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Fort William & Glen Nevis


Fort William is the principal town in the West Highlands. It takes its name from a fort founded here in 1690 and named after William, Prince of Orange.

As a busy centre it 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. Its location as a meeting-place for West Highland routes also means it has a range of pubs, places to eat and Scottish entertainment. The West Highland Museum in the town's main square takes up the theme of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites, with many relics from those times.

On the edge of town, to the north, The Ben Nevis Distillery and Visitor Centre marks the entrance to Glen Nevis. Only minutes down the glen is the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre (Ionad Nibheis), a countryside and local heritage interpretation centre (useful for weather reports and advice if visitors are planning a Ben Nevis expedition). Glen Nevis itself, with the flanks of Ben Nevis rising on one side also offers superb Highland scenery and a choice of walking routes.

Only a minute or two further out, on the A830 "The Road to the Isles", the Caledonian Canal drops down to Loch Linnhe at a spectacular series of locks, "Neptune's Staircase", where there is always some canal activity to enjoy. Nearby, Treasures of the Earth at Corpach is an attraction displaying fine collections of gemstones and crystals.

Signs on the main A82 north of the town point to Nevis Range, the all year attraction on the slopes of Aonach Mor. As well as Scotland's highest ski area, Nevis Range features Britain's only mountain gondola to 2150ft (60m). Making good use here of the long open slopes of the mountain, Nevis Range also has Britain's longest downhill mountain bike track, which has played host to international events. Other activities such as watersports, angling, golf, riding and trekking are also available, and there is a dive training centre in the town itself.

In summary, Fort William is a town with plenty for visitors and makes a good base for exploring the spectacular West Highland scenery.

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Ben Nevis & Glen Coe
OS Landranger map 41 - Ben Nevis, Fort william & Glencoe
Pathfinder guide - Fort William & Glencoe walks
Ramblers guide - Ben Nevis & Glencoe

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