The town of Oban's great landmark is McCaig's Tower or Folly, a structure that resembles Rome's Coliseum and which dominates the skyline. There's not much to see, apart from the exterior walls, but the views of the town and bay are quite magnificent and well worth the climb up.
McCaig's Tower is a prominent folly on the hillside overlooking Oban. The tower was built by local banker John Stuart McCaig in the late 19th century from Bonawe granite. McCaig's intention was to provide a lasting monument to his family, and provide work for the local stonemasons during the winter months. McCaig had planned for an elaborate structure, based on the Colosseum in Rome. His plans allowed for a museum and art gallery with a central tower to be incorporated. Inside the central tower he planned to commission statues of himself, his siblings and their parents. His death brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed. There is now a lovely peaceful garden inside the walls maintained by the local council.
The tower is a (steep!) 10 minute walk from the quay but is well worth it for the panoramic views, to be seen from the viewing platform, of Oban and the nearby islands. There are various routes on foot, but the most direct is to go up Argyll Street and on the left beside the church climb the set of steps known as Jacob's Ladder, which lead to Ardonnel Terrace. Turn left here and the tower soon comes into view and is well signposted. You can also drive up the hill and park your car in the car park just below the tower.
on 06/09/2011 Debbie Preston
Steep walk but worth it, nicely kept gardens and fantastic veiws