The Oban Walking Tour is in its inaugural season for 2018 as a team of 12 fantastic guides hits the streets to showcase the best of “The Wee Bay”. A diverse group, the team is made up of friendly people from all around the world, of all ages and from different backgrounds, but they all share one passion- Oban.
After undergoing an intensive training programme and exam, these 12 intrepid 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 through August, and cost £10/person, kids 16 and under free. To book, go to www.obanwalkingtours or the Visitor’s iCentre.
Let’s meet the team!
Farooq Hamid, Property landlord
Stays part time in Oban
Fun fact: After his daughter moved here to work, Farooq fell in love with Oban so he stays here part time, and he says that it is his idea of heaven- his enthusiasm shines through in his extensive knowledge of the area’s history, legends and attractions!
“I like it when people find out that there is more to Oban than a place of transit. Whilst all the stops on the tour are interesting, McCaigs tower tops them all with its quirky history.”
Michelle McAnally, Travel journalist
From: USA. Lived in Oban since 2013
Fun fact: Married to a Scotsman, Michelle is an archaeologist as well as a journalist, and having worked all over Scotland, is keen to share her expertise with her guests.
"I love sharing the story of Oban with people from all over the world, and especially enjoy delving into the town’s fascinating history and legends. My favourite stop on the Oban Walking Tour is the Dog Stone. This impressive sea stack is a real source of interest for our visitors, and they love hearing the entertaining Celtic legend about the giant Fingal and his huge dog Bran that it inspired.”
Ann Fraser, Tour guide at Oban Distillery
From: Western Ireland
Fun fact: Ann met her Scottish husband Steven in Northern Ireland, and after visiting Oban, the couple decided to stay. Ann is tour guide at the Oban Distillery, and her expertise about the distillery is matched only by her knowledge about the town that grew around it!
“I am so happy to be able to show off this fabulous part of the world to visitors! There’s so much to offer here- stunning scenery, great food, big skies, important Scottish history and great people. My favourite stop on the tour is St Columba's cathedral- I love the story of St Columba, a monk of royal Irish descent coming to tiny Iona, and from there spreading Christianity far and wide, his considerable influence on his times, and then to look at and describe the imposing and stunning cathedral itself named after him… a great story!”
Rab Black,Tourist Guide
From Appin, Argyll
Rab, a retired soldier now provides private tours of the Highlands & Islands. Originally from Appin, Rab served seven years in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and a further 32 years in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps. He now lives in Connel with his partner Elise.
“Oban is a beautiful and bustling wee town with a vibrant, sheltered harbour. The comings and goings in the bay cannot fail to excite the observer as kayaks, yachts, fishing boats and Calmac ferries provide a sort of live theatre. My favourite discovery of the walking tour relates to the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who designed St Columba’s R C Cathedral. He also designed Liverpool Cathedral, Battersea Power Station, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and many other great buildings but who would have thought that he also designed the red telephone box.”