With Barcaldine Castle being nestled in a breath taking and picturesque landscape just 9 miles north of Oban, we thought we’d share ten reasons why you should add Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June to your summer calendar so you don’t miss ObanLIVE 2018
1) Popularity – The music event was first founded in 2016 when 98% of the 6000 people from all over the world who attended the open-air concert ‘DECADE’ – a 10th anniversary celebration of the trad-fusion band Skerryvore – the previous year called for it to become an annual event. All those people must have been on to something good!
2) Atmosphere – ‘An t-Oban’ may translate to ‘The Little Bay’ in Scottish Gaelic but Oban is still the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William. During tourism season the humble town can expect up to 25,000 visitors – and ObanLIVE is bound to attract scores of music and culture fans – wouldn’t you like to be part of such an infectiously fun atmosphere?!
3) Venue – Not only has Mossfield Stadium served as an ideal venue for ObanLIVE 2016 and 2017, it also has some great history behind it, earning itself a reputation for being a famous Shinty ground. (Similar to hockey but with taller goal posts, Shinty is a Scottish twelve-a-side game originating from the Irish sport, ‘Hurling’).
4) Line Up – As diverse and talented line up awaits you! From contemporary Celtic band, Skipinnish, who have enjoyed a brilliant year in 2017 headlining some of Britain’s biggest festivals, to gifted guitar, harmonica and trumpet player, Susan O’Neill, the line-up for ObanLIVE 2018 is guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s musical palette.
5) Fringe Events & Sightseeing – With the gates to ObanLIVE 2018 not opening until 4pm each day, it’s not all nightlife. There are great opportunities to explore the beautiful bay of Firth of Lorn and even the Island of Kerrera (be sure to check out the ruins of Gylen Castle) and mountains walks up Morvern and Ardgour.
If you’re a fan of malt whisky you could pay a visit to Oban Distillery. If you appreciate iconic landmarks you could also visit McCaig’s Tower, a prominent fixture on the Oban horizon. To embrace your inner dare devil and sea life lover you could embark on a Basking Shark Scotland day tour!
6) Local Cuisine – Known universally as the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’, if you’re a fan of fish food you’re sure to be in your element when you visit Oban with many fresh fish and shellfish making an appearance on restaurant menus and the mussels and oysters from Argyll considered to be among the best in Scotland.
A variety of food vendors and a bar will be inside the festival venue.
7) Open to Everyone – ObanLIVE is a wheelchair accessible event (though caution should be taken if conditions get muddy) and children are welcome if accompanied by a ticket holding adult (a maximum of 4 children per adult) – so everyone can enjoy the fun that the festival promises!
8) Convenient – Whilst there is no parking at the venue or on nearby roads, there is parking available in Oban town. It is recommended that you walk the ObanLIVE trail and take the short walk to Mossfield Stadium. A special late-night bus service will operate at 00:15am over both festival nights for people travelling home to Glasgow after the music festival.
9) Summer Fun – A festival is always a great way to let your hair down and enjoy being outdoors, especially when it’s a Scottish festival boasting all the great bands, artists, food and sightseeing already mentioned!
10) A Memorable Stay – If you choose to book a stay at Barcaldine Castle – which dates back to 1609 – we’ll ensure you’ll enjoy a luxurious and unforgettable stay.
As we mentioned last month, although our rooms are luxurious, and our castle grounds are beautiful, it would be a waste to visit Oban and not venture out and visit new places. Following our February Part 1 Guide of things to do and see when you stay at Barcaldine Castle, here are even more ideas to get you excited for your visit!
Battles, Chapels & Royals
Built in the 13th century, at the height of the battle between Scotland and Norway for the control of the Hebrides, Dunstaffnage Castle is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland and was in royal hands until 1469.
You can climb up to the battlements to take in the strategic positioning of the stronghold, stand in awe of the curtain walls, search for the 13th-century chapel in the trees or snoop around the three-storey gatehouse!
Dunstaffnage Castle is a 15-minute drive from us. Why not visit when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!
