Fort William is the largest town and the principal tourist centre in the western Highlands. It is ideally situated at the southern end of the Great Glen, on the shores of Loch Linnhe nestling in the foothills of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain.
The resort is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain. Deep, crystal clear lochs reflect the towering mountains whilst amongst the rugged Highlands there are peaceful, secluded glens and rich fertile valleys.
The lochs provide a host of watersports whilst there are challenging golf courses, sporting trails and of course, exciting Highland games for which Scotland is justifiably famous. For those who do not feel quite up to scaling Ben Nevis on foot, nearby Aonach Mor, a winter ski-resort, offers Britain's only alpine cable car, rising over 2,000 feet to the Snowgoose restaurant, from where there are spectacular views of the Great Glen.
In Fort William itself there is a wide range of fine shops, award-winning restaurants, essential services and recreational facilities. From the resort, there are numerous sites of cultural and historic interest to visit, including Aonach Eagach, which provided the setting for the blockbuster film 'Braveheart' and some 'Harry Potter' scenes were filmed against the backdrop of Glen Nevis.
This region also boasts a number of castles, monuments and battlefields which detail the clan in-fighting and the Jacobean Rebellion of the past. To the west there are numerous fascinating headlands and islands, including the Isle of Skye, with its outstanding wildlife.
Whether you're looking for astounding beauty, historical myths and legends or simply a haven of tranquillity, Fort William and its surroundings offers all this and much more.
Fort William is a busy market town which offers a wide range of shops and services, including major supermarkets and businesses selling outdoor and activity wear, books, tartans, tweeds, woollens and crafts, mostly along its pleasant and pedestrianised main street.
Activities and Attractions
Tourist Information Tel:01397 703781
West Highland Museum
World famous for its Jacobite collections, the museum also has fine collections relating to social history, archaeology and geology.
Lochaber Leisure Centre
The centre's facilities include a swimming pool with water slide, squash courts, fitness suite, sauna, solarium and climbing wall.
Fort William Cruises Tel:01397 700714
Take a cruise from the town pier along Loch Linnhe and see the seals and fish farm. Daily cruises from April to October and evening cruises from mid June, including an evening cruise to Loch Eil with optional buffet dinner.
Ben Nevis Cable Car Tel:01397 705854
The gondola is the only one of its kind in Britain and visitors are rewarded with stunning views and clean mountain air.
The Jacobite Steam Train
Described as 'one of the great railway journeys of the world', enjoy breathtaking scenery aboard the train featured in the 'Harry Potter' films.
Road to the Isles Agricultural Show
Taking place in Cumusdarach in June, the show is an exhibition of animals and crops native to the region.
Fort William Mountain Festival
Takes place in February and features a range of activities including walks, exhibitions and discussions.
Ben Nevis Race
This famous event is a race to the top of Britain's highest mountain, which takes place in September.
Six Days Trials
Held in May, the event welcomes riders from around the world to compete in time trials over varying terrain.
Lochaber Highland Games
Taking place in late July, the programme of events includes piping, dancing, lifting and races.
Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival
Held on the shores of Loch Lomond in May, the festival is a celebration of traditional and contemporary Scottish cookery.
Loch Lomond Regatta
There are races and events throughout the summer months.
For up to date details on events:
Places of Interest
The Clan Cameron Museum Tel:01397 712480
In the castle grounds at Achnacarry there are exhibits about the clan and regimental history, plus Bonnie Prince Charlie and Commando artefacts.
Inveraray Jail Tel:01499 302381
This award-winning attraction shows the courtrooms and the torture chambers used by the Scottish legal system of the past.
Tourist Information Tel:01389 722199
The largest body of freshwater in Britain is surrounded by delightful bays, rising hillsides and quaint villages.
Along the famously scenic 'Road to the Isles' to this delightful fishing port, superbly situated overlooking the Sound of Sleat and the Cuillin Mountains of Skye.
Tourist Information Tel:01631 563122
The largest resort on the north-west coast, Oban offers an exciting mix of history and culture. The town is overlooked by McCaig's Tower, a striking unfinished replica of Rome's Colosseum which dates from the Victorian period, as do many of the town's buildings. The busy harbour is a constant source of interest and the views from here have inspired poets, authors and artists for centuries.
Isle of Skye
The island is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to this region and with good reason; Portree, the capital town has pretty pastel cottages lining its natural harbour, whilst the northern Trotternish Peninsula is dotted with fascinating geological wonders such as Quirang and Old Man of Storr.
Isle of Mull has a landscape of wild beauty, despite being just a few miles from the Scottish mainland. Its highest mountain, Ben More, rises to over 3000 feet and is surrounded by smaller, but just as spectacular hills. The coastline is made up of many inlets and sandy bays looking out to the smaller islands to the west. The area is steeped in history, from the early Christian settlement to the 1745 Jacobite rebellion led by 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. Craignure, the main ferryport in which this tour is based, has several attractions close by, including Toronsay Castle with 12 acres of landscaped gardens which can be reached via a Narrow Gauge Railway from Craignure. Mull's largest resort, Tobermory, lies to the north of the island. Its crescent of brightly coloured houses sweeping around the harbour gives it an air more reminiscent to the Mediterranean than the island's capital.