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Oban or Tobermory

Hi, We are visiting the Oban area for three days in August. We are not driving (out of the question, we have pity on the local Scots :-) )
Should we sleep in Tobermory or Oban? Where is there more to do?
Based on experience since timetables are not available yet, what is the latest hour theoretically we could travel from Tobermory to Craigmore to Oban?
Any tips on those areas are welcome!!

Posted by
18746 posts

I stayed in Oban and only visited Tobermory on a day-trip. Tobermory is really pretty, but it was a very rainy day and I only stayed a few hours. I believe Oban is quite a bit larger.

What do you plan to do while in that area? The West Coast Motors tours to Mull, Iona and (optionally) Staffa are ticketed from Oban. I have no idea whether the company offers something equivalent from Tobermory. If not, you'd have to find your way, probably via multiple buses, from Tobermory to Fionnphort, the embarkation point for the ferry to Iona.

If you're going to attempt Scotland without a car, you need to become familiar with the website However, for trains I used, because I saw some odd train results on the travellinescotland website--though that could have been user error.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, cgcrgx2,

Based on last summer's schedules, the last bus out of Tobermory for Craignure, that would get you to the ferry in time to catch the ferry to Oban, is the West Coast Motors bus 495. It leaves Tobermory at 3:45 p.m., arriving Craignure at 4:33 p.m. The next ferry leaves for Oban at 5:05 p.m. There is a later ferry (7:15 p.m.), but no scheduled bus that would get you there.

There is a lot more to do in Oban than there is in Tobermory. Populaton of 8,500 vs. population of about 1,000. However, Tobermory is lot more charming. Oban is more like a small city. There are lots of shops, two large supermarkets, and many restaurants. Tobermory has one very small supermarket, a few small shops along the seafront, a few very nice restaurants, and one of the best fish and chip vans on the West Coast of Scotland.

Personally, I'd go with Tobermory, but Mrs. A and I like to avoid crowds!

Best wishes for your travels, and for a happy holiday season!

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Be sure to make your accommodation reservations well in advance if you're staying overnight in Tobermory.

Posted by
4686 posts

Tobermory is charming and can be seen in a short time, as there isn’t much there. Oban has more happening - it’s more functional than pretty, but it does have a fantastic chocolate shop. I stayed in Glencoe when I visited Oban, but I had a car, which is much easier for this part of Scotland.

Posted by
1722 posts

The West Coast Motors tours to Mull, Iona and (optionally) Staffa are ticketed from Oban.

We stayed in Dervaig when we visited the Isle of Mull. It is in the northern part of the island, west of Tobermory. Peter, who owned the B&B, railed about the "cauliflowers". I was confused. That's what he called all the white haired tour bus passengers that day trip from Oban to Iona. The clog up the roads and bring him no economic benefit.

Tobermory is charming and the distillery is a great place to visit. I agree, it is a small village that is cute as a button but there's not a lot to do there. You can take the ferry from Oban to Craignure, then take the 95 bus from Craignure to Tobermory. If you have an extra day, it would be a nice day trip.