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Walking in and around Oban

hills.jpgWalking is popular with most visitors to Argyll and there are plenty of 'Munros' (Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet) for hill walkers to conquer. As a major transport hub it is also easy to take a ferry to the islands and join the growing number of 'island baggers' for a great day's walking offering a taste of island life.

One of these is mighty Ben Cruachan which you can go "up and under". From the visitor centre at Cruachan hydro station you can take a one mile trip into the heart of the mountain to see the water driven generating station fed by the waters of Loch Awe above.

For a scenic, informative and entertaining stroll around town, we highly recommend an Oban Walking Tour with a fully trained and insured tourist guide, who will take you on a journey through Oban’s history from Mesolithic man to the present day.

For a relaxed country amble, a visit to Ardchattan Priory Gardens is recommended. The Priory is Scotland's second oldest inhabited house and it was here that the last Gaelic speaking Scottish Parliament was held in 1308. Gaelic is still spoken in the Oban area and bi-lingual signs are in evidence to show the importance of preserving the cultural heritage.

Ardchattan is not Oban's oldest surviving building. This honour falls to Dunollie Castle, which according to Scottish records was captured by the Irish brothers Loarn, Fergus and Angus in AD498. Loarn governed the area around Dunollie - which still bears his name (Lorn as it is now known) - and the Scots became firmly established in what is now modern-day Argyll. A tremendous resource on Dunstaffnage Castle, and the history of the Clan Campbell, can also be found at the Clan Campbell Society of North America.

Hand in hand with history, Lorn boasts beauty spots too numerous to mention. Just five miles north of Oban, beneath Connel Bridge (itself a beautiful replica of the more famous Forth Bridge) the racing waters of Loch Etive form rapids at the 'Falls of Lora'. This world renowned spectacle, best viewed at mid-ebb spring tides, is Europe's only seawater falls.