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Oban town guide

Oban, which means "little bay" in Gaelic, is protected by the island of Kerrera from Atlantic storms.

Beyond lie more of the Inner Hebrides; low, green Lismore, majestic Mull and further still Iona, Coll, Colonsay and Tiree.

McCaig's Tower, a replica of the Colosseum of Rome, dominates the skyline above Oban. John McCaig a banker ordered its construction between 1897 and 1900 as a memorial to his family and to provide employment for the townsmen. Dunollie Castle is a 13th-century tower house with splendid views over the surrounding countryside.

An easy day trip from Oban by hire car and ferry will take you to Iona and Staffa. The former has been the home of Scottish Christianity since St Columba stepped ashore in AD563, whilst the latter was the inspiration for Mendelssohn's Hebridean Overture - Fingel's Cave.

The Oban Experience, on Heritage Wharf, takes you back to the creation and development of the town as a port and railway terminus. You find out why Garibaldi, Wordsworth, Mendelssohn and Sir Walter Scott visited Oban.

Ben Cruachan is Scotland's Hollow Mountain - it is stuffed with the machinery and pumps that create the hydro-electric power. Go inside and see for yourself.

The Scottish Salmon & Seafood Centre is a working fish farm with interpretative exhibitions on the development of the Scotch salmon-farming industry and the life-cycle of salmon.

There is even a whiskey distillery to visit, the famous Oban Distillery, one of the oldest, it was established in 1794.

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