16 Epic Things to Do in Fort William, Scotland – Best Walks + Map    

Fort William

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 16 Best Things to Do in Fort William, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

1. Enjoy a Magical Ride in the Jacobite Steam Train

One of the must-do things in Fort William is hopping on the Jacobite Steam Train. Everyone would have seen the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct – you don’t have to be a Harry Potter Fan for that. Jacobite Steam Train crosses that 21-arched viaduct on its way to the coastal town of Mallaig, where it terminates. This train is also popularly known as the Hogwarts Express. It’s undoubtedly one of the best train journeys in the world.

The Jacobite train travels along the incredibly beautiful West Highland Coast of Scotland. Just prepare to be amazed by the rugged mountains, enchanting lochs, beautiful wee villages. When the train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, it slows down for a while. Take in the cracking view of the viaduct and Loch Shiel – a nearby freshwater loch.

The Jacobite Steam Train runs daily round-trip morning service between April and October. The afternoon service is usually from late April till the end of September. The journey lasts about 2 hours on each leg with a stopover of around 1 hour 45 minutes at Mallaig. The train has First Class and Standard Class Carriages. The First-Class carriage is beautifully decorated – you would have the feeling of a vintage train. You would get complimentary beverages. You can even treat yourself to an afternoon tea – that would come with an extra cost though. On Standard Class Carriage, you can buy sandwiches, tea, coffee, crisps from the trolley.

When the train is near the Morar Station, look out for ‘Eilean na Moine‘ – a small island in Loch Eilt. It appeared in Harry Potter films as Dumbledore’s final resting place.

🔥Insider Tips: The tickets sell out very fast in summer. Booking online, well in advance, is recommended. 

Though you would get beautiful views from both sides of the train, for better photo opportunities, sit on the forward-facing left side while going towards Mallaig.

💰Price: Standard Class return: £52/adult; £30/Child.

First Class return: £79.50 /adult; £57/Child; Private Table for Two: £180; Full Compartment: £349

2. Climb the Mighty Ben Nevis

Located at the western end of the Grampian Mountain range of the Scottish Highlands, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK. Towering over the town of Fort William, this iconic mountain attracts nearly 125 thousand mountain lovers and walkers every year from all over the World.

Climbing the mighty Ben Nevis is on the bucket list of many adventure lovers and one of the main reasons to visit Fort William. Standing at 1,345 metres above sea level, knowing that you are higher than everyone else in the country, is a wonderful feeling and is well worth the effort.

In Scottish Gaelic, Ben Nevis means- ‘mountain with its head in the clouds’, which happens very often, literally. The other translation says – ‘venomous mountain’. 

It’s very interesting to know that millions of years ago Ben Nevis was a massive active volcano. It erupted and collapsed inwards. The light-coloured granite at the mountain summit shows geological evidence of the explosion.

Before you set out to explore the mountain, you should know that it’s going to be a long and strenuous hike. There are two main walking routes to Ben Nevis. The popular one is the Mountain Track – used by most walkers. The other one is the Carn Mor Dearg Arête route, which is for more advanced and experienced climbers and scramblers. 

The walk is long, and at times, it’s very challenging. The area near the summit is very rocky and rough and is often covered by snow. At the summit, you will find the remains of the abandoned meteorological observatory, which was active between 1883 and 1904. 

Start: The Mountain tracks start from the Glen Nevis visitor centre car park, which is about 5 minutes drive from Fort William.

Time: 7-9 hours

Distance: 17km / 10.5 miles

If you are an avid runner, you could participate in the annual Ben Nevis Race. The event is held on the first Saturday in September every year. The number of participants is restricted to protect the environment. Starting from the foot of Ben Nevis, the running course is 14 km long with nearly 1340 metres of ascent.

Best time to climb Ben Nevis: Summer, between May and September, is the ideal time to tackle the mountain. During these months, days are longer and drier with lots of sunshine, and there is more chance to get a clear view from the top. Although, you are very likely to see snow at all times near the summit. But keep in mind that the weather here is extremely unpredictable. So, always check the weather before going on the hike. Climbing Ben Nevis in winter is not recommended unless you are an experienced mountaineer.

