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WELCOME TO

FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER KINGFISHERVISITORGUIDES.COM

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THE HOME OF COUNTRY CLOTHING SCOTLAND’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS INDEPENDENT STORE

The House of Bruar is one of the leading designers of country clothing in Great Britain, creating a premium range of contemporary country classics in quality materials, with our Call of the Wild collection bringing you strikingly modern designs that set new standards of style. Our Cashmere and Knitwear Hall - the largest in the UK - is a treasure trove of stunning natural fibre garments in a spectacular range of colours. Alongside our own original creations you’ll also find a host of leading brands throughout our Ladieswear Department, including Adini, Gardeur, Masai and Barbour - of which we have the largest selection in Britain - while our Shoe and Handbag Department showcases Dubarry, Brics, Gianni Conti and Gabor. Men are equally well catered for in our 20,000 square foot Menswear Hall, with brands including Barbour, Gant, Levi’s and RM Williams, all of which are perfectly complemented by our own exclusive British tweeds, shirts, shoes and more to create the complete country wardrobe.

Innovative ideas for home and garden reside in the Country Living Department, and gifts galore can be found in our Present Shop, the highlights of which feature in our annual Handmade Gift Catalogue. We can even help you set up an exclusive wedding list for your special day. New to the store this year is The Jewel in the Crown, our dazzling jewellery shop filled with a resplendent collection of artful creations in gold, silver and a host of other materials. The best of Scotland’s natural larder is always on the menu in our Food Hall, Delicatessen and Restaurant, while our award-winning Butchery features quality cuts from local providers. Our new Bakery provides tempting treats with everything from freshly made sugar ring donuts to Mackie’s Scottish ice cream, while the unique Fish & Chip Shop also specialises in fresh lobster - the ultimate luxury comfort food! No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to The House of Bruar, located just off the A9 ten miles north of Pitlochry. Shown here is a taste of our new Autumn/Winter 2019-20 range. To order a copy of the latest mail order catalogue please call us or visit our website.

The Fishing Tackle Shop offers a haven for the keen angler, while just next door you can browse contemporary rural art from some of Britain’s leading artists in our Gallery.

The House of Bruar by Blair Atholl, Perthshire, PH18 5TW Telephone: 01796 483 236 Email: office@houseofbruar.com

www.houseofbruar.com


Kayak on the River Etive

MANAGING DIRECTOR

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Amy Heads HEAD OF ACCOUNTS

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This publication, its title and content, is wholly owned by and the copyright of Kingfisher Media Ltd. It is entirely independent and does not endorse, and is not supported or endorsed by, any official or private body or organisation. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without written permission from the publisher is strictly forbidden. The publisher accepts no responsibility for errors, omissions or the consequences thereof. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the views expressed by contributors, or for the accuracy of claims made by advertisements appearing in this publication.

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FRONT COVER IMAGES: ©IGOR OVSYANNYKOV/UNSPLASH; SERGHEI STARUS/ SWEN STROOP/ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; VISITBRITAIN/ROD EDWARDS STOCK IMAGES IN THIS PUBLICATION ARE USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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See if you can spot some of the region’s beautiful wildlife

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CONTENTS

Ten things

Discover the best things to do whilst you’re in the region... Page 22

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Ben Nevis

48 hours

What to do if you’re only here for the weekend... Page 30

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CONTENTS Welcome...................................................................................... 09 Fort William and Lochaber is a destination like no other!

History all around.......................................................................10 Bloody clan battles and Jacobite uprisings mark the history of Fort William and Lochaber.

Let’s go there............................................................................... 12

Delicious fare at The Whitehouse Restaurant

©BRIAN BLADES/CHRISTELLE/MONKEY BUSINESS/ADOBE STOCK; CLARE HARGREAVES/THE WHITEHOUSE RESTAURANT; VISITBRITAIN/NADIR KHAN

This region offers Britain’s highest mountain, a host of outdoor activities, stunning wildlife and scenery – and much more.

Ten things you must do........................................................... 22 There are loads of things to do here – make sure you don’t miss these.

Like to shop? You’ll love it here............................................. 24 From Scottish gift shops and artisan foods to bespoke crafts and outdoor shops, you’ll find it all here.

If you’re only here for 48 hours.............................................. 30 You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it.

A taste of Scotland – and the world...................................... 32 A great range of top-end fine dining and adventurous independents means you’ll never go hungry here.

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24 WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Enjoy delicious dining at one of our elegant hotels. Situated in north and south of the Isle of Skye, each of our venues has something unique to offer. Explore the island and visit our boutique hotels and discover the beauty of our comfortable lounges, open ď€ res and stylish restaurants. All three hotels have an award-winning restaurant serving the best of the Island and Highland cuisine with a ď€ ne selection of wine, whisky and gin.


CONTENTS

Further afield

You will find lots of beautiful places to explore nearby... Page 54

Ten reasons

Discover why we love this beautiful region... Page 44

Mountain Bike Championship, Fort William

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50 A region at the heart of art....................................................... 40 The local creative scene is a wonderful blend of traditional and contemporary.

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Ten reasons to love this region.............................................. 44

©ERIC ISSELE/MTSARIDE/ADOBE STOCK; VISITBRITAIN/SIMON WINNALL; VISITSCOTLAND/JOHN DUNCAN/PAUL TOMKINS; WEST HIGHLAND MUSEUM

There are dozens of reasons to love it here – check out a few of our favourites.

Welcome to the night............................................................... 46

West Highland Museum, Fort William

Enjoy some warm Highland hospitality in and around Fort William and Lochaber.

Our sporting life......................................................................... 50 Walking, sailing, skiing, kayaking and much more – you’re spoilt for choice in the Outdoor Capital of the UK.

Getting here and getting around............................................ 52 Fort William and Lochaber is easy to get to and around.

Let’s explore................................................................................ 54 If you have some time to spare, why not head further afield and see what lies on the region’s doorstep?

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Take the train to Fort William

52 WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


The MV Sileas offers you the opportunity to penetrate one of Britain’s few remaining wilderness areas, where regular sightings of Golden Eagles and Red Deer are common.

LOCH SHIEL CRUISES Accessible only by the boat, the eighteen-mile length of Loch Shiel, once a sea-loch but reshaped by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Ages, contains a wide variety of wildlife amidst stunning mountain scenery. • Scheduled cruises Tuesday-Sunday, mid March-late October • Private cruises for groups (max 40 people) • Evening “Bagpipe Cruise” • Cycling loops and walking routes combined with a cruise in the loch • Harry Potter – watch the “Hogwarts Express” crossing the famous viaduct • Cruise on the “Black Lake” where the Tri-wizard Tournament was filmed • See one of the locations where Hogwarts was located • “Highland” and “Outlander” were both filmed beside or on Loch Shiel • Family friendly – treasure chest full of fun for children • Bar with cold and hot drinks and light snacks. Toilet on board • Dogs welcome

WILDLIFE: • • • • •

White Tailed Eagles Golden Eagles Black-throated Drivers Otters Goosanders

• • • • •

Mergansers Osprey Hen Harrier Whopper Swans Tufted Ducks

Book online: www.highlandcruises.co.uk Book or enquire by telephone: 07946 842732 Cruises depart from: Glenfinnan Pier, Glenfinnan, Fort William PH37 4LT Parking available at Glenfinnan House Hotel • Email: info@lochshielcruises.co.uk


WELCOME

Glencoe Lochan

WELCOME

©GRESEI/ADOBE STOCK; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

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elcome to Fort William and Lochaber – and may we congratulate you on your choice of destination. It’s not all pretty surroundings and lovely vistas, impressive though they undoubtedly are. Fort William and Lochaber also has great modern shopping, restaurants, arts and culture, and some of the most picturesque places to stay in the country. Many attractions are open all year round, so finding something to do is easy. The county has everything from the formidable Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles to the mighty Glenfinnan Viaduct, that Harry Potter fans are sure to recognise. People from all over UK flock to the area for its beautiful scenery and Scottish charm, especially during its Highland Games season, when the region is alive with the sound of bagpipes and the whirl of kilts. Situated in the west of the Scottish Highlands, this wild and romantic county boasts a rugged landscape that has earned it the title of Outdoor Capital of the UK. Visitors are drawn back to the area for its spectacular views and the variety of outdoor activities on offer. The county is also renowned for its multitude of whisky distilleries, so book a tour and enjoy a dram or two. All in all, you’ve picked a great time to visit this wonderful county, so please enjoy everything it has to offer! l

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“THE COUNTY IS RENOWNED FOR ITS MULTITUDE OF WHISKY DISTILLERIES, SO BOOK A TOUR AND ENJOY A DRAM OR TWO”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Glencoe Massacre Monument


HISTORY & HERITAGE

HISTORY ALL AROUND! Bloody clan battles and Jacobite uprisings mark the history of Fort William and Lochaber

©VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM/PAUL TOMKINS

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government propaganda for the Jacobites in Edinburgh. 1715 and 1745 marked Jacobite uprisings in the Highlands. In 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, led the Jacobite Rising from Glenfinnan and headed south to try to take back the British Throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. In both of these occasions, Jacobite armies tested the newly constructed battlements of Fort William, with the fortress surviving the onslaught. However, the fort didn’t survive the arrival of the railway. It was destroyed in 1894 to make way for a railway. The railway made this remote region far more accessible, and it now welcomes thousands of travellers each year. The Caledonian Canal, built by engineer Thomas Telford, has also played an important part in the fortunes of the region. Originally built to provide safe shipping as an alternative to the treacherous route north through the Pentland Firth and around the dangerous waters of Cape Wrath, the construction of the canal also provided important employment at the time. The canal eventually opened in 1822 and is now an attraction enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. There are plenty of places to discover more about the history of the region. Try the West Highland Museum in Fort William to learn more in-depth details of Lochaber’s fascinating story. l

ne of the most remote areas of the UK, Lochaber covers 4,648km2 in the Highlands of Scotland. It has a population of approximately 19,000 people, with around 11,000 living in the main town of Fort William. Outside Fort William, Lochaber is one of the least densely populated areas in the whole of Europe. The dramatic landscape was born out of fiery volcanic activity and glaciers – and the region has a fiery history to match. Fort William was originally called Inverlochy and the name continues in the ruin of Inverlochy Castle situated just outside the town centre. A new fort was built at a strategic position at the head of Glen Mhor on behalf of Oliver Cromwell in 1654, and this became the region’s prominent military site. In the 1690s, William of Orange ordered the fort to be enlarged, and Inverlochy then took the name of the new king and became known as Fort William. Glencoe was the violent and bloody scene of one of the most infamous massacres in Scottish history. In February 1692, men, women and children of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe (or MacIains as they were more specifically known) were slaughtered while they slept by Captain Robert Campbell and his men. This shocked the country, particularly as the men had enjoyed their victims’ hospitality for several days in the lead-up to the massacre. It became an important piece of anti-

“THERE ARE PLENTY OF PLACES TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE REGION – TRY THE WEST HIGHLAND MUSEUM IN FORT WILLIAM TO LEARN MORE IN-DEPTH DETAILS OF LOCHABER’S FASCINATING STORY”

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


The Jacobite crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct

DAYS OUT

LET’S GO THERE! This region offers Britain’s highest mountain, a host of outdoor activities, stunning wildlife and scenery – and much more

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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overlooking the town of Fort William, many people want to tackle Britain’s highest mountain. There’s a decent tourist path, but you need to be reasonably fit and carrying the right equipment and clothing as it can be a warm, sunny day at the foot of the mountain and a whiteout blizzard at the top. On a clear day, though, the views are astonishing at 1,345 metres, and not everyone can boast they’ve stood on the top of Britain’s highest point! Have a well-earned drink at the bottom at the iconic Ben Nevis Inn. Experienced climbers will be more interested in the 2,000 ft-high cliffs of the north face, which hold climbs and scrambles of all difficulty, and are excellent for ice climbing. p17

©SERGII MOSTOVYI/ SWEN STROOP/ADOBE STOCK

here’s so much to do and see in Fort William and Lochaber that it makes a fantastic place for everyone – no matter what you like to do. Of course, there’s plenty of action for the adrenaline junkie, but there’s also plenty to do and see for those who prefer a more sedate pace to their trip. EMBRACE THE GREAT OUTDOORS Many of the visitors to Fort William and Lochaber are here to take advantage of the area’s moniker as the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Skiing, walking, climbing, kayaking, sailing or cycling – the area’s a veritable playground for the outdoor enthusiast. Of course, with the towering Ben Nevis

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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HIGHLAND ALL TERRAIN

4x4 & ATV Tours

www.highlandallterrain.co.uk Tel. 01528 544 358

Highland All Terrain offer quad bike and 4x4 tours in some of the most scenic areas of the Scottish Highlands, we pride ourselves on delivering tours that take in the landscape, history and wildlife of the Scottish Highland using unique routes and transport on our award-winning tours. With exclusive access to thousands of acres or private land we choose each route to suit the ability of the group, Caledonian forests, inland beaches and open moorland, each offering its unique vistas and challenges along the way. Our quad bike tours range from a single hour to half day tours, expert instruction to quickly get you used to controlling the bikes, then a route designed to build on your growing ability and confidence as we take in the magnificent landscape and history of this stunning land. Our 4x4 tours are available as a guided 4x4 tour, join us in one of our Land Rover Discoveries or Defenders with your expert guide to offer incredible insight to the land you travel through, take to the hills and be prepared to spot Red Deer, Eagles and Osprey. Our Self-Drive tours allow you to take to the wheel of a 4x4 vehicle, under the expert guidance of our fully trained 4x4 instructors, follow their lead as you tackle river crossings and off road track as we head out in to the hills. Or if you have your own 4x4 vehicle and wish to venture off road, then what better way than with the reassurance of a trained professional leading the way. 4x4 instructed sessions are available to really put you and the vehicle to the test, our one or two hour lessons will take you through the correct use of the vehicles controls whilst tackling seemingly impossible climbs, descents and slopes.

FIND US


THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF CLAN DONALD

ISLE OF SKYE

“A jewel in the Garden of Skye” Magnificent gardens • Award-winning museum • Romantic castle ruin • Stunning views Family activities • Woodland walks • Self-catering accommodation • Café and shops Discover the spiritual home of Clan Donald

Armadale Castle, Armadale, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV45 8RS T: +44 (0) 1471 844 305

 www.armadalecastle.com

Lochaber’s most exciting tour! Fun for all the family – wildlife, scenery and thrills. Departs from Fort William town centre.

Knoydart Brewery is a new microbrewery in the highlands. Installed in a former Roman Catholic chapel, the brewing, bottling, labelling and packaging is all done in this remote location, only accessible by boat or a hike through the beautiful mountains.

For details, or to book, please contact us: Web: fortwilliamseatour.co.uk Tel: 07908931709

Tel: 01687 462372 Find us: St Agatha's Chapel, Inverie, Knoydart, Inverness-shire PH41 4PL.

knoydartbrewery.co.uk

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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DAYS OUT

Take a hike along the River Etive

©ING IMAGE; VISITBRITAIN/ROD EDWARDS

Situated in the small village of Kinlochleven, The Ice Factor makes for a great day out, boasting the world’s biggest indoor ice-climbing walls as well as rock climbing walls. There’s also an outdoor aerial adventure course, restaurant and cafe. If you love walking, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice, with routes ranging from the gentle stroll to the most challenging terrain. Those with a decent level of fitness might want to try the Lost Valley in Glencoe, where cattle rustlers used to hide their cattle. The route can be challenging, so approach with caution. Another beautiful walk is through Nevis Gorge up to The Steall Falls, where you can try your hand at crossing the Water of Nevis on a rope bridge. Those who prefer flatter terrain can stroll around the peaceful Glencoe Lochan. WALKS AND WILDLIFE Within the same region is the stunning Glen Etive – where you’ll also find the famous James Bond’s Skyfall film location. Follow the meandering road along the River Etive, a challenging white water kayaking route that includes grade four rapids with a range of waterfalls and pools. In the summer months, there are some fantastic spots for swimming too. Be warned – even on the warmest days, the water can be icy cold!

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While you’re in the area, it’s well worth stopping in to the National Trust for Scotland’s Glencoe Visitor Centre. Transformed in 2019, this ecofriendly visitor centre will give you a taste of the stories that make the glen so special and allow you to discover more about walks, weather, wildlife and things to do. Watch the powerful short film, The Glen Revealed, which takes you on a journey through millions of years, narrated by Game of Thrones actor, Rory McCann. The ‘Pioneers of the Peaks’ exhibition shines a spotlight on those who climb Glencoe’s mountains. Grab a bite to eat in the Highland Coo Café, or check out the range of local crafts, gifts and souvenirs in the shop. Some prefer to enjoy the spectacular scenery without getting quite so involved – so a tour or a boat trip can often be a good way of seeing some of the stunning scenery and wildlife. Loch Shiel Cruises offer guided cruises from Glenfinnan pier, where you can see beautiful wildlife, stunning scenery and even watch the Jacobite Express crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct – made famous in the Harry Potter movies. Fort William Sea Tours will take you on an exhilarating rib ride down Loch Linnhe to see the local seal colony and take in the magnificent views – hopefully passing the local dolphin pod on the way and watching eagles soar overhead. p19

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“THIS ECO-FRIENDLY VISITOR CENTRE WILL GIVE YOU A TASTE OF THE STORIES THAT MAKE THE GLEN SO SPECIAL AND ALLOW YOU TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT WALKS, WEATHER, WILDLIFE AND THINGS TO DO”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Enjoy Glencoe

FIND YOUR ADVENTURE

One stunning location

Enjoy great activities with our friendly team in beautiful surroundings.

% off 5 1 g in r fe f We’re o hen you w e r tu n e v your ad ERIENCE P X E : e d o use the c Inverness

Activities for everyone Segway, Archery, Axe Throwing Laser Clay Shooting, Golf Course, Electric Bike Hire & extensive lochside & mountain Cycle Trails, Café, and so much more… find us online for more details.

Fort William

visit www.GlencoeActivities.com

Oban Glasgow

or call 01855 413 009 · info@GlencoeActivities.com

Aberdeen

Glencoe Activities Edinburgh


DAYS OUT

©VISITSCOTLAND/PAUL TOMKINS

Highland Mini Tours offer a wide range of guided tours to show you the very best of the Highlands of Scotland, including historic castles, breath-taking scenery, dramatic glens, wildlife and culture. Mamore Tours offers small guided tours on small roads beyond the spots everybody visits. Run by local song writer Sarah, the tours will take you off the beaten track to meet local people and artists while Sarah shares her passion for traditional music, history and local stories.

Nevis Range Mountain Experience

INTERESTING THINGS TO DO AND SEE Just outside Fort William, Nevis Range makes for a fantastic day out for all the family. It’s home to the UK’s only mountain gondola, which will transport you 650m high up the north face of Aonach Mor, the eight highest mountain in Britain. Enjoy the scenic ride and take a stroll at the top or simply enjoy a drink or a snack in the Snowgoose restaurant – complete with incredible views. In the winter season, skiers and boarders can enjoy the slopes, with a variety of runs from gentle beginner slopes to advanced off-piste runs. There’s plenty more to do here, too, with a variety of walks and mountain bike trails, as well as an exciting Tree Adventure, a series of aerial obstacle course that provide the ultimate forest p21

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


GET THE FULL PICTURE!

