Experience the European outdoors through the Fort Williams, located on the northeastern shore of Loch Linhe, it is the second largest settlement in the Highlands of Scotland. Famous for being the gateway to Ben Nevis, UK’s highest peak and the Glen Nevis valley, home to steal falls.
It is the home to mountain trails, hillwalks, bike paths and snow and water place. What better place to experience Europe than in Fort Williams? Let’s talk a trip around this town and find out the best activities to be done while in Fort Williams.
- Things to Do In Fort Williams
- 1.Climb the Ben Nevis
- 2.Experience the Nevis Mountain Range
- 3. Stroll Around the Old Inverlochy Castle
- 4. Visit the West Highland Museum
- 5. Ride the Jacobite Steam Train
- 6. Feel at Peace at the Glenfinnan Church
Things to Do In Fort Williams
1.Climb the Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis, most famously known as the highest peak in the whole of United Kingdom, is located in the Grampian Mountains of Fort Williams. The name “Ben Nevis” has two meanings, one is the Gaelic word for malicious mountain and another means “the mountain whose head is high up in the clouds” – both originated because of the way the mountain is covered in mist on cold days and heavy storm.
It is 14, 411 feet in height, and takes a maximum of eight hours to climb. The Ben Nevis is no mountain trail for the feeble as the paths to the top can be quite steep and unsteady. That’s why it’s unadvisable for inexperienced climbers or children and the elderly to take on the challenge of this mountain.
Nevertheless, the hike to the top is well worth it as you can enjoy the breathtaking sunset, and see the magnificent views overlooking the whole surrounding area of Scotland and surrounding area of the British Isles, from the highest peak to have ever existed in United Kingdom.
Be prepared for a strenuous hike with the expectation of cloudy and misty climate. The path to the top of Ben Nevis is usually wet and slippery so make sure to wear with you comfortable hiking shoes and a change of clothes.
Most mountain climbers opt to set on in the morning, and camp out on the peak at night, in order to see the beautiful Scottish sunset.
While the path is generally easy to follow, if you are still not feeling confident, you have the option of availing a guide who will take you to the peak of Ben Nevis with ease.
There is no admission fee needed to be paid when climbing the Ben Nevis. However, if you are doing a guided tour, they usually cost around 45 to 50 GBP, which already includes the surrounding area of Lochness and Glencoe.
The Ben Nevis is open 24 hours for all mountain climbers.
Address: Ben Nevis, Fort Williams, Highlands, PH33 6SY
2.Experience the Nevis Mountain Range
No trip to Fort Williams is complete without the famed Nevis Mountain Range Experience. Most famous for its 650-meter tall gondola on Aonach Mor, it is the 8th highest mountain in Britain. The gondola was built to holster up skiers, but it is now currently iconic for its spectacular views.
The gondola may not be as tall as the Ben Nevis, but if you’re lucky enough to ride it on a clear, non-misty day, you will get the rare opportunity to see the lakes, valleys and coniferous forests stretching miles and miles in front of you.
There are a lot of activities that can be done in Aonach Mor, including walking along the mountain for panoramic views and scenic walks, a perfect activity for couples looking to enjoy some romance. There is also the Tree Adventure, which is a series of aerial obstacle courses if you are up for a heart-quenching challenge. Don’t forget to bike around the mountain if you are an extreme Downhill mountain biker as Aonach Mor has been the home of UCI Downhill World Cup since 2002!
The Nevis Mountain Range is also famous for being a pristine destination of paragliders as it offers the best of the most challenging winds in Britain. The gondola also prepares a convenient way to get high up the peaks easily to those looking to practice their paragliding and hang gliding skills.
Lastly, if you are visiting during the winter, there is a lot of snowsports that is available for you. These can include skiing or snowboarding down your way to the foot of the mountain once you get on top of the gondola.
Tickets can be bought online and on-site the Nevis Mountain Range. They can run anywhere from 20 GBP and 55 GBP depending on the activity.
It is open everyday, from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.
Address: Nevis Range, Torlundy Fort Williams, Inverness-shire, PH33 6SQ
Phone: +44 (0)1397 705 825
3. Stroll Around the Old Inverlochy Castle
The Old Inverlochy Castle is now the ruins of a former 13th-century castle near Inverlochy and Fort Williams. The site of two historic wars, the first and second battles of Inverlochy, it remains largely unchanged since its construction in the 13th century.
A stop to the Old Inverlochy Castle is largely encouraged to anyone visiting Fort Williams, or the Highlands of Scotland in general. it is referred to as the Old Inverlochy Castle as in 1836, the Hobbs family build a Victorian, Chateau-style Inverlochy Castle in nearby Torlundy that has since then been converted into a luxury hotel.
While the moat that used to surround this castle has been long gone, majority of its architecture and internal structure remains the same since it was built.
The history of the Old Inverlochy Castle is high and mighty as it is the site of the first and second battles of Inverlochy, both of which has changed the castle’s appearance greatly.
A visit and a tour around this castle will provide a good idea (and sometimes a disturbing feeling) of what it is like to have lived in the early centuries, in the midst of wars and sages within a high and mighty castle.
