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Fort William Visitor Information Guide

9 months 3 weeks ago #125 by gazer
Fort William Latitude: 56.819817 Longitude: -5.105218
Fort William Postcode PH33
Fort William Map
Fort William Weather...

  • Fort William Latitude: 56.819817 Longitude: -5.105218
  • Fort William Postcode PH33
  • Fort William Map
  • Fort William Weather Forecast
  • Fort William Reviews

Fort William, The original fort was built in 1645 by General George a Monck, acting for Oliver Cromwell. About 40 years later it was strengthened and the structure and re-named Fort William after King William III, replacing the settlement's brief name of Mary burgh, after his Queen. It then formed part of a chain of Highland fortifications, with Fort Augustus on Lochness-side and Fort George , near Inverness, as visible deterrents to the clans who supported the Jacobite cause.

Fort William has a great selection off B&B accommodation in varied types of properties for you to choose from.

The fort was demolished to make way for the West Highland Railway, which appeared in 1884, to connect the town to Glasgow.

Only the archway and parts of the old walls now remain. A little to the north of the town, off the A82, are the remnants of the I3th-century Inverlochy Castle which saw much action from the Wars of Scottish Independence of that period to the Covenanting Wars in the 17th century.

Today Fort William is both a holiday centre and an industrial town, although the latter aspect has a low enough profile. The main industries are aluminium and whisky distilling.

The distillery was founded and built in 1829 by a John MacDonald who was later to become known as 'Long John'.

Fort William is squeezed between the shores of Loch Linnhe and the steep slopes of Cow Hill, so that at first sight it seems that it has only one long street. In fact the burgh sprawls where it can, which adds an element of character and interest.

Dominated by the loch on one side, and Ben Nevis on the other, it exudes a character that is truly the West Highlands offering both summer and winter sport with activities to keep you as busy as you want to be.

Fort William lies on the shore of Loch Linnhe in the shadow of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. As the main town of the Lochaber District, Fort William is ideally situated at the converging point of various routes. The town developed around a succession of strategically sited strongholds and forts at the southern end of the Great Glen. In summer the town is crowded with holidaymakers as Fort William makes an ideal touring centre from which to discover the beauty of the surrounding countryside. 
Highlights of the tourist calendar are the Ben Nevis Race and the Glen Nevis River Race.

Ben Nevis Latitude 56.79627° N Longitude -5.003489° E This snow capped granite mass is at 4406ft - 1344m Britain's highest mountain but not a shapely one. The Ben is extremely popular with climbers and walkers. Prospective climbers should be suitably clad (boots or strong shoes and waterproofs) and equipped (whistle, map and food). 
The summit with its war memorial was once the site of an hotel and an observatory (1883·1904). Legend has it that if the snow ever leaves the summit the ownership of Ben Nevis will revert to the Crown, there is a small but fascinating exhibit touching on all aspects of the mountain: the hill race and records, the water tunnel, ascent by car, tourist path and climbing information. This makes an ideal introduction for those intending to make the ascent of Ben Nevis. Four miles to the southeast.

Start of the footpath: from the road along the north side of the River Nevis or from beside the golf course. Access by tourists' footpath: 4/5 hour ascent and 3 hour descent by a well marked path. This scenic route, often very busy, passes through country rich in historical associations, to the town of Mallaig, one of the ferry ports for Skye and other Inner Harridan isles. Leave Fort William by the Inverness road, the A 82 passing on the way the ruins of Inverlochy Castle (closed, unsafe). Turn left to Mallaig taking the A 830 crossing the canal. Neptune's Staircase.

Banavie  this flight of eight locks was designed by Telford as part of the Caledonian Canal to raise the water level 64ft in 500yds. From Corpach, with its paper mill (pulping operations ceased in 1980), there are magnificent views, backwards to Ben Nevis. The road then follows the northern shore of Loch Eil, the continuation of Loch Linnhe.

Glenfinnan in this glorious setting at the head of Loch Shiel stands the 1815 monument to commemorate those who died while following Prince Charles Edward Stuart in the 1745 rising. Here, five days after landing at nearby Loch nan Uamh the standard was raised before a 1300 strong army of Highlanders. The Year of the Prince ended fourteen months later when he left for France from near the same spot. Start with the visitor centre where the exhibition and recorded commentary introduce the principal figures and events of the period. From the top of the tower there is a splendid view of Loch Shiel penetrating deeply into Moidart and framed by mountains, and northwards over the many spanned railway viaduct. 
The Glenfinnan Gathering and Highland Games held annually on the Saturday in August nearest to the anniversary, is an occasion for the clansmen to meet again. Beyond Glenfinnan the road and railway part company to go one either side of landlocked Loch Eilt. 
After the Lochailort turn off, the road passes the head of the sea loch, Loch Ailort, before rising to cross the neck of the Ardnish peninsula. The road rejoins Loch nan Uamh, providing a seaward view of the Sound of Arisaig. 
Down on the foreshore of the north side a cairn marks the spot where Prince Charles Edward Stuart came ashore on 19 July 1745 with his faithful companions, the Seven of Moidart. The road then follows Beasdale valley, crosses to Borrodale valley then over the neck of Arisaig Peninsula. 
The main loch side road the A82 between Fort William and Inverness is a very busy one and delays at the swing bridges can cause nose to tail driving. 
A slower road on the east side of the glen follows Wade's 18C military road, the journey takes about 1.5 hours,
Leave Fort William by the A82 at Spean Bridge a Small village at the junction of Glen Spean leading to Aviemore and the Spey Valley. Follow the A82 to the Commando Memorial. 
The monument, to the left of the road, is a memorial to all Commandos who lost their lives in World War 2. The site marks their training ground, On a clear day Ben Nevis can be seen away to the left.

Loch Lochy at just under 10 miles long the loch narrows towards its head. The hill slopes of the loch sides are blanketed with forests. Laggan Locks. - Take the chance to go off the road and watch the many boats negotiate the locks between Loch Lochy (93ft) and Loch Oich (106ft). 
The road crosses to the west side.


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