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New & Old Hydro

Start point: Clocktower, Station Square, Oban.
Best for:Oban’s hidden history
Terrain: Concrete pavement, road and paths. Gravel tracks, but mostly very faint, grassy, uneven paths. Steep, loose ground for much of the walk, and close to cliffs.
Toilets: None
Distance: 2.9km
Total ascent: 105m
Allow: 40 minutes - 1 hour 20 minutes
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Step 1

From the clock tower cross the road towards the bank then go right along the road towards the roundabout. Cross the road over the island toward the Royal Hotel. Continue along Argyll Square crossing over two roads and keep following the main road as it curves slightly to the right. Soon you will reach a church; take the road to the left of the church. Follow this road then take the first left up Polvinister Road. Soon you will take a left up a gravel track passing by a metal gate.


Step 2

Follow the track uphill until you reach some waterworks. Stay on the track and pass to the left of the waterworks.


Step 3

The track peters out to a faint path; continue to follow this. At the faint crossroads in the path, turn right heading downhill on another faint grassy path.


Step 4

As the path begins to level out, take the path to the left which heads steeply downhill towards an open area. When the path forks, stay on the right path. Again you will reach a faint crossroads, turn right. Then at a faint T-junction turn right as the path heads slightly uphill and into the woods. Stay on this path as it then turns to the left becoming more steep.


Step 5

Once the path gets less steep, take a left and then left again. At a fork keep left and follow this faint path until it joins a more established path. Turn left along this clearer path and follow it until it terminates at a stunning view point. Take great care as there are sheer cliffs at the edge of this viewpoint. From here there is a great aerial view of Oban and to Kerrera, Mull and Ardnamurchan.


Step 6

From the viewpoint return to the main path which will be on the left hand side. At a fork take the left path, then at an angled crossroad go straight on.


Step 7

This path leads you to the edge of the old hydropathic ruins. Take time to explore these before returning to the path and continuing straight on.


Step 8

Before you reach the corner turret you meet another angled crossroads; take the left path taking you away from the ruins and back towards the coastline. Shortly this path comes to another crossroads; this time go straight on with the coastline on your left. The path becomes clearer and eventually terminates at the end of a small private road/driveway with some houses on the right.


Step 9

At the end of this, turn left down the very steep road; when the road turns sharply to the left, take a turn to the right. This road heads downhill, less steeply. Before the road starts heading uphill again, take a left along a tarmac path which passes between houses and affords a great view to the sea once again.


Step 10

At the end of the path turn right and head downhill on the road. At the U-bend take the path just beyond the road which heads downhill to the right. This soon becomes another road, passing the Rockfield Centre on the right


Step 11

At the end of the road turn right and continue towards the main street. Turn right at the main street then cross over towards the seafront and, keeping the seafront on your right, return to the clocktower.