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Gaelic: An t-Òban
Oban harbour 14839d.jpg
Oban Harbour and town
Grid reference: NM859298
Location: 56°24’44"N, 5°28’13"W
Population: 8,120
Post town: Oban
Postcode: PA34
Dialling code: 01631
Local Government
Council: Argyll and Bute
Argyll and Bute

Oban is a resort town on the mainland of Argyllshire and a major mainland ferry port for the islands of the Hebrides and is known as "The Gateway to the Isles".

Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William and during the tourist season the town can be crowded by up to 25,000 people. Oban occupies a beautiful setting in the Firth of Lorn. Oban Bay is a near perfect horseshoe bay, protected by the island of Kerrera, and beyond Kerrera is Mull. To the north is the long low island of Lismore, and the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour.

Some 9.4% of Oban's population speak Gaelic.[1]

Attractions in Oban include the Waterfront Centre, the Oban Distillery, Dunollie Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle and McCaig's Tower, which dominates the town's skyline. Oban is an excellent base from which to explore the sights of Kilmartin Glen.

The Oban Tourist Information Centre, operated under VisitScotland, is located in the centre of the town in Argyll Square. It is housed in an old Church of Scotland building.

Oban Harbour across to Kerrera and beyond


  • Church of Scotland:
    • Kilmore & Oban Parish Church [2]
    • Glencruitten Road
    • The White Church (opened in 1957) at Corran Esplanade
  • Associated Presbyterian Church in Campbell Street [3]
  • Scottish Episcopal Church: Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in George Street [4] (Diocese of Argyll and the Isles)
  • Roman Catholic: St Columba's Cathedral at the north end of the Esplanade (designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, built 1932 – 1959).
  • Free Church of Scotland: in Rockfield Road
  • Baptist Church in Albany Street,
  • Salvation Army in Stevenson Street
  • Congregational Church in Tweedale Street (built in 1880) [5]


Oban is well connected to the road network and from the harbour ferries sail to the islands. Oban is Caledonian MacBrayne's busiest terminal.

Oban is known as the Gateway to the Isles, with ferries sailing to the islands of

In 2005 a new ferry terminal was opened and in 2007 a second link span opened to allow two vessels to load or unload at the same time.

Outside links


  1. Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies: An t-Oban & Latharna a Deas (Oban & South Lorn, vol 18, issue 2 [1]