Top Tips: The fact that Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK, says it all – shouldn’t be taken lightly. Although the mountain track is easy to follow, it’s essential to carry a map and a compass or GPS and the knowledge to use it. You might need it in case of poor visibility.

It’s a fairly long walk to the summit. Don’t climb the mountain in bad weather. Check the weather reports before the hike. The weather on the mountain is very unpredictable and changes in minutes. Even on summer days, the summit temperature can be at sub-zero sometimes. So, dress in layers and wear waterproof jackets and trousers. A good pair of walking boots is a must. Also, don’t forget to bring a hiking pole, you might need them. 

Most importantly, bring back all your rubbish. There’s no bin in the mountain. So, don’t leave any litter in the mountain.

3. Marvel at the View from Nevis Range Mountain Resort

Located right next to the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis, the Nevis Range Mountain Experience is one of the top attractions in Fort William. Home to a wide range of outdoor adventure activities and a scenic gondola ride, it is built on the north face of Aonach Mòr – the 8th highest mountain in Britain. 

From 2002 onwards, Nevis Range has been hosting the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, a unique event attended by thousands of sports lovers from all over the world to see the top riders in action.

Nevis Range Mountain Resort

In winter, this is the centre of the Nevis Range skiing area. Although, in summer, the gondola is used by all outdoor enthusiasts. At the top, you will be greeted with some of the most stunning views over Fort William and the surrounding mountains and lochs. 

Originally created to transport skiers to the slopes, today, Nevis Range Mountain Gondola is UK’s only mountain gondola. It transports visitors at an elevation of 650m in just around 12 – 15 minutes and can accommodate up to six people inside. From the Snowgoose Restaurant at the top, follow the waymarked path to reach two popular viewpoints- Sgùrr Finnisg-aig and Meall Beag.

The zig-zag path to Sgùrr Finnisg-aig trail takes around 40 minutes for a round trip. From the rocky summit at 663m, you will get a breathtaking view of Fort William, Loch Linnhe, Loch Eil and the Great Glen. Sometimes on clear days, you can even see the Inner Hebrides. The second viewpoint, Meall Beag, is a bit longer than the first one. It takes approximately one hour to go and come back. You can see the peak of the Ben Nevis plateau from here.

The gondola is also widely used by expert hikers and climbers to access various routes on Aonach Mòr. Mountain bikers take their bikes on the back of the gondola and then cycle downhill on several challenging trails. There is a bike hire facility here, open daily from April to October. The network of bike trails is different in grades to suit all abilities. Nevis range is also a paradise for paragliders.

Finish your visit with a pint or a hot cup of coffee at the Snowgoose Restaurant on the top. They also serve delicious pies, burgers and sandwiches. There is another cafe at the base of the gondola station.

🔥Top tips: Due to its high elevation, the top of Nevis Range is usually very windy and cold, even on summer days. So, wear plenty of layers, preferably waterproof jackets. Also, put on good quality walking shoes to protect your feet. 

Price: Day passes, adult £23.50, child £12.50, Family £60.50-£67.50. You can buy your tickets online and at the counter.

Opening hours: Summer daily 10 am – 5 pm. Late closing times in specific months of summer. Winter daily 9 am – 4 pm.

How to reach by car: From Fort William, drive through A82. Takes approximately 12 minutes to come here. Day parking costs £4.50. You can buy car parking tickets online or from the ticket machines onsite.

How to reach by bus: Board Shield bus, N41 from Fort William town centre.

4. Join in Adventure Activities in Fort William

Fort William is widely considered the outdoor capital of the UK. There is a wide range of outdoor activities to do in Fort William – from mountain biking to skiing, hiking to golfing.

One of the popular activities is climbing Ben Nevis – the high mountain in the UK. If you are looking for long-distance walking trails, you would be interested in West Highland Way, Great Glen Way and East Highland Way.

