This area, in the south west of the Highlands, is made up of Fort William and Glen Nevis, the Road to the Isles, the Great Glen and Glen Spean, Ardnamurchan, and Glencoe and Loch Leven.
The Highlands’ largest town, Fort William, is situated on the shores of beautiful Loch Linnhe. From Fort William you can visit breathtaking Glen Coe or take the famous Road to the Isles.
Fort William is best known today as a brilliant base for outdoor activities. Participate in a wide range of exciting outdoor activities in and around the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, from fishing on gentle lochs and quiet country walks to skiing down stunning slopes, mountain biking and tackling white water rapids.
The town is an important centre for climbing and hillwalking and there are many Munros in the vicinity. Those looking for a challenge will love the Grey Corries, a vast mountain range adjacent to Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor and the mighty Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain at 4,409 ft - just remember to come prepared as the weather can change quickly.
Winter sports enthusiasts can make for the Nevis Range to tackle Scotland’s highest ski slopes and you can ride on Britain’s only mountain gondola all year round. The Nevis Range is also a major centre for mountain biking, with Britain’s longest downhill descent and many more miles of cross-country trails. Fort William also hosts the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup annually when stars of the sport from around the world descend on the Highlands to compete.
The West Highland Museum in Fort William gives a fascinating insight to the history of the Lochaber region. The museum places a particular emphasis on Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite uprisings and exhibits many relics from this turbulent period of Scottish history. Other historic attractions include the Mallaig Heritage Centre and the Clan Cameron Museum.
The spectacular Neptune’s Staircase, not far north of Loch Linnhe, is a series of eight locks on the Caledonian Canal, one of the great waterways of the world. The canal sees plenty of boating activity and continues through the majestic Great Glen all the way to Inverness. The Great Glen Way runs parallel to the Caledonian Canal, letting walkers make use of the towpath in places.
From Fort William you can follow the Road to the Isles, a historic and incredibly scenic route to the west coast, or you can take the train to Mallaig on the West Highland Line. This is one of the world’s great railway journeys and among its many highlights is the crossing of the grand viaduct made famous by the Harry Potter films. From the viaduct you get a great view of the Glenfinnan Monument, an iconic memorial to the Jacobites that sits at the head of Loch Shiel.
Also reachable from Fort William is the untouched wilderness of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Ardnamurchan Point is the most westerly point in mainland Britain and this whole area is one of immense grandeur, with woodland walks, an epic landscape of lochs, moorland and hills, striking castle ruins and opportunities for spotting some amazing wildlife and admiring the breathtaking panoramic views. Enjoy the interactive exhibition and live birds nest camera feeds at the Nadurra Visitor Centre, which highlights the flora and fauna of the Ardnamurchan peninsula.
Lochaber – the area around Fort William – features some of Scotland’s finest mountain scenery. The undoubted highlight is Glen Coe, one of the most breathtaking places in the country. Explore the visitor centre to learn more about an infamous massacre which took place in Glen Coe, a tragic event in Scotland’s clan history.
Find solitude amidst the magnificent mountain scenery of the Grey Corries, spot stags by the shores of secluded Loch Arkaig and for those with the necessary caving experience, see Scotland’s deepest pothole Uamh Nan Claig-Ionn (cave of the skulls) on the north west slopes of Meall Ban.