Oban is a small town with around 8000 people but due to its tourist industry provides a variety of facilities and services that allow students to enjoy an active social life. The town has a modern leisure centre, a public library, and many pubs, shops and restaurants. The Corran Halls put on a variety of shows, plays, music performances, ballet events etc. The stunning scenery offers access to nearly all outdoor pursuits and ferries can take you easily to many Hebridean destintions. Students usually find it relatively easy to gain temporary or permanent part-time jobs.
Look at the following websites for information about Oban as a tourist destination:
The Argyll & Bute Council website has information on services such as schools, transport and leisure.
Oban has a range smaller shops and supermarkets including Tesco, Co-op, Farmfoods, Lidl and Aldi. Boots, New Look, Waterstone's, Superdrug and WHSmith are all in the centre of town. Argos, Homebase and Pets at Home are just behind Tesco. There are also Charity Shops run by Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research and the local charity that has gone international, Mary's Meals, for all those bargain-hunters!
Most students and delegates for short courses or conferences stay in Oban. There is a regular bus service - operated by West Coast Motors - from Oban to Dunbeg, the village adjacent to the Scottish Marine Institute. Just catch the 405 from Oban and it will take you to us! Many students and staff choose to cycle to the institute and a new cycle track from Oban's Ganavan beach is a pleasant and safe way to make the three mile journey.
There is easy access to the islands through Oban’s Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal. There are also regular buses and trains running to Fort William and Glasgow, and connections from there to the rest of the country.
For general public transport information for Scotland visit the Traveline Scotland website.
There is also a small airport in North Connel, owned by Argyll and Bute Council, with scheduled flights to the the islands of Coll, Colonsay and Tiree. The nearest international airport is Glasgow International, which is two hours by car away from the institute. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow Prestwick are three hours car journey away from Oban.
Eating and drinking out
There are a multitude of places to eat around Oban, and the following selection is just to get you started:
- Piazza (Oban's Pizza and Pasta House) - North Pier, Oban T: 01631 563628
- Waterfront Seafood Restaurant and Bar: T: 01631 563110
- Markie Dans, Victoria Crescent, Corran Esplanade, Oban T: 01631 564448
- Taj Mahal (Indian), 146 George Street, Oban T: 01631 566400
- Light of India, 43 Stevenson St , Oban T: 01631 563728
- Waypoint Bar & Grill, Oban Marina (take free ferry from N pier), Kerrera, T: 01631 565333 (1 June - 30 Sep)
- Cuan Mor Restaurant, Bar & Brewery, 60 George Street, Oban T: 01631 565078
- Kebabish Curry House, George Street, Oban T: 01631 566885/563900
- Ee-usk, North Pier, Oban T: 01631 565666 (seafood restaurant)
- Oban Steakhouse, George Street, Oban T: 01631 562954
- The Lorne Bar Oban, Stevenson Street, Oban T: 01631 570020
- The Gathering Restaurant (Scottish Banqueting) & O'Donnels Irish Bar, Breadalbane St , Oban T: 01631 564849
- Paparazzi Cafe Bar and Restaurant, Breadalbane Street, Oban T: 0163 565421
- Aulay's Bar, 8 Airds Place, Oban T: 01631 562596
- China Restaurant, 39 Stafford Street, Oban T: 01631 563575
- Manor House (Hotel and Restaurant), Gallanach Road, Oban T: 01631 562087
- There are also several fish and chip shops in town
Sport: you will most likely be able to do any kind of sport in Oban you never dreamt of doing, as this is "the great outdoors". At the institute there are pretty much daily lunchtime fitness classes and many students and staff go running during their lunch break. Below are just a few clubs in the area; if you are after anything else, locate one of the more fit looking people at the institute and ask who to get in contact with for doing your particular sport.
- Atlantis Leisure Centre: Oban’s large sports and leisure centre with: indoor pool, fitness suite, health suite, tennis, squash, bouldering wall, basketball, Astroturf, sports hall activities (archery, basketball, badminton, 5-a-side, hockey, netball, table tennis, volleyball, aerobics, yoga, karate, kickboxing, gymnastics, athletics etc.
