Fort William is the major town in the area and the commercial centre of Lochaber. The town marks the end of the West Highland Way (93 miles from Milngavie) and the start of the Great Glen Way to Inverness (73 miles). The Great Glen cycle and long distance walking route begins at the Old Fort in Fort William and takes between five to six days to complete.
The town is known as the outdoor capital of the UK as a result of the wide range of outdoor activities on offer. The town supports a museum, numerous shops (including the ubiquitous Edinburgh Woollen Mill), restaurants, bars and a swimming pool. The West Highland Museum, is the oldest museum in Scotland and is famous for its Jacobite collections. There is also an opportunity to indulge in a wee dram, by visiting the Ben Nevis Distillery and Visitor Centre, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. You can also take a short cruise around Loch Linnhe from the town pier, adjacent to a local seafood restaurant (Crannog Restaurant).
Nearby, there is a mountain gondola that goes up the slopes of Aonach Mor, to within a short distance of the peak of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the Britain (1, 344m). Ben Nevis has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation based on geology, natural history and culture. There is also a Mountain Discovery Centre near the top.
Fort William is close to Neptune’s Staircase, at Corpach, a series of eight locks that allow boats to navigate through a steep section (70 feet) of the Caledonia Canal. The Canal runs between eastern and western Scotland and includes parts of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness. Towpath walks and boat trips are available (the latter from Fort Augustus, Inverness and Dru