Ocean Explorer Centre
Ocean Explorer Centre
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Explore how our oceans work. Hidden in a small space is a treasure trove of exciting info you are encouraged to discover using an underwater camera, 3-D globe, microscope, Arctic tunnel, films, science gear and computers. A real 'edutainment' experience! It's the 'shop window' of a major marine research & education organisation and thus provides access to our blue planet's world of marine science.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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  • Stuart W
    Tywyn, United Kingdom216 contributions
    Great work and interesting exhibit (good for wet afternoon!)
    How can you not give this a 5 star review? The students and staff here are all giving us hope that the valuable work they do will preserve and improve the oceans in the future. The small exhibition (free to enter and park) is interesting to spend an hour looking around, and the cafe looked good (unfortunately we were too late). The receptionist in the centre was very knowledgable and enthusiastic. Please visit, and support (donate) to their work!
    Written October 8, 2021
  • Jane M
    1 contribution
    Small but powerful
    Spent a fascinating few hours exploring the centre. The films showed the work really clearly. Love the microscope. Excellent help from staff who were ready to answer all our questions. As visitors from a small boat to these waters, the displays showed clearly the microcosm below the surface. This centre should be an example to other research/education centres on how to promote & explain their work, providing a catalyst for future scientists.
    Hi Jane We are so delighted your enjoyed your visit and took the time to leave us a review. We are indeed fairly unique in being one of the very rare university settings which introduces the public to our work in a dedicated visitor centre. I am glad you enjoyed the microscope! We have just installed a new underwater camera and a sounds display and we have a visiting artwork. Do come back again. Best wishes Helen
    Written July 7, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 19, 2022
  • DavidDWilson
    Falkirk, United Kingdom108 contributions
    A little sea gem
    Was visiting a nearby castle when we found this. It's not shouting out that it's there but it's a great stop to find out stuff about our oceans. Great little cafe, ( very reasonable) staff very friendly. Some nice unusual gifts. When you see people dropping in and the staff know their names you know it's good.
    Written November 4, 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Laverdalemans
New York City, NY4 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
Brilliant educational venue. Please try the beach cafe, within the place. Delicious home made soup, and fresh food, served daily. Friendly, courteous staff, and very reasonable price structure.
Written November 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emma
12 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
We come to the area a lot throughout the summer and yesterday was the first time we visited the centre. Great for a rainy day, our little girl loved and it and we learnt a lot. Lovely friendly staff and a beautiful little cafe. We will definitely return in the near future.
Written September 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark
Bonnyrigg, UK2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Really interesting and informative displays designed to get you thinking. Hands on for the kids. If you don't go for the science go for the cafe. Feed the family lunch for half the price of most places in Oban. Quality service and presentation. Good selection of family friendly menu options. 10 minute drive from town. Try the cakes!
Written July 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

EmmaB0810
Edinburgh, UK49 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
This is the second time we have visited when we are in the area. Lovely friendly staff and aimed at all ages. Really nice little cafe for a bowl of soup afterwards. A must visit whilst in Oban for sure.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Janet O
France318 contributions
Jun 2022
Really informative displays and people happy to explain and answer any questions. Well worth a visit. There is a superb cafe with a great selection of food. We ate here on two occasions. Staff could do with some customer training though sadly!

There is plenty of parking and it is very accessible.
Written June 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Janet, thanks for taking the time to leave a review on Tripadvisor. We are delighted you enjoyed visiting our centre and that you had a nice meal in the cafe. I have noted your comments and we will try to do better. Unfortunately the cafe (which is run separately by another organisation) are under a lot of pressure trying to get staff in these post-Covid days, but as we pride ourselves in the OEC on excellent customer service we will make your views known. Best wishes Helen
Written July 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SECass
21 contributions
Sep 2015 • Family
This is a lovely wee place... it is not big but there were enough activities and displays to keep our kids (5&6) entertained for well over an hour. They particularly enjoyed using the microscope, doing the quizzes, the amazing globe and the underwater camera. We learned some new things as well. The staff were friendly and we felt welcome to stay as long as we wanted.

The facilities and cafe are very good.

It is also beautiful location, we cycled there from Ganavan along the cycle track and had a wee play on the beach. On a sunny day this was a great day out.

Remember to take cash because they don't accept cards and it is run on donations!
Written September 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

joannaA5689221
Waltham Cross, UK47 contributions
Aug 2018 • Family
Visited this place for a second time. This should be a definite visit for everybody in the area. So inspirational to what people do in this line of work, how we can help our planet, how the seas have evolved etc. Lots of interactive displays, lovely cafe with a shop attached. Amazing place for schools to visit.
Written October 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GillG767
Glasgow, UK171 contributions
Jun 2014 • Family
A fantastic addition to the area. This is a very small centre but really educational. It is interactive in parts e.g. my children loved the ipads which brought some of the exhibits to life and dressing up in white coats to look through the microscope. However there is a lot of reading to get the most out of it, so I would recommend it to families with older children (my boys are 8 and 12 so at a good age for this, but I don't think it would suit children under 8 or those with reading difficulties). I didn't expect this to be an aquarium but was a little surprised that there were no fish at all. The staff were lovely, very helpful and friendly.
Only downside is the café. The food was delicious but it was an expensive lunch for us as there were no sandwiches for children (only Dairylee Dunkers) so we had to buy four adult meals. We were told this is due to change though, so hopefully better children's meals are introduced soon.
Don't forget to pop down to the lovely beach afterwards. We were there on a beautiful sunny day but the beach was deserted. My boys loved exploring the little cave and rock pools.
Written July 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ruth H
Inverness, UK56 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
My daughter had been dying to go here so we took her as the weather had changed and was not suitable for another day at the beach. It's a small building right inside the SAMS centre which made it all the more exciting for our little girl. This relatively small space is packed with things for the kids to see, touch and do. The staff were great and on hand with assistance throughout our visit. They even had some tablets with interactive apps on them, that interacted with symbols on the display boards to unlock videos and other information. We actually struggled to get our daughter to allow someone else to use the microscope as she was fascinated by the fact that the water was "alive". It almost put her off swimming again - but not quite!! Even the cafe had lots of things to see and touch. The cafe provided homemade soup and sandwiches. My kids weren't particularly impressed with the dairylee dippers in the sandwich boxes and the sandwich selection was too fancy for my husband's tastes.
Written July 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

donKorat
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand239 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
We spent about 1hr there.plenty of free parking.free to enter but you can leave a donation.has videos of lots of things that happen and change in the oceans.very good for children me and my wife learnt a lot of things.is all very well put together so is easy to understand.has toilets and little cafe.lady on the front desk was very helpfull.
Written August 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Ocean Explorer Centre (Oban) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Ocean Explorer Centre

Ocean Explorer Centre is open:
  • Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM