ireland, and her tours are full of fun and fascinating facts, anecdotes and legends that reflect her deep roots and her love of the “Wee Bay”!
“I can’t imagine anywhere better to grow up and live. I like to think of Oban and it’s people as warm and hospitable, and welcoming visitors to Oban and introducing them to the town is what I love to do best. McCaig’s Tower is my favourite part of the tour, as it has a personal connection- one of my great-grandfathers was involved in the construction.”
Margret Powell-Joss, EN, GER, SP, FR; translator, interpreter, language tutor
Moved to Oban in May 2008
Fun fact: Margret speaks your language- she is fluent in four languages other than Swiss, and she offers incredibly informative tours in English, Swiss, German, Spanish and French!
"Oban and its warm and welcoming people have long been my passion, which I feel privileged to share with my guests. My favourite stop on the Oban Walking Tour is the War Memorial and the large ice-age boulder next to it. Fingal's Putting Stone and the memorial evoke Oban and its people, their connections to the world, and the town's relevance through the ages."
Nan McLachlan, Retired Bank Manager
From: Lanarkshire, moved to Argyll in 1982
Fun fact: A dairy farmer’s daughter, Nan is an active member of Clan McLaclan with extensive knowledge of the clan and Argyll’s history, so her tours are educational as well as entertaining!
“I love showing tourists Oban, telling of her history and legends and other tales! My favourite stop on the walking tour is McCaig’s Tower. I find the mystique surrounding how John S McCaig gathered his wealth intriguing- how, as a poor farmer on Lismore, he may have found buried treasure or treasure washed up on the shore, which enabled him to speculate and start him on the road to becoming a very wealthy man.”
Rhona McCracken,Student and tour guide
From Taynuilt, near Oban
Fun fact: Rhona recently finished secondary school, and is going on to study computer science at university. But rather than take the summer off, she has turned her enthusiasm for Oban into a fascinating summer career!
"I love chatting to people on the tours and surprising them with unusual facts about Oban. My favourite stop on the walking tour is Dunollie castle - as well as stories of fierce battles between the MacDougalls and King Robert the Bruce, Dunollie offers a history of the first Scots arriving here in the 7th century from Dalriada which gives context to a lot of our local culture, including the Gaelic language."