- Bowling: Oban Bowling Club, Dalriach Rd , Oban (next to Atlantis Leisure)
- Canoing: Oban Canoe Club (for all canoeist, sea kayaker or open boat enthusiast)
Climbing: The Ice Factor, Kinlochleven
- Diving: Scottish Sub-Aqua Club Oban branch, David Bleazard T: 01631 710801 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fitness: Face West Fitness, Energie Fitness Club Oban, Atlantis Leisure Fitness classes
- Fishing: start with Anglers Corner, 114 George St , Oban - T: 01631 566374
Flying: Connel Flying Club
- Golf: Glencruitten Golf Club, Glencruitten Rd, Oban T: 01631 562868
- Horse-riding: Achnalarig Riding Centre, Glencruitten, Oban T: 01631 562745 OR Lunga Riding Stables
- Kayaking: Sea Kayak Oban OR Seafreedom
- Outdoor activities: Stramash outdoor social enterprise T: 01631 566080 E: email@example.com
- Rugby: Oban Lorne Rugby Football Club, T: 01631 570268 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sailing: Oban Sailing Club T: 01631 563999 E: email@example.com OR Oban Sea School
- Shinty: Oban Celtic Shinty Club
Skiing: Glenshee OR Nevis Range
- Walking: Lochaber and Lorn Ramblers
- Amnesty International Oban (contact Dr Anuschka Miller)
- Bach Choir: contact Dr Bhavani Narayanaswamy
Benderloch and North Connel Amateur Dramatics Society: contact Linda Robb
- British Red Cross, Tweeddale St. , Oban T: 01631 562772
- GRAB (group for recycling in Argyll & Bute) T: 01546 604239
- Lorn Archaeological and Historical Society
- Mary's Meals, Craig Lodge, Dalmally T: 0800 6981212
- Scottish Wildlife Trust (contact Elaine Walton at SAMS)
- Taynuilt Gaelic Choir: contact Helen McNeill
- Oban Gaelic Choir:
- Bach Choir: contact Dr Bhavani Narayanaswamy
Oban used to have its own two-screen cinema but this has recently gone into administration. A community buy-out has been instigated and fundraising is underway - significantly supported by the Scottish Marine Institute.
- The Skipinnish Ceilidh House, 34-38 George Street, Oban T: 01631 569599
- Blockbuster (film and game rental), 123 George St , Oban T: 01631 565771
- Corran Halls (theatre, panto, music, ballet, conferences etc), Box office 01631 567333
- Mull Theatre, Royal Buildings , Main St , Tobermory, Mull T: 01688 302828
Tralee Rally Karting – 18 Keil Crofts, Benderloch T: 01631 720297
- Vertical Descents (canyoning, archery, fun yakking, mountain biking, abseiling): Inchree Falls , Inchree, Onich T: 01855 821593
- Lorn & Islands District General Hospital , Glengallen Rd , Oban T: 01631 567500
- Oban Police: 01631 562213
- Oban Coastguard HM: 01631 562685
- Oban Mountain Rescue: in emergency 999 ask for police
General practitioners and dentists
- Lorn Medical Centre, Soroba Road, Oban, PA34 4HE. T: 01631 563175
- Taynuilt Medical Practice, Taynuilt, PA35 1JE T: 01866 822684 (surgeries in Taynuilt, Connel & Dalmally)
- Shore Street Dental Surgery, Oban T: 01631 563006
- Argyll Square Dental Practice, Oban T: 01631 562791
- West Highland Dental Studio, Oban T: 01631 565050
- Argyll Animal Aid (rescue & rehoming) Achabeag, Cuan Rd , Balvicar, By Oban, Argyll , PA34 4RA T: 01852 300362
- Oban Veterinary Surgeons, Tweedale St , Oban T: 01631 562876 / mobile: 07733 482518
- Lochandubh Kennel: 01631 720 311 (Barcaldine)
- Scottish Episcopal Church: Oban Cathedral Church of St John T: 01631 562323
- Roman Catholic: Oban St Columba’s Cathedral T: 01631 562123
- Church of Scotland Centre, Glencruitten Rd , Oban T: 01631 562405
- Lorn Christian Fellowship T: 01631 710208
- Oban Free High Church , Rockfield Rd , Oban T: 01631 562154