Offbeat Places in Fort William


When one thinks of Fort William, the iconic Ben Nevis immediately comes to mind. However, this picturesque Scottish town nestled in the heart of the Highlands offers more than just its famous peak. There’s a treasure trove of offbeat places waiting to be explored by those seeking a unique and quieter side of Fort William.

Steall Falls – Nature’s Grandeur Unveiled

Tucked away in Glen Nevis, a short drive from Fort William, lies a hidden gem known as Steall Falls. This magnificent waterfall is the second-highest in Scotland, but it remains surprisingly less crowded than you’d expect. A relatively easy hike along the Nevis Gorge Trail takes you through lush woodlands and rocky paths to this breathtaking cascade. The view of the falls cascading down the mountainside surrounded by dramatic cliffs is a sight to behold. If you’re a photography enthusiast, this place is a paradise.

Glen Nevis – A Paradise for Hikers

While Glen Nevis isn’t entirely off the beaten path, it’s often overshadowed by the popularity of Ben Nevis. However, this glen offers a multitude of lesser-known hiking trails that lead you through pristine wilderness. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, Glen Nevis has something for everyone. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, and don’t forget to discover the secret picnic spots hidden along the way.

The Commando Memorial – A Silent Tribute

Standing solemnly at Spean Bridge, a short drive from Fort William, the Commando Memorial is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during World War II. Though it’s not widely advertised, this towering bronze structure is a symbol of heroism and courage. The location offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, making it an ideal place for quiet reflection.

Neptune’s Staircase – An Engineering Marvel

The Caledonian Canal is home to Neptune’s Staircase, an impressive flight of locks located near Banavie. While many tourists visit the famous canal, this engineering marvel often goes unnoticed. Watching boats and barges navigate through the series of eight locks is a fascinating experience. You can also visit the nearby visitor center to learn more about the canal’s history and significance.

Old Inverlochy Castle – Ruins and History

If you have a penchant for history and ancient ruins, the Old Inverlochy Castle should be on your list. This well-preserved 13th-century castle is located just outside Fort William. It may not be as popular as other castles in Scotland, but it holds immense historical importance. Wander through its atmospheric ruins and marvel at its architectural features while enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

The Secret Garden at Ballachulish – Nature’s Hidden Oasis

Venture a bit further from Fort William to the picturesque village of Ballachulish, and you’ll discover the Secret Garden. This secluded spot is home to unique flora and fauna, and its hidden location adds to its charm. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a tranquil escape from the crowds

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