There are so many reasons to Visit Oban this Winter. As most of the UK begins to hole up for the chillier months, the town’s crisp, fresh air tempts visitors outdoors to experience the Scottish Highlands in a different light. If the promise of warming whiskies teamed with glittering festive markets isn’t enough to convince you, read on for more reason to visit Oban …
1. Budget-friendly Prices
As Scotland waves goodbye to the warmer seasons, visitors can take advantage of off-season prices. Oban is no exception to this rule, with holiday makers benefiting from discounted rates and a more peaceful, crowd-free experience. If you’re hoping to visit Scotland on a budget, this is the time to do it! Just South of Oban, Loch Melfort Hotel has some great discounts on Winter dates.
2. The Oban Winter Festival
The most eagerly anticipated event in the Oban Winter calendar, the Oban Winter festival attracts both locals and tourists alike, all looking to enjoy some of the West coast’s most high-spirited celebrations. Running from the 15th-24th November, the locally built festival includes an ice rink, traditional Scottish ceilidh’s, Christmas markets, light shows and seasonal workshops.
Take a look at their website for a full list of activities here.
3. Magnificent Music
Distinctive bagpipe sounds and lively fiddles are often the first things we associate with Scotland’s music scene. However, during the Winter season, Oban expands its talents and invites visitors to join the town for a night of candles and choirs. On Friday 24th November, the Oban Gaelic Choir, Bach Choir, Taynuilt Choir, Lorn Singers and the Sequence Community Choir join forces to put on an uplifting performance in Oban’s St John’s Cathedral. The Oban Gaelic Choir will also be performing in concert at the Skippinish Ceilidh House on 20th November.
4. Unique Photography Moments
There aren’t many places in the world where thundery skies and blustery winds make for a better snapshot … but Scotland is one of them! Oban’s location on the Highland West coast boasts a rich, prehistoric landscape. Combine this with threatening stormy skies and you have the ideal setting for professional, dramatic shots. Oban’s Winter snows and glistening hillsides are perfect for travellers keen to capture Scotland at its finest.
5. St. Andrews Day Shindigs
As part of the Oban Winter Festival, Scotland’s official national day (St Andrew’s Day) is celebrated with a host of activities every year. The town puts a great deal of thought into delivering a true Scottish themed experience, giving the larger cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh a run for their money! Haggis hurling, whisky tasting, tartan dashes and local music are just a few of the events running over the day.
6. Oban’s Winter Wildlife
As most of Europe sees its wildlife go into hibernation, Oban becomes a hive of activity thanks to the Gulf Stream, where the water temperature rarely falls. Island otters begin their breeding season, and Winter is arguably the best season to photograph many of Scotland’s native species. Look out for the incredible mountain hare, which can be spotted sporting its new white Winter coat.
7. Haggis Hilarity
The Haggis. A dish so special that the famous poet Robert Burns wrote a poem about it! Head along to the Oban distillery on the 26th November and watch Argyll butchers and haggis makers take part in a haggis-off (yup, that’s a thing!) to compete for the Golden Haggis award (also a thing!). Onlookers will be greeted with a nip of Oban whisky and also get the chance to participate in the ‘people’s choice’ awarding ceremony.
8. Invest in the Future
A market with a twist; Oban will host their Young Entrepreneurs Market on Saturday 30th November, allowing the young business people of the town the opportunity to showcase their work and talents. It’s a great market to learn a little more about the locals and break away from the typical festive exchange.
9. Delightfully Dark Skies
With one of the lowest numbers of people per square kilometre in Europe, Oban is the perfect setting for dark sky viewing and photography. With the sun going down as early as 4pm during Scotland’s peak Winter months, there isn’t a better time to get outdoors in search of the stars.
When conditions allow, Ganavan Beach in Oban is the perfect place to see the Northern Lights (or aurora borealis). Your best chance to see this incredible light show is between October and March. Use the app Glendale Skye Aurora or AuroraWatch UK to get alerts on when the when the aurora might be visible.
10. Comfort Food Feasts
Hearty stews, seafood platters, creamy cakes and crumbly shortbread; the Scots are famous for using food as an exemplary way of seeing out colder days. In Oban the wet weather is a thing to be celebrated, encouraging the ingredients for the famous Oban Malt Whisky. With that in mind, Loch Melfort Hotel’s sea-view lounge is the perfect place to hunker down with a deep plate of tasty Scottish food and a wee dram of whisky.
Feeling inspired to visit Oban? Our Winter Offer is priced from £115 per room per night and includes overnight en-suite accommodation, a £20 dinner allowance per person and a full Scottish breakfast.