West Highland Way – The most popular long-distance walking trail in Scotland covering a distance of about 96 miles from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William. Great Glen Way – This 78 miles long walking trail starts from Fort William and runs till Inverness, capital of the Highlands. It takes about 5 – 7 days to walk and 2- 3 days to cycle.

For water sports enthusiasts, there is a 60-mile canoe trail along the Caledonian Canal, which runs coast-to-coast from Corpach near Fort William to Inverness. You can also do white water rafting on the River Gary near Fort William.

Nevis Range Mountain Resort is a popular place for mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding (in winter) and paragliding. Fort William Downhill World Cup is being held here in the summer since 2002, and mountain bikers from all over the world attend this event. Bike hire is available at Nevis Range, and the Gondola offers a Bike Uplift facility to take your bike to an elevation of 650 metres. From there, you would have a range of downhill tracks to do the mountain biking. 

If you are into Ice climbing, head towards Ice Factor at Kinlochleven – nearly half an hour’s drive from Fort William. They have one of the best ice climbing walls in the world.

5. Glencoe Lochan

Located to the north of Glencoe Village in Scottish Highlands, Glencoe Lochan is one of the best walks in Scotland. Located about 17 miles south of Fort William, Glencoe Lochan is a family-friendly walk for all abilities, from buggy walkers to wheelchair users. The loch and the forest of Glencoe Lochan were built by Donald Smith – a Scottish born Canadian businessman and philanthropist – who later became the Canadian High commissioner to the UK. He had this forest planted to cheer up his homesick Canadian wife in the late 19th century.

There are three different trails from the car park – Lochan Trail, Mountain Trail, and the Woodland Trail. Lochan Trail is mostly a flat walk skirting around the loch, and it takes about half an hour to complete this. Mountain Trail is a bit strenuous, and at some places, it’s pretty steep. The woodland walk is through the North American conifers. In spring, you would be blessed with a carpet of bluebells. Each of the last two trails takes around 45 minutes to one hour to finish.

Glencoe Lochan is an ideal spot for a scenic walk near Fort William. It rewards you with a stunning view of the Pap of Glencoe. When the water is calm, you will get a magnificent reflection of that imposing mountain. Very frequently, you would be able to spot ducks swimming on the loch.

How to Reach by Car: Glencoe Lochan is about 30 minutes drive from Fort William.

How to Reach by Bus: Take Citylink bus 916 from Fort William Bus Station. Get off at the ‘Hotel’ bus stop near Glencoe village – It takes almost half an hour. From there, the starting off point of Glencoe Lochan is about 15 minutes walk.

6. Neptune's Staircase

Located in the scenic village of Banavie, the historic Neptune’s Staircase is a must-visit attraction near Fort William. Thomas Telford, the renowned Scottish civil engineer,  built this staircase lock on the Caledonian Canal between 1803 and 1822. It is the longest staircase lock in Britain and spans over a quarter-mile in length.

The staircase consists of eight locks, and it takes around 90 minutes for a boat to rise to a height of 64 feet. Each of these locks is 180 feet by 40 feet and weighs 22 tons each. It requires three lock-keepers to operate the locks. The locks were initially hand-operated but later converted to hydraulics.

The Staircases also serves as an excellent viewpoint. From the top of the steps, you can admire the view over to Loch Linnhe and the North West side of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Britain. 

You can walk along the canal and watch the boats as they navigate through the locks.

🔥Insider Tips: The famous Jacobite Steam Train passes through Banavie train station at the bottom of Neptune’s Staircases. You can catch a glimpse of the train or photograph it against the backdrop of Ben Nevis from here.

Follow the canal-side path down the Loch Linnhe. The easy 1.5-mile walk towards Corpach village takes around half an hour one way and provides an excellent view of the Canal and the neighbouring mountains.

How to reach by train: Take a Scotrail train to Banavie. Just 7 minutes ride from Fort William.

How to reach by bus: Catch local bus N46, N47, 500 operated by Shield Buses from Fort William. Takes around 20 minutes to reach here.

