Read time:6 minute, 17 seconds

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When the Highland Holiday Park asked me if I could review one of their seaview, spa lodges, I pictured a romantic week with my girlfriend, a little bubbly in the hot tub and breathtaking scenery.  Last minute, my girlfriend couldn’t come, so I took my 6 year old son and we still had a great time. It’s only 2 miles from my house but I feel I had a far more relaxing, enjoyable week than when I went to Egypt in February.  Egypt really made me appreciate the freedom we have in the UK, both as a woman and as a lesbian. 

Enjoy your own private hot tub!

Oban’s Highland Holiday park caters for all.  You can stay on a budget and bring a tent for under £20, bring your Campervan, stay in a heated camping pod or go for a variety of spa lodges.  For the last 2 years, LGBTQ+ women have flocked to Oban for Oban Lesbian Weekend.  The Highland Holiday Park has provided a peaceful, budget friendly alternative to staying in the centre of town. They have directed women camping to stay in the same area, so they can liftshare or cycle in together or ask that women bring a rainbow flag, so you can another lesbian who might be staying in a lodge. There is also a public bus on weekdays or a taxi is £7 – £10. 

Bring your tent if you’re on a budget or enjoy some luxury at the Spa Lodges

Oban is now becoming a Mecca for LGBTQ+ people all year.  Now that Oban is on the gay map with Oban Lesbian Weekend, many queer people are now realising that they don’t need to go on holiday to the big smoke to get a gay friendly welcome.  Oban has its own pride event, world class scenery, wildlife and it’s well known to be the seafood capital of Scotland.  

Maz Gordon enjoying the hot tub on a cold March night

I was surprised that on a weekday in March, it appeared that nearly all of its lodges were booked.  There were no tents but quite a few camper vans from mid week tourists seeking one of the best staycations in the country (in my humble opinion!).  

As I arrived some friendly highland cows looked over, clearly unfazed by my arrival or my big, friendly dog. The sheep and ducks in the field in front of the lodge added to its rural feel, yet I was just 2 miles from the centre of Oban.  The lodge itself felt luxurious.  They had catered for every eventuality.  The dining table looked over the bay.  The wooden placemats and sparkling cutlery made me feel like I should invest in some at home.  Normally when I go to self catering, after the first meal I realise that I’ve forgotten to bring washing up liquid and sponges.  It might be a little touch but saved me a trip to the supermarket, as all of these were provided.

Who would have ever thought that Oban would become a mecca for LGBTQ+ people?

The hot tub had its own balcony with an all weather table and chairs.  It was cold outside but who cares about the weather when you’re enjoying your own private bubbles with a sea view.  My son quickly pointed out that we had full privacy, “We could be naked, but we are not” he shouted!  It was nice to feel that we had the privacy to say what we wanted and didn’t have to worry about my floppy bits popping out of my bikini as I got out of the hot tub.  

Timmy checking out the heated camping pods

As we tested out the flatscreen TV’s with every possible paid for channel, there was a knock on the door and it was one of the staff with a doggie bag.  A towel, treats and poo bags.  What a lovely touch.  As you can see, Timmy earned his treats by posing on the balcony.  

My mum came over to enjoy the bubbles one evening.  She delighted in rifling through the kitchen cupboards, to find that every utensil she could desire had been provided. I delighted in finding that there was a dishwasher, which did all 5 of the pans we used to cook dinner with!

My dog Timmy loved his doggy bag. It’s the perfect place to take your dog on holiday

The two bedroom spa lodges sleep 4 people and unlike a holiday caravan, it felt like we would have had plenty of space if we’d had another two guests. When we popped into reception we investigated prices for the week of Oban Lesbian Weekend, 13th September, peak season.  Like most places, prices rise the later you leave it but last week if 4 friends hired a hot tub pod (a slightly smaller lodge), it would work out at around £130 per person for the three nights.

Our neighbours were highland cows, sheep and ducks

Reception also kept us in chocolate and had a mini shop, so if you’d forgotten any dinner essentials you wouldn’t need to pop into town. Even though the lodges were all booked, it felt peaceful.  The lights in the evening were the only reason we knew that they were all booked.  If you’ve got children, there is a lovely play park on site.  We also ventured up for a look around the heated camping pods.  These are the ones that look like heated wigwams. I was surprised to see a kitchenette inside and they felt quite spacious. 

Highland Holiday park also offering camping with a view if you’re on a budget

Many tourists in Oban visit the islands of Kerrera and Mull.  Kerrera is literally a 5 minute ferry trip away and Mull is around 45 minutes, so we decided to pop over to Mull for a day.  My mum gets a little scared on some boats but the massive Isle of Mull ferry takes over 900 people and cars, so she was quite happy enjoying the view.

We sailed past Kerrera and the Lismore lighthouse, then had a little walk through the fairy trails as we strolled to have lunch at the Isle of Mull hotel.  Even on a rainy day in March, it was idyllic.  It’s a small world, I had a feeling our waitress looked a little dykey.  The second time she came, she announced, “You’re from Oban Lesbian Weekend!  I moved to Mull after visiting Oban and Mull at Oban Lesbian Weekend last year”.  Maybe the lesbians really are taking over!  I confessed that as well as being the Editor for OutNewsGlobal, I do run Oban Lesbian Weekend.  I think I was as excited as she was, that more queer women are now moving to Oban!

Our living room with a view of the Island of Kerrera

Back in our lodge, the last thing I should mention.  These beds are amazingly comfortable.  If you get a spa lodge at the Highland Holiday Park, you may not want to leave.  

For booking and information about Oban’s Highland Holiday Park, CLICK HEREFor information about Oban Lesbian Weekend, CLICK HERE or here to join the OLW facebook group.

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Maz Gordon

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