An aerial image showing blue water and the green fertile coast line of Loch Linnhe in the summer in the Argyll region of the highlands of Scotland

Things to do in  Fort William

Gateway to Scotland’s greatest adventures

Set on the shores of Loch Linnhe and surrounded by some of Scotland’s tallest mountains and most alluring valleys, it's little wonder that Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK. The appeal of the town itself is limited, but Fort William makes an excellent base for exploring the natural beauty of the Lochaber region and for heading deeper into the Scottish Highlands. From climbing Ben Nevis. Britain's highest mountain, to marveling at the haunting landscapes of Glencoe, there are plenty of things to do around Fort William.

Top 4 attractions in Fort William

Ben Nevis

Rising 4,409 feet (1,344 meters) above sea level, Ben Nevis is Scotland’s tallest mountain and a premiere destination for climbers. Once a massive volcano that exploded and collapsed inward, the summit is frequently shrouded in mist. In Gaelic, it is called the “mountain with its head in the clouds” and also “venomous mountain.”More

Loch Ness

Visitors flock to Loch Ness hoping to catch a glimpse of its elusive and eponymous monster, Loch Ness. This lake in the Scottish Highlands is worth the trip even if you don’t believe the rumors. Vast and surrounded by magnificent Scottish scenery, Loch Ness is a popular boating and sightseeing spot.More

Rannoch Moor

With its expanse of heather-speckled moors, peat bogs and mist-veiled lochs, Rannoch Moor offers an enchanting introduction to the wild scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Vast, remote and uninhabitable, the moors stretch over 12,800 hectares (128 between Glencoe and Loch Rannoch, and have long been a favorite spot for hikers and photographers looking to escape the beaten track.The easiest way to take in the dramatic scenery of Rannoch Moor is with a ride on the West Highland Railway, a historic route that runs through a 23-mile stretch of the moors. Alternatively a number of hiking, cycling and 4WD trails offer the chance to discover the rugged moorlands and the surrounding mountains, as well as spot native wildlife like Red and Roe deer, red squirrel, Golden Eagle and even the elusive Scottish Wildcat.More

Road to the Isles

Dotted with small Scottish towns and with no shortage of scenery, the aptly named “Road to the Isles” is one of Scotland’s most beautiful drives and provides the base for exploring the Small Isles and Skye. Stretching from the base of the UK’s tallest mountain to a port town on the sea, both coastal and mountainous scenery abound. The unspoiled landscapes through the Highlands of Scotland have been the site of many film and television scenes — perhaps most famously in the Harry Potter films.There are many stops to enjoy along the way, progressing from mountain towns, lochs (or lakes) and glens to isles, inlets, and white sand beaches. Of particular note is Neptune’s Staircase, a series of eight lochs with views of the mountain Ben Nevis, and Glenfinnan, home to the historic monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie once raised his Highland army.More
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All about Fort William

When to visit

Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit Fort William. The extended daylight hours of May through September allow for more time outdoors, and the weather doesn’t get any better. However, Fort William does get overrun with tourists during the peak months of July and August, so aim for a May/June, or September visit.

Getting around

The town of Fort William is compact enough to get around on foot quickly. Nearby attractions, including Ben Nevis, Glencoe, and the Glenfinnan Monument, are all served by frequent public buses. However, if you want to explore some of Lochaber’s more remote areas, you’ll need to rent a car or book a tour.

Traveler tips

Most visitors to Fort William head for the mountains, but you shouldn’t miss the chance to get onto the sparkling blue waters of Loch Linnhe. Several options are available: you can book a cruise with a local operator or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, explore the large sea loch by kayak.


People Also Ask

How to spend a day in Fort William?

A day in Fort William should include a visit to the West Highland Museum to get a sense of regional history; a boat trip across Loch Linnhe; a walk in the haunting valley of Glencoe: and a visit to the Glenfinnan Monument and the Glenfinnan Viaduct (try to time your visit to see the Jacobite steam train chugging by).

Why do tourists visit Fort William?

Tourists visit Fort William because it is the gateway to some of Scotland’s most famous natural attractions, including Ben Nevis, Glencoe, and Steall Falls—it is a hub for outdoor activities. Tourists also travel here to take the Jacobite steam train (made famous by the “Harry Potter” movies).

Is there a train from Fort William to the Isle of Skye?

No, there is no train service to the Isle of Skye from Fort William (or anywhere, for that matter). However, you can catch the bus. The number 915 bus from Glasgow to Portree on the Isle of Skye stops in Fort William. It’s around a 3-hour trip from Fort William to Portree, and it is advisable to make reservations in advance.

Is the train from Glasgow to Fort William scenic?

Yes. The West Highland Line from Glasgow to Fort William is one of Britain's most scenic railway journeys, if not the world. As you leave Glasgow, you’ll quickly dive deep into Scotland's wild west coast, traveling along a route that cars and buses cannot reach because of no roads.

What is there to do between Inverness and Fort William?

There is plenty to do on the road between Inverness and Fort William, one of Britain’s most beautiful drives. The road runs alongside Loch Ness, so you can cruise on the loch and visit Urquhart Castle. You can also walk part of the Great Glen Way and explore the little village of Spean Bridge.

Is Oban better than Fort William?

No, not necessarily. Both Oban and Fort William provide excellent basecamps for exploring the west coast of Scotland. Oban offers better access to the Inner Hebrides as a ferry hub while staying in Fort William is more convenient for accessing the mountains. With its coastal setting and island views, Oban is arguably the prettier town.

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