How to reach by car: Follow A830 from Fort William. Takes around 10 minutes and there is a free car park.

7. Ben Nevis Distillery

After a  long vigorous hike, treat yourself with a dram or a bottle of Ben Nevis Whisky. Located at the outskirts of Fort William in the shadow of the mighty Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis Distillery is one of the oldest whisky distilleries in Scotland. Founded in 1825 by ‘Long John’ McDonald, this 200-year-old coastal distillery uses water from the nearby river stream, Allt a’Mhuilinn. This river stream is fed from the two pools of Ben Nevis. In past centuries,  whisky bottles were sailed through the nearby Caledonian Canal over to  Loch Ness.

Ben Nevis Distillery Fort William
Ben Nevis Distillery

There was another close-by distillery called Nevis Distillery in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, both these distilleries were merged due to their increasing demand. Today the distillery is owned by a Japanese distiller, Nikka.

At the adjacent old distillery warehouse, The Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis Visitor Centre was opened in 1991.  Hourly tours run every day from June to August and on weekdays for the rest of the year. There are mainly two types of tours available. Conducted by an expert guide, the Failte Tour lasts for around 40 minutes.  You will learn about the history behind the distillery, as well as a tour of the production areas inside. It finishes off with a complimentary tasting of their Whisky.

For a more in-depth tour, join their tasting one, at the end of which you will get to taste three Ben Nevis Malt Whiskies. The visitor Centre also houses a restaurant and a coffee shop. 

Opening hours: Jun-Aug Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Sep-May Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

Price: Failte Tour Adult £5.00, Children £2.50. Tasting Tour £18.00 per person.

How to reach by bus: Catch local bus N46, N47 from Fort William.

How to reach by car: 5 min drive from Fort William centre.

8. Steall Waterfall

Located in Glen Nevis, Steall Waterfall (An Steall Bàn in Gaelic which means the White Spout) is about 18 minutes drive from Fort William. It tumbles down into the Nevis Gorge with a single drop of 120 metres. Steall Waterfall is the second-highest one in Scotland and the UK.

The walk begins from the car park at the end of the road near the head of Glen Nevis, and it continues through a narrow gorge. It can be a bit rough and rocky in some parts. Once you reach the top of the gorge, you will start to see Steall Waterfall against the backdrop of mighty Munros in the Lochaber area. Continue along the road, and you will soon come to a point where the glen bends towards the left. The view is simply magical from here.

However, if you want to go to the base of Steall Waterfall, you will need to cross a three-wire rope bridge. You will have to hold the top two wires with your hands while balancing your feet on the lower wire. It requires great attention and skills – the bridge may not appear too high, but you might get seriously injured if you fall off. So, unless you are totally sure about it, won’t recommend crossing the bridge. It typically takes almost a couple of hours to complete the Steall Waterfall walk from the car park.  

9. West Highland Museum

Founded in 1922 by a group of Lochaber locals, West Highland Museum is one of the finest and oldest Museums in Scottish Highland. Located at the heart of Fort William, this museum has a great collection of artefacts related to archaeology, Jacobite Cause, Military training, Victorian Period and Highland Life.

Step inside and learn a lot of information and trivia about Fort William and West Highland. The main collections include an embroidered waistcoat of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Governor’s room with birching table (an old instrument for corporal punishment), Bagpipes played at the Battle of Bannockburn, Holyrood Ball Fan – given out by the prince to the ladies who attended the ball at Holyrood Palace in 1745.

Don’t miss the bronze cast of a Ford Model T with a man in Cameron Square adjacent to this museum. There is an interesting story behind it. The man on the wheel is Henry Alexander Jr. In 1911, his father, a car dealer in Edinburgh, challenged him to drive Ford Model T to the peak of Ben Nevis as a publicity stunt. Getting to the top of the Ben Nevis took Henry Alexander Jr about five days. The statue was unveiled in 2011 to celebrate 100 years of this daring feat.

Opening Hours: This museum is open throughout the year and free to visit.