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DAYS OUT

Glenfinnan Monument

©ELNUR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; JOE GOUGH/ ADOBE STOCK; VISITBRITAIN/JOE CORNISH

adventure. With courses of varying levels of difficulty, it’s suitable for all the family. Paragliding and ZoomTrax are also on offer here, and it’s possible to hire bikes as well as snowsports equipment. Experienced bikers will love the challenging downhill trails – the top of which can be reached by gondola. If you’re visiting in June, you won’t want to miss the two-day UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, featuring some of the best downhill mountain bikers in the world as they batter down this exciting and difficult route. No matter whether you’re an adult or a child, if you’re visiting in the summer, the Highland Games are an amazing family friendly day out and a great chance to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the Highlands. From May until September, villages and towns in the region are alive with the skirl of the bagpipes and the whirl of kilts. Locals, visitors and international athletes come from far and wide to spectate and compete in traditional heavy athletic events like tug-o-war and the caber toss, as well as Highland dance competitions, track and field events. BREATHTAKING VIEWS Harry Potter fans will of course want to ride the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. In the summer months, this train runs the West Highland Railway Line, crossing the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct overlooking Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument, where the train may briefly pause to allow you to enjoy the view. This journey isn’t just for Potter fans as it’s widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful rail journeys. Take a stroll around the harbour in Mallaig and enjoy some fresh seafood or classic fish and chips before getting the train back to Fort William. Just a few miles from Mallaig are the Silver Sands, a series of pristine sandy beaches that stretch from Arisaig to Morar and make for a brilliant family day out. Backed by dunes and machair, there are beautiful views across the sea to the Isles of Eigg and Rum. It’s great fun paddling and building sandcastles even when it’s a bit chilly – if you’re lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, these beaches feel like absolute paradise. Ardnamurchan, Moidart, Morvern, Sunart and Ardgour form the area in and around the most westerly peninsula of the British Mainland. Take the ferry at Corran to Ardnamurchan, one of the most remote and beautiful areas in the UK. Cycling’s popular here, or simply enjoy the 50 square miles of unspoilt moorland, forest, lochs and beaches. Stop off at the most westerly point on the British mainland, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, and keep an eye out for whales and dolphins.

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A trip on the water can be a great way to immerse yourself in the local wildlife. Ardnamurchan Charters run guided charters in and around Loch Sunart where you could be lucky enough to see seals, otters, eagles and puffins. Staffa Tours also offers wildlife boat tours, sailing from Ardnamurchan. Lochaber boasts some of the best geology in the world, and one of the best ways to discover more about the area’s landscape and how it was shaped is with Lochaber Geopark. They run guided tours with local expert geologists, allowing you to explore Lochaber’s deep history, visiting areas that boast some of the world’s best geology and scenery. Explore mountains, lochs, rivers, coasts, cliffs and sandy beaches, look out for some wonderful wildlife, and learn how our landscape has been shaped over many millions of years. l

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“TAKE A STROLL AROUND THE HARBOUR IN MALLAIG AND ENJOY FISH AND CHIPS BEFORE GETTING THE TRAIN BACK TO FORT WILLIAM”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


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THINGS YOU MUST DO!

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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10 THINGS

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Caledonian Canal; Have a day out at the Highland Games; Try the famous dish of haggis, neeps and tatties; Take a boat trip out on Loch Linnhe; BELOW Climb Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis

[01] TAKE THE JACOBITE STEAM TRAIN

The Jacobite steam train runs along the West Highland Railway Line from Fort William to Mallaig in the summer months. Passing through the remote beauty of the west and crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct (of Harry Potter bridge fame), this journey isn’t just for Potter fans as it’s widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful rail journeys.

©ELNUR/JAMES PINTAR/MANU/PAUL BRIGHTON/ADOBE STOCK; VISITBRITAIN/ JOE CORNISH/SIMON WINNALL; VISITSCOTLAND/AIRBORNE LENS

[02] STAND ON TOP OF THE WORLD Well, the highest point in Britain, anyway. With the majestic Ben Nevis towering over the region, the fitter and more adventurous among us should take on the challenge. Stick to the tourist path or tackle the North Face, depending on your level of ability. Even the so-called tourist path is no walk in the park, so make sure you prepare properly. [03] ENJOY THE CALEDONIAN CANAL Whether you enjoy boating, walking, running, cycling or fishing, the Caledonian Canal has something for everyone. Running 60 miles along the Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness, the canal was engineered by Thomas Telford and opened in 1822. Check out the impressive Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie near Fort William, which raises the canal by 19m over a quarter of a mile. [04] GO TO A HIGHLAND GAMES A Highland Games makes for a brilliant family-friendly day out. From May until September, the region is alive with the skirl of the bagpipes and the whirl of kilts. Locals, visitors and international athletes come from far and wide to spectate and compete in traditional heavy athletic events like tug-o-war and the caber toss, as well as Highland dance competitions, track and field events.

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[05] GET OUT ON THE WATER This region is fringed by the Atlantic, and populated with sea lochs and winding rivers. Take a kayak, a sailing boat, a paddle board or go on a guided boat tour to feel the wind in your hair and the spray on your face, surrounded by spectacular scenery and wildlife. [06] TRY SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL DISH Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, is a spicy meat pudding traditionally served with mashed neeps and tatties – washed down with a dram, of course. Legend has it that the mythical haggis is a small four-legged creature that has two legs shorter than the others so it can run around the mountains without falling over.

“SCOTLAND IS WELL KNOWN FOR WHISKY – THE BEN NEVIS DISTILLERY LIES JUST NORTH OF FORT WILLIAM AND HAS A VISITOR CENTRE AND TOUR, WITH TASTING, OF COURSE!”

[09] GET OUT INTO THE WILDERNESS Home to some of the most remote areas left in Britain, Lochaber is home to some of the most dramatic scenery and superb wildlife in the country. Don’t miss out. [10] SPEND A DAY AT THE BEACH This region is home to some of the most stunning sandy beaches. Try the Silver Sands at Arisaig in Morar, or head over to Ardnamurchan, where you’ll find stretch after stretch of glorious – and empty – sand-fringed coast. l

[07] AND ITS NATIONAL DRINK Scotland is well known for whisky, with each area having a unique flavour and style. The Ben Nevis distillery lies just north of Fort William and has a visitor centre and tour, with tasting, of course! [08] RIDE THE GONDOLA AT NEVIS RANGE Whether you’re a mountain biker, a skier, a boarder or just someone who appreciates spectacular scenery, take a ride up the UK’s only mountain gondola. At the top, you can take a stroll, have a bite to eat or even take part in a ceilidh.

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


SHOPPING

LIKE TO SHOP? YOU’LL LOVE IT HERE! From Scottish gift shops and artisan foods to bespoke crafts and outdoor shops, you’ll find it all here

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©RH2010/ADOBE STOCK

ochaber certainly isn’t best known for its shopping opportunities but avid shoppers need fear not – there are plenty of spots to hunt out quirky gifts, pick up a souvenir and find that must-have piece of outdoor kit. Of course, Fort William is the area’s biggest shopping thoroughfare, but there are quirky independents, artists’ studios and foodie delights to be found in many of the small villages and towns dotted around the region. From outdoor gear, Scotch whisky and Highland souvenirs to locally-produced shellfish, game and clothing, you’ll find an abundance of treats on offer if you know where to look. GET ACTIVE With a huge number of people visiting the area to enjoy the plethora of outdoor pursuits on offer, there are plenty of shops catering for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. Fort William, coined the Outdoor Capital of the UK, is the town to head to if you’re looking for that essential piece of equipment or item of clothing. With a large number of specialist outdoor sports retailers in and around the town, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Your first port of call could be Nevisport, situated at the top of the pedestrianised high street. It’s staffed by experts who are happy to offer advice on everything from the best outdoor gear to information on local walks and climbs. The shop is packed with an extensive collection of outdoor clothing, footwear, equipment and accessories from the p26

“WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF SPECIALIST OUTDOOR SPORTS RETAILERS IN AND AROUND THE TOWN, YOU’LL BE SPOILT FOR CHOICE”

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Nevisport, Fort William

“THIS QUIRKY SHOP IS A REAL TREASURE TROVE OF UNUSUAL, BEAUTIFUL OR INTERESTING ITEMS FOR ALL THE FAMILY”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

biggest outdoor brands, such as The North Face, Rab, Montane, Scarpa and Salomon. Ellis Brigham is another big name in the outdoor industry, and there’s a large store within the town, stocking a host of outdoor clothing and equipment from leading brands. Again, this specialist store is staffed by specialists who can share their expertise on the products and the local terrain. There are a range of other big outdoor names on the high street, including Trespass, Cotswold Outdoor and Mountain Warehouse, all stocking a wide range of clothing, equipment and accessories. So no matter what type of outdoor gear you’re after, Fort William is the place to go. Lochaber is popular among both mountain bikers and road cyclists, and there are several bike shops around to buy, rent or get your bike fixed. Try Off Beat Bikes, which you can also find on Fort William high street, to get advice from those who know and love their cycling. Choose from a wide range of rentals, including for adults, children, mountain bikes, road bikes, tourers, e bikes and tag-a-longs. The shop is extensively stocked with cycling, swimming and running equipment and accessories. Just outside town in Inverlochy you’ll find Nevis Cycles, for rental, sales and repairs. Nevis Cycles

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aims to be the kind of shop the owners and staff would love to use themselves, and they stock a range of bikes and accessories that they’d be happy to use or wear. They also operate their Witch’s Trails Hire Shop from the Nevis Range gondola station over the summer months. ARTS, CRAFTS, GIFTS, FOOD AND MORE Everyone who approaches Fort William from the south on the A82 will come across Crafts and Things just past Glencoe village – and it’s well worth dropping in for a browse. This quirky shop is a real treasure trove of unusual, beautiful or interesting items for all the family, with a range of quality crafts, books, toys and much more lining the shelves. They also stock a large selection of indoor and outdoor clothing and accessories for both men and women. And once you’re done shopping, you can pop through to the coffee shop for a spot of lunch or a reviving drink. Heading to the most westerly point in mainland Britain and a keen crafter? Pop into Loch Sunart Yarns and Buttons in Ardnamurchan to browse their beautiful range of hand-spun cashmere, alpaca, camel down, rare breed sheep wool and silk blends, as well as natural shell and horn buttons. They offer

