Oban is a small coastal university town with around 8500 people but due to its thriving tourist industry in the summer, its growing student population and as a rural hub it provides more facilities and services than its size would suggest.
Oban is connected via trains and buses to the main Scottish population centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh (both of which have international airports). A small airport at near-by Connel and the busy ferry port connect the town to many of the diverse Hebridean islands.
The town has a hospital, a high school, numerous primary schools, nurseries, a modern leisure centre, a public library, and many pubs, shops and restaurants. The town hall (Corran Halls) hosts touring and local cultural performances, festivals, fairs and conferences, and there is a two-screen modern cinema.
The stunning scenery offers access to many outdoor pursuits.
Many students and staff choose to cycle to the institute and a new cycle track from Oban’s Ganavan beach is a pleasant and safe way to make the three mile journey. SAMS has a roofed bike shed and a bike repair station.
Local bus services
Most students and visitors stay in Oban. There is a regular bus service – operated by West Coast Motors – from Oban to Dunbeg, the village adjacent to SAMS. Just catch the 405 from Oban and it will take you to Dunbeg – or occasionally all the way down the road to Dunstaffnage / SAMS – for as little as £2! West Coast Motors runs several other lines throughout the highlands.
Local taxi services
Several taxis operate in the area such as; Etive Taxis (01631 566 880); Lorn Taxi (01631 564 744); Tower Taxis (01631 569 999); West Coast Taxis (01631 563 777).
There is easy access to the islands through Oban’s Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal.
Train and long-distance buses
There are regular buses and trains running to Glasgow and Fort William, and connections from there to the rest of the country. For general public transport information for Scotland visit the Traveline Scotland website.
The Oban and the Isles Airport in North Connel currently has scheduled flights to the the islands of Coll, Colonsay, Islay and Tiree. It also offers scenic flights of the area in the summer as well as flying lessons. Private pilots and commercial charters from around the UK and Europe can also land.
The nearest international airport is Glasgow International, which is two hours by car away from the institute. Edinburgh Airport is three hours car journey away from Oban.