Our journey up the west side of Scotland was an amazing geographical treat despite the fact it rained for most of it. We sat in awe and amazement as we passed from the lowlands into the dramatic mountains and lochs of the highlands.
We drove up the west side of Loch Lomand with the Trosach mountains majestically towering around us. Loch Lomand is the largest of the Scottish Lochs by area and is 36km (22.3 miles) in length but did seem much further. Alas every pull in there was on our side of the road had trees and bushes blocking the view of the loch so we didn’t get the opportunity to stop for a photo or two.
Having eventually got to the top of the loch we continued on north to our destination at Oban Camping and Caravanning Club Site and received a very friendly and warm welcome.
The site is not actually near Oban, in fact it is some 13 miles away but there is a regular hourly bus service from right outside the site into Oban operated by the friendliest of bus drivers I have ever encountered.
The site is within the walls of a Victorian walled garden that was originally used to grow Pineapples and other exotic fruits for the manor house close by. It later was used to grow more traditional vegetables for the market in nearby Connel before being turned into a caravan park.
Because of the wall all around the site it is well sheltered from any wind. Having said that every so often a gust of wind travels through the site and quickly disappears again. I believe it may be the ghost of a witch which is said to haunt one of the nearby roads just passing through on her way to scare some weary travellers.
The site is kept immaculately clean and tidy and the facilities are well maintained and modern. Wifi is available within the site although is not very fast. Mobile on the other hand is not good at all with no chance of anything above 2G if at all. The onsite shop is very well stocked with all the essentials and when I say essentials that also includes the necessary stuff to wage war against the mosquitos. Personally they don’t seem to have any interest in me and I only spotted two the whole time we were there but Ann seemed to be the dish of the day and they loved her.
Through the side gate just outside the wall and over a bridge is Sutherlands Grove which is part of the Scottish National parks and has colour coded walks and cycle paths of various circular lengths. The walks are absolutely fantastic and take you through the forest with well marked out trails depending how far you fancy walking and are all graded as moderate walking, I found them very easy going with just a few steep bits. Make sure you have your camera with you as not only is there some beautiful streams running over rocks and a good variety of trees and bushes but we did spot a deer a couple of times.
Oban is a lovely town that has grown up around the very successful Oban Distillery since the late 17oo’s and has a very impressive range of shops and restaurants. With the local fishing business Oban has become a very popular place for fresh seafood and is known as the seadfood capital of Scotland.
The distillery right in the centre of the town is well worth a visit where the tour will help you to understand what makes Scottish malt whiskey so very special and the great lengths they go to to keep to the original recipes and processes that makes each malt so special and individual. You will also get to try a very special malt straight from the cask as well as a dram of Oban 14. They will also let you keep the special glass you used in the tasting.