Tourist Information & Hotels in Fort WIlliam, Skye & West Highlands
Make the most of your stay in Fort William and Lochaber. The area has without doubt some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Highlands, as well as an abundance of things to see and do. Fort William is the main tourist town in the West Highlands, and over 2 million people visit Fort William each year. If you choose to stay in Fort William ( See hotels on right), then apart from taking in the most amazing views, there is so much for you to do.
In the summer time take the JacobiteSteam Train on the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig, made famous in the Harry Potter film as the Hogwarth Express. The journey known worldwide as one of the most sensational railway journeys in the world passes deep lochs like Loch Morar, passing the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745, The journey ends in Mallaig, which is one of the Highlands few remaining busy fishing harbours. From Mallaig you can access the Isle of Skye by a 30 minute ferry crossing.
From Fort William, you can visit Ben Nevis whisky distillery for a guided tour, take a cruise on Loch Linnhe to seal island, or take the gondola cable car up into the mountains of Aonach Mhor, next to Ben Nevis. In the wintertime this is a haven for skiers, snowboarders and winter mountaineering enthusiasts.
Fort William is in the shadow of Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis. There is a path leading to the summit. The walk can take the average walker 6-7 hours, but you have to be well prepared to cope with a changing weather pattern, and be experienced in mountain terrain. There are plenty other less gruelling walks around Lochaber. GlenNevis is an example. It is well known as the end of the West Highland Way, which starts in Glasgow some 100 miles south. Over 30,000 people a year tackle the West Highland Way. Glen Nevis is also well known as the scene for many Hollywood blockbuster films. "Braveheart" being the most well known, but also the "Highlander" films were filmed in the area. At the head of the Glen is a small carpark and from here you can take the relatively easy path to Steel Waterfalls, approx 2 hour round walk. Near Fort William is Nevis Range with its cable car system transporting you effortlessly up to 2500 feet with great views. Open all year round - a haven for sightseers, skiers, boarders, walkers, climbers, and mountainbikers. There is a mountain bistro, and observation platform.
Just south of Fort William and on the road to Oban, there is Glencoe, not only a haven for the mountaineer and rock climber, but also an area of extreme beauty. An excellent area for cycling along the quieter tracks and roads, and Glencoe Ski centre is popular in the winter for skiers. It is also open in the summertime, so you have the opportunity to sample mountain top views without having to put in the effort!
Spean Bridge is nine miles north of Fort William and is home to the Commando Monument. During WW2, the area was used extensively for the training of special Commando units and there is a small Commando museum in Spean Bridge.
Another interesting site is Neptunes staircase in Banavie, 3 miles from Fort William. Where there is a stage of 9 lock gates, taking crafts from Loch Linnhe and up into the Caledonian Canal basin, which continues to Inverness 66 miles north. The walk along the canal side from Corpach Basin to Neptunes staircase is about 2 miles and is a gentle and worthwhile walk. Also there is a path the total length of the canal between Corpach and Gairlochy 10 miles away, and makes for an excellent cycle route.
The West Highlands Area is vast. The best way to see it and live it's life, is to see it by car. There are many fascinating journeys, with views unfolding in front of you. Here are a couple of the most popular ones.
"The Road to the Isles" passing Neptunes staircase, and onto Glenfinnan with its famous viaduct and monument. Further on passing along the shoreline of Scotlands deepest loch Loch Morar before reaching the Highland village of Arisaig. From here, Bruce Watt Cruises can take you out on some magical cruises to the Isles of Eigg. Muck and Rhum, where you can often see dolphins, whales and sea eagles. Continuing on, there are the "Silver sands of Morar". On a summer day, stop off in the small carpark and take the short walk to the beach. It is a most amazing place, more or less deserted beach ½ mile long with white fine sand and turquoise water.
8 miles further you reach the fishing port of Mallaig, and from here you can continue over the sea to Skye.
"The Great Glen" Not only is this a great drive, but also it has recently opened up as a walk and cycle path between Fort William and Inverness, a continuation of the "West Highland Way". The drive takes you through Spean Bridge, along the shoreline of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and then to Fort Augustus. From Fort Augustus there are cruises available on Loch Ness. Loch Ness is 26 miles long, and is probably the most well known of the Scottish lochs, mainly due to its "inhabitant" Nessie - the Loch Ness Monster. The drive can either be on the west side of the loch passing Invermoriston, Urquhart Castle, and Drumnadrochit, or on the less cluttered eastern shoreline via Foyers. The journey between Fort William and Inverness takes no longer than 2 hours. A regular bus service is also available.
Isle Of Skye
The main access point is via the Kyle of Lochalsh, and nowadays you go over the bridge to Skye and not over the Sea to Skye. If you want to go by sea, you will have to travel to Mallaig. The journey to Skye from Invergarry is amazing.
Descend Glen Shiel, one of the most breathtaking experiences in the Highlands, to beautiful Loch Duich, and to Eilean Donan one of Scotlands most photographed castles, the gateway to a unique and inspiring landscape.
Welcome to Skye. Here the stark rise of the jagged Cuillin ridge drops to the gentle white of a soft sand beach. Inlets, bays and islands create a complex lacework pattern with the sea. Tiny villages and historic keeps are familiar and fascinating. A place where time means nothing, and beneath every footstep lies 500 million years of history. Portree is the capital of Skye and very much in keeping with the islands culture and history. Dunvegan Castle is open to the public and tells the history of the island clan Macleods.
Skye is well known for the Cuillin Mountain range and the 7 sisters of Kintail. Popular rugged mountain terrain for the hillwalker and mountaineer.
In the Fort William and West Highlands, there are 3 courses worth playing. None of them are championship standards, but all of them excel in providing the most magnificent Highland vistas from every hole.
Fort William GC (18 holes) in the shadow of Ben Nevis,(Free to play if you stay at the Moorings Hotel). Dragons Tooth GC(9 Holes) next to the Ballachulish Hotel, with fine vies of Loch Linnhe, and Fort Augustus GC (18 Holes) near to Loch Ness.