Known as the gateway to the isles, Oban is a stunning coastal town in Scotland that’s worth exploring from all corners and the best way to discover the west coast is by walking! Walking is one of the most popular activities for most travellers, as there are plenty of adventures, hidden trails and local hotspots to walk around. Also, being the Hebridean gateway and transport hub, it’s easy to hop on a ferry to another island, and join the number of explorers looking for a great day’s walking, giving them a taste of island life, culture and local history. We’ve listed some of our favourite Oban walks, or walks near Oban that cater to all types of walkers.
If you’re thinking of visiting Oban as a walking holiday, why not book a stay at our Oban sea view hotel? We welcome walkers, and we’re a dog friendly hotel, so you can bring your four-legged walking companion with you.
For a gentle stroll, you can enjoy a lovely 30 minute walk from our hotel to Ganavan Sands, a sandy beach that offers visitors great views out to Mull, Lismore and Morven. Two miles north of Oban along the esplanade, past the ruin of Dunollie Castle and Dog Stone, with a pavement most of the way, this is a fairly easy walk for all to enjoy. With gentle slopes, the beach has stunning views out towards Morven and Mull. With wonderful views the entire journey, you can continue your adventure by following the cycle path to Dunbeg or foot path to Dunstaffnage.
If you’d prefer a slightly longer walk, we’d recommend heading to Pulpit Hill and Gallanach. As you venture from our hotel grounds you will pass Oban’s charming town centre where you’ll see some of our main attractions, restaurants and bars. To reach Pulpit Hill, follow the signposted path that heads uphill from the south end of the harbour. You’ll walk through a hilly residential area before reaching the top of Pulpit Hill and the panoramic views that await. After you’ve enjoyed the views, head downhill to reach your final destination, Gallanach.
Less than half a mile off Scotland’s west coast lies the Island of Kerrera, an idyllic Hebridean paradise. To reach the island, you can catch the Kerrera Ferry from Gallanach, 2 miles walk from Oban’s town centre. Once you reach Kerrera you can walk the 10km circuit which starts and finishes at the main ferry port. Head south, experience the Sound of Kerrera and then head downhill where you can enjoy gorgeous views out towards Mull, Colonsay and the Garvellachs. As you wander the circuit you’ll pass the magnificent Gylen Castle which boasts spectacular Highland views and once you reach the southern tip of Kerrera past Ardmore, more incredible vistas await!
If you’re looking for great views with a leisurely climb, the mini hillwalk to Battleship Hill is one of the best Oban walks for you. From No. 26 it should take you approximately 1-2 hours to complete the 6km walk, there and back. Head towards Dunollie Castle grounds and follow the track up the hill before you reach the castle. The walk has a short distance of steep terrain before you reach the summit. This is made all worthwhile when you reach the peak as you are welcomed by panoramic views which highlight Ben Cruachan, the Isle of Mull, Lismore, Kerrera and beyond.
When you stay with us, you are spoilt for choice with walks around Oban. Just an hour away on the ferry is the Isle of Lismore. The name lismore derives from the Gaelic term Lios Mor, meaning the big garden, and that’s exactly what you’ll find when you visit this beautiful green island. Although the terrain doesn’t reach great heights, the island is filled with rugged, rocky landscapes as well as sheltered areas of verdant paradise. When exploring the island on foot you will be spoilt by stunning views across the water to Ardnamurchan, Mull and the mountains of Argyll.
To the north of Oban is village called Connel, known for the Connel Bridge, and the falls of Lora. The Falls of Lora are tidal rapids where water from Loch Etive drains quickly over a rocky shelf in to the Firth of Lorn and the sea.
Connel is also home to Oban Airport, offering flights to the Hebridean Isles. A flight can be worth considering if travelling to the further afield Hebrides islands for some more hiking, for example it takes just 25 minutes to fly to Colonsay, instead of 2 hours and 20 minutes on the ferry.
The Black Lochs walk near Oban is just over 10 kilometers (6.5 miles, 2.5 hours), and takes in the Connel Bridge, Falls of Lora, three picturesque lochs, all on some good tracks. You will even get views of the impressive Ben Cruachan, a dramatic munro at over 1,000 metres high.
A visit to the west coast of Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a hill walk. This Oban walk features a walk up a hill by the name of Beinn Lora, and takes in incredible views along Loch Etive to the mighty Ben Cruachan munro, and other hills in the range. Unlike a walk up Ben Cruachan, though, you are much more likely to get these views, at a more reasonable 308 metres elevation (just over 1,000 feet).
Parking at the Beinn Lora car park in Benderloch, you’ll be glad to hear the walk is signposted. Choose whether to take the red or blue route up, the longer Eagle’s Eyrie or the Coastal Climb, following the waymarker signs. Make sure to admire the views from the summit trig pillar, and a quick walker will be up and down in under 2 hours. A beautiful walk near Oban for any visitor keen on walking.
When you get back from your walk the adventure doesn’t stop there, you’ll want to take a look at things to do in Oban, restaurants in Oban and Oban places to see! If you’ve booked a stay at No 26 By The Sea, get back from you walk and enjoy a dram of Oban whisky from our honesty bar, and plan tomorrow’s adventure.