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Hotels of Oban

A hotel in Oban is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Oban hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Oban are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Oban hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Oban hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Oban have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Oban
An upscale full service hotel facility in Oban that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Oban hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Oban
Full service Oban hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Oban
Boutique hotels of Oban are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Oban boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Oban may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Oban
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Oban travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Oban focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Oban
Small to medium-sized Oban hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Oban traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Oban hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Oban
A bed and breakfast in Oban is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Oban bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Oban B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Oban
Oban hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Oban hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Oban
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Oban hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Oban lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Oban
Oban timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Oban often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Oban on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Oban
A Oban motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Oban for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Oban motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Oban

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Oban
  • Scottish Gaelic: An t-Òban
  • Scots: Oban
Oban .jpg
Oban from Druim Mor
Oban is located in Argyll and Bute
Oban
Oban
Oban shown within Argyll and Bute
Population 8,575 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference NM859298
Council area
  • Argyll and Bute
Lieutenancy area
  • Argyll and Bute
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town OBAN
Postcode district PA34
Dialling code 01631
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • Argyll and Bute
Scottish Parliament
  • Argyll and Bute
List of places
UK
Scotland
 / 56.412; -5.472  / 56.412; -5.472

Oban (/ˈbən/ OH-bən; An t-Òban in Scottish Gaelic meaning The Little Bay) is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William. During the tourist season, the town can play host to up to 25,000 people. Oban occupies a setting in the Firth of Lorn. The bay is a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera; and beyond Kerrera, the Isle of Mull. To the north, is the long low island of Lismore, and the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour.

Oban: History

The site where Oban now stands has been used by humans since at least mesolithic times, as evidenced by archaeological remains of cave dwellers found in the town. Just outside the town stands Dunollie Castle, on a site that overlooks the main entrance to the bay and has been fortified since the Bronze age. Prior to the 19th century, the town itself supported very few households, sustaining only minor fishing, trading, shipbuilding and quarrying industries, and a few hardy tourists. The Renfrew trading company established a storehouse there in about 1714 as a local outlet for its merchandise, but a Custom-house was not deemed necessary until 1736 when "Oban being reckoned a proper place for clearing out vessels for the herring fishery".

The modern town of Oban grew up around the distillery, which was founded there in 1794. The town was raised to a burgh of barony in 1811 by royal charter. Sir Walter Scott visited the area in 1814, the year in which he published his poem The Lord of the Isles; interest in the poem brought many new visitors to the town. The town was made a Parliamentary Burgh in 1833. The arrival of the railway - Oban to Callender Railway - opened on 30th Jun 1880 brought further prosperity, revitalising local industry and giving new energy to tourism. Also at this time work on the ill-fated Oban Hydro was commenced but abandoned, and left to fall into disrepair, after 1882 when Dr Orr, the schemes originator, realised he had grossly underestimated its cost. Work on McCaig's Tower, a prominent local landmark, started in 1895. It was paid for by John Stewart McCaig (1824-1902) and was constructed, in hard times, to give work for local stone masons. However, its construction ceased in 1902 on the death of its benefactor.

Oban in 1900

During World War II, Oban was used by Merchant and Royal Navy ships and was an important base in the Battle of the Atlantic. The Royal Navy had a signal station near Ganavan, and an anti-submarine indicator loop station, which detected any surface or submarine vessels between Oban, Mull and Lismore. There was a controlled minefield in the Sound of Kerrera, which was operated from a building near the caravan site at Gallanach. There was also a Royal Air Force flying boat base at Ganavan and on Kerrera, and an airfield at North Connel built by the Royal Air Force. A Sector Operations Room was built near the airfield; after the war, this was extended to become the Royal Observer Corps Group HQ.

Oban was also important during the Cold War because the first Transatlantic Telephone Cable (TAT-1) came ashore at Gallanach Bay. This carried the Hot Line between the US and USSR presidents. At North Connel, next to the airfield/airport was the NRC (Nuclear Reporting Cell) of the Royal Observer Corps (29 Oct 1925 to 31 Dec 1995)

Since the 1950s, the principal industry has remained tourism, though the town is also an important ferry port, acting as the hub for CalMac - Caledonian McBrayne - ferries to many of the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

Oban: Climate

As with the rest of the British Isles, Oban experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Met Office weather station for which online records are available is Dunstaffnage, about 2.7 miles (4.3 km) north-north east of Oban town centre. Rainfall is high, but thanks to the Gulf stream the temperature seldom falls below zero.

