The Best Castles Near Oban

Oban, the Scottish town in the Argyll and Bute region of the country, is one of Scotland’s hidden gems and is often regarded as the gateway to the Hebridean islands. It is a stunning waterside town, that has a quiet and idyllic charm, that captures the interests of many tourists every year.

The town centre itself is a magical and enchanting centre for history, culture, and a friendly atmosphere, yet head slightly further afield, and discover a completely different side to Oban, that is lined with a plethora of wonderful and fascinating medieval castles.

This list will highlight the best castles near to the town of Oban, their key points of interest, as well as practical information, such as opening and closing times, as well as location.

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Where to Stay in Oban

Oban is the best place to stay if you want to visit the nearby castles. You can book a rental car, take the train or a ferry, to see the best castles near Oban.

The Scot: Located within walking distance of the seafront and ferry terminal, the Scot hotel offers modern rooms. After exploring the castles, you can relax in the lounge bar or go to the close-by shops and restaurants on George Street.
Book your stay here.

Dungallan Country House Bed & Breakfast: This luxurious, adults-only bed and breakfast guest house, overlooks Oban Bay and some of the Hebridean islands. This country house was originally built as a summer residence by the Duke of Argyll in 1870. Today it offers comfortable rooms with breathtaking sea views.
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Glenbervie Guest House: Located within walking distance of the centre of Oban, the Glenbervie Guest House offers comfortable rooms. From the guest lounge, you have an incredible view of the bay. 
Book your stay here.

How to Get Around Oban

The easiest way to explore the castles near Oban is by car. I recommend booking a vehicle through Discover Cars. They offer the best price, you can compare all rental car agencies’ prices, and you can modify or cancel your booking for free. Click here for more information on availability and the latest prices.

You can also book a guided tour to see the castles in Oban. Click here for more information on the latest prices.

As an alternative, you can take the ScotRail train. Click here for more information about train tickets. 

To visit the islands, you can book a ferry via CalMac ferries. Click here for more information on tickets.

8 Castles you should visit near Oban

1. Carrick Castle

Carrick Castle, located upon the west shore of the stunning Loch Goil, which is situated on the Cowal peninsula of Argyll and Brute in Scotland, is a stunning medieval tower house, with a fascinating history.

The castle is believed to have been built by the Campbell family at the end of the fourteenth century; at this point in time, the family was a prominent part of the local culture.

The castle has lots of interesting historical facts, such as the famous visitor of 1563, Mary, Queen of Scots. During the 17th century, the castle was left to ruin, and fell into disrepair; it was oftentimes occupied until it was sold to the Murrays, who were the Earls of Dunmore.

Today, visitors come to the castle to admire its history and surrounding scenery.

Where: Cowal, Scotland
When: 14th century
Style: Medieval
Open for visit: It is not possible to go inside the castle, but visitors can come to the area.

2. Inveraray Castle

Situated near to the town of Inveraray, in the Argyll country of western Scotland lies the stunning Inveraray Castle, a historic country site that is built upon the shores of Loch Fyne, which is the longest sea loch in the country.

The castle that stands today is built in the Gothic Revival style, which was a popular style of the time when work began in the year 1743.

The castle was designed by the architects William Adam and Roger Morris, who lavishly decorated the castle’s interiors in the neoclassical style, which were created for the 5th Duke of Robert Mylne.

Today, the castle is open to the public; a large collection of military artefacts, including pikes, swords and muskets, is also on display here, as well as many of the beautiful rooms.

Where: Inveraray, Scotland
When: 18th century
Style: Gothic Revival
Open for visit: Yes, for more information check here.

Check out more famous Scottish Castles here. 

3. Gylen Castle

Gylen Castle is a beautiful and historic ruined castle that is located on the island of Kerrera, in the Argyll and Bute region of Scotland.

The castle or tower house was originally constructed in the year 1582, and was built by the Clan MacDougall; however, it was only resided in for a brief period of time, before it was besieged and destroyed by the Covenanters, which was under General Leslie in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, in the year 1647.

Today, many people are attracted to the Castle, equally for its fascinating history, as well as its beautiful surrounding history, that truly captures the charm and eeriness of the Scottish Highlands.