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SHOPPING

a range of exotic hand spun fibre, hair and wool yarns in a selection of natural colours for you to create your own unique knitwear. To complement the range of yarns, they also offer a range of buttons in shell and horn to finish off any outfit – all in natural colours and unusual shapes and sizes. And you can also pick up a hand-made pair of organic sheepskin slipper socks for the toddlers in your life. Take the road to the isles west from Fort William and you’ll arrive in Mallaig, where the Mallaig Art Gallery is a lovely spot to browse the art collections and gifts. You’ll find a selection of work by well-known Scottish artists such as Ron Lawson, Janet McCrorie and Pam Carter, as well as local artists from Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig. They also stock a wide range of gifts, including jewellery, soaps and glassware. The Granite House on Fort William High Street has long been serving locals and visitors with its incredible range of wares. With eight departments over two floors, it offers gifts, jewellery, watches, designer homewares, clothes, gifts, souvenirs and even musical instruments. Well stocked with clothing from big names such as Joules, White Stuff, Seasalt, Animal and Weird Fish, this is one of the best places in town for clothes shopping. Another excellent spot in the town is The House

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of Clan Jamfrie, which offers a range of quality gifts and souvenirs alongside a great selection of Scotch whisky. They hold a fantastic variety of goods ranging from Sheila Fleet jewellery to clothing from Harris Tweed Co, as well as a selection of leather handbags and an art gallery showcasing local original artwork. Head north along the A82 towards Inverness, and you’ll reach Spean Bridge Mill after a picturesque 10 miles. Here you’ll find an excellent selection of Scottish knitwear, clothing, accessories, gifts and souvenirs. You can trace your Scottish clan or tartan and watch the resident weaver demonstrate their craft on Hattersley looms. It’s also a great place to buy a bottle of Scotland’s national drink, with over 150 different malt whiskies on sale. Foodies and seafood lovers will rejoice at the Lochleven Seafood Delicatessen & Gift Shop. Located on the banks of the stunning Loch Leven, and surrounded by brooding mountains, this deli and gift shop is part of the Lochleven Seafood Café, and sells live shellfish, fresh and frozen fish, and some delicious deli items. The business has ties with Spain, so they also stock a range of Spanish speciality items like oils, olives and spices, as well as a range of coloured Spanish cookware. p29

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“SPEAN BRIDGE MILL IS A GREAT PLACE TO BUY A BOTTLE OF SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL DRINK, WITH OVER 150 DIFFERENT MALT WHISKIES ON SALE”

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Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). Also operating in Northern Ireland.


SHOPPING

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The live shellfish on offer depends on what their own fishing boats have recently caught, and at any given time you might find lobster, langoustines, crab, mussels, clams, scallops and oysters. If you don’t have the facilities to cook some live shellfish, they’ll cook some for you – the ultimate takeaway! You can even pre-order over the phone and pick up a delicious seafood picnic lunch or speciality platter. And there’s a well-stocked deli counter with cooked shellfish, smoked salmon, patés, cheeses and hams. INNOVATIVE INDEPENDENTS Lochaber and the surrounding area has plenty of small but beautiful shops both in the main towns and most remote rural spots. Whether you’re looking for a bit of Harry Potter memorabilia, some locally-made jewellery or soap, or a unique handknitted item, you’ll find it here. Love natural skincare products? Then you’ll adore The Highland Soap Co range of products, all made from the finest natural plant ingredients and the purest essential oils, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. With two shops to choose from in the area, you can visit them in either Fort William or Spean Bridge to check out their traditionally hand-made cold-process soaps. Naturally moisturising, they gently cleanse, nourish and soothe your skin.

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“IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE FACILITIES TO COOK SOME LIVE SHELLFISH, THEY’LL COOK SOME FOR YOU – THE ULTIMATE TAKEAWAY”

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Book lovers won’t want to pass up a visit to The Highland Bookshop, occupying a large traditional building in the middle of Fort William. This independent book store stocks an extensive range of books, including fiction, outdoors, Scottish and children’s, serving both the local community and visitors. Not only that, they run a busy programme of events that include local writers’ and readers’ groups as well as regular talks by local, national and international authors. If you’d like to find some quality hand-made clothing, Ginger Knitwear in Mallaig is a must-visit. You can watch designer Anna Skea at work in her studio making her stylish bespoke items using traditional methods. Browse a range of hand-made coats, dresses, tunics, menswear, hats, scarves, socks and more – all made to last. Ginger also stocks a range of delicious-smelling soaps, cushions and jewellery. Many Harry Potter fans will have taken the Jacobite steam train to Mallaig along the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, and you won’t want to miss a trip to Haggard Alley. At the end of the west Highland railway line you’ll find this memorabilia shop within the old police station. Immerse yourself in the magic of the film as you step into this quirky shop, which is packed with a range of quality Harry Potter souvenirs and merchandise. l

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48 HOURS

IF YOU’RE ONLY HERE FOR 48 HOURS… You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it

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©ERIC ISSELE/ADOBE STOCK; VISITSCOTLAND/AIRBORNE LENS/KENNY LAM

OPPOSITE PAGE Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe; ABOVE Caledonian Canal; ABOVE RIGHT Glenfinnan Monument

“TAKE A BOAT TRIP DOWN LOCH LINNHE AND YOU’LL EXPERIENCE SOME OF SCOTLAND’S BEST WILDLIFE, INCLUDING PORPOISE, SEALS AND MAYBE EVEN A GOLDEN EAGLE”

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DAY ONE 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?

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DAY TWO 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. l

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EATING OUT

A TASTE OF SCOTLAND – AND THE WORLD! A great range of top-end fine dining and adventurous independents means you’ll never go hungry here

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ochaber enjoys one of the finest natural larders in the country, and many of the region’s restaurants are proud to embrace the abundance from land and sea, choosing locally-sourced, top-quality produce wherever possible. The lobster, crab, scallops and langoustines from the west coast are some of the best in the world, and here you can eat them fresh from the water. The area is also famous for its wild salmon and trout, as well as its game such as grouse, pheasant and venison. Keen foodies will be spoilt for choice, with some truly exceptional restaurants that focus on fresh seafood and locally-grown and sourced produce. There are also plenty of family-friendly bistros, takeaways and cosy bars with hearty portions – perfect for those at the end of a long day on the hill. Vegetarian and vegan options are also becoming more readily available. Wherever you go, you’re bound to find a host of Scottish and Highland delicacies – all served up with some warm Highland hospitality. Particularly during the busy summer season, places can get really busy, so it’s often best to book to secure a table – especially for large groups or families. SOMETHING SPECIAL Looking for something that’s a bit of a treat? From the finest, freshest seafood to locally-grown and sourced produce, set in some of the most stunning, scenic places in the UK, often located in castles and stately homes, you’ll find it all here. p35

“THE LOBSTER, CRAB, SCALLOPS AND LANGOUSTINES FROM THE WEST COAST ARE SOME OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD”

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BROADFORD

ISLE OF SKYE

Food served all day: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Our locally sourced menu includes delicious freshly made pizza from our Tuscan wood fired oven. Enjoy speciality wines and cocktails as well as local artisan drum fired coffees, homemade sorbets and ice creams. Relax beneath the Red Cuillin hills in a family friendly atmosphere. Food served all day.

Can't stop?

Cafesiaskye

Award winning hotel with stunning views over Loch Shiel, Ben Nevis and the Glenfinnan Monument. Perfect to explore the Western Highlands and Inner Hebrides.

Date Sent: 5th March 2019 Our award winning head chef only uses the best of local and fresh produce to create his menus. Tel: 01397 722235 Glenfinnan, Highlands PH37 4LT availability@glenfinnanhouse.com www.glenfinnanhouse.com

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EATING OUT

Fish main at The Whitehouse Restaurant

©CLARE HARGREAVES/THE WHITEHOUSE RESTAURANT; GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The award-winning Whitehouse Restaurant in Lochaline on the Ardnamurchan point is run by a family with the ethos that everything is ‘responsibly produced, carefully sourced, simply served’. They serve a daily changing taster menu of up to six courses, and their menus reflect the seasons and the ingredients they forage for and source locally from a number of quality suppliers. Much of the restaurant’s greenery comes from their own garden, and they also have a flock of chickens and make all their own bread each morning using organic flours. CASTLE CUISINE And if you’d like to dine in a genuine castle, Mingary Castle is another quality restaurant in Ardnamurchan. Sitting on its own rocky outcrop, the distinctive silhouette of Mingary Castle has looked over the Sound of Mull for centuries. The seat of Clan MacIain for over 300 years, it’s one of Scotland’s true hidden gems. Until early 2016, the castle was all but an abandoned ruin, but it’s now been meticulously restored and houses luxurious accommodation and a fine restaurant. The style of food here showcases a perfect balance between highly creative food and being heavily inspired by nature. They also offer a minimum ten-course tasting menu, focusing on simplicity and quality, with most

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servings being just two or three components focusing on a single ingredient while at its peak quality. Not far away in Moidart, is the Glenuig Inn, an award-winning green business that uses 100% renewable energy, have reduced their waste to landfill by over 97.5% and have banished single-use plastics, amongst other things. In their restaurant they use the best ingredients possible and ensure everything is as local, natural and organic as possible, with a seasonally-changing menu. You’ll find a selection of fish and seafood dishes on the menu to reflect their coastal location, as well as Scottish venison, lamb and smoked cheeses. Choose from a fabulous array of real ale, Scottish gins and single malts to accompany your meal. Another fine-dining experience can be enjoyed at Inverlochy Castle, a beautiful 19th-century castle offering luxury accommodation and dining at ‘Albert and Michel Roux Jr at Inverlochy Castle’. Each of the three dining rooms is decorated with elaborate furniture presented as gifts to Inverlochy Castle from the King of Norway. The restaurant features modern British cuisine with French influences which is internationally recognised by all major guides. The Kilcamb hotel in Strontian offers fine dining in a truly romantic setting, with amazing views across the beautiful Loch Sunart from the p37

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“YOU’LL FIND A SELECTION OF FISH AND SEAFOOD DISHES ON THE MENU TO REFLECT THE RESTAURANT’S COASTAL LOCATION, AS WELL AS SCOTTISH VENISON, LAMB AND SMOKED CHEESES”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Like what you see…

fish ‘n’ chip shop

Eat where the locals eat! OPENING HOURS Monday-Friday Saturday

Our superb visitor guides are packed with useful articles and information.

