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Top 10 to do in Oban

From Mountain Biking to Castle, find out the Top 10 to do in Oban on your next travel adventure to Scotland’s West Coast.

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“Wow check out that view. Wait, look over there” punctuated the air around every corner as I tried to focus on the road as we took in the views on our drive from Edinburgh to Oban. 

As we crested the final hill and wound down into Oban itself we couldn’t get over the beauty of the area. What a fantastic location and setting for a quick getaway only 2.5 hours drive from Edinburgh on the west coast of Scotland.

Arriving late in the evening we pulled into the Oban camping and caravan park, located just a couple of miles south of Oban overlooking the water, and were immediately told that my company car with its sign writing was not welcome. Not that they hated our business, it was just a policy to not allow commercial vehicles on site. We weren’t the only ones either.

We were allowed to set up our campsite and then park a half mile down the road and wander back along the country road. A reasonable request and one we had to obey anyway as all the other places were full! 

A quick trip back into town saw us at Ee-Usk Pizza restaurant for a fantastic zuchinni starter and yum pastas. Highly recommend checking it out on the pier with some great views over the harbour and amazing staff who squeezed us in before the kitchen closed. Although we do advise booking ahead as they get very busy.

Island of Kerrera across the harbour

We woke to a warm but overcast day. Perfect for exploring the wee Island of Kerrera on our mountain bikes.

Kerrera is located just a short 5 min ferry ride (£5 return) from the ramp near the campground and runs basically every half hour. Unless he has stopped for lunch at 12, then its good luck or a swim.

Unfortunately he can also only take a dozen at a time so be prepared to wait a trip if its a nice weekend like we did.

The only cars allowed on the Island are owned by the approximate 30 locals. But there is no reason for one anyway as the entire Island of Kerrera is only 6 miles long so can easily be walked in a few hours.

We decided to take in the northern tip first to check out the Obelisk which is visible from Oban and is a memorial dedicated to David Hutcheson, founder of the steamer company. Although it all appears to be private land, the locals didn’t mind us biking everywhere provided that, as in any rural setting, you make sure you shut every gate you go through.

I wouldn’t recommend taking a bike that isn’t a half decent mountain bike as it does get rough in patches although nothing was unrideable.  Just watch out for the sheep raisins on the ground flicking up leaving a nice trail up your back!

Biking on Kerrera with Oban in the background

After the monument we took a wrong turn and ended up biking through chest high bracken and carrying our bikes up a mental hill. Good times…

I just wish I had a towel for a swim and cool down in the crystal clear water.  I’m sure I would’ve regretted it but will remember to pack a travel sized one next time we travel.

We ended up cruising along the coastal road to take in Gylen Castle.  It was abandoned in 1647 after Cromwell’s forces laid seige to it.  We are suckers for a castle and this was no exception with it perched high on the cliffs overlooking the sheltered bays.

Could just imagine staying there many moons ago.

Final stop was the tea house for a tasty and well deserved homemade banana chocolate and pineapple cake with ice cold orange juices to wash it down.  We missed the ferry by seconds and were rewarded with a short sharp downpour, but it was nice to cool off.

Absolutely buggered so fish and chips were the call on the pier at the reasonably priced tasty Cuan Mor restaurant.

Gylen Castle

Rain. The only downside to camping in a ten year old tent. 

Adela held her doubts about the weather-proofness of said tent while I assured her if it leaked we would just jump in the car, unfortunately still 1 mile down the road since we couldn’t park on site. I could just imagine how fun that would be at 3 in the morning.

4.30am in the morning and “Cole its leaking!”. A single drop had managed to squeeze through and plopped on Adela’s cheek. I groggily told her just to shift over a bit. The tent held and we slept on.

As it was absolutely pouring in the morning we made a quick getaway from the campground and hit the tourist route. We managed to fit in MacCaig Tower with stunning views over Oban and is a must, even if the climb up is a steep one.

Along the coast, within a short walk or cycle is the overgrown Dunollie Castle perched on the northern entrance of the harbour. 

Following another tasty feed, this time at Dolce Vita cafe for a big brekky and amazing deluxe hot chocolate we took off back to Edinburgh. The final stop being Dunstaffnage Castle (15 mins out of Oban) which is great for getting up on top of the battlements to look over the harbour. An indomitable structure that was built over 800 years ago on the skinny peninsular.

