Fort William, West Highlands & Skye
Things to see & do & Hotels in Fort WIlliam, Skye & West Highlands
Make the most of your stay in Fort William and Lochaber. The area has without doubt some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Highlands, as well as an abundance of things to see and do. Fort William is the main tourist town in the West Highlands, and over 2 million people visit Fort William each year. If you choose to stay in Fort William ( See hotels on right), then apart from taking in the most amazing views, there is so much for you to do.
In the summer time take the Jacobite Steam Train on the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig, made famous in the Harry Potter film as the Hogwarth Express. The journey known worldwide as one of the most sensational railway journeys in the world passes deep lochs like Loch Morar, passing the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745, The journey ends in Mallaig, which is one of the Highlands few remaining busy fishing harbours. From Mallaig you can access the Isle of Skye by a 30 minute ferry crossing.
From Fort William, you can visit Ben Nevis whisky distillery for a guided tour, take a cruise on Loch Linnhe to seal island, or take the gondola cable car up into the mountains of Aonach Mhor, next to Ben Nevis. In the wintertime this is a haven for skiers, snowboarders and winter mountaineering enthusiasts.
Fort William is in the shadow of Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis. There is a path leading to the summit. The walk can take the average walker 6-7 hours, but you have to be well prepared to cope with a changing weather pattern, and be experienced in mountain terrain. There are plenty other less gruelling walks around Lochaber. GlenNevis is an example. It is well known as the end of the West Highland Way, which starts in Glasgow some 100 miles south. Over 30,000 people a year tackle the West Highland Way. Glen Nevis is also well known as the scene for many Hollywood blockbuster films. "Braveheart" being the most well known, but also the "Highlander" films were filmed in the area. At the head of the Glen is a small carpark and from here you can take the relatively easy path to Steel Waterfalls, approx 2 hour round walk. Near Fort William is Nevis Range with its cable car system transporting you effortlessly up to 2500 feet with great views. Open all year round - a haven for sightseers, skiers, boarders, walkers, climbers, and mountainbikers. There is a mountain bistro, and observation platform.
Just south of Fort William and on the road to Oban, there is Glencoe, not only a haven for the mountaineer and rock climber, but also an area of extreme beauty. An excellent area for cycling along the quieter tracks and roads, and Glencoe Ski centre is popular in the winter for skiers. It is also open in the summertime, so you have the opportunity to sample mountain top views without having to put in the effort!
Spean Bridge is nine miles north of Fort William and is home to the Commando Monument. During WW2, the area was used extensively for the training of special Commando units and there is a small Commando museum in Spean Bridge.
Another interesting site is Neptunes staircase in Banavie, 3 miles from Fort William. Where there is a stage of 9 lock gates, taking crafts from Loch Linnhe and up into the Caledonian Canal basin, which continues to Inverness 66 miles north. The walk along the canal side from Corpach Basin to Neptunes staircase is about 2 miles and is a gentle and worthwhile walk. Also there is a path the total length of the canal between Corpach and Gairlochy 10 miles away,