Gateway to the Inner Hebrides, the pretty town of Oban is worth staying a while.
Many pass through the west coast town of Oban on their way to the Inner Hebridean Islands—including Mull and Kerrera—without a second glance. But this seaside town set on a pretty bay merits more of your time. There are castles, gardens and beaches to explore, as well as a whisky distillery in the center of the town and plenty of pubs, cafés and restaurants. The compact town is easy to get around by foot and is linked to Glasgow and Edinburgh by bus. Campers choosing to stay a while have options, too, from well-appointed caravan parks to glamping pods.
If you want to experience a rural setting while staying close to town and the shops, pubs and restaurants, Oban Caravan and Camping Park is a great choice. The neat park has sea views from its camping and touring pitches, and also offers camping pods for those who seek a glamping-style experience. Three miles south of the harbor, it’s a convenient location for heading off on ferry trips to the Isles.
Nine miles north of Oban, on the road to Ballachulish, the little village of Benderloch is close to both Loch Creran and Loch Etive and a good base for watersports such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing. A small and friendly site, Highfield Holidays has hardstanding pitches for touring caravans and motorhomes and grass camping tent pitches, as well as a handful of fully-equipped glamping pods and safari tents with private hot tubs.
Twenty-five minutes north of Oban, the peaceful Appin peninsula is home to one of Scotland’s most romantic sights, the ruined Castle Stalker perched on a tiny island. The area is popular with cyclists, as well as boaters and windsurfers, and is the departure point for ferries to the island of Lismore. At the foot of the mountains Ben Churlainn and Ben Sgulaird, Creagan Station Tourers offers excellent views from its spacious handstanding touring pitches. Five minutes south, Oban Camping and Caravanning Club Site also offers grass pitches for tents.
For enjoying long, sunny days in the great outdoors, visiting in spring and summer is best. However Oban gets very busy with holidaymakers making their way to the islands in July and August. September is a good alternative for avoiding the biggest crowds while still being able to enjoy the outdoors. November’s Oban Winter Festival is worth braving the cold.
In Scotland, wild camping is generally allowed under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which permits responsible wild camping in most unenclosed areas. However, it is important to follow the guidelines and respect the environment and local landowners. When wild camping, make sure to camp at least 100 meters away from roads and buildings, leave no trace, and avoid staying in the same spot for more than two nights. Keep in mind that specific rules and restrictions may apply in Oban and nearby areas, so it's always a good idea to check for local rules and regulations before setting up camp.