Oban and NCN78

I was in Oban for a hillwalking weekend with 3 munros on the agenda and a bike in planned for one of them.  Unfortunately I found myself in Oban SYHA as the others left for Mull and Ben More but with a bike and “virgin territory” there is always something to do!

NCN 78 is a route in the throes of building and planning, partially complete the idea is to link Oban with Fort William so I set off from the hostel to see how far I could get without encountering traffic.   The answer-Not very far!

I headed along the esplanade just as the Calmac ferry returned from Mull.  On road then pavement with some amazing views back to Kerrera island and Oban Bay.

Past Dunollie castle and then along to Ganavan Sands which looked to be the sight of an orienteering comp.  At Ganavan there is a large board erected by Sustrans with info on the route interesting but out of date/old unless there just has not been much movement.  I headed up the path as indicated on the board onto a tarmaced section which headed away from the beach and into the country and through some woods a pleasent stretch indeed with some short testing climbs.  The route then goes into the village of Dunbeg and wides a route through the streets of a village until it brings you out on the very busy A85.   

I continued along the A85 looking for an unmarked road which would take me back in a loop to Oban.  I found the entrance situated on a bend and crossed the road and headed up it.  The road led to a farm and although there was a couple of gates to open was in good condition and quiet!   I stayed on the track heading back to Oban and came out at the south end of the town near a golf course and picked up NCN 8 signs as I got closer to the town centre. 

Dist 10.6 miles climb 770 ft in 1:22:22

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Author: Jim Taylor

I am a 58 year old Scottish endurance athlete. I run, bike, walk and race. I have taken outdoor qualifications and coach others. I am the owner of and guide for Scottish bike touring.

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