5.00-10.30pm 4.00-10.30pm

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Fast, friendly service KILMALLIE ROAD • CAOL • FORT WILLIAM • PH33 7EN

TEL. 01397 701078

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GETTING HERE

STATION HOUSE THE UK’S REMOTEST RESTAURANT Corrour Station House is tucked away in a remote, stunning and unique location in the West Highlands of Scotland and is only accessible by train or a twenty-mile walk! We warmly welcome visitors from far and wide with a roaring fire, comfy couches, a relaxed atmosphere and good home-made food. We serve a range of home baking, soups, sandwiches and small selection of main meals as well as teas, coffees, hot chocolates, soft drinks, beer and wine. Whether you are looking for a quick drink before the train or a main meal after a day on the hills, we have something for you. The restaurant is usually open from end of March until end of October, seven days a week, between 08:30-21:00.

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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As the Corrour station is not accessible by public roads, most of our customers either take the train or even walk. The train ride is 50 minutes from Fort William or 3 hours from Glasgow Queen St.

stationhouse@corrour.co.uk Call 01397 732 236 mid-March until end October only WWW.CORROUR.CO.UK

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EATING OUT

©ALAIN WACQUIER/ADOBE STOCK; TRAVIS YEWELL/UNSPLASH

elegant restaurant. Seasonal, locally-sourced produce is prepared with love and care to ensure diners have the very best experience. For something a little more relaxed, choose the lounge bar and Driftwood Brasserie with its roaring log fire and plump sofas for afternoon tea, lunch or a delicious evening meal from their award-winning menu. Serving outstanding cuisine with fresh local game and a selection of seasonal produce, Russell’s Restaurant is an AA award-winning restaurant incorporated with the Smiddy House at Spean Bridge near Fort William. They pride themselves on their fine dining cuisine within a relaxed environment. SUPER-FRESH SEAFOOD The west coast of Scotland is world famous for its fresh and delicious seafood and shellfish, and many of the restaurants in the region make seafood the star of the show. Perched on the edge of Loch Linnhe in Fort William, the Crannog Seafood Restaurant has been serving up the freshest local seafood for over 25 years. You’re likely to find a tempting choice of local seafood and shellfish such as Mallaig langoustines, West Highland lobster, Lochaber mussels and Loch Crear Oysters alongside traditional favourites like Ardshealach hot-smoked salmon and Cullen skink, a creamy smoked haddock chowder. There are a

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couple of vegetarian and meat options, too, for those who want something different. Not far away, Lochleven Seafood Cafe is situated on the north shores of the breathtaking Loch Leven. This family-run restaurant and deli produces a mouth-watering menu of simple yet elegant seafood dishes. They keep live shellfish in their own onsite seawater tanks, where the water is pumped continuously from the cold, clean sea-loch on their shore. After being caught locally by their own fishing boats, the shellfish is stored in these tanks – so you simply can’t get fresher. The live shellfish on offer depends on what they’ve recently caught, and at any given time you might find lobster, langoustines, crab, mussels, clams, scallops and oysters. It’s no surprise that fishing town Mallaig also has its fair share of restaurants serving delicious fresh fish and seafood. Try The Cornerstone Seafood Restaurant and enjoy elevated views over Mallaig harbour as you watch the fishermen bring in their catch. They serve a wide variety of local seafood including haddock, langoustines, turbot, halibut and mussels, as well as tasty meat and vegetarian options. More fresh seafood and other seasonal local cuisine with a view can be found at The Terrace Restaurant at the West Highland Hotel. Or check out the Fishmarket Restaurant, also overlooking Mallaig harbour, with a menu of delicious local seafood specialities. p38

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“IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT FISHING TOWN MALLAIG ALSO HAS ITS FAIR SHARE OF RESTAURANTS SERVING DELICIOUS FRESH FISH AND SEAFOOD”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Lochaber is home to a plentiful variety of wonderful bistros, restaurants, and gastro and traditional pubs. So whether you want a friendly family dinner, a romantic dinner for two or some hearty pub grub, you won’t have to go far to find something that suits. The Laroch Restaurant and Bar is located in the small village of Ballachulish on the shores of Loch Leven around 15 miles south of Fort William. The restaurant kitchen is run by Michelin Star chef Allan Donald along with sous chef Eileen Donald. The menu changes according to what’s available seasonally and locally, but you’re likely to be able to choose from local specialities such as Highland venison, Mallaig halibut or Isle of Mull scallops. For something a little

“THIS RESTAURANT TAKES ITS INSPIRATION FROM THE OWNER’S GLOBAL TRAVELS – HIGHLAND CHARM IS BLENDED WITH INTERNATIONAL FLAVOURS”

The Cornerstone Seafood Restaurant, Mallaig. Watch the fisherman land their catch of the day in our cosy restaurant with elevated views over Mallaig harbour, while you eat our selection of the fresh seafood. We serve a wide variety of west coast seafood landed by the local fishing fleet. This may include haddock, langoustines, prawns, monkfish, sole, turbot, halibut, salmon or mussels. There are also meat and vegetarian options. Finish off your meal with one of chef Cameron’s homemade desserts. To accompany your meal we have a good choice of wines and a selection of local and mainstream ales. For a final fling why not have one of the many single malt whiskies, cocktails or liqueur coffees? Lunch service: 12.00-14.30 Evening service: 17.30-21.00. Our opening times may be shortened during quiet times.

Main Street • Mallaig • PH41 4PU • Tel. 01687 462 306 • seafoodrestaurantmallaig.com

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EATING OUT

©BEN NEVIS INN; BOGGY/IROCHKA/ADOBE STOCK

different, The Geographer on Fort William High Street is a bright, contemporary restaurant that takes its inspiration from the owner’s travels. Here, Highland charm is blended with international flavours. And you can also wash down your delicious meal with an impressive selection of Scottish gins and bottled craft beers. The Lime Tree An Ealdhain Restaurant in Fort William is a multi-award-winning restaurant with a host of awards to its name. All dishes are seasonal, locally sourced and beautifully prepared, with a changing menu that might include vegan haggis, langoustines bisque, Great Glen venison, duo of Highland lamb or Loch Etive sea trout. Diners can also enjoy a fabulous wine list. Out at Glenfinnan, Glenfinnan House Hotel offers several seafood dishes on its menu and at Arisaig, The Old Library has good seafood on offer – their restaurant has an established reputation. Within easy walking distance of the centre of Fort William, Browns Restaurant at The Nevis Bank Inn provides an extensive menu with a selection of seafood, pastas, risottos and meat dishes. There’s something for everyone, with some delicious vegetarian and vegan choices on offer too. The Alexandra Hotel’s Bistro is ideal for families, offering plenty of choice for adults and kids alike. HEARTY CLASSICS The Old Station Restaurant & Bar in Spean Bridge is another firm family favourite, with a special menu for children and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the unusual setting of a converted Victorian railway station. Probably because of its location, many diners in Lochaber are looking for hearty pub fare after an action-packed day. Most small villages and towns in the area have a number of pubs serving classics such a gourmet burgers, fish and chips, and haggis, neeps and tatties. Right at the foot of the highest mountain in Scotland sits the wonderful Ben Nevis Inn, a welcome sight after a day on the hill. This is a relaxed restaurant located in a restored 200-year-old converted barn offering a selection of fresh, wholesome food in a relaxed atmosphere. The Grog & Gruel in Fort William also serves up great hearty classics in an informal setting. In Kinlochleven, the last stop of the West Highland Way before Fort William, The Tailrace Inn is a good place to stop, with food served all day. Looking for a light bite or a spot of lunch? No problem. A special mention goes to The Wildcat on Fort William High Street. This 100% vegan spot offers locally and ethically-sourced organic food made on-site, all served up in a friendly, relaxed environment. The Bakehouse Café in Mallaig is an artisan bakery and cafe that sells delicious long-ferment bread, home-made pastries and savouries. At weekends, they make hand-thrown pizzas from the building next door.