Where: Kerrera, Scotland
When: 1582
Style: Medieval
Open for visit: Not possible to visit inside the castle

4. Dunstaffnage Castle

Located in the Argyll and Bute region of western Scotland lies the stunning, and partially ruined Dunstaffnage Castle, which is approximately three miles away from Oban.

The castle is one of Scotland’s oldest stone castles, as it was built in the 13th century; it was originally constructed by the MacDougall Lords of Lorn, and since the 15th century, it has been under the possession of the Clan Campbell.

Like many castles in Scotland, Dunstaffnage Castle fell into disrepair in the 19th century, and was not restored until the year 1903, by the Duke of Argyll, although it was never completely restored; today, the castle is open to the public and is under control of Historic Scotland.

Where: Dunbeg, Scotland
When: 13th century
Style: Medieval
Open for visit: Yes, for more information check here.

5. Castle Stalker

best castles near Obean Stalker Castle

Idyllically perched upon a tidal islet on the stunning Loch Laich, which is located to the north-east of Port Appin in the Argyll region of Scotland, lies the stunning Castle Stalker, which is a historic four-story tower house.

The original castle was constructed in approximately the year 1320 by Clan MacDougall, but the castle that stands today was built in around the 1440s.

During the Middle Ages, the castle changed hands multiple times, between several different prominent clans, until it was later abandoned in the year 1840, at which point it lost its roof. In the year 1908, the castle was purchased by Charles Stewart of Achara, who renovated the site. Today, the castle is open to the public and is a protected monument.

Where: Loch Laich, Scotland
When: 14th century
Style: Medieval
Open for visit: Yes, for more information check here.

6. Kinlochaline Castle

Built in the 15th century, Kinlochaline Castle is a fantastic Scottish tower house that is located on the Ardtornish estate, which is in Morvern, in the Highland council area.

The castle was originally constructed with the purpose of being a strategic defence, hence its position at the tip of the Loch Aline; it is constructed of 10 feet of sandstone, and is four stories tall, giving it a truly unique impression.

Sadly, the castle was burned down in the year 1644, after being besieged by Alasdair Mac Colla, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Again, the castle was later attacked in the year 1679 by the Archibald Campbell, who as the 9th Earl of Argyll, during a conflict, and it was later abandoned in approximately 1690.

The castle fell into disrepair and was not reconstructed until the late 20th century by Historic Scotland.

Where: Ardtornish, Scotland
When: 15th century
Style: Renaissance
Open for visit: Not open to the general public, as it is a private residence.

7. Torosay Castle

Located approximately a mile and a half to the south of Craignure, which is on the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, lies the wonderful and impressive Torosay Castle, which was designed by the architect David Bryce, for John Campbell of Possil.

The castle was completed in the year 1858, and is built in the traditional Scottish Baronial architectural style; it is enveloped by 12 acres of gorgeous and luscious gardens, that are adorned with several splendid terraces.

One of the highlights of the castle grounds is its Statue Walk, which is lines with 19 different statues, that are built in the styles of the Italian sculptor, Antonio Bonazza.

Fascinatingly, the oldest bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne was found at the castle, and is believed to been made in the year 1893, and remains in pristine condition.

Where: Craignure, Scotland
When: 1858
Style: Scottish Baronial
Open for visit: Occasionally, click here for more info.

8. Duart Castle

As it is known in Scottish Gaelic, Caisteal Dhubhairt, or Duart Castle, is a wonderful medieval fortress that dates back to the 13th century and is located on the Isle of Mull, which is off the west coast of Scotland.

The castle is believed to have been built by Clan MacDougall but later came under the possession of Clan MacLean in the 14th century. The castle faced significant military conflict over the centuries of its existence, such as in 1647, where it was besieged by the Argyll government troops of Clan Campbell, though they were driven away by Clan MacLean.

Today, the castle is open to the general public, who are fascinated by the castle’s rich heritage, impressive architecture, and beautiful interiors and grounds.

Where: Isle of Mull, Scotland
When: 13th century
Style: Medieval
Open for visit: Yes, check here for more information.

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