Tickets start from £3.60pp for Dunstaffnage Castle. The castle is open 10:00am-4:00pm every day except Thursday and Friday.
Address: Dunbeg, By Oban, Argyll, PA37 1PZ
Strolls, Cycles & Horse Rides
Ideal for short walks, cycling and horse-riding, Fearnoch Forest is less than a 20-minute drive from us, so why not visit here when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!
You can take a wander around the scenic woodland and its fantastic network of peaceful forest roads?
There are two walking trails to choose from:
1) Ceum Nan Seagan:
Described on the website as: “wide, firm gravel surface throughout. Long moderate slopes with some short, fairly steep sections,” the trail is around 1.75 miles/2km, so allow at least 45 minutes!
2) Tri Drochaidean:
Described on the website as: “Wide, firm gravel surface throughout. Includes some steep slopes and a wide bridge” The trail is around 2.25 miles/3.8km, so allow at least an hour and a half to complete it!
Address: PA35 1JB is the nearest postcode if you’re using a Sat Nav. The car park is at grid reference NM 968 321.
History, Stories & Magic
Hidden on the banks of Loch Awe you’ll find St. Conan’s Kirk. The Kirk is a 35-minute drive from Barcaldine Castle and it’s one of Argyll’s most popular tourist destinations providing an enchanting experience to both the local community and visitors of all ages.
During the Summer the Kirk is open from 9:00am until 6:00pm and 9:00am until 5:00pm throughout the Winter, however, it can also be closed for events so always check before visiting! From April until September, the Tearoom is open from 10:30 until 5:00pm. Entrance to the Kirk is by donation which goes towards the restoration and upkeep of the Kirk.
The Friends of Saint Conan’s Kirk are always happy to give tours to people or interested parties who wish to learn more about the Kirk’s rich and intriguing history. Please call 01838 200210 to book a tour, if you are planning to visit Loch Awe or Saint Conan’s Kirk.
Address: St. Conan’s Kirk, Lochawe, Dalmally, PA33 1AQ.
Waterfalls, Bridges & Trolls
Sutherland’s Grove is just a short 10-minute drive from us, so why not take a stroll when you stay at Barcaldine Castle! Its forest walks cover trails and waterfalls to bridges and streams– there’s something for everyone!
Why not enjoy a riverside stroll through Sutherland’s Grove?
There are 5 walking trails to choose from:
1) Giant Fir Trail:
An easy trail, described on the website as: “A wide, firm surface. Generally flat with short gentle gradients.” This trail is around 0.25 miles/0.3km, so allow at least 15-minutes.
2) Gorge Trail:
A strenuous trail, described on the website as: “A varied route with, some steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain.” The trail is around 0.75 miles/1.3km, so allow around 45-minutes to complete.
3) The Grove Trail:
A challenging trail, described on the website as: “A varied route with, some steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain.” Allow at least 45-minutes to complete it, with it being around 0.75 miles/1.3km long.
4) Troll Trail:
Not for the faint-hearted, the trail is described on the website as “Varied with some fairly steep, rough and rocky sections. Can be narrow in places. Often wet and muddy after rain. One bridge with a steep narrow flight of steps.” Allow 1 hour and 25-minutes to complete this trail as it’s at least 1.75 miles/3km long.
5) Lochan Trail:
A demanding yet rewarding trail, described on the website as “Generally firm, smooth and wide forest road, with moderate to fairly steep gradients. The start and finish to the route is narrow and steep, with rocky uneven sections, often wet.” It’s around 2.5 miles/4.2km long, so allow at least 1 hour and 45-minutes.
Address: The nearest postcode is: PA37 1SQ
Sand, Sea & Possible Sun
Quiet beach in Oban with lots of surrounding greenery and just a 5-minutes’ drive from us, perfect for when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!
Tralee Beach has sand dunes at one end and shingles at the other. There is a signposted footbath Benderlock and is just a short walk from the town where there’s a car park amongst cafes and shops.
Take a look at our other blog posts to find great places to go, and things to do, when you stay at Barcaldine Castle!