Climate data for Dunstaffnage 3m asl, 1971-2000 (Weather station 2.7 miles (4.3 km) NNE of Oban)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13
(55)
13
(55)
15
(59)
24
(75)
25
(77)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
24
(75)
20
(68)
15
(59)
13
(55)
27
(81)
Average high °C (°F) 7.0
(44.6)
7.2
(45)
8.6
(47.5)
11.0
(51.8)
14.5
(58.1)
16.2
(61.2)
17.7
(63.9)
17.7
(63.9)
15.4
(59.7)
12.6
(54.7)
9.4
(48.9)
7.9
(46.2)
12.1
(53.8)
Average low °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
2.2
(36)
3.0
(37.4)
4.2
(39.6)
6.6
(43.9)
8.8
(47.8)
10.9
(51.6)
10.9
(51.6)
9.3
(48.7)
7.3
(45.1)
4.3
(39.7)
3.0
(37.4)
6.1
(43)
Record low °C (°F) −8
(18)
−7
(19)
−7
(19)
−2
(28)
0
(32)
2
(36)
5
(41)
3
(37)
1
(34)
−1
(30)
−6
(21)
−8
(18)
−8
(18)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 192.2
(7.567)
139.5
(5.492)
153.2
(6.031)
80.1
(3.154)
67.0
(2.638)
82.6
(3.252)
102.4
(4.031)
119.2
(4.693)
163.3
(6.429)
186.9
(7.358)
182.1
(7.169)
192.4
(7.575)
1,660.9
(65.39)
Average precipitation days (≥ mm) 27 23 28 24 23 26 24 26 27 28 27 27 310
Average rainy days (≥ mm) 25 21 27 24 23 26 24 26 27 28 27 27 305
Average snowy days (≥ cm) 7 6 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 23
Mean monthly sunshine hours 33.5 59.6 86.2 145.8 189.7 174.9 142.6 141.7 97.5 75.6 46.2 30.7 1,224
Source #1: Met Office
Source #2: Weatherbase

Oban: Culture

The local culture is Gaelic. In 2011, 8.2% of the town's population over age 3 could speak Gaelic and 11.3% had some facility in the language. Oban is considered the home of the Royal National Mòd, since it was first held there in 1892, with ten competitors on a Saturday afternoon. The town hosted the centenary Mod in 1992 (the year it became Royal) and in 2003 the 100th Mod, the two events attracting thousands of competitors and visitors (the 100th Mod was later than the centenary because it was not held in the war years). The Mod is held in Oban roughly every 6–8 years, and has last been held in October 2015.

An annual Highland Games, known as the Argyllshire Gathering, is also held in the town.

The Corran Halls theatre acts as a venue for community events, local and touring entertainers, and touring companies such as Scottish Opera.

The town had a two-screen cinema, which was closed in early 2010. Thanks to a local community initiative, and supported by a number of famous names, it was reopened in August 2012 as the Phoenix Cinema. Oban has itself been used as a backdrop to several films, including Ring of Bright Water and Morvern Callar.

The Oban War and Peace Museum advances the education of present and future generations by collecting, maintaining, conserving and exhibiting items of historical and cultural interest relating to the Oban area in peacetime and during the war years. A museum also operates within Oban Distillery, just behind the main seafront. The distillation of whisky in Oban predates the town: whisky has been produced on the site since 1794. The Hope MacDougall collection is a unique record of the working and domestic lives of people in Scotland.

Music is central to Gaelic culture, and there is lively interest in the town. In the 2010 Pipe Band season, the local Oban High School Pipe Band, led by Angus MacColl, was successful in winning the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, the Cowal Games competition, and the Champion of Champions for the year in the novice-juvenile grade. The town also boasts a successful senior pipe band. The local Gaelic choir competes regularly and successfully in the Mod.

During the 2011 Guy Fawkes Night, Oban became briefly infamous for its fireworks display, which became a worldwide news and online hit when £6,000 of display fireworks were ignited all at once due to a computer error. The display, which was due to last 20–30 minutes, was over in less than a minute. Pyro1, the company putting on the display, later said sorry to the town by providing a free fireworks show.

The town has been the birthplace and home of a number of well known people.