10. Be Captivated by Old Inverlochy Castle

Located at the southwest end of the Great Glen, Old Inverlochy Castle is a ruined castle nestled on the shore of the River Lochy in Fort William. It was built in the late 13th century by John Comyn II – the Chief of the Clan Comyn (or Cumming) of Badenoch. It is believed, there was a Pictish fortification at the site where this castle was founded.

In the Battle of Bannockburn, the Comyns took side with the English, and after their defeat, they lost their lands and ownership of the castle. Over centuries, it changed hands a few times. After the Second Battle of Inverlochy in 1645, the castle was abandoned, and a new fortification was built on the bank of Loch Linnhe.

The castle ground by the River Lochy is a great spot to sit back and relax. There is a footbridge near the castle over River Lochy. Cross the bridge, and at the other side, there is a nice photo spot to catch a glimpse of the Jacobite Steam Train. Just remember it runs only four times every day between April and October. So, If you are planning a train spotting, check out the time of departure from Fort William Train Station.  

Nearby attractions: Don’t miss the Highland Soap Factory and Ben Nevis Distillery – they are located within walking distance from Old Inverlochy Castle.

11. Commando Memorial

Located about 10 miles northeast of Fort William, Commando Memorial is one of the best monuments in the UK dedicated to War heroes. The bronze statues of three Commandos commemorate the British soldiers who lost their lives in World War II.  The Queen Mother unveiled this memorial in 1952. From here, you will get a stunning view out to Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Britain. This 17-feet tall monument overlooks the former Commando Training Depot – a military training facility in Achnacarry Castle where about 25,000 soldiers were trained during the Second World War.

The Highbridge – another important site in the British history of War lies about 2 miles from Commando Memorial towards Fort William. At the Highbridge over the River Spean, the Jacobite Uprising started in 1745 between the Government troops and the Jacobite forces, loyal to Bonnie Prince Charlie. In 2010, the War Memorial path was built to connect Commando Memorial and Highbridge.

12. Glencoe Village

Glencoe is an extremely picturesque village at the northwest edge of Glen Coe – the famous glen (mountain pass) in the Highlands of Scotland. This village is located about 17 miles south of Fort William.

Visit the Massacre of Glencoe Monument – a memorial erected to the infamous Massacre of Glencoe that took place on the nights of 12th February in 1692. Almost 40 members of Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were murdered by the government forces under the command of Archibald Campbell, 10th Earl and 1st Duke of Argyll, for failing to meet the deadline of swearing allegiance to King William III.

Also, pay a wee visit to the Glencoe Folk Museum, which has a thatched roof. You would get to know some local history and witness interesting collections, most notably the replica of The Ballachulish Goddess – a 5 feet wooden sculpture of a girl discovered in North Ballachulish and is believed to be dated back to 600 BC. The Massacre Room there tells a lot of stories about the Massacre of Glencoe.

There is a wee church, café and a shop in this pretty village near Fort William. Glencoe village has great wildlife as well. Keep your eyes peeled out for red deer and golden eagles.

If you are an expert hiker, climb up the Pap of Glencoe, which looms over this village. This 742-metre high mountain has a strikingly conical shape, bearing a resemblance to a lady’s breast (pap). From the top of the mountain, you would get a breathtaking panoramic view of Glencoe village and the surrounding mountains. Glencoe Lochan – an idyllic place for a family-friendly walk, lies within a very short walk from this village.

Glencoe village is a great base to explore the Lochaber area. If you fancy staying the night, there are several hotels, B&B and cottages in and around this village.

Top Tip: Just outside the village near the main road (A82), you would get a stunning view of Loch Leven – a sea loch. Don’t miss it.

How to Reach by Car: Glencoe village is about half an hour’s drive from Fort William.

How to Reach by Bus: Take the Glasgow bound Citylink bus, 916 from Fort William Bus Station. Get off at the ‘Hotel’ bus stop near Glencoe village. It takes almost 30 minutes to reach here.

