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The quaint coastal town of Oban, a hub of tourist activity in the warmer months weaves a different kind of magic during winter. As it dons its frosty cloak, outdoor enthusiasts and thrill seekers from far and wide are drawn to this picture postcard area. From wild winter swims with Dan the Merman, and quad biking through the scenic Argyll countryside, to invigorating strolls around town – there’s a chilly escapade waiting for everyone! Get ready to unleash your adventurous outdoor spirit as we explore the best winter activities in and around Oban.

How Do You Get Around in Oban?

The town itself is a pocket-sized paradise that you can easily explore on foot. Take a leisurely stroll along the bustling Esplanade, where the winter air meets the stunning harbour views, looking across to the neighbouring isles. If you need to venture a bit further, no problem, there’s a well-connected and efficient public transportation system. Jump on a local bus, or take a taxi to your starting point.

Dan The Merman

Dan the Merman: Dive into Wild Winter Swimming

Connect with the legendary Dan the Merman and take your immersive winter experience to the next level. Renowned for his charismatic personality and wild swimming expertise Dan offers winter swimming sessions in the invigorating chill of Scotland’s waters.

If you’re worried about the water being too icy cold, don’t be. Oban has a secret ally – the mighty Gulf Stream. As it flows northeastward across the Atlantic it brings warmer waters to the west coast of Scotland, moderating the temperature so that it rarely falls too much during winter. ]

Discover the therapeutic benefits of cold-water swimming amid some of Scotland’s most scenic landscapes. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned wild swimmer or a first-timer, Dan’s specialist guidance will ensure a safe and truly memorable experience. It’s a chilly adventure that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear.

Quadmania

Quad Biking Argyll: Conquer Winter Trails

Escape the bustle of town and venture into the stunning Argyll countryside for an exhilarating quad-biking adventure. Guided quad biking tours provide the perfect opportunity to explore the rugged terrain, dense forests, and rolling hills of the Scottish countryside, all the while enjoying the crisp winter air. There might even be a sprinkle of snow.

Quadmania in Dunoon, south of Oban is a 2000-acre playground of bumpy woodland trails and muddy farmland. Famed for being one of the UK’s most epic quadding tracks, it promises to satisfy every adrenaline junkie’s dreams. Harness the four-wheel madness! Dunoon is an approximate two-hour drive from Oban. The tours go daily and are suitable for children 12 years and older.

oban in winter

Discover the Unexpected on Foot: Strolls in the Local Area

You might be surprised to learn that Oban has been occupied since Mesolithic times, otherwise known as the Stone Age, and various sites reflect its distinct heritage and culture. History enthusiasts or those simply curious can enjoy a walking tour with a fully trained local guide, or take a self-guided amble following a QR trail.

An invigorating hike up Pulpit Hill is the perfect remedy to shed the seasonal cobwebs. Just a short distance from the town centre, the trail is well-signposted. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the bay and McCaig’s Tower which dominates Oban’s skyline. Enjoy magnificent vistas across the water to the neighbouring isles of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull.

If a longer winter stroll is on the day’s agenda, embark on a leisurely climb to Cnoc Carnoch, fondly known as Battleship Hill. Start the journey north of the harbour, weaving through Dunollie Castle grounds. As you ascend, a short burst of steep terrain leads to the summit spectacle – sensational views of the Sound of Mull, Lismore, and Oban town.

For fans of brisk beach walks, the Ganavan Sands route is the one for you. Just north of Oban, a quick 10-minute drive or a leisurely 50-minute walk from town, this is a coastal gem. The area is also a haven for birds and local wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled. The pristine sandy shores stretch for miles and offer amazing views of Morven, Lismore and Mull. It’s likely to be a tad chilly so remember to wrap up warm!

Winter Adventure Recap: Embrace the Chill

As we wrap up our winter adventure in Oban, one thing’s for sure – there’s a superb selection of activities on offer for those seeking fun and excitement. A perfect winter getaway of epic moments and lasting memories. Give yourself something to look forward to after the hustle and bustle of the holiday period. A short escape into the heart of the Highlands is the perfect gift to yourself (and we think you deserve it!).

Our hotel is the perfect base to set off for a day of adventures around Oban and Argyll. Find out about our Cosy Winter Breaks.