Oban Bay from McCaig's Tower. The bay is sheltered by the island of Kerrera. Behind lies the Isle of Mull.
Oban and bay at night, note McCaig's Tower is illuminated.

Oban: Local attractions

The area around Oban is rich with attractions for tourists, from the dramatic scenery of the coast and mountains to the fascinating histories of the local castles and ancient religious sites. There are also many activities available for families and those interested in more active pursuits. The Oban and Lorn tourist information website has detailed information for visitors.

The Oban Visitor Information Centre, operated by VisitScotland, is located in the Columba Buildings on the North Pier.

Oban: Transport

The Isle of Mull ferry leaving the terminal
Caledonian MacBrayne
Legend
Lochboisdale, South UistCaledonian MacBrayne to Mallaig
Eriskay
Ardmore, Barra
Castlebay, Barra
Baile Mòr, Iona
Fionnphort, Mull
Tobermory, Mull Right arrow Kilchoan
Fishnish, Mull Right arrow Lochaline
Craignure, Mull
Scarinish, Tiree
Arinagour, Coll
Achnacroish, Lismore
Scalasaig, ColonsayCaledonian MacBrayne to Port Askaig & Kennacraig
ObanUK road A85.PNG National Rail to Glasgow Queen Street

Oban lies at the western end of the A85 road. It also has a railway station from where a number of Abellio ScotRail trains run to and from Glasgow Queen Street daily. The town is also an important ferry port: it is Caledonian MacBrayne's busiest terminal. Oban is known as the "Gateway to the Isles", with ferries sailing to the islands of Lismore, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, to Craignure on Mull, to Castlebay on Barra and to Lochboisdale on South Uist. In 2005, a new ferry terminal was opened, and in 2007 a second linkspan opened, allowing two vessels to load/unload at the same time.

Scottish Citylink run buses from Glasgow's Buchanan bus station several times a day; in summer, buses run from Dundee via Perth (route 973) and to Edinburgh via Stirling (route 978).

West Coast Motors operate many local services and also coach links as far south as Lochgilphead and as far north as Fort William.

Oban has an airport outside the village of North Connel, some 5 miles NE of the town. In 2007, a further airlink was created between Oban and west-central Scotland: seaplanes fly from Glasgow city centre's Seaplane Terminal off the Clyde to the bay in Oban.

Oban: Schools

Oban has a primary school campus located in the south of the town along with Park Primary School at the north of the town, and a major high school, Oban High School. Secondary school pupils are drawn from a wide surrounding catchment area, with some pupils having long commutes to and from school every day. Students who live on surrounding islands such as Coll or Mull stay at a local hostel during the school week. The school funds the hostel so that the families of the students don't have to pay themselves.

Oban: Churches

St Columba's Cathedral

Oban is served by Kilmore & Oban Parish Church of the Church of Scotland. There are three church buildings in the united parish, namely at Glencruitten Road and the white church (opened in 1957) at Corran Esplanade in the town, as well as Kilmore Church. The minister (since 2007) is the Rev. Dugald Cameron, who formerly served at St. John's Renfield Church, Glasgow.

The mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles is St Columba's Cathedral at the north end of the Esplanade. During the 19th century, the Rector of the Pro-Cathedral was Father Allan MacDonald, a poet and Gaelic scholar. The present cathedral was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and constructed between 1932 and 1959.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is represented in Oban by the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, situated in George Street. It is one of two cathedrals of the united Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, the other being the Cathedral of the Isles in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.

There are several other churches in the town, including the Free Church of Scotland in Rockfield Road, the Baptist Church in Albany Street, Salvation Army in Stevenson Street, Elim Pentecostal Church in Soroba Road, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Lorn Christian Fellowship (Independent) both of whom meet at Oban High School and the Associated Presbyterian Church in Campbell Street. The Congregational Church in Tweedale Street was built in 1880.

A Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is located nearby at 57 Lorn Road.

Oban: Sport

Oban's proximity to the mountains and the sea means that a wide array of sports are available to visitors and locals, from scuba-diving to coasteering to sailing to mountain biking to winter mountaineering. Other activities of note in the town are:

The local amateur football team is Oban Saints with a small stadium situated in Mossfield. However, shinty is a more popular game locally, with two major teams, Oban Camanachd and Oban Celtic, in the town. The Oban Times runs a "Spot the Shinty Ball" competition each week. Oban Cricket Club was formed in 2003 and plays in nearby Taynuilt. Oban Lorne Rugby Football Club turned 50 years old in 2012, and competes in the RBS West region. The Highlanders were a World Wrestling Entertainment wrestling tag-team originally from Oban. Oban Golf course was designed by professional golfer James Braid in the early 1900s, and offers a challenging 18 holes across difficult terrain.

