Hillwalking? Why Oban & Lorn is the ideal base for bagging Ben Nevis!

Whether you’re a serious Munro bagger determined to scale each of Scotland’s 282 peaks over 3000 feet, or an occasional visitor to the summits, it’s always good to make the most of your time in the mountains. Multiple peaks in a small area makes for plenty of options depending on fitness levels and weather. That’s why there are few better places than Oban & Lorn to base yourself for some serious – or slightly more relaxed – walking in Scotland’s magnificent massifs. Here are five good reasons to make Oban your base camp next time you want to enjoy the grandeur of the Highlands!

20 Munros on Oban’s doorstep. For newbie Munro baggers, a stay in Oban provides an opportunity to get your endeavor off to a flying start. You could tick off a healthy 7% of the total number of Munros by scaling the 20 that are within a 45-minute drive of the town. If you’re already part way through this massive challenge and have not been to the area, then imagine the psychological boost those 20 bagged Munros will give you! And for those not intent on completing this major endeavor, well, there’s positively a plethora of peaks – above and below 3000ft – to choose from! Of course, the obligatory warnings always apply; make sure you’re properly equipped for the mountains and know how to navigate your route.

“The Ben” is also close by. Ben Nevis may be just outside Argyll, but it’s still close enough to Oban for you to set off in the morning, bag it and then be home for dinner – at least in the summertime. Likewise, Glencoe is easily accessible from Oban with its 11 Munro peaks, as is the Mamores range which itself boasts 10 Munros. So, add these to the 20 within 45 minutes of Oban and you could bag almost 15% of the total number Munros in a short order, all without switching your accommodation!

Gear up for a big summit push. In the internet age, many of us are used to ordering online and receiving our purchases within a day or two. But wouldn’t you rather buy your mountain equipment in the area you’re walking in while benefitting from the advice of local climbers who know the conditions? There are some great shops in Oban for your mountain and outdoor sports gear.

Accommodation – what’s your pleasure? From elegant four-star hotels to more modest yet still very comfortable B&Bs, there’s board and lodging to suit most tastes and budgets in the Oban & Lorn area. Whether you want to be able to soothe aching mountain muscles in a hot tub at the Oban Bay Hotel or rub shoulders with other walkers and climbers at one of many reasonably priced guest houses, you can search and scan the full range of accommodation here and don’t forget to check out the special offers and late availability pages.

Hearty appetites deserve hearty fare. With all that walking and climbing combined with fresh sea and mountain air, you’re bound to develop a ravenous appetite while enjoying the Oban & Lorn area. For a super-tasty takeaway or sit-in café dining experience featuring produce from the Food From Argyll cooperative, head to Food From Argyll at the Pier at Oban’s CalMac ferry terminal. For pub food you can find excellent choices both within Oban and a short drive away, including CAMRA's 2015 Pub of the Year Argyll, The Barn at nearby Cologin (well, if it’s good enough for Mick Jagger…!). As befits an area known as the seafood capital of Scotland, there’s no shortage of fine dining experiences to be had. If you really want to push the boat out, try Isle of Eriska Hotel where you’ll find a spa and Michelin- starred restaurant. Whatever dish you choose, be it fish ‘n’ chips on the Oban seafront or venison tartare in one the Scotland’s finest restaurants, you’ll find the local produce in this part of the world to be truly outstanding.

Find out more about things to see and do in Oban & Lorn.

Header photo: Ben Nevis looking to Glen Coe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.