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The Coffee Shop at Crafts & Things in Glencoe is a welcome stop on the way north. Popular with locals and tourists alike, it has a great menu of light meals, fresh soups and tasty baking. In the village itself, Glencoe Café also has a great selection of light bites and home-baked goods. For lunch or coffee and cake with a difference, the Glenfinnan Station Museum Dining Car prepares a tasty selection of light refreshments and drinks – which also entitles you to a free tour of the museum. So whether you want a light bite for lunch, a family dinner, a hearty meal after the pub or a romantic meal for two, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice – even in the most remote of areas. l

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“THIS RESTAURANT PROVIDES AN EXTENSIVE MENU WITH A SELECTION OF SEAFOOD, PASTAS, RISOTTOS AND MEAT DISHES”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


ARTS & CULTURE

A REGION AT THE HEART OF ART! The local creative scene is a wonderful blend of traditional and contemporary


A

©MATHEUS FERRERO/UNSPLASH; RESIPOLE STUDIOS; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

rtists and musicians have long been inspired by the spectacular scenery and dramatic heritage of Fort William and Lochaber, with the result that the area is bursting with creativity. With a rich and vibrant history and a thriving arts scene today, there are abundant opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture. The region boasts a plentiful mix of live music and dancing, traditional festivals, leading art galleries and fascinating museums. MUSIC AND DANCING Traditional music and dance still thrives in the area today, with pipe bands, Highland dancing and country dancing all to be found in abundance. The Royal National Mòd, Scotland’s biggest festival of Scottish Gaelic literature, song, arts and culture has been held most years in October since 1892. The Mòd moves from town to town, sometimes landing in Fort William but always well attended by young musicians and dancers from Lochaber. There’s nothing quite like the poignant skirl of a lone bagpipe or the stirring beat of a full pipe band. If you fancy seeing a pipe band or some Highland dancing in action, visit one of the area’s many Highland Games that are in full swing over the summer. Locals, visitors and international athletes come from far and wide to spectate and compete in traditional heavy athletic events like tug-o-war and the caber toss, as well as Highland dance competitions, track and field events. Many of the local hotels and venues put on regular ceilidhs in the summer months. For a ceilidh with a difference, take the gondola to the top of Nevis Range and dance the night away 650ft up a mountain. Live music is very much part of the culture here, with a mix of traditional and contemporary music on offer throughout the region. Many pubs provide programmes of live music to suit all tastes, like the Grog & Gruel on Fort William’s high street or the Steam Inn in Mallaig. There are also impromptu music sessions cropping up nightly in pubs and venues, so you’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy the traditional music that’s at the heart of the music scene here. Stop by

“IF YOU FANCY SEEING A PIPE BAND OR SOME HIGHLAND DANCING IN ACTION, VISIT ONE OF THE AREA’S MANY HIGHLAND GAMES THAT ARE IN FULL SWING OVER THE SUMMER”

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Resipole Studios, Acharacle

the Ben Nevis Inn nestling at the foot of Scotland’s highest mountain, or drop into the Clachaig Inn in the heart of Glencoe, for some toe-tapping sessions with the area’s most enthusiastic musicians. Take an instrument along and join in or simply immerse yourself in the music and enjoy the craic. ARTISTS AND STUDIOS The art lovers among us are in luck, with a visit to The Lime Tree An Ealdhain Gallery in Fort William an absolute must. Built in 2006, the Lime Tree is the only public gallery space north of Glasgow on the mainland of Scotland capable of safely hosting exhibitions from national touring collections. The gallery exhibits a range of art, providing contemporary artists a platform to showcase their work. It also puts on around two exhibitions a year that, in previous years, have included Francisco Goya, David Hockney and Henri Matisse. The Gallery is the studio base for Highland artist David Wilson. p42

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Glenfinnan Monument

David’s work focuses on the dramatic landscape and weather of the north west Highlands. If you’re feeling peckish while you browse the artworks, there’s a lovely cafe and restaurant as well as a shop. Located in the stunning remote Ardnamurchan peninsula to the very west, Resipole Studios is a fine art gallery with on-site artist studios and a bespoke framing service. Specialising in contemporary Scottish art, the gallery has four unique exhibition spaces, each hosting a regularly changing programme of exhibitions and workshops. This award-winning gallery showcases an impressive range of contemporary Scottish painters and international artists, and displays other high-calibre artwork including sculpture, photography, jewellery, ceramics and fashion. Holroyd Gallery in North Ballachulish exhibits work by around 30 artists, displaying a wide variety of paintings with a Scottish theme, including landscape and wildlife, in contemporary or more traditional styles. You can also browse their limited edition bronze wildlife sculptures and hand-turned wooden bowls. Claire Innes is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland, surrounded by the spectacular scenery, which inspires her to this day. Visit Claire’s gallery in Fort William to see her colour paintings of floral watercolours, rainy city scenes and west coast seascapes. MUSEUMS AND MONUMENTS Fascinated by the history and culture of Fort William and Lochaber? There are lots of places to indulge your curiosity and get a real taste of the region’s fascinating and bloody history. Your first stop could be the West Highland Museum, set in the centre of Fort William. Founded in 1922, the museum holds a fascinating collection from Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause, as well as a wealth of items relating to the lives of the people of the West Highlands. You’ll learn about everything from the effects of political warfare, to the economic impact of tourism in the region, and the coming of the industrial and modern age.

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

The Clan Cameron Museum in Achnacarry near Spean Bridge traces the history of the Cameron clan from its early beginnings to the present day, through 27 generations. There is also an extensive section on Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 in which the Camerons played a crucial part. Founded in 1989, the museum has been visited by clansfolk from all over the world and by many people interested in the history of the Highlands. If you find yourself intrigued by the Jacobite Risings, next up could be a visit to the Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel. Backed by spectacular scenery, this striking 18m-high 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. Commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, the modern exhibition in the visitor centre tells the young prince’s story as he led the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Not far from there sits a museum with a difference, perfect for both history lovers and railway enthusiasts. Glenfinnan Station Museum is located in a working railway station and provides a hands-on guide to West Highland railway heritage. The indoor exhibition provides interesting information and stories about the dramatic

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“THE STRIKING 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”

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ARTS & CULTURE

©A KARNHOLZ/GRAHAM LUMSDEN/ADOBE STOCK; VISITBRITAIN/JOE CORNISH; WEST HIGHLAND MUSEUM

West Highland Museum, Fort William

Glenfinnan Viaduct and life here, while the outdoor exhibits tell the story of a rural Scottish railway station over the last century. You’ll discover how the spectacular railway from Glasgow to Mallaig was built, and learn about the men who built it. And if you’re in need of a light lunch or some delicious home baking, you can find it here in the carefullyrestored Dining Car. If you’re heading west to the small fishing town of Mallaig, you won’t want to miss the Mallaig Heritage Centre, conveniently sited alongside Mallaig railway station. The Centre is a treasure trove of stories, films, collections and displays, all telling the story of West Lochaber, its people and landscape. Glencoe & North Lorn Folk Museum is another worthwhile visit for history buffs and tourists to enjoy an insight into Glencoe’s rich local history. Housed in two 18-century thatched cottages, the collection includes a wide range of items including costume and textiles, china, archaeology, military and Jacobite memorabilia. CAVERNS AND CAVES There really is something for everyone in the region, and here are a couple of local gems that shouldn’t be missed if you’re visiting the area.

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Interested in fossils, gemstones and crystals? Then Treasures of the Earth is a must-visit. Situated just a few miles outside Fort William, this incredible centre plays home to one of Europe’s finest collections of crystals, gemstones and fossils. Explore the atmospheric simulation of carefully recreated caves, caverns and mining scenes, and discover the amazing crystals and towering geodes within. Children and adults alike will gaze in wonder at one of the most popular exhibits, the UV cave, which makes crystals glow and change colour in the ultra-violet light. You can also learn about the history of the Scottish Gold Rush and the largest gold nugget ever found, and explore the stunning collection of fossils which even includes some genuine dinosaur poo. And don’t forget to check out The Highland Bookshop, which sits right in the middle of the town’s busy High Street. This independent book store stocks an extensive range of books, including fiction, outdoors, Scottish and children’s, serving both the local community and visitors. Not only that, they run a busy programme of events that include local writers’ and readers’ groups as well as regular talks by local, national and international authors. l

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


10

REASONS TO LOVE THIS REGION!

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

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10 REASONS

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Explore the famous Ben Nevis by bike; This region is full of impressive wildlife; You’ll find kilted bagpipe players around every corner; Fort William and Lochaber is a seafood lover’s paradise; LEFT Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor), Glencoe; BELOW Lochaber Geopark

[01] THE REMOTENESS

Lochaber is home to some of the wildest and most remote countryside in the UK, so it’s a rare chance to really escape to the wilderness. Take a drive along the river Etive, cycle around the Ardnamurchan peninsula or hike into the mountains and experience wild nature at its finest.

[02] THE GREAT OUTDOORS This area is called The Outdoor Capital of the UK for a reason. Whether your bag is climbing, walking, skiing, fishing, cycling or sailing, there’s an adventure waiting for you here.

©LOCHABER GEOPARK; MAXIMILIAN/SUPERCAT67/ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM; VISITBRITAIN/NADIR KHAN; VISITSCOTLAND/KENNY LAM

[03] THE SPECTACULAR SCENERY Whether you enjoy it from the comfort of your car or get involved, the scenery here really is a feast for the eyes. Take your pick from rugged mountainous landscapes and atmospheric lochs to brooding moors and spectacular sandy coastlines.

some of the best food from land and sea here, including Highland game such as venison, grouse or pheasant. Seafood lovers will rejoice – the lobster, crab, scallops and langoustines from this region are some of the best in the world, and here you can eat them fresh from the water.

[04] THE IMPRESSIVE WILDLIFE It’s a great chance to see wildlife up close and personal in its own territory. During your visit, you could be lucky enough to see soaring golden eagles, red squirrels, pine martens and Highland cows, as well as dolphins, otters and seals.

[07] THE FASCINATING GEOLOGY The dramatic scenery of Lochaber is a product of its geology, and Lochaber Geopark is recognised for its outstanding geological heritage. The dramatic and varied landscape of Lochaber has a fascinating story to tell of ancient mountain building, fiery volcanic activity and glaciers carving out lochs and glens. Many of the sites within the geopark are world famous, such as the volcanic rings of Ardnamurchan, the Ben Nevis Caldera and the Parallel roads of Glen Roy.

