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destination guide

Summer view of the Jacobite steam train crossing the viaduct from Fort William to Mallaig.

Fort William

Tourist Information

Things to see & do in Fort William

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Fort William is based at the foot of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and close to the all year round Nevis Range.  Fort William is known as the UK's Outdoors Capital. The town has a wide variety of shops. The West Highland Museum is worth a visit depicting life in the Highlands through the ages.

Fort William rail link to Glasgow, is one of the most scenic rail journeys in the UK, if not Europe. Known as "The West Highland Line" it also extends from Fort William to Mallaig. It was the scene of the Hogwarth Express in the popular Harry Potter Films. In the summer time Jacobite Railways put on nostalgic steam train journeys on a daily basis between Fort WIlliam and Mallaig. The journey takes you over Glenfinnan viaduct as depicted in the above image, and past Loch Morar, Scotland's depest loch.

Fort William is a base from which to explore the surrounding area, and probably has the most scenic drives anywhere in the UK. Before leaving the town, there are things to see and do. Take a cruise along Loch Linhhe to Seal island, transport yourself up into the clouds in the mountain cablecar at Nevis Range. At the top there are magical Highland views of Ben Nevis, Loch Lochy and on a clear day you can see the mountain ranges on Skye. Fort William has its own whisky distillery, which is open to visitores for a wee dram. 

Fort William has also been the film location for many blockbuster movies, filmed in Glen Nevis - Braveheart & Highlander to name but two. The Glen itself is great walking country up to the rope bridge at Steel Falls. The area around Fort WIlliam is breathtakingly beautiful, with magnificent walks of all grades, mountain biking in Leanachan Forest and Nevis Range. There is a plethora of outdoor activities from fishing to gliding, horseriding to sailing. In the wintertime it is a haven for skiing and snowboarding, with Nevis Range having the longest ski run in the UK

Heading out of the town you will be spoilt for choice of what to see and do, Banavie and "Neptunes Staircase", a series of 8 locks linking the Caledonian Canal to Loch Linnhe. Nearby is Glenfinnan, and the monument in commemoration of Bonnie Prince Charlie. It was here he raised his standard to claim the English thrown in 1745. 

Head north you pass Spean Bridge and stop to see the Commando Monument. it was in this area that WW2 commandos trained. The memorial and rememberance garden is quite moving.

Onwards along the Glen to Fort Augustus and the start of Loch Ness. Inverness is 66 miles from Fort William and is a superb  drive along the loch.

Southwards, there is eerie Glencoe, famous for the Glencoe Massacre  in 1692, and there is a museum there. Its also a great area for mountaineering. Oban lies 40 miles from Fort William, so is within easy reach. Another very scenis drive, hugging the coastline for much of the way.

If you are looking to get away for a few days, and absord the beauty of the Highlands, have the option of lots to see and do both indoors and outdoors, then staying in Fort William is definitely a destination to be put on your list.

Fort William is just over 100 miles north from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Approx. 3 hours driving time. A little longer on the train.