The Inverlochy Castle is free to visit all year round.
It is open 24 hours a day.
Address: Old Inverlochy Castle, Form Williams, PH33 6TF UK
Phone: +44 (0)7895 643214
4. Visit the West Highland Museum
Founded in 1922 by a group of Lochaber folk who aimed to create a museum for the people and town of West Highlands, the West Highlands Museums is quoted to have been “not a museum, but a dream”.
It currently houses a collection of various artifacts and objects from the early centuries. There are collections of archaeology, military, Jacobites (from the supporters of the line of James who had previously ruled Scotland), Victoriana from the reign of Queen Victoria in Highlands and artifacts that depict the Highland life in the early centuries.
Currently, there is a newly placed Ford Model T displayed in front of the museum. In 1911, a similar car model drove by the summit of Ben Nevis in a publicity stunt. All of this is depicted and discussed in a film that you will see during your visit.
Guides are actually volunteers who are well-experienced in touring tourists and are passionate about sharing the history of West Highlands to visitors. They are very friendly and it you can easily make friends with them.
Other major highlights of this museum are the Goldman coin collection, polished stone axes, ancient pottery and stonework from a wrecked Spanish Galleon, along with artifacts from a crannog site that are 1500 years old.
Admission fee is free and there is free Wi-Fi too!
January to April: 10AM – 4PM from Mondays to Saturdays
May to September: 10AM – 5PM from Mondays to Saturdays
October to December: 10AM – 4PM from Mondays to Saturdays
July and August: 11AM – 3PM on Sundays
Address: West Highland Museum, Cameron Square, Fort Williams, Scotland, PH33 6AJ
Phone: 01397 702169
5. Ride the Jacobite Steam Train
The Jacobite Steam Train, most famous for its role in the famous Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express, transverses through 84 miles of railway between Fort William and Mallaig. Riding the Jacobite Steam Train should definitely be one of the items in the bucket list of any Harry Potter enthusiast out there.
It’s given the role as the Hogwarts Express and dubbed as the greatest railway journey in the world for good reason – it provides the best views during the whole journey. You will pass by the Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch and Loch Nevis, the deepest seawater loch. You will also pass through the iconic bridge made of 21 arches, the Glefinnan Viaduct, famous for being another site in the Harry Potter movies.
The Jacobite Steam Train does not run on the late fall and winter months. And so, if you definitely must ride the train during your visit to Scotland, schedule it between late April and early October.
Book a first-class seat for the best open-coach views and be able to witness the beauty that the train ride has to offer. A first-class seat will also guarantee you the best outside the train shots of the lochs and viaduct that you will pass by. There is also a gift shop that you can stop by for some Harry-Potter memorabilia.
The destination of the train is to Mallaig, a town divided into two: a coast and a farm, well known for its fishing villages and home to former tenants of Loch Monar and Loch Nevis.
For first class seats:
Adult Day Return for 60 GBP
Child Day Return for 33 GBP
Private Table for Two for 123 GBP
For standard seats:
Adult Day Return for 38 GBP
Adult Single for 32 GBP
Child Day Return for 21 GBP
Child Single for 19 GBP
You may check the availability of your desired seats through the West Coast Railways Websites. Please do make sure that you book before 3PM of the day that the journey will take place. Otherwise, the train will be unable to receive your booking and you cannot travel.
Easter Service: Friday April 19 to Sunday 21st April
Morning Service: Monday 22nd April to Friday 25th October 2019 (Mondays to Fridays); Saturday 4th May to Sunday 29th September (Saturdays and Sundays).
Afternoon Service: Monday 13th May to Friday 13th September (Mondays to Fridays); Saturday 15th June to Sunday 1st September 2019 (Saturdays to Sundays).
Address: The address for the station is Tomna-Faire, Station Square, Fort Williams, Highlands, PH33 6EN
Phone: 0844 850 4685 – you can also book for your tickets through this phone number.
6. Feel at Peace at the Glenfinnan Church
As the Jacobite Steam Train has Mallaig as a destination, it is a shame to not explore this small town and the hidden gems located in it. One famed tourist hotspot in Mallaig is the Glenfinnan Church, also known as St. Mary and St. Finnan’s Catholic Church, it is a fine example of Pugin architecture located in a perfect location – high above the shores of Loch Shiel.
The construction of this church was completed in 1873 by Edward Welby Pugin in the early English style. The Glenfinnan Viaduct and Station is located nearby the southern edge of the church on the shores of Loch Shiel.
The church, including its outside surroundings will make you feel at peace as you marvel at the astonishing hillsides, overlooking the sun reflecting off the waters of Loch Shiel. The wind and atmosphere high above the hill is also something unique and incredible to experience.
Inside the church is an underappreciated altar lying below a bright and colorful stained glass window in a unique flower pattern. The gothic building also boasts sculptured columns and memorial stones to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the MacDonald family.
The church is free to be visited by anyone. However, donations are welcome.
The Sunday mass is at 1PM while the Holyday Obligation Vigil Mass is 7PM.
Address: Glenfinnan PH37 4LT
Phone: 01397 700622 – is the phone number of the current Parish Priest President of Glenfinnan.
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