Things to Do In Fort William
A trip to the Scottish Highlands is magical at any time of the year because of the stunning scenery. The Highlands is full of breath-taking mountains set as backdrops to wonderful lochs and the region is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Tourists flock here every year to enjoy the fabulous walks and the fresh air. Inverness is probably the most well known town in the Highlands – after all, it is the largest and has ties to the legendary Loch Ness Monster as well!
However, no trip to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to Fort William – the second largest town in the Highlands and a place with plenty to keep people of all ages occupied. Many of our cruises on the Caledonian Canal depart from Banavie, just five minutes from Fort William and the home of the famous “Neptune’s Staircase”. Whilst in the area there are a whole host of things to do and places to see, below are just a few of our favourite things to do in Fort William:
Take a Walk through to the Steall Falls
If you like walking then this is a must. There are a couple of car parks on site (the upper and lower car parks),which allow you to park close to the location and enjoy everything the Steall Falls has to offer. Some suggest that parking at the lower car park enables you to enjoy the walk up to the falls. However, others would recommend parking up higher as there are plenty of walks to enjoy once you are at the falls. No matter what time of year you visit, you will see the Scottish Highlands in its finest here. Late autumn is particularly beautiful as you get to enjoy the rich colours of the trees and you may even see some snow-topped mountain peaks to add further drama. The walkway is approximately one mile long and, although the walk is well constructed, it is advisable to wear good walking shoes.
Walking or Climbing in Glencoe
One of the most popular tourist areas in Scotland is Glencoe, particularly with those who enjoy climbing or walking. The area is steeped in history and beauty and the fact that it lies on the main A82 road means that it is easily accessible. There are plenty of designated walkways that allow you to take in the stunning beauty of this place – the West Highland Way and the Glencoe Lochan Trails are just a couple worth mentioning.
Visit Inverlochy Castle
If you love historical buildings then you will not want to miss the chance to see the fabulous Inverlochy Castle. Built in the 13th century, this fabulous building was the scene of two battles; history buffs will love the fact that it has remained relatively unchanged since it was built all those years ago. The Comyn Clan originally built the castle but they were dispossessed when Robert the Bruce came to power in 1306. It was unoccupied from then until after the Battle of Inverlochy in 1431 when the Cameron Clan were victorious. The ruined castle, now looked after by Historic Scotland, is well worth visiting.
Climb Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis is the highest peak in Britain at 1,344 metres above sea level. It is actually located in the Lochaber area but is very close to Fort William. It is thought that approximately 100,000 people climb Ben Nevis every year,with most doing so using the Glen Nevis pony track. This climb is one of the easier ways to get to the top and, thanks to the zigzag path, is never too steep. If you do decide to climb Ben Nevis, you will be well rewarded when you reach the summit – the views are out of this world. However, if you are going to climb then make sure you are well prepared. The visitors centre at the base will recommend a list of things to take with you for your climb, including such things as appropriate clothing, food, torch, and whistle. It would be wise to heed these words of advice.
Ride ‘The Jacobite’ Steam Train
Running from May to October, this 84-mile trip will allow you to see some amazing locations in Scotland. The train trip has become even more popular recently due to its appearance in the ‘Harry Potter’ films. If you have seen the films, you will be aware of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct; as a result, this is one of the most popular points of interest on the journey. The trip starts near the famous Ben Nevis and ends in Mallaig, a wonderful fishing port in which you can enjoy the shops, restaurants, and bars. You may want to have some of the tasty fish and chips during your stopover at this busy little fishing port.
The above are just a few of the things you could do in Fort William whilst sailing on the canal with Clyde Cruises. If you are visiting this fabulous town, you will definitely not run out of things to do. And, of course, the best thing to do whilst in the area is to have a Caledonian Canal boat trip in Fort William!