Its amazing to think that NZ was not even inhabited then!

Dunollie Castle in the rain

In Summary – The Top 10 to do in Oban :

  1. A walk or cycle on the Island of Kerrera (even if its only for the cakes at the end);
  2. Fish and Chips on the pier as it is billed as the seafood capital of the world;
  3. Dunollie Castle;
  4. MacCaig’s Tower with its stunning views out to the other Islands and over Oban;
  5. Dunstaffnage Castle;
  6. A cycle along the coastline taking in the secluded beaches including Ganavan Beach;
  7. The Oban Distillery for a wee dram;
  8. Sea kayaking (which we planned to do on Sunday if it didn’t rain);
  9. Relax with no worries;
  10. And last but not least… The Island of Kerrera (it’s so good it gets on here twice).
If you have been to Oban then let us know your Top 10 to do in Oban in the comments below.
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Adventure Travel

5 UK festivals to visit this summer

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The UK is so beautiful in the summer, why go abroad when you have thousands of fun things to do right here? People travel from all over the world to see our beautiful country, so get to know the UK better.

These are some of my favourite festivals for summer 2018. They are family friendly with entertainment for both parents and children.

BLISSFIELDS 5-8 July 2018 | Winchester. Whilst you’re getting your groove on, your children will enjoy making woodland fancy dress costumes in the Angel Gardens Family Area, having paint fights and dancing their socks off at the onesie disco and everyone’s in their happy place. Address: Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott, SO21 3BL  Website: blissfields.co.uk Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £100; youths £85

LATITUDE 13-15 July 2018 | Suffolk. Latitude must be the closest grown-ups can get to a real festival experience with the kiddies. You can enjoy yourself while your cuties hang out in the Enchanted Garden where there’s circus skills classes, screen printing and wildlife craft sessions. Address: Henham Park, Nr Southwold, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 8AN  Website: latitudefestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £197; accompanied teens from £132.50; children from £15

GIVE 13-16 July 2018 | Leicestershire. This tiny celebration of soul, house, funk, reggae and blues, grew out of a series of club nights started by a gang of warehouse ravers in the 80s. While it is not a family festival, many regulars now bring their kids, who love it. This year, watch British Soul singer Corrina Greyson and then head to the treehouse, bouncy castle, karaoke and magic forest schools. Address: Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6DH  Website: houseofhoney.org Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £175; under 18s £55; under 13s £30

DEER SHED FESTIVAL 20-22 July 2018 | North Yorkshire. Kick off the school holidays with this weekend of fun at Baldersby Park in Yorkshire, combining music, cabaret, comedy, theatre, book readings, family films, science workshops and lots of scampering in the woods. Address: Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire YO7 3BZ Website: deershedfestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £135; 6-15 year olds £45; 3-5 £10; 0-2 free

CURIOUS ARTS FESTIVAL 20-22 July 2018 | Hampshire. It’s all snail racing, midnight bat walks and bee-keeping lessons at the Curious Arts Festival, in the grounds of stately Pylewell Park. The film and poetry workshops for kids are a must. Address: Pylewell Park, East End, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 5SJ  Website: curiousartsfestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £128; 5-13 year olds £23; under 5s free.

Sometimes one can get tired of driving all over the country to the festival of your choice, then you also have to think about how much alcohol you consumed the night before and whether or not you’re ok to drive. Why not ‘coach it’? Travelling by coach means you don’t have to worry about driving at all, you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the ride. Click here for some excellent discount offers and have a fabulous festival summer!

 

 

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Adventure Travel

Exploring Hawaii: A Guide

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There are said to currently be 195 countries in the world, and each has its own unique qualities and possesses its own beauty. Amongst them, one of the most popular destinations has to be the breath-taking Hawaii. This beautiful state has eight major islands and is surrounded by clear seas and white sands making it a perfect destination for the beach lovers. In the instance that you’ve been thinking about going to Hawaii or are curious about what exactly it has to offer, you’re going to find out a few interesting things about Hawaii in the following guide.

Helicopter Tour to see Kauai Landscapes

If you enjoy seeing things from a bird’s eye point of view, then you should think about trying a helicopter ride. There are endless beautiful landscapes and unforgettable views for you to see, with the Kauai landscapes being among them. It may also be interesting to know that many of the amazing scenes that you saw if you ever watched Jurassic Park were shot there. If you do decide to go on a helicopter tour, you’ll be able to see the astonishing waterfalls amongst many other views.

