Lochs, hills and Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, surround the quaint town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The settlement, which overlooks the vast Loch Linnhe, has a castle and a bustling central main street. Appreciate the serene countryside setting as you hike past forests and lakes.
Ben Nevis reaches 4,409 feet (1,344 meters) above sea level. Learn about the huge rock formation and its history. Use climbing equipment for your ascent up the Pony Track from the Glen Nevis base. At the summit is an abandoned observatory.
The region is known for its lakes. Go to Loch Lochy for excellent views of hilly woodland. Learn about the Battle of the Shirts in 1544. At lake’s southern end is the Caledonian Canal, which contains Neptune’s Staircase. Watch the 90-minute mechanical process that lifts boats. Learn the origins of this staircase lock, which is among the longest in Britain and dates back to 1803.
Pay tribute to fallen officers of World War II at the Commando Memorial. The statue of British Commandos has a stunning backdrop of Ben Nevis.
In the town, visit the 13th-century Old Inverlochy Castle, where tremendous battles occurred. A short distance away is Ben Nevis Distillery, which has been making whiskey since 1825. Enjoy a tasting and learn about whiskey distilling. Wander through the nearby Leanachan Forest.
Browse shops and dine at restaurants in the small town center. Eat at a typical Scottish pub serving the national dish of haggis, containing sheep parts with onions and spices.
The region has freezing winters. Snow adds a postcard-pretty element to the mountainous backdrop. Pleasant summers provide ideal picnic conditions.
The town is in the southwestern part of the Highlands of Scotland in the northwestern region of the country. Regular buses and trains depart from Glasgow. The Caledonian Sleeper train runs overnight from London. Drive from Edinburgh in about 3 hours.
Fort William is a loch town concealed in the Highlands by Britain’s second Big Ben.