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Ben Nevis

Brave the conditions and climb to the summit of this mountain to see the ruins of an observatory from the 19th century.

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. In the western portion of the Grampian Mountains, the picturesque giant dominates the skyline and overlooks several lakes. Join the many hikers and mountaineers who battle the elements year-round to conquer the mountain.

Enter the visitor center for information about weather conditions and paths. Purchase maps, snacks and souvenirs from the gift shop. Leaflets explain the geological formation of the giant rock.

Start your hike from Glen Nevis at the southern base of the natural landmark. The most straightforward route to the top is the Pony Track, so-called for its previous use as a path for ponies carrying equipment. Capture photos of the fields, hills and trees that make up the countryside.

Continue along the zigzagging path to find the Halfway Lochan, a small lake. Rest with a picnic beside the water, which stands at 1,900 feet (570 meters) from the base. The mountain peak is another 2,300 feet (700 meters) higher along stony terrain.

Although the path is not particularly steep, due to its many curves, weather conditions might limit the full ascent to experienced climbers. Bring full climbing equipment, including maps, compasses and appropriate footwear.

The cliffs on the northern face of the mountain attract passionate climbers looking for difficult rock ascents. Reach the mountain peak, at 4,409 feet (1,344 meters) above sea level, in 4 to 8 hours. At the top are the ruins of an observatory that was manned from 1883 to 1904.

The visitor center is open daily from morning until late afternoon. Note that it closes several hours earlier in winter. Entering the building and climbing the mountain is free.

Ben Nevis is 5 miles (8 kilometers) southeast of Fort William in the northwestern part of Scotland. It overlooks Loch Eil and other attractions, such as the Commando Memorial and Neptune’s Staircase. Embark on your climb from Achintee, just 1.5 miles (2 kilometers) from Fort William. Leave the car in the parking lot beside the visitor center at a small cost.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 295 Properties near Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club £94
Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club

Ben Nevis Hotel & Leisure Club

North Road, Fort William, Scotland
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the historical district, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lochaber Geopark and Loch Linnhe. Ben Nevis Distillery and Belford Hospital are also within 2 miles (3 km). Fort William Station is 22 minutes by foot.

    Glen Nevis Youth Hostel £57
    Glen Nevis Youth Hostel

    Glen Nevis Youth Hostel

    Glen Nevis, Fort William, Scotland
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Fort William, this eco-friendly hostel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Lochaber Geopark and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Inverlochy Castle. Loch Linnhe and Ben Nevis are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Inverlochy Castle £512
      Inverlochy Castle

      Inverlochy Castle

      Torlundy, Fort William, Scotland
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in the historical district, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Ben Nevis Distillery and Lochaber Geopark. Loch Linnhe is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) away.

        Muthu Fort William Hotel £105
        Muthu Fort William Hotel

        Muthu Fort William Hotel

        Achintore Road, Fort William, Scotland
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Fort William, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Lochaber Geopark and Loch Linnhe. Lochaber Geopark Visitor Centre and West Highland Museum are also within 10 minutes. Fort William Station is 12 minutes by foot.

          Shelbeck B&B £85
          Shelbeck B&B

          Shelbeck B&B

          6 Glenmore Terrace, Lochybridge, Fort William, Scotland
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Fort William, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ben Nevis Distillery, Lochaber Geopark, and Loch Linnhe. Neptune's Staircase and Belford Hospital are also within 3 miles (5 km). Banavie Station is 22 minutes by foot.

            The Brevins Guest House
            The Brevins Guest House

            The Brevins Guest House

            The Brevins Guest House, Glen Nevis, Fort William, Scotland
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Fort William, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Lochaber Geopark and Loch Linnhe. Inverlochy Castle and West Highland Museum are also within 1 mile (2 km).

              The Garrison £100
              The Garrison

              The Garrison

              High Street, Fort William, Scotland
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Fort William, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Lochaber Geopark and Loch Linnhe. Lochaber Geopark Visitor Centre and West Highland Museum are also within 5 minutes. Fort William Station is 9 minutes by foot.

                Ben Nevis Guest House £85
                Ben Nevis Guest House

                Ben Nevis Guest House

                Nevis Bridge, Glen Nevis, Fort William, Scotland
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Fort William, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lochaber Geopark Visitor Centre and Lochaber Geopark. Loch Linnhe is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) away.