Old Fort (Fort William)

Highland | Fort William | Fort | ★

There's not much to see of Fort William's Old Fort, but we've given it a place here by virtue of its importance in creating the town around it. The site overlooks Loch Linnhe close to the centre of town, though getting to it is a little difficult thanks to the dual carriageway along the promenade. Oliver Cromwell first built a wooden citadel here in the mid 1600s, which was upgraded to a stone one a few decades later. A settlement soon grew up close by: An Gearasdan - or "the garrison" - later became known as Fort William, named after the king who approved the citadel's upgrade. The fort withstood a Jacobite siege in 1746 and fell out of military use a century later; the eastern half was demolished by the construction of a railway line, now dismantled and replaced by the road which makes pedestrian access to the fort awkward today. Cannons point out the view along Loch Linnhe which is the main draw; you can also duck through…

Old Inverlochy Castle

Highland | Fort William | Castle | ★

Old Inverlochy Castle is a quadrangular ruin hidden away by the River Lochy on the industrial north side of Fort William. It receives few visitors, yet this is a fairly rare, relatively unaltered survival from the 13th century. Built around 1280 for the Comyn Lords of Badenoch and Lochaber, this was a formidable fort perfect for guarding the southern approach to the Great Glen. The 3 metre-thick curtain wall was strengthened by 4 corner towers and a moat, with direct access to the river (and therefore the nearby sea loch) on the north side. The architecture is primitive reflecting the early construction date, scaffolding holds up one of the towers and views are only from floor level, but entrance is free at all hours.

📌 Old Inverlochy Castle
Location: Off A82 a mile northeast of Fort William town centre, G.R.: NN 120754 ///landlords.asks.toxic
Open: Always
Cost: Free

Corpach Sea Lock & viewpoint

Highland | Corpach | Canal locks & viewpoint | ★★★

Corpach is a rather scruffy, roadside suburb on the Road to the Isles a couple of miles west of Fort William. It's also the start of the Caledonian Canal, and the location of one of the most popular photographer spots in Lochaber. An old boat on the shore of Loch Linnhe provides the foreground to a Ben Nevis backdrop, with Fort William also visible across the water. We have to admit, we don't quite understand the fascination for rusting ships on tourist blogs and social media, but we thought we'd better join the club anyway. The sea locks themselves (where you park) are also an attractive place.

📌 Corpach Sea Lock & viewpoint ★★★
Location (sea lock): Off A830, Corpach village centre, G.R.: NN 097767 ///call.respected.badly
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? From the locks it's a 5-min walk east along the lochside path to the ship. Getting up close might be difficult at high tide.

Neptune's Staircase

Highland | Banavie | Canal locks | ★★

Running from Fort William on the west coast of Scotland to Inverness in the east, the Great Glen provided Thomas Telford with a convenient dent in mountainous topography for the Caledonian Canal - its construction facilitated by several natural water bodies. But it wasn't all plain sailing, as they say. Neptune's Staircase is a flight of 8 locks required to give the canal a leg-up into the glen to properly embark on its 60 mile journey. There are 5 further locks where the waterway begins at Corpach, a mile further west, and several others elsewhere on the canal. The land hasn't been exploited as a tourist attraction to the same extent as the shorter staircase at Fort Augustus, but there's a cafe and good views of Ben Nevis, despite a building site which spoils the line of sight from some angles.

📌 Neptune's Staircase★★
Location: Caledonian Canal, off B8004 at Banavie, G.R.: NN 114770 ///reconnect.cleans.rear
Open: Always
Cost: Fr…

Walk: Scintillating Stob Ban - White Peak treat

Highland | Mamores | Full day walk | ★★★★

Stob Bàn (White Peak) is one of the most eye-catching peaks in the rocky Mamores range, its quartzite peak just shy of the 1,000 metre mark despite its massive summit cairn. Pairing it with the aptly-named Mullach nan Coirean (summit of the corries) gives a grand ridge walk with no scrambling despite plenty of steep and rocky terrain on Stob Bàn. Decent paths help, particularly on the climb into Coire a' Mhusgain early on in the day, and the views of the more popular Ring of Steall (the continuation of the same ridge further east), Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis are nothing short of spectacular for almost all of the route. Don't forget to check out the Lower Falls on the River Nevis before beginning the ascent out of the glen.

📌 Walk: Scintillating Stob Ban - White Peak treat ★★★★
▶ 13 km / 8 miles | ▲ 1160 metres
Summits: Stob Bàn (999 metres, Munro); Mullach nan Coirean (939 metres, Munro) | Other features: Glen Nevis Lower Falls
Start / fi…