Visit Fort William, Glen Nevis and Ben Nevis in the Outdoor Capital of the UK

The Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal is a major feature and attraction in the landscape of the Fort William area and of course, the Great Glen. A natural geological fault line stretching from Fort William in the south west to Inverness in the north east, it was designed and constructed by Thomas Telford and opened to shipping in 1822. Today the Caledonian Canal is owned and operated by British Waterways.

At Fort William, the southern end of the Great Glen, the Caledonian Canal allows vessels to enter from Loch Linnhe and the Atlantic Ocean, and make passage through the Great Glen by canal lock systems and natural fresh water lochs, including Loch Ness, to Inverness and the North Sea.

Between Corpach, Banavie, Gairlochy, Loch Lochy and Loch Oich, the canal provides an opportunity to explore its lock gates and banks. The Canal towpath also forms part of the Great Glen Way a walking or cycle route. Watching commercial shipping and pleasure craft navigate the lock gates at Corpach Basin, Neptune's Staircase at Banavie and Gairlochy near Spean Bridge makes for an interesting day out in Lochaber.

All along the Canal route you can enjoy wonderful views of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries, spot birds and wildlife and generally enjoy the peaceful nature of the Canal Way. If you would like to stay in a place near the canal, but still only a short drive to Fort William, this page lists accommodation businesses in our Lochaber Directory who are within walking distance of the canal.

There is a cycle route along one of the Canal banks and the Great Glen Way takes walkers along the Canalside for the first section of the journey through the Great Glen.

One local holiday operator - Caledonian Discovery, operate the vessel "Fingal" which will take you on a week's cruise either up to Inverness, or  down to Fort William. They also provide walking, cycling and watersports along the way.

Local businesses from the Lochaber Directory, and who are based or located near the Canal are shown below for your convenience and interest.

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  • Airds Hotel & Restaurant - Luxury Country House Hotel
    The Airds Hotel and Restaurant, Port Appin, Appin, PA38 4DF
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    The Airds Hotel & Restaurant is a luxury country house hotel located in the stunning hamlet of Port Appin, situated on the shore of Loch Linnhe with the Morvern mountains behind, near Oban, on the West Coast of Scotland.  This luxury hotel has one of the best reputations in Scotland for...

  • Westcourt Bed and Breakfast
    Westcourt, Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RQ
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    Westcourt Bed & Breakfast in Fort William is situated 5 minutes walk from Fort William's shops, bars and restaurants with fabulous views over Loch Linnhe and the Ardgour hills. Our Fort William B&B is decorated to a very high standard.We offer very clean and comfortable accommodation in twin, double and family...

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    Invercoe, Glencoe, PH49 4HP
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    Come to Glencoe and stay in one of our two micro lodge Hobbit Houses which are available for nightly hire, with a 2 night minimum at the weekend. They are a real fun alternative to a tent and especially good when the weather is less than you might wish for... Each...

  • Duachy Holiday Apartments Fort William
    Duachy, Argyll Road, Fort William, PH33 6LD
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    We offer luxury self catering holiday accommodation in Fort William.  Our self catering holiday apartments are located 5 mins walk from the amenity of Fort William town so you can relax enjoy a meal or have a drink with out the need of transport. Both apartments have panoramic views overlooking Loch Linnhe and...

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    Invercoe, Glencoe, PH49 4HP
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  • Tigh na Drochaid Bed and Breakfast
    Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6PF
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  • Achnacarry Steading Apartments - self catering holidays
    Achnacarry Steading Apartments, Achnacarry Estate, Spean Bridge, PH344EJ
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