Fort William and surroundings

On the Caledonian Canal: Fort William

On the Caledonian Canal: Fort William

Whiskey distilleries and adventure tourism

The town that largely owes its existence to whisky distilleries is situated on the southwest end of the Great Glen Fault. The location is an ideal starting point for excursions to the fjords and lakes on the southwest coast, whether by car, boat, train or on foot. The railway line to Mallaig is regarded as one of the most scenic routes in the UK. The region's main attraction is Ben Nevis, the highest mountain on the British Isles. Anyone who manages to reach the summit on a clear day will be rewarded with an overwhelming panoramic view that extends nearly 240 miles across the Hebrides to the coast of Ireland. The race to the peak of Ben Nevis is a popular annual event. While the current record is 87 minutes, the ascent normally takes 3-4 hours. The best route back is via Carn Mor Dearg, a mountain ridge of unbelievable beauty.

Attractions Fort William and surroundings

Ben Nevis

Panoramic view from the highest mountain on the British Isles

If you are lucky enough to climb the highest mountain on the British Isles on a clear day, you will be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view at 1,343 meters. You can see for up to 240 kilometers, even catching sight of the Hebrides and Ireland. Every year there is a race to the summit. The current record time is 87 minutes, but at a normal pace you will need about three to four hours. You can begin your hike at the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. The best way down is via Carn Mor Dearg, since the uplands here possess an almost supernatural beauty.


Hiking across the “Valley of Tears”

The “Valley of Tears” has a bloody history: In 1691 the English King William III pardoned all Highland clans who had fought against him. The condition, however, was that they had to swear allegiance to him. Those who refused were sentenced to death. After the Clan MacDonald had agreed only reluctantly, his boss went erroneously to Inverlochy and he reached Inveraray only after the deadline. Thus the whole clan was denied the pardon. The royal soldiers carried out the massacre at Glencoe, in which the inhabitants of the valley died. Today one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Scotland begins there. (10 kilometers, 6 hours, up and down: 1,070 meters)

Included in the:
Scottish Heritage Pass (Glencoe Visitor Centre)

Glenfinnan Monument

Memorial to the Scottish uprising against England

At Glenfinnan in 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart entered the Scottish mainland to take action against the English Crown. When he thought he had enough support from the clans, he hoisted the Scottish flag – exactly where the monument stands today. Nine months later, the rebellion ended in defeat. Scotland lost its independence and was incorporated into an English dominated Britain. The clans were disarmed and large parts of Gaelic culture were lost. The monument dates from the early 19th century. On the tower stands the larger-than-life statue of a highlander in a kilt.

Included in:
Scottish Heritage Pass

Jacobite Train to Mallaig

With the steam locomotive through a grand landscape

The train ride with the Jacobite from Fort William to Mallaig is one of the most beautiful in the world. In the movie “Harry Potter” it serves as a journey to the magic castle. A stop will be made at the Glenfinnan Monument in front of the grand backdrop of Loch Shiel. The stop in Mallaig lasts for about 1:30 h, which you can use for shopping, eating or whisky studies.

Further information:


Wilderness hike in the misty Valley

Moss, stones, wind and stormy forests: Above Kinlochleven, a settlement of miners with almost 1000 inhabitants, there is a wild and lonely high moorland, which is suitable for a circular hike. The barren heath landscape offers wide sweeping views across Loch Leven, which get lost in the twilight of the clouds. On the way back you cross an exposed ridge between two river valleys. (Return: 9 kilometers, 3:30 hours, up and down 385 meters)


Fishing port on the wild westcoast

The fishing port on Scotland's west coast was founded in 1840 and connected to the British railway network via the West Highland Railway. That way the fresh fish could be transported easily and quickly. Today the local fishermen are specialized in shrimp and lobster. Mallaig is also the end of the Road to the Isles, which for most part runs parallel to the railway-line Fort William-Mallaig and is one of the most scenic roads in Scotland.

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