The West Highland Tennis Championships are held annually in July and attract some of Scotland's best players to the town. Past champions include Colin Fleming and Judy Murray.

Oban also has a thriving martial arts scene, with karate, kick boxing, mixed martial arts, and boxing all available.

Watersports are an obvious activity in a seaport, and sailing is very popular. West Highland Week brings sailors from around the world to the town every year. Scuba diving is also readily available. The wreck diving is spectacular, with the Sound of Mull offering some truly world-class dive sites. Although weather and visibility can be variable, the local geography means that a dive somewhere can always be achieved.

Oban: Town twinning

Laurinburg, North Carolina (United States) became a sister city to Oban in 1993. The initial agreement was between Scotland County, North Carolina, and Argyll & Bute District Council. Following reorganisation in 1995, the agreement was confirmed by Argyll & Bute Council in 1997. In 1997 Oban was also twinned with Gorey, County Wexford, in Ireland.

Oban: See also

  • Oban Times
  • Oban, New Zealand, a small village on Stewart Island, New Zealand, named after Oban

Oban: References

  1. Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-names of Scotland Gaelic Place-names of Scotland
  2. John Butler. "Pronunciation of Scotch Whiskys". School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 12 Oct 2014.
  3. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (1974). Argyll, An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments, Volume 2 Lorn. HMSO. ISBN 0_11_491147_9.
  4. "History of Oban". Oban Tourist Information Centre.
  5. "Oban History". The Gazetteer for Scotland.
  6. "Dunstaffnage 1971-2000 averages". Met Office. Retrieved 2 Nov 2011.
  7. "Oban weather records". Weatherbase. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  8. 2011 Scotland Census, Table QS211SC.
  9. "Oban Games - Information about The Oban Games".
  10. "The Corran Halls - Oban". Argyll and Bute Council. 6 December 2010.
  11. "Dame Judi Dench in bid to save Oban cinema". 17 February 2011 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  12. "Scotland the Movie Location Guide - Oban".
  13. "Oban Distillery - The Distilleries of Scotland - scotchwhisky.net". www.scotchwhisky.net.
  14. "Dunollie House Oban :: O, A, J".
  15. "Oban Pipe Band on top of the world". 20 August 2011.
  16. "Oban Gaelic Choir". www.obangaelicchoir.co.uk.
  17. Mullen, Scott (8 November 2011). "Fireworks company to put on free show to make up for display which lasted just 50 seconds because of computer error".
  18. "A SCOTS town's bungled firework display has become a YouTube sensation - after the £6,000 display lasted less than a MINUTE.".
  19. "Oban & Lorn Tourism Alliance :: Home".
  20. "Visit Oban: The Gateway to the Isles - Scotland blog - By Scotland Channel".
  21. "Kilmore & Oban Church of Scotland".
  22. "St. John - An Online Cathedral For St John The Apostle".
  23. [1]
  24. http://www.lochgilphead.org/CongregationalChurchOban/index.html
  25. "50th Birthday Celebration for Oban Lorne".
  26. "Oban Golf Course, Argyll, Scotland, Glencruitten Golf Club".
  27. "West Highland Tennis Week".
  28. "West Highland Yachting Week".
  29. "Gorey Town Twinning". Gorey Town Council. Retrieved 10 June 2014.

Oban: Further reading

  • Hughes, Mike, The Hebrides at War. Canongate Books, 1998, ISBN 0-86241-771-6.
  • Batstone, Stephanie, Wren's Eye View, The Adventures of a Visual Signaller, Parapress Ltd, 1994, ISBN 1-898594-12-0. Written by a Wren based in Oban for most of WWII.
  • Oban Airport
  • Oban Times (local newspaper)
  • Oban War and Peace Museum
  • Royal Air Force Oban
  • Anti-submarine indicator loop at Oban
  • Minefield control tower at Gallanach
  • ROC Group HQ Connel
Source of information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not responsible for the content of this article and your use of this information. Disclaimer
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