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Travel Report: Cool Spots Around Oban, Scotland.

Cool Spots Around Oban Scotland.

July 2019. Having already posted a bunch of travel reports from the key sights in Oban, it’s now time to mop up the best of the rest, with my handpicked locations from across this lovely Scottish town. So sit back, put your feet up and let me show you my Cool Spots Around Oban.

Oban Chocolate Company.

Oban Chocolate Company.

Oban is a cool cafe town fully geared towards ensuring tourists never go without a good cup of coffee. On our first morning, Natalie and I popped into Oban Chocolate Company for a much needed caffeine injection and something sweet.

Oban Chocolate Company Scotland.

Oban Chocolate Company.

If like me you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’d be hard pushed to find a more comprehensive cafe than this family owned shop located at 34 Corran Esplanade. From muffins, cakes and pastries to handmade chocolates, they’ve got pretty much every base covered.

Cool Spots Around Oban.

Coffee and scones Oban Chocolate Company.

Oban Chocolate Company.

As much as I like me some chocolate, I wasn’t able to stuff my face with it for breakfast. Hence I opted for one of their fresh scones with raspberry jam. Besides, I did get a little chocolate fish with my latte. It’s also a lovely place to hang out, with wooden tables, leather sofas and a small play area for kids.

Coasters Bar and Restaurant Oban.

Coasters Bar and Restaurant, Oban.

For pub grub, Coasters Bar & Restaurant  is just a few doors down from Oban Chocolate Company. The atmosphere is lively, especially in the evenings when they show live sports. Reviews however seem mixed, with some patrons bemoaning the service and prickly staff.

Oban Seafood Hut.

Oban Seafood Hut.

Into Seafood? Then you absolutely must head down to Calmac Pier and check out Oban Seafood Hut. This unpretentious market restaurant has been here for years, the brainchild of local fisherman John Ogden. Even if seafood isn’t your thing, it’s well worth coming for a look just to drink in the vibe.

Local mussels Oban.

Fresh mussels courtesy of Oban Seafood Hut.

Seagulls flap overhead as tourists patiently line up. The smell of fish and garlic wafts through the air as an elderly man serves hot buttery mussels from a simple burner. They also do prawn sandwiches, whole lobsters, crab and giant seafood platters.

Seafood platter Calmac Pier Oban.

Calmac Pier, Oban.

There’s not much in the way of seating. As a result, people tend to just park themselves on the side of the pier itself. Don’t worry about finding Oban Seafood Hut, just look out for its distinctive green colour. In fact, Ogden’s signature green hut is so precious to him that he took another local seafood vendor to court after the guy changed his mobile restaurant from white to green. According to Ogden this confused tourists, and the judge agreed!

Markie Dans Pub Oban.

Markie Dans Pub, Oban.

For evening drinks, it doesn’t get much better than Markie Dans Pub and its lovely beer garden. They advertise themselves as “the best beer garden in town” and while I haven’t personally tried all of Oban’s beer gardens, I have a feeling their claim is right on the money.

Cool Spots Around Oban

Cool Spots Around Oban.

Natalie and I came here one night for cocktails. The place was heaving and yet we just about managed to grab the last few chairs by the ledge overlooking the green and Oban Bay beyond.

I doubt it’s possible to get a sunnier evening in Oban than we did that night. Sipping on our Markie Dans cocktails, we looked on as a local boy and girl threw out a loose tune on a guitar and violin. In the background on the grass, there was frisbee throwing, tennis and general lounging. Not a care in the world….

Inside Markie Dans, you’ve got diner booths, a pool table and sports cable channels. They regularly have live music too and that night we got to see an awesome Celtic band smashing through a stomping set. They really did have the place rocking!

Oban War and Peace Museum.

Oban War and Peace Museum.

In addition to the Oban sights reviewed individually on Leighton Travels this past week, I should also say a quick word on Oban War and Peace Museum. Free to enter and with friendly staff, this little museum provides a decent overview of the town’s history. Expect plenty of authentic costumes, black and white photographs and artefacts aplenty. Moreover, there are dedicated sections on the town’s fishing industry and the building of McCaig’s Tower.

The Oban Distillery Scotland.

The Oban Distillery.

Just across the road, literally half a dozen steps from Oban War and Peace Museum, you’ve got The Oban Distillery. With just two stills, this place proudly describes itself as “one of the smallest Scotch distilleries”. Dating back to 1794, today it produces the famous Oban 14 Year Old, one of The Scottish Highlands’ six Classic Malts.

The Jetty Gallery Oban.

The Jetty Gallery, Oban.

George Street is the place to head for Oban’s largest and most interesting collection of stores and boutiques. To see some very cool local art, head to The Jetty Gallery, a small but a vibrant space showcasing work by both established and emerging artists.

Inside the Jetty Gallery Oban.

The Jetty Gallery, Oban.

The Jetty Gallery has paintings, sketches, sculptures, ceramics and creations made from glass, wood and jewellery. Some of the pieces here are very expensive, but generally the store caters to all price ranges.

Cool Spots Around Oban

Cool Spots Around Oban.

Don’t let the town’s specific sights dictate your itinerary! For me one of the great joys of Oban is simply exploring the residential streets in and around McCaig’s Tower. The townhouses here are just gorgeous and more often than not come complimented by sculpted gardens and resting seagulls.

Beautiful house Duncraggan Road Oban.

A beautiful Oban townhouse on Duncraggan Road.

Just wander up and down the streets and see what you can find. This grand townhouse, with its churchy spire, stands on Duncraggan Road.

Greystones B&B Oban.

Greystones B&B, Oban.

Finally, our wanderings brought us face to face with the authoritative form of Greystones B&B on Dalriach Road. Grand and baronial on the outside, you’ll certainly be surprised at how modern the interior is. Some of the rooms have sea views. In the unlikely event I ever come back to Oban, a stay here would surely beat my experience at The Lancaster.

Like this? Why not leaf through more of my reports from Oban.

And I’ve written plenty more articles from across The Scottish Highlands.

To delve further afield, take a look at my travel articles from all around Scotland.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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2 Comments

  • acaricatureoflife

    A fun fact about Greystones B&B: it used to be the town’s maternity hospital until it closed in 1995. My sister was born there in 1987! It’s a grand building, one of my favourites in town.

    February 22, 2020 - 1:20 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey, thanks a lot for reading and taking the time to comment. I had a feeling Greystones may have been an old medical facility of some kind. As for your sister, small world eh? Thanks for swinging by, hope you like my other Oban articles.

      February 22, 2020 - 10:35 am Reply

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