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To appreciate the coastal scenery of Oban, consider renting a bike and cycling around. They're available at Oban Cycles, Unite 9 Mill Lane (tel. 01866/822-736; http://rcscycles.co.uk). The cost is £14 per day.

Near the little granite Cathedral of the Isles, 1.6km (1 mile) north of the end of the bay, is the ruin of the 13th-century Dunollie Castle, seat of the lords of Lorn, who once owned a third of Scotland.

On the island of Kerrera stands Gylen Castle, home of the MacDougalls, dating back to 1587.

You can visit Dunstaffnage Castle (tel. 01631/562-465; www.undiscoveredscotland.com), 5.5km (3 1/2 miles) north, believed to have been the royal seat of the Dalriadic monarchy in the 8th century. It was probably the site of the Scots court until Kenneth MacAlpin's unification of Scotland and the transfer of the seat of government to Scone in the 10th century. The present castle was built around 1263. It's open April to September daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm, and from October to March Saturday to Wednesday from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Admission is £3.70 adults, £3 seniors, and £1.85 children 5 to 16. You can take a bus from the Oban rail station to Dunbeg, but it's still a 2.5km (1 1/2-mile) walk to the castle.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.