Without a doubt, the centerpiece of Fort William is Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. With a summit formed of a collapsed volcano, this ancient rock face shadows over the Scottish town and conquering its peak is what attracts scores of adventure seekers to the area. But there’s more to Fort William than just Ben Nevis.
From natural landscapes and historic landmarks, water sports and even an outing Harry Potter would approve of, there is no shortage of things to do and experiences to be had. Here are the top 10 things to do in and around Fort William, Scotland:
Conquering Ben Nevis -- We couldn’t talk about Fort William without mentioning the walks, ice climbs, and rock climbs that Ben Nevis provides. The 8-hour summiting requires hiking in cool and cloudy conditions, so wear appropriate clothing and climb with an experienced tour guide.
The Nevis Gorge Walk -- One of the best short walks in Scotland, this hike takes you through the gorge along a well-worn pathway up to the dramatic Steall Falls, the nation’s second-highest waterfall. The journey is about two miles long and takes roughly two hours to complete.
Watersports -- From kayaking to white water rafting, shipwreck diving to sailing, there are many options for wet water fun on the area’s many rivers and lochs.
Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve -- You’ll marvel at the rare mountain foliage like woolly willow and Highland saxifrage, or search for wild black grouse on the park’s open moorlands. Just keep your eyes peeled for wandering deer and willow warblers.
Old Inverlochy Castle -- This 13th century castle on the bank of River Lochy is now in ruins but was once one of the most important fortresses in Scotland. The ancient site is a great place for a country walk and for capturing breathtaking photographs.
The Jacobite Steam Train -- One of the world’s great rail journeys, this 84-mile round trip tour begins near Ben Nevis, passes alongside lochs and over the Glenfinnan Viaduct until it returns to Loch Nevis. You may recognize the steam engine and its carriages as the ‘Hogwarts Express’ from the Harry Potter films.
Distillery Tours -- The 1825 Ben Nevis Distillery is among the oldest in Scotland. Scotch whiskey, the national drink, is celebrated on this guided tour and tasting session.
Castle Urquhart -- With stunning views of Loch Ness, the ruins of Urquhart Castle tell the story of a once-great fortress and Scotland’s most dramatic histories.
Ardnamurchan Lighthouse -- As the most westerly point on the British mainland, this lighthouse has been guiding ships off the Scottish coast since 1849.
The West Highland Museum -- A main attraction in the historic town is the collection of weapons, paintings, objects and costumes, which recount life in the Highlands.
You can visit Fort William on the legendary YMT Vacations’ Sights of Scotland Tour. This 10-day itinerary takes you from Edinburgh to the Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness to the Isle of Skye. You’ll also visit Argyll and Glasgow on this fully-escorted tour to northern Great Britain. To make your plans to join this extraordinary experience, call your travel professional or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.