Things to do in Fort William

Fort William, nestled in the Scottish Highlands, is a town steeped in history and surrounded by some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes. Known as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK,’ it offers an array of activities for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The town sits at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, making it a prime location for hiking and mountaineering. Fort William’s rich history is intertwined with its landscape, from ancient fortifications to historic battle sites, reflecting a past filled with intrigue and resilience.

The town also serves as a gateway to the Great Glen, a geological fault line that carves through the Scottish Highlands offering spectacular views and unique geological formations. The Caledonian Canal, another marvel of engineering initiated by Thomas Telford in the early 19th century, starts here, providing visitors with opportunities for boating and canal walks. With its combination of natural beauty, historical significance, and outdoor activities, Fort William attracts tourists from all over the world seeking adventure and exploration in this unique part of Scotland.

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  • West Highland Museum: This museum offers a deep dive into local history with exhibits on Jacobite memorabilia, Highland life, and culture. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in understanding the area’s past.
  • Nevis Range Mountain Experience: Offering gondola rides up Aonach Mor mountain for stunning views across Ben Nevis and beyond. In winter it transforms into a ski resort; summer offers mountain biking trails.
  • Ben Nevis Distillery: One of Scotland’s oldest licensed distilleries providing guided tours to discover the art of whisky making followed by tastings.
  • Steall Waterfall: Accessible via a scenic walk through Nevis Gorge leading to one of Britain’s highest waterfalls – an awe-inspiring sight amidst lush greenery.
  • Jacobite Steam Train: Often described as one of the great railway journeys of the world; this train ride offers panoramic views across numerous viaducts including the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.
  • Glenfinnan Station Museum: Located at Glenfinnan Station along the West Highland Line featuring exhibitions on railway history and heritage trains.
  • Inverlochy Castle: A ruined castle dating back to the 13th century set against a backdrop of beautiful landscapes offering insights into Scotland’s medieval past.
  • Old Inverlochy Castle Hotel: For those looking to stay overnight or enjoy fine dining within sight of historic ruins amidst stunning scenery.
  • Lochaber Geopark: Exploring this geopark provides an understanding of Earth’s geological forces through guided tours around volcanic formations and glacial landscapes.
  • Treasures of The Earth: Europe’s finest private collection of crystals, gemstones, and fossils displayed in dramatic fashion within cave-like settings.
  • Great Glen Way: This long-distance walking route takes you through forests, alongside lochs and canals offering serene views typical to Scottish Highlands beauty.