Size:

31.88 ha (78.78 acres)

Grid reference:

NM857310

Map reference:

Explorer NULL
OS Landranger NULL

Dunollie Wood is a wonderful example of Scotland’s rainforest. Hazel trees drip with rare lichens, mosses and fungi, bluebells carpet the woodland floor in spring, and the view over Oban Bay to the isles is something special. Take a stroll along the woodland edge path to Dunollie Castle, historic seat of Clan MacDougall.

Features

  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Dunollie Wood

Dunollie Wood is a 32-hectare wood in Oban. It stretches across the hills of Barra Mor and Barr Cruinn, with a small area of open ground to the north east of Barr Cruinn between the A85 and Park Primary School. It overlooks the town, Oban Bay and the island of Kerrera and is next to the route to Dunollie Castle and Ganavan Sands. It is immediately adjacent to the A85, the main thoroughfare through Oban.

On entering Oban from the north on the A85, continue over the first roundabout. At the second roundabout take the third exit to double back. The Corran Halls car park is on your left hand side.

When entering Oban from the south on the A816, at Argyll Square take the third exit onto Aird's Place (A85). Continue on the A85 and at the roundabout, take the second exit. The Corran Halls car park is on your left.

The nearest train station is half a mile away in Oban. There are reasonable connections on the West Highland Line from here to Glasgow Queen Street.

For more information visit ScotRail

There are regular bus services from Oban which stop by Corran Halls on the Corran Esplanade. From here there is an easy walk to the wood.

Facilities and access

There is a waymarked trail (white arrows) from Corran Halls car park through the wood. The path is mostly uneven and narrow with short, moderately steep slopes. There are also some wide, tarred sections of path, two kissing gates and two sections of steps near the car park.

Several of the steeper routes around the wood can be slippery especially when wet. Other than the waymarked trails, the trail entrances and paths are generally narrow. There is one additional gate if following the edge of the wood from Dunollie Castle through the field.

Pay and display car parking is available at Corran Halls car park (owned by Argyll and Bute Council). 

There are public toilets at Oban North Pier approximately half a mile from Corran Halls car park. There are also public toilets at Ganavan Bay, just under two miles from Corran Halls.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

In summer migrant birds like redstart and wood warbler fill the air with song. Some of Scotland's most iconic characters might also be spotted here, such as the secretive otter or the huge white-tailed eagle as it soars overhead.

Dunollie Wood is a great spot to watch for playful red squirrels as they leap from tree to tree on the lookout for hazel nuts and beech mast. Roe deer may also be chanced upon if wandering quietly.

The chequered skipper butterfly, a rare and delicate species only found in western Scotland, also calls the wood home.

Look out for:

Tree, plants and fungi

Dunollie Wood's annual highlight is the huge sea of bluebells that cover much of the woodland floor in spring. This visual spectacle together with the aroma of wild garlic really is something to experience. Keep an eye out for wood-sorrel and dog's mercury too.

There are also rare species to be found among the trees, including the hazel gloves fungus - a speciality of ancient rainforests. Look for its finger-like encrustations on old hazel trees.

Look out for:

Habitats

Dunollie Wood is a fine example of Scotland’s rainforest - in fact it boasts one of the largest remnants of temperate rainforest in North Argyll. Only 2% of Scotland’s woodlands are rainforest which makes places like Dunollie vitally important.

The woodland is being managed to restore and improve this special habitat, including the removal of non-native trees, shrubs and other plants that can cause damage to vulnerable features.

Look out for:

About us

Saving Scotland's rainforest

We're working to ensure Scotland’s rainforests thrive once again. As part of the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, we're on a mission to protect and enhance this globally important habitat for the special wildlife that depends upon it.

Discover how we're making a difference

About Dunollie Wood

History

Dunollie wood is owned by Clan MacDougall and has been leased to the Woodland Trust since February 2019. It has a rich history dating back centuries.

Viking runes have been found along the cliffs of Barra Mor, thought to have been carved by visiting seafarers sheltering in Oban Bay.

On the south-eastern side of Barra Mor there is a small burial mound. When it was partially excavated it was found to contain a tomb and cremation deposits along with domestic items.

On Creag Moraig a hearth and cinery urn have also been found which date back to at least 1750BC.

Things to do at Dunollie Wood

Walks

Explore the wood's waymarked trail, the Rainforest Ramble. The route also links to other paths through the local area for a longer walk.

Download the walking map for Dunollie Wood.

Volunteering

There is an active group of volunteers who help care for Dunollie Wood. Look for news of any upcoming work parties being organised while on site in the wood.