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 no Custom-house was deemed necessary until around 1760.
The modern town of Oban grew up around the distillery which was founded there in 1794, and 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, and interest in the poem brought many new visitors to the town. The arrival of the railways in the 1880s brought further prosperity, revitalising local industry and giving new energy to tourism. Shortly thereafter McCaig's Tower, a folly and prominent local landmark, was constructed, as well as the ill-fated Oban Hydro.
|Fast Facts about Oban|
|Population||8,574 (2011 Census)|
|Gaelic Meaning||The Little Bay|
|County||Argyll & Bute|
Exciting Events & Festivals
Every year Oban and the surrounding areas hosts various festivals and events, from the world famous Highland Games, the Winter Festival, the West Highland Yachting Week, the Music and Dance Festival and not forgetting the festival of the Sea.
|Oban Winter Festival||22nd November to 1st December|
|Highland Games||Late August|
|West Highland Yachting Week||Late July|
|Music & Dance Festival||Early May|
|Festival of the Sea||Mid May|
Must Visit Locations
There are plenty of things to do in and around Oban, from visiting our famous Whiskey Distillery and Mccaigs Tower monumment to dancing the night away at the Skipinnish Ceilidh House. Oban has something for everyones tastes.
Sports in Obana great day out for the family
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.
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. There are many dive operators running services in and around the area. 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 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 training facility, the dojo offering Kyokushin karate, kick boxing, MMA, Shukokai karate and boxing classes.