[05] THE HIGHLAND HOSPITALITY Scotland, and particularly the Highlands, is renowned for its hospitality. People pride themselves on creating a warm welcome for tourists and visitors, and you’ll often find yourself enjoying the craic (the banter and the fun) with friendly locals.

[08] THE RICH CULTURE This region hasn’t forgotten its past – and you can tell. Road signs are written in Gaelic as well as English and there are kilted bagpipe players around every corner, topped off by Highland favourites like the haggis, salmon and whisky that you’ll find on every menu.

[06] THE FRESHEST FOOD With an abundant natural larder, you can enjoy

[09] THE TRADITIONAL MUSIC From pipe bands to rousing folk music led by

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“DURING YOUR VISIT, YOU COULD BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE SOARING GOLDEN EAGLES, RED SQUIRRELS, PINE MARTENS AND HIGHLAND COWS, AS WELL AS DOLPHINS, OTTERS AND SEALS”

fiddlers and accordionists, this region has a long history of traditional music. Even today, you’ll find traditional Scottish bands playing in many pubs and hotels – and you’re likely to come across a ceilidh or two as well. [10] THE BEN Ben Nevis, or The Ben as it’s fondly known, deserves its own mention. This majestic mountain just outside Fort William stands at 1345 metres and is an impressive sight above the town. Views from the top are phenomenal, too – and how many people can say they’ve summited Britain’s highest peak? l

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


NIGHTLIFE

WELCOME TO THE NIGHT! Enjoy some warm Highland hospitality in and around Fort William and Lochaber

©ING IMAGE; VISITSCOTLAND/DAVID N ANDERSON

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he legendary Highland Hospitality is alive and well here, with the evening entertainment in Fort William and Lochaber tending to revolve around friendly pubs and live music rather than night clubs and discos. Look out for concerts, shows, performances and talks which take place in community halls, churches and venues all around the region. You might be able to take in a local Gaelic choir performance, see Scottish Opera perform up close or join in an evening of Scottish country dancing. Music plays an important part in the Highlands’ culture, and Fort William and Lochaber has an active community of musicians, many of whom regularly play for the public. The region is home to a host of talented musicians, including world-class fiddlers, clarsach (a small Celtic harp) players and Gaelic singers. If you’re one of the many visitors to the area who’s keen to try a taste of the local culture, there are plenty of places to do that here. It’s not uncommon for an impromptu traditional music session to crop up in a pub corner, or for hotels and venues to put on a ceilidh or hire a band, singer or accordion player – particularly during the summer months. Keep an eye out for ceilidhs for the chance to have a go at famous dances like the Gay Gordons, Strip the Willow and Dashing White Sergeant. There’s usually a ‘caller’ who talks you through the steps before each dance, so don’t worry if you’re a complete novice! For a ceilidh with a view, take the gondola to the top of Nevis Range, 650m up p48

“EVENING ENTERTAINMENT IN THE REGION REVOLVES AROUND FRIENDLY PUBS AND LIVE MUSIC RATHER THAN NIGHT CLUBS AND DISCOS” Live music at the Clachaig Inn 47

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


the mountain of Aonach Mor. They run regular ceilidhs during the summer. With Fort William known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, many visitors to the area will be spending their days kayaking on the river or the loch, climbing the many crags or flinging themselves down a mountain on a bike or a pair of skis. Nothing beats a cosy pub at the end of an action-packed day. And many of those who prefer to enjoy the spectacular scenery at a more sedate pace will also find themselves searching out a bit of craic (Gaelic for fun and banter) in the evening. Fortunately, there is lots of that on offer, with plenty of pubs and bars around where tourists and locals alike can enjoy a good night out. WORLD OF WHISKIES It’s not uncommon for bars and hotels to serve a huge range of Scottish gins, real ales and craft beers to enjoy along with an impressive range of cocktails. And don’t forget the whisky. Most bars and restaurants in the area stock a huge variety of Scotland’s national drink. All of this is often served up with a lively helping of live music and

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

“NESTLED AT THE FOOT OF THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE UK, THE BEN NEVIS INN OFFERS GREAT FOOD, REAL ALES AND REGULAR LIVE MUSIC”

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a great chance to chat to the friendly locals. Sometimes, the more out-of-the-way places can be the best. There’s nothing quite like an evening surrounded by the majestic mountains of Glencoe or the wild beauty of Ardnamurchan. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the area when it’s warm and sunny, you can enjoy a pint in some of the most beautiful beer gardens in the world – though watch out for the midges. These biting insects may be tiny but they certainly pack a punch! You simply can’t miss out on a visit to the Ben Nevis Inn, whether you’ve tackled its famous namesake first or not. Nestled at the foot of the highest mountain in the UK and housed in a gorgeous 200-year-old converted barn, the Ben Nevis Inn is a truly iconic spot. Popular with climbers and locals alike, the Inn offers great food, real ales and regular live music. And if you don’t want to drive, there’s a bunkhouse too. With stunning views of Glen Nevis, a friendly relaxed atmosphere, the rustic environment is the ideal place to enjoy some live folk music. They play host to a mix of established performers and informal sessions, where all are welcome to come along with

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NIGHTLIFE

Take a trip to the award-winning and dog-friendly Clachaig Inn in Glencoe

©BEN NEVIS INN; ING IMAGE; VISITSCOTLAND/DAVID N ANDERSON

their instruments or simply to tap their feet and enjoy the music. Another remote favourite is the award-winning Clachaig Inn, which has been welcoming travellers for over 300 years. With three bars and an excellent range of real ales, malt whiskies and Scottish gins, this Inn sits at the heart of the spectacular Glencoe mountains, and is a firm favourite with locals and visitors, particularly climbers and walkers. The Clachaig is dog-friendly, too. Check out their programme of events and festivals, which include whisky tasting master classes and gin tasting evenings. Music is an important part of the Clachaig’s legendary atmosphere and they hold regular live music sessions which are open to all, so don’t be shy if you feel like joining in. You could also enjoy live bands ranging from folk to blues to rock, depending on what’s on. But the remote pubs aren’t the only ones offering up live music and good times. As you’d expect, Fort William itself has a range of pubs to suit most tastes. The Grog & Gruel in the centre of Fort William is another popular favourite. This traditional pub has a relaxed atmosphere, and an excellent range of cask ales from regional Scottish and English microbreweries. They also host live bands from time to time, ranging from rock to pop to folk and Scottish. The Crofter or the Ben Nevis Bar, both on the High Street are also a popular choice for an evening out. Both pubs host a range of live music and a wide choice of drinks. LIVE MUSIC There’s also plenty of live music to be found in the fishing town of Mallaig on the west coast. The Steam Inn is a popular spot, with a large beer garden to the rear that’s a favourite on summer evenings, and a roaring log burner in the winter. Check out their live music programme to see if something’s on while you’re visiting. The Clachain Inn in Mallaig holds events that include live music, discos and karaoke for those who want something a bit more lively. Other favourites include The Tailrace Inn in Kinlochleven at the foot of Loch Leven and The Laroch in Ballachulish, and The Glenfinnan House Hotel, which has a stunning location on the shores of Loch Shiel and a welcoming public bar that often rings to the sound of traditional live music. It’s common in and around Fort William and Lochaber for places like village halls, cafes and churches to act as venues for an impressive array of evening entertainment. Ask at the local Tourist Information office or keep an eye out for posters around the area advertising concerts, shows and performances. You’ll find everything from talented local musicians and choirs to national and international artists and bands.

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The Nevis Centre in Fort William is probably the area’s biggest venue, boasting a bar, bowling alley and a large multi-function hall that hosts big concerts, events and shows from a variety of well-known and local performers. Check out their website or pop in to see what’s on when you’re visiting the area. The Coffee Shop at Crafts & Things in Glencoe has been supporting live music for around 30 years, and during that time they’ve hosted evenings featuring the best musicianship the country has to offer. They continue to provide a venue for both well-established and up-and-coming musicians around twice a month, mainly in autumn, winter and spring. With a programme that includes some world-class performers, this intimate venue makes for a truly special experience. Try The Highland Bookshop for an evening out with a difference. This independent bookshop sits in the middle of Fort William’s busy High Street runs an excellent programme of evening events that include local writers’ and readers’ groups as well as regular talks by local, national and international authors. l

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“WITH AN EXCELLENT RANGE OF REAL ALES, MALT WHISKIES AND GINS, THIS INN SITS AT THE HEART OF THE SPECTACULAR GLENCOE MOUNTAINS”

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


Glencoe Mountain Ski Resort

SPORT

OUR SPORTING LIFE! Walking, sailing, skiing, kayaking and much more – you’re spoilt for choice in the Outdoor Capital of the UK

