Around and About Cologin & Oban
Working up an Appetite Highland Style
Loch Gleann a’Bhearraidh is just under one mile’s gentle walk up through the forest in the hills above Cologin and the views are quite spectacular. You can fish from the banks or take our boat out for a row. The brown trout season opens on 15th March and runs through until October. If you catch some whoppers please make sure you record them in our fishing book in the pub. The walk to the loch is part of a waymarked Forestry Commission trail through our hills and the gentle incline means that it is suitable for all ages and abilities – it can be muddy – you have been warned! Visit website »
Walking in our hills is a great excuse for working up a thirst. Not that you need an excuse to enjoy everything that the Barn, our very rustic bar, has to offer.
There’s plenty more to do in the area and a host of other outdoor activities including walking, riding, cycling (try the brand new national cycle route between Oban and Fortwilliam) and that great Scottish game – golf.
The beautiful and bustling town of Oban under 3 miles from Cologin deserves its reputation as both the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ and the ‘Seafood Captital of Scotland’. It boasts Caledonian MacBrayne’s west coast ferry port serving Mull, Iona, Colonsay, Islay and many islands inbetween. Its scenery is quite stunning.
As the largest town in the area, Oban has three excellent supermarkets, a cinema, sports centre with swimming pool, sailing club, bowling club, tennis courts, golf course, charming shops, its own distillery, a sandy beach and a great variety of pubs and fantastic restaurants. Take a walk up to the viewing points at McCaig’s Tower or Pulpit Hill – glorious sunsets and lovely seascapes to enjoy. New for 2012 – The 1745 House at Dunollie – visitor centre.
South of Oban:
From Cologin head south on the A816 to visit Arduaine Gardens – one of the Glorious Gardens of Argyll – an NTS property and adjacent to Loch Melfort Hotel the two combined offer a perfect morning exercusion with lunch! Further south visit the impressive museum at Kilmartin Glen or visit the ancient hill fort of Dunadd and follow in the footsteps of the ancient Kings of Dalriada.
Crinan Canal, a few miles along the road from Kilmartin village is also worth a visit. Bike hire is available to explore the canalside walks. It’s also close to the Beavers at Knapdale Forest. Elusive wee creatures but a nice walk even if you don’t spot them!
Head north from Oban and visit Loch Creran. It’s now on the national cycle route between Oban and Fortwilliam and the old road around the loch is practically car free as most traffic heading north uses the bridge and the more direct route. There’s some good places to stop and eat – Creagans Inn on the loch side and the Pier House at Port Appin looking out towards the nearby island of Lismore. Have a look at the locally produced Loch Creran Guide (large pdf file) – masses of information on things to see and do in the loch and in the surrounding areas.
Isle of Mull:
One of the most popular day trips from Oban is the ferry to the Isle of Mull. If you’ve got young children a visit to ‘Balamory’ is a must! Whilst Tobermory hardly needed a toddler tourism boom, the town has now accepted its starring role in the TV series. If you do go wear flat heels as all the Balamory houses are on the hill above Tobermory bay!
Isle of Iona:
This tiny island off Mull’s southern tip is a perfect spot to find yourself and this year the Abbey is celebrating a big birthday with the 1450 anniversary of Columba bringing Christianity to Scotland. The Abbey’s spiritual atmosphere complements the idyllic scenery. Take a Three Isle Excursion and combine Mull, Iona and Staffa for a trip that will stay with you forever.
About an hours drive up the coast from Oban is the Highland town of Fort William the self-styled ‘outdoor capital of Scotland’. With Britain’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis – and the munros of Glencoe there are certainly plenty of great walking, climbing, mountain biking and skiing opportunities.
The former ‘capital’ of Argyll, the delightful town of Inveraray lies just under 40 miles south of Oban on the shores of Loch Fyne. The current town was planned and built between 1753 and 1776 replacing the old town which was demolished to make room for the rebuilding of Inveraray Castle. The castle is open to visitors and is well worth a visit as is Inveraray Jail – a great place to take the family.