Kay McDonald, Town Ambassador and care assistant
Fun fact: Kay’s family have been in Oban since the early 1700s, with one side coming from the Isle of Mull and the other side from Ireland, and her tours are full of fun and fascinating facts, anecdotes and legends that reflect her deep roots and her love of the “Wee Bay”!
“I can’t imagine anywhere better to grow up and live. I like to think of Oban and it’s people as warm and hospitable, and welcoming visitors to Oban and introducing them to the town is what I love to do best. McCaig’s Tower is my favourite part of the tour, as it has a personal connection- one of my great-grandfathers was involved in the construction.”
Margret Powell-Joss, EN, GER, SP, FR; translator, interpreter, language tutor
From: Switzerland, moved to Oban in May 2008
Fun fact: Margret probably speaks your language as she offers incredibly informative tours in English, German, French and Spanish! Thank you for booking your tour in G/F/Sp early.
"Oban and its warm and welcoming people have long been my passion, which I feel privileged to share with my guests. My favourite stop on the Oban Walking Tour is the War Memorial and the large ice-age boulder next to it. Fingal's Putting Stone and the memorial evoke Oban and its people, their connections to the world, and the town's relevance through the ages."
Private Tour Contact details:
Tel: +44 07747 300 062
Nan McLachlan, Retired Bank Manager
From: Lanarkshire, moved to Argyll in 1982
Fun fact: A dairy farmer’s daughter, Nan is an active member of Clan McLachlan with extensive knowledge of the clan and Argyll’s history, so her tours are educational as well as entertaining!
“I love showing tourists Oban, telling of her history and legends and other tales! My favourite stop on the walking tour is McCaig’s Tower. I find the mystique surrounding how John S McCaig gathered his wealth intriguing - how, as a poor farmer on Lismore, he may have found buried treasure or treasure washed up on the shore, which enabled him to speculate and start him on the road to becoming a very wealthy man.”
Private tour contact details:
Tel: +44 (0) 1369 860771 or 0777 323 6205
Rhona McCracken, Student and tour guide
From: Taynuilt, near Oban
Fun fact: Rhona recently finished secondary school, and is going on to study computer science at university. But rather than take the summer off, she has turned her enthusiasm for Oban into a fascinating summer career!
"I love chatting to people on the tours and surprising them with unusual facts about Oban. My favourite stop on the walking tour is Dunollie castle - as well as stories of fierce battles between the MacDougalls and King Robert the Bruce, Dunollie offers a history of the first Scots arriving here in the 7th century from Dalriada which gives context to a lot of our local culture, including the Gaelic language."
Linda Battison, (far right) Cologin Country Chalets and Lodges
From: Bridgend, South Wales
Fun Fact: Married to a Glaswegian hotelier with a love of the west coast Linda moved to Oban in 1990 with her husband Jim after purchasing The Balmoral on Craigard Road. In the mid-90s they expanded their tourism business and took on a self-catering complex and country pub in historic Lerags Glen. A keen sailor, Linda's knowledge of the local islands and hidden beaches is often called upon by her guests. As a director of Oban & Lorn Tourism Association she has been at the forefront of improving visitor facilities and marketing the town as a destination so she knows all the best places to eat and drink!
"I spent 12 years working in the mad world of advertising and PR in London and met my husband skiing in Glencoe. He was also a keen sailor and he introduced me to the fantastic cruising grounds off Oban. I was smitten and within a few years he'd sold his Glasgow hotel and I'd given up city living forever. I am passionate about the area and its many attractions and love sharing my enthusiasm with my clients."
Private tour contact details:
Tel: +44 (0) 1631 569425 or 07857 429 206
Farooq Hamid, Property landlord
From: Glasgow and stays part time in Oban
Fun fact: After his daughter moved here to work, Farooq fell in love with Oban so he stays here part time, and he says that it is his idea of heaven - his enthusiasm shines through in his extensive knowledge of the area’s history, legends and attractions!
“I like it when people find out that there is more to Oban than a place of transit. Whilst all the stops on the tour are interesting, McCaigs tower tops them all with its quirky history.”
Michelle McAnally, Travel journalist
From: USA. Lived in Oban since 2013
Fun fact: Married to a Scotsman, Michelle is an archaeologist as well as a journalist, and having worked all over Scotland, is keen to share her expertise with her guests.
"I love sharing the story of Oban with people from all over the world, and especially enjoy delving into the town’s fascinating history and legends. My favourite stop on the Oban Walking Tour is the Dog Stone. This impressive sea stack is a real source of interest for our visitors, and they love hearing the entertaining Celtic legend about the giant Fingal and his huge dog Bran that it inspired.”
Private Tour Contact details:
Tel: +44 07918814581
Ann Fraser, Tour guide at Oban Distillery
From: Western Ireland
Fun fact: Ann met her Scottish husband Steven in Northern Ireland, and after visiting Oban, the couple decided to stay. Ann is tour guide at the Oban Distillery, and her expertise about the distillery is matched only by her knowledge about the town that grew around it!
“I am so happy to be able to show off this fabulous part of the world to visitors! There’s so much to offer here- stunning scenery, great food, big skies, important Scottish history and great people. My favourite stop on the tour is St Columba's cathedral- I love the story of St Columba, a monk of royal Irish descent coming to tiny Iona, and from there spreading Christianity far and wide, his considerable influence on his times, and then to look at and describe the imposing and stunning cathedral itself named after him… a great story!”
Private Tour Contact Details:
Tel: +44 07850255091