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Hiking in Glencoe

©ING IMAGE; VISITBRITAIN/ROD EDWARDS; VISITSCOTLAND/PAUL TOMKINS

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of all difficulty, and are excellent for ice climbing. Keen skier or boarder? Pick from Nevis Range or Glencoe Mountain Resort for some excellent snowsports over the winter months. Both centres also offer up plenty more sporting opportunities, with a variety of hiking and mountain bike trails. If you’re visiting in June, you won’t want to miss the two-day UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Nevis Range, featuring some of the best downhill mountain bikers in the world. The Caledonian Canal is another great spot for getting active. Winding from Fort William to Inverness, there’s plenty to do both on land and water. Take a cycle, jog or wander along its scenic banks or take to the water and try rowing, boating or kayaking. It’s also possible to enjoy a round of golf in the area, with a few choices on offer, including Fort William Golf Club, an 18-hole course with incredible views. Or you could try the 18-tee, nine-hole Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course at Ballachulish, located on an undulating, tree-lined estate close to Glencoe. A wee tip for those who prefer watching to taking part: if you’re around in the summer season, it’s worth catching a game of shinty, a fast, physical team sport predominately played in the Highlands. You could also catch the Scottish Six Day Trials motorcycle race, which starts on the first Monday in May and is an exhilarating watch for spectators. Riders take on a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider. l

here are far too many wonderful walks to list here, with routes ranging from a gentle stroll to the most challenging terrain. Those with a decent level of fitness might want to try the Lost Valley in Glencoe, where cattle rustlers used to hide their cattle. The route can be challenging, so approach with caution. Another beautiful walk is through Nevis Gorge up to The Steall Falls, where you can try your hand at crossing the Water of Nevis on a rope bridge. Those who prefer flatter terrain can stroll around the peaceful Glencoe Lochan. Within the same region is the stunning Glen Etive – where you’ll also find the famous James Bond’s Skyfall film location. Follow the meandering road along the River Etive, a challenging white-water kayaking route that includes grade 4 rapids with a range of waterfalls and pools. In the summer months, there are some fantastic spots for swimming, too. Be warned – even on the warmest days, the water can be icy cold! Of course, with the towering Ben Nevis overlooking the town of Fort William, many people want to tackle Britain’s highest mountain. There’s a decent tourist path, but you need to be reasonably fit and carrying the right equipment and clothing as it can be a warm, sunny day at the foot of the mountain and a whiteout blizzard at the top. On a clear day, though, the views are astonishing at 1345 metres, and not everyone can boast they’ve stood on the top of Britain’s highest point! Experienced climbers will be more interested in the 2,000 ft-high cliffs of the North Face, which hold climbs and scrambles

“THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY WONDERFUL WALKS TO LIST HERE, WITH ROUTES RANGING FROM A GENTLE STROLL TO THE MOST CHALLENGING TERRAIN”

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WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER


TRAVEL

GETTING HERE AND GETTING AROUND! Fort William and Lochaber is easy to get to and around

Hop on a Scottish Citylink coach

Cyclist at the Corran Ferry

GETTING HERE Even though it can take a while to get to Lochaber, you won’t mind as you’ll be passing through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in the world. Watch out for deer, Highland cows and golden eagles as you drive, walk or cycle throughout the region.

©VISITBRITAIN/SIMON WINNALL; VISITSCOTLAND/ IAN RUTHERFORD/KENNY LAM/PAUL TOMKINS

BY TRAIN Fort William is fairly well served by rail services from the south and there are several services a day from Glasgow to Mallaig, via Fort William. A handy sleeper service connects Fort William with London. BY ROAD The winding but stunningly scenic A82 connects Fort William with Glasgow in the south and Inverness in the north. Fort William is around two and a half hours’ drive from Glasgow and around three-and-a-quarter hours’ from Edinburgh. BY BUS Scottish Citylink Coaches serve Fort William,

WELCOME TO FORT WILLIAM & LOCHABER

Caledonian Canal

with several buses running daily from all over Scotland and within Lochaber. BY AIR The closest airport is Inverness Airport, some 70 miles from Fort William, which is wellconnected with the rest of the UK, with regular services to and from London, and daily services to other cities such as Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham. There’s a daily flight to Amsterdam.

GETTING AROUND BY CAR Travelling by car, motorbike, motor home or camper van is a popular way to get off the beaten track and explore. Traffic’s fairly busy in the summer months, and it’s best to get acquainted with the rules of driving on single track roads. Tip: use passing places to let others overtake and you’ll avoid annoying other road users even if you want to drive slowly and take in the passing scenery.

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BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT The area is fairly well-connected by bus and rail services. Check out thetrainline.com, citylink.co.uk or shielbuses.co.uk for local timetables and routes. BY FERRY Ferry services operate from Corran to Ardgour and Mallaig to Knoydart. You can also get ferries across to many of the islands on the west. BY TAXI There are plenty of taxi services around – and these days many provide tours to take tourists to visit all the attractions the area has to offer. ALTERNATIVE METHODS Sporting enthusiasts galore explore the area by foot, on two wheels or by water. Keen walkers can enjoy the dramatic scenery on the Great Glen Way, a 73-mile route that connects Fort William and Inverness. The Caledonian Canal also links the two, and there are plenty of opportunities to take to the canal and Loch Linnhe by motor cruiser or kayak. l

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FURTHER AFIELD

LET’S EXPLORE! If you have some time to spare, why not head further afield and see what lies on the region’s doorstep?

©ERIC ISSELE/ADOBE STOCK; VISITBRITAIN/ADAM BURTON

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painted buildings all along the main street to the pier. Keen-eyed visitors might recognise it as the set to children’s TV programme Balamory. Stop in at the iconic Mishnish, a real Tobermory institution that has been serving up food, drinks and rooms since 1869. The Isle of Mull is also a wonderful destination for wildlife-watching and you could see eagles, otters, corncrakes, whales, dolphins and basking sharks. From Fort William, you’re only around 50 miles from Loch Ness, so you might want to take a drive to see this brooding loch, and perhaps even the Loch Ness Monster. Probably the world’s most famous loch-dwelling monster, the elusive Nessie has fascinated locals and visitors for many years. The best way to spot the mythical creature is to take a cruise, starting from Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus or Inverness. Hear the area’s fascinating history as you cruise through the beautiful waters – all the while keeping your eyes peeled for a possible sighting. Keen walkers? Why not try the West Highland Way, which stretches almost 100 miles all the way from Milngavie just outside Glasgow to Fort William, taking in a huge variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains? Another slightly shorter but no less scenic route is the Great Glen Way, around 78 miles between Fort William and Inverness. l

ochaber is a great base for exploring the rest of the Highlands, so if you have time, you’ll want to get out and about to see as much as you can. An easy way to tour the area is by taking a tour. Local tour companies like Highland Mini Tours take small groups or private parties to all the most interesting places in the comfort of a minibus, while their knowledgeable guides teach you more about the area’s fascinating history. One of the most popular places to visit is the Isle of Skye, and it’s an easy journey from Lochaber. Take the 30-minute CalMac ferry ride from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye, where you could take in some of Skye’s best known as the Cuillin mountains, Kilt Rock, Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing. Oban is some 45 miles from Fort William, and again, the drive itself is impossibly scenic, taking in atmospheric lochs and majestic mountains. This quaint seaside town has plenty to see and do, with boat trips, distilleries and castles all in the near vicinity. Seafood lovers have to try The Seafood Hut on the pier. This tiny wooden hut sells the freshest seafood and on any given day you may be able to choose from scallops, crabs, salmon, langoustines and mussels. If you have a bit longer, take the CalMac ferry from Oban to Craignure on the Isle of Mull, which takes around 45 minutes. From there, take a drive or a bus to Tobermory, the pictureperfect fishing port with brightly

“ANOTHER PLACE TO VISIT IS THE ISLE OF MULL, IT’S A WONDERFUL DESTINATION FOR WILDLIFE-WATCHING AND YOU COULD SEE EAGLES, OTTERS, CORNCRAKES, WHALES, DOLPHINS AND BASKING SHARKS”

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Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye


HAVE A DAY OUT AT THE HOME OF COUNTRY CLOTHING SCOTLAND’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS INDEPENDENT STORE Standing at the gateway to the Highlands, The House of Bruar is a shopping destination like no other. Luxury natural fibres are at the heart of what we do, crowning our collection with a gorgeous selection of organic hues and tones that conjure up the rich colours of Scotland’s wild places. Pure new wool British Tweed, lambswool, angora, merino and of course pure cashmere are brought to life in deep, earthy browns, lush greens, airy sky blues and a host of other beautiful country colours that capture Scotland’s unique landscape and heritage. Alongside our traditional tweeds, plaids and classic knitwear you’ll find exciting contemporary creations in leather, suede, loden and silk throughout our Menswear and Ladieswear halls, while the largest Knitwear Hall in Great Britain awaits with a dazzling array of colours in premium fibres. Leading clothing brands such as Barbour, Crockett & Jones, Hunter and Masai combine with our own range of clothes and accessories to offer unparalleled choice in colour and design - we even have a premium coat room and a huge selection of ladies shoes and boots. In addition to our clothing collection we also offer a complete shopping experience. Stroll through our Art Gallery and admire the work of some of Britain’s leading artists or browse through our Country Living department for unique ideas for your home and garden. Our Fishing Tackle Shop offers the best technical clothing and equipment, and our exclusive on-site casting area on the River Garry will give you the perfect chance to test out rods and reels. New for this year is the dazzling Jewel in the Crown store, which brings together gold, silver and other precious metal jewellery with handcrafted collectables from around the world. Relax and unwind in our Restaurant and be sure to experience our award winning Food Hall, full to the brim with the best of Scottish fare, our specialist Butchery and even the newly-opened Bakery full of everything from fresh artisanal breads to Scottish ice cream. And if you’re feeling energetic you can take a stroll round the spectacular Falls of Bruar, a stunning series of pools and waterfalls immortalised in verse by Scotland’s National Bard Robert Burns, before treating yourself to dinner from our Fresh Lobster Fish and Chip Shop that’s also open in the evening. Located just off the A9 ten miles north of Pitlochry, Bruar is a definite must-see for anyone visiting this unique area. For those who can’t stop by in person, our annual clothing and gift catalogues bring the very best of our collections direct to your door. Packed with exclusive creations from our in-house design team, our catalogues let you shop at leisure from your own home, with our team of dedicated Customer Service Advisors always just a phone call away should you need any extra information or advice. So if you want to experience our unique brand of classic country style for yourself, either visit us in-store, browse through our website or request our latest Autumn/Winter catalogue by calling 01796 483236. However you choose to shop with us, we promise you the very best in quality and service.

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Profile for Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Welcome to Fort William & Lochaber  

Unique, beautifully designed, high-quality visitor guide, which is available in leading hotel bedrooms. For those enjoying a break, or stayi...

Welcome to Fort William & Lochaber  

Unique, beautifully designed, high-quality visitor guide, which is available in leading hotel bedrooms. For those enjoying a break, or stayi...

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