You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Fort William and Lochaber. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.
Let’s assume you’re starting out your day in Fort William. Take a drive south along the A82 as it wends along by Loch Linnhe and then into Loch Leven and you’ll reach the awe-inspiring mountains of Glencoe. Stop into the National Trust for Scotland’s Glencoe Visitor Centre first to learn about the history of the region as well as walks, weather and wildlife in the region.
If you want to stretch your legs, the fitter amongst us might want to tackle the Lost Valley, a rugged walk into the hollow where past cattle rustlers hid their cattle. Or take a stroll around the peaceful Glencoe Lochan, which offers trails for varying fitness levels. All that exercise will have made you hungry – and you’ve plenty of choice. Try climbers’ favourite, the Clachaig Inn or have a lighter bite at the Coffee Shop at Crafts & Things.
For a more relaxing but no-less exciting afternoon, why not take a boat trip with Crannog Cruises? Board Souters Lass for a cruise down Loch Linnhe and enjoy some amazing views of the southern slopes of Ben Nevis. With fascinating commentary throughout, you’ll experience some of Scotland’s best wildlife, including porpoise, seals and maybe even a golden eagle. You’ll be ready for a hearty meal after your action-packed day – and where better to enjoy it than at the foot of the Ben in the iconic Ben Nevis Inn?
Take the A830 west from Fort William towards Mallaig. After just a few miles you’ll reach the impressive Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie, which raises the Caledonian Canal by 19m over a quarter of a mile. It’s a fantastic place to watch the barges, cruisers and tall ships as they pass through the locks.
Keep heading west and you’ll reach Glenfinnan at the head of Loch Shiel. Backed by spectacular scenery, the striking 18m-high Glenfinnan Monument depicts the lone, kilted Highlander of Prince Charles Edward Stuart as a reminder of the clansmen who gave their lives to the Jacobite cause. Check out the visitor centre to learn the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie as he led the 1745 Jacobite Rising.
Harry Potter fans may be keen to visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and take pictures at close range. You probably won’t be the only one! You’ll be ready for lunch when you arrive in the fishing village of Mallaig, and there’s plenty of choice – from fish and chips on the harbour to fresh langoustines with a view. Or take a picnic to the glorious beaches of Arisaig and Morar. Paddle, swim or beachcomb along enticing stretches of golden sands.
Take a leisurely drive back to Fort William, stopping for photo opportunities along the way. If you fancy treating yourself for dinner, why not try the Lime Tree An Ealdhain Restaurant or Inverlochy Castle? If you prefer something a little more casual, the Grog & Gruel on Fort William High Street serves up hearty classics in a relaxed atmosphere.
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