13. Ballachulish

Located about 15 miles south of Fort William, Ballachulish is a lovely place at the mouth of Loch Leven. Ballachulish comes from a Scottish Gaelic word that means, The Village by the Narrows. North Ballachulish and South Ballachulish, two little villages, lie on two sides of Loch Leven where it narrows down dramatically before flowing into Loch Linnhe. Originally, North Ballachulish was known as Ballachulish. In the late 17th century, quarrying started in West Laroch, almost 3 miles from North Ballachulish towards Glencoe village. The slate quarries became known as Ballachulish Quarries, and the village surrounding those quarries took the name of Ballachulish.

For over 250 years, Ballachulish Quarries produced roof tiles which were widely used in most parts of Scotland. The quarry was finally closed in the 1950s. There is a scenic quarry trail from the quarry to a slate arch on the side of the main road (A82). Brecklet Trail, another popular walking route, also starts from this village. This one is a bit steeper than the quarry trail but very rewarding. You would have a magnificent view of the village and Loch Leven.

If you fancy doing a bit of kayaking on Loch Leven, book a kayak tour with Paddle Lochaber. Pop into the Ballachulish Visitor Centre at the heart of the village. They would be able to arrange a range of outdoor activities for you. They have a nice café and gift shop as well.

If you are heading towards Fort William from Ballachulish, look out for the Last Clansman Memorial on the left side of A82 just before crossing Ballachulish Bridge. This is a memorial to James Stewart of the Glen, who was hanged after being wrongly convicted of the Appin Murder in 1752. Kidnapped, a novel by 19th-century famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, was written based upon this incident.

14. Lochaber Geopark

Lochaber Geopark is a vast area comprised of a rugged landscape and some striking geological features.  The most popular one is Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the UK. On the ‘Road to the Isles’ – which runs from Fort William to Mallaig, you would get to witness a breathtaking view of the sweeping sandy Bay of Morar and the deepest freshwater lake, Loch Morar.

Further west of Mallaig lies the Small Isles of Rum, Canna, Eigg and Muck. Canna, Eigg and Much are made of volcanic rocks. The Isle of Rum is the remains of an eroded volcano that last erupted 60 million years ago.

Glencoe is home to breathtaking mountain passes and some of the most dramatic mountain peaks – Three Sisters, Pap of Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mhor. Another striking landscape near Glencoe is Rannoch Moor – a boggy moorland spreading over 50 square miles.

Ardnamurchan peninsula has some dramatic glens, formed out of glacial activities 450 million years ago. The most westerly point of the British mainland is situated on this peninsula.

Pop into the Lochaber Geopark Visitor Centre, located on the High Street in Fort William. You would get to learn a lot of information about the geology and landscape of Lochaber.

15. West Highland Way

Walking a section or full stretch of West Highland Way should definitely be on your Fort William itinerary. West Highland Way is a long-distance route running from Milngavie (pronounced mull-guy) near Glasgow to Fort William, spanning a stretch of 96 miles. Opened in 1980, It’s the first official long-distance trail in Scotland and is very popular among locals and tourists alike. More than 100,000 people walk part of the West Highland Way every year, with over 35,000 walkers completing the whole route.

It’s usually walked from the south (lowland) to the north (Highland) and typically takes around 7 – 8 days to complete, depending on your fitness level. You would be rewarded with some stunning scenery of the West Highlands – a vast stretch of Loch Lomond, desolate Rannoch Moor, undulating terrain of Glen Coe and many more.

The entire route has been broken down into eight different stages, for each to complete in a day to enjoy the scenery of this route properly. The good thing about West Highland Way is it’s not a too difficult walk and doesn’t involve climbing any big hills. There are plenty of accommodations in the towns and villages along this way. This is a popular route for wild camping as well.

Insider Tip: If you are planning to walk a section of the West Highland Way, the towns and villages like Drymen, Tyndrum, Kinlochleven at the start or endpoint of different stages are easily accessible by public transport.

16. Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is a popular long-distance route from Fort William to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Opened in 2002, this 78-mile path is one of the great trails in Scotland. It’s usually done from southwest (Fort William) to northwest (Inverness). It typically takes about 5- 6 days to walk and 2 – 3 days to cycle the entire Great Glen Way. The path is well signposted. More than 4,500 walkers complete this route every year.

Great Glen Way is not a very difficult long-distance walking trail. Most part of the walk is at a low level along the towpaths of the Caledonian Canal and woodlands. Caledonian Canal runs along Loch Oich, Loch Lochy and Loch Ness – famous for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. There is a higher level option as well for more experienced hikers. If you are planning to do this trail by cycling, you would need a mountain bike.

The entire route has been broken down into six different stages for a hiker, with an average fitness level, doing each stage in a day. Not only you would get to enjoy stunning scenery, but Great Glen Way also has excellent wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled out for golden eagles, deer, red kites.

How to Reach Fort William

Fort William is very well connected with all the main towns and cities of Scotland. You can easily reach here using public transports – bus and train, and car. 

How to reach Fort William from Glasgow

By Car – From Glasgow around 2 hours 30 minutes/ 102 miles. The drive to Fort William is one of the most scenic road trips in Scotland. You could  stopping at Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, Arrochar, Crianlarich and Falls Of Falloch. 

By Bus  Catch a Scottish Citylink bus from Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station to Fort William Bus station. The journey takes approximately 3 hours 10 minutes, and an adult single costs £26.40. Book your ticket in advance to get a reduced fare. Four bus services run in this route usually every day all year round. The bus also picks up passengers from Glasgow Airport.

By Train – The journey from Glasgow Queen Street Train Station to Fort William is very scenic. You will be travelling along some of the stunning mountains, lochs and countryside. It takes around 3 hours 45 minutes to reach Fort William. A single adult one-way ticket costs around £20-£25. For a cheaper price, buy your tickets in advance. There are up to 3 trains per day. At Crianlarich Station, the train divides into two parts. Half of the train continues till Oban, and the other half heads to Mallaig via Fort William.

How to reach Fort William from Edinburgh

By Car – From Edinburgh about 3 hours / 145 miles. You can stop at Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Spean Bridge, Stirling and Falkirk for some beautiful scenery.

By Bus – There’s no direct bus to Fort William from Edinburgh. You have to change bus in Glasgow. Catch a Scottish Citylink or Megabus service from St Andrews bus station to Buchanan Bus Station. From Glasgow, it’s a 3 hours 10 minutes bus journey to Fort William.

By Train – You have to go through Glasgow to reach Fort William from Edinburgh. Take a train to Glasgow Queen Street station. From there the train takes 3 hours 45 minutes to reach Fort William. The only direct train from Edinburgh Waverley to Fort William is the Caledonian sleeper train and it takes 5 hours 7 minutes.

How to reach Fort William from London

By Flight – The nearest airport to Fort William is Inverness Airport. You can get daily direct flights from London Luton, Gatwick, Heathrow Airport to Inverness. Flight only takes 1 hour 45 minutes. From there you can use public transport to reach Fort William.

By Car – From London 9 hours 30 minutes/ 516 miles.

By Bus – You can catch a bus from London Victoria to Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station. Board the Scottish Citylink bus to Fort William from here. 

By Train – Catch a train from London Euston to Glasgow and change here for a train to Fort William. Another great option is to board the Caledonian Sleeper train from London Euston. As in 2022, the train leaves London from Mon-Fri 9.15 pm and Sun 9 pm, and reaches Fort William the next morning at around 10 am.

How to get around Fort William

Fort William town centre is pretty compact and easily walkable. The bus and train station are very close to each other. Shiel Buses operates the local bus service around the town and the nearby Lochaber area. Scottish Citylink runs the intercity buses connecting Fort William to Oban, Inverness, Isle of Skye and Glasgow. They also give stops at a few nearby places. Also, Scotrail runs regular train services from Mallaig and Glasgow. 

But a self-driving car is the best option to get around Fort William and the nearby area. It will give you more flexibility and save you more time to explore all the hidden corners.

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