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Out and About

Fort William is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Scotland, and it is easy to see why. The area has something to offer everybody, whether they are looking for outdoor activities such as walking, mountaineering, ski-ing and cycling, or simply want to find somewhere to have a relaxing holiday in some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.

Fort William is home to Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which itself is set in the lovely Glen Nevis, well known now as a film location for films such as Braveheart and Rob Roy. Further afield, there is the Ardnamurchan peninsula, most westerly point on the British mainland and an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Some 25 miles from Fort William is the town of Fort Augustus, where the famous Loch Ness begins, passing through the Great Glen to Inverness, 65 miles away. A day trip to Inverness, with a visit to the Loch Ness Monster exhibition at Drumnadrochit and nearby Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, combined with a spot of “Nessie watching”, is a popular day out, particularly with families.

Another day trip option is to visit Mallaig, at the end of the A830, otherwise known as the Road to the Isles. Mallaig is a typical west coast fishing village and there are some interesting places to visit here, including the Mallaig Heritage Centre and the Marine World Exhibition. Shortly before reaching Mallaig, you will pass some lovely beaches, known as the Silver Sands of Morar, and these safe sandy beaches are an ideal place for children. There is even a nine-hole golf course, Traigh, which is popular with golfing enthusiasts.

Fifteen miles outside Fort William along the road you reach Glenfinnan, with the famous monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the visitor centre there is well worth a visit. Alternatively, you can take the train to Mallaig from Fort William. This rail journey is generally acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful in the world. During May to October the Jacobite steam train runs along this route six times a week.

There are a number of interesting places to visit within Fort William itself, some of the most popular being the following:

  • Ben Nevis Distillery, where visitors can see around the distillery, visit the gift shop and have a coffee or a snack in the café.
  • Treasures of the Earth Exhibition, a truly unique visitor attraction of interest to adults and youngsters alike. Tel 01397 772 283 for details.
  • West Highland Museum in the centre of Fort William, which has a fascinating display of Jacobite memorabilia
  • Nevis Range Gondola which serves the ski centre during the winter months, but is also a very popular attraction in summer. It takes the visitor 2150 feet (650m) up Aonach Mor from where there are stunning views over Fort William and the surrounding area. Refreshments are available in the café.
  • Caledonian Canal and Neptune’s Staircase, a run of seven lochs linking Loch Linnhe and the freshwater lochs of the Great Glen: Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness

Fort William is fortunate to have a large number and variety of places to eat, to suit all tastes and budgets. We will be happy to advise you on some options.

For more information about Fort William and the surrounding area, visit the Internet Guide to Scotland 

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Glenfinnan Viaduct
Ben Nevis From Clunes
Camusdarach Beach
Red Deer Stag
Scenic View down Loch Linnhe

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Local Scenic Images Courtesy of Nevispix