Explore Fort William: Scotland's Outdoor Capital

From hiking to the tallest point in the U.K. to going on a hunt for the Loch Ness Monster, there are plenty of adventures to be had in the natural paradise of Fort William.

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Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Photo By: Alisha Bube

Welcome to Fort William

Fort William, Scotland is a central hub for all things recreation in the western Scottish Highlands. Nestled along the coast of Loch Linnhe and in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the U.K.’s tallest peak, Fort William is a good base from which to explore the mountainous landscapes, deep lochs, stone castles and whiskey-filled taverns of the area.

Stand at the Top of the U.K.

A few minutes down the road from Fort William is the trailhead for Ben Nevis. Standing at 4,411 feet, it's the tallest point in the U.K. Spend an afternoon hiking the steep terrain to the summit, where the remains of an old observatory provide shelter from strong winds. For those with alpine experience, there are also a number of climbing and ice-climbing routes that lead up the north face of the mountain.

Hike Glen Nevis

A rocky hike along the River Nevis leads you to the isolated gorge, Glen Nevis, a lush valley situated to the southeast of Ben Nevis.

Glimpse Steall Falls

Located in Glen Nevis, Steall Falls is the second highest waterfall in Scotland with a single drop of 390 feet.

Tour Ben Nevis Distillery

Stop by for a tour and tasting at Ben Nevis or one of the other regional distilleries, and find out how they use natural elements from the region to create one of the country's most world-renowned exports — Scotch.

Hike Glen Coe

Considered by many to be the most scenic area of the country, the glacially-carved volcanic landscapes of Glen Coe are a must-visit destination for hikers, climbers, skiers and those just looking to take a drive through the beautiful mountainous terrain.

Hike the Pap of Glencoe

The conical Pap of Glencoe is the westernmost summit of the Aonach Eagach ridge. Its rocky peak provides 360-degree views of the River Coe, Loch Leven, Glen Coe and the coastal village of Glencoe.

See the Meeting of the Three Waters

An easily accessible waterfall along the A82, the Meeting of the Three Waters is a picturesque confluence at the foot of the Three Sisters of Glen Coe.

Hike Three Sisters or Aonach Eagach Ridge

The high, exposed ridge lines on either side of Glen Coe’s valley are bucket-list treks for experienced hikers looking for a challenge.

Wake Up With a View

There are a number of campsites in the Fort Williams area that allow you to be more immersed in the beautiful landscapes. Look into Glen Nevis Campground at the base of Ben Nevis and the Red Squirrel Campground in Glen Coe.

Visit Loch Ness

If you’ve had a lifelong dream of discovering the legendary Loch Ness Monster then you can take the hour drive northeast of Fort William to the ominous shoreline to set out on your hunt.

See the Highlands Sea

With endless finger-like coastlines of lochs and sea, there's plenty of opportunities to hire a boat or kayak and tour the landscape by water. You could also book a trip on a fishing boat and try to catch your dinner from the deep, frigid northern waters.

Swim in Clear, Turquoise Pools

The highlands are filled with icy-blue cascades for those brave enough to take a refreshing dip in the pools during the summer months.

Visit a Castle

There are a number of castles within driving distance of Fort William that are in various levels of disrepair. Pictured are the ruins of Urquhart Castle located on the shores of Loch Ness.

Explore by Train

Buy a ticket and see the countryside by steam train. The Jacobite train, operated by West Coast Railways, runs from Fort William to Mallaig and is famously known for being used in the filming of the Harry Potter films.

Explore by Ferry

If you're looking to continue your journey onto the more remote Hebrides archipelago, then there are a few ferry terminals running to the islands from nearby towns like Mallaig and Oban.

Drive to Inverness

Inverness is about an hour and a half drive northeast of Fort William and is the largest city in the north. With an airport and trains easily linking it to the U.K.’s metropolitan areas to the south, you'll likely pass through this historic city on your journey to and from the highlands.