Kaanapali Beach

Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and Kaanapali beach is definitely a sight to behold. There is plenty of space to surf and sunbathe for those who are interested in pure relaxation. In case you want to do a little snorkeling, you should know that the waters are shallow and there’s also the possibility of seeing whales off the coast. In terms of accommodation, you could look for a nearby hotel or consider exploring different Maui Beach vacation rentals until you find one that suits your preferences and needs if you want something more personal.

Catamaran Snorkeling Excursion

For those who enjoy the mystique world beneath the seas, you may want to consider going snorkeling. If you’ve never been snorkeling before, it’s your chance to swim with all of the sea creatures and experience it firsthand. Some things that you can expect to see are exotic colorful fish, sea turtles, as well as dolphins. It is a chance to experience the Hawaiian waters in an intimate way and also an experience you’re likely to never forget.

Haleakala National Park

Another thing you can get up to in Hawaii is visiting the Haleakala National Park. This is home to the world’s largest dormant volcano. One of the most popular spots there happens to be the mountain which is 10,000 feet above sea level. Planning your visit in the morning would also make it special as you’d be able to see the sunrise which is said to be a beautiful sight. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you can then go down towards the mouth of the volcano. You can also visit the park’s most popular trail, Pipiwai, and take some stunning photo’s while you’re there.

Hawaii is one of the most popular vacation destinations, and it has been for a few years. This could be a result of the stunning beaches, many activities, or local culture. For these reasons, it is definitely a spot worth visiting in the near future.

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Adventure Travel

Why Should You Choose A Couple Resort as a Romantic Getaway

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There’s no point in planning a couple’s holiday retreat if you aren’t choosing a place that speaks of romance. Different couples have different tastes, some prefer long drives while some are into adventures. A majority of couples also turn to beaches or pick places that are known for calmness and quiet.

This is why it is important to know what your partner prefers so that you can choose a destination that fits everyone. This may be difficult, but what if there was a place that offered all of the above mentioned things? There is. A resort can offer you all this and much more.

You just have to find the best resort for the family and you are good to go. Remember that not all resorts are created same. For example, some are close to the beach while some are not. You need to find a resort that offers all the activities you are interested in so that you can have a great time when you go for a holiday with your partner.

Without much ado, let’s have a look at why you should go to a resort when you plan a picnic in the future:

Excursions Included

If you are looking for memory making adventures as a couple then a couples resort is your best bet. Most resorts have their own excursions that you can opt for. This removes the need to find travel agents as you can book all that you need from the comfort of your room just by dialing the reception.

You can experience heart pumping activities like snorkeling, boat rides, jet ski and a lot more.

There’s no need to panic or worry if you haven’t gone through any of these activities before as you will be provided with safety equipment and training before you embark on your journey.

While all these are adventurous options, this is not all that a resort offers. You can enjoy other activities as well such as a couples massage and other relaxing activities.

Most top class resorts have their own spas where you can relax and allow your mind and body to soothe.

Top-Class Meals

Meals are the soul of a holiday trip and bad meals can definitely ruin your adventure by ruining your mood. However, couple resorts are said to have trained and top notch chefs who know how to make the diners go wow with their cooking skills. There’s a wide variety of foods available at a couple’s resort.

You can look at the available menu before you book a resort so that you know what kind of food you will get at the resort. Many resorts offer all-inclusive deals where you pay a lump sum for your stay and food. This is a good option as it takes the burden off your shoulder and allows you to relax without any worries.

Romantic Spots

What’s your definition of a romantic spot? Sunbathing under an umbrella? Getting drenched in a jacuzzi with your partner? Expressing love on a boat while you’re in the middle of the sea? A couples resort can make all your romantic wishes come true and get you two connected like never before.

Let the receptionist know of your plan and they will make it happen for you. Plus, if you go for a couple resort you will be able to enjoy intimate moments without any trouble as they understand the importance of privacy and will provide you with all that you need.

Pack your bags and start planning your next trip tomorrow. The key lies in being on the same page as your partner and planning in advance so that you do not only save money, but also make every moment count.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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