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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  • Number 81
    81 Alma Road, Fort William, PH33 6HF
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     Number 81:  Small, friendly B&B near Fort William Town Centre - quite near Bus and Railway Stations.Full Scottish Breakfast or Vegetarian available. Fort William is an ideal centre for walking and climbing being situated at the foot of Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in Britain) and Glencoe is just fifteen miles...

  • Lochaber Lodges - self catering holiday Fort William
    Moy Farm, Banavie, Fort William, PH33 7PD
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    Our high quality timber lodges are located in the Great Glen by The Caledonian Canal, about 20 minutes from Fort William town centre. The views of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries are magnificent! We offer a choice of 12 very comfortable log-built lodges - some perfect for two or four...

  • Roughburn Highland Holidays
    Roughburn Highland Holidays, Roughburn, Tulloch, Roybridge, PH31 4AR
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    We are a family run business offering a friendly personal touch to ensure a pleasant stay in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Lochside & Mountain View are quality self catering mobile homes situated at Roughburn, Tulloch on the A86, 7 miles from Roy Bridge at the foot of Meall Clachaig and Meall...

  • Kilmartin Guesthouse
    Kinloid Farm, Kilmartin, PH39 4NS
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    Our seaside Highland farmhouse at Arisaig provides a great place to stop over on the way to Mallaig for the Isle of Skye ferry. Kilmartin Guesthouse offers three very comfortable bed and breakfasts with a seaside location. We have two double rooms with private shower facilities, and one twin room with...

  • Invercoe Camping and Touring Park - Hobbit Houses
    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...

  • Achintee Farm Hostel
    Achintee, Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6TE
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    At the start of Ben Nevis footpath, quiet country hostel, no large groups, wifi access, bar meals 100m, 2km. from Fort William and end of West Highland Way and Great Glen Way. Achintee Farm Hostel offers a peaceful and relaxing stay with plenty of walking right from the door and beauitful...

  • The Waterfront - Luxury Self-catering Apartment
    17 Glenloch View, Achintore Road, PH33 6DB
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    This luxury self catering apartment in Fort William is new to the market and is a delight. Located by the shore of Loch Linnhe, and a short walk into town, our "just for two" self catering accommodation makes a wonderful place to stay during a visit to Fort William. Partially open-plan...

  • Nevis Croft Self Catering Cottages
    Nevis Bridge, Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6PF
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    Short breaks often available. Finished to a high standard, Nevis Croft Cottages are situated half a mile from Fort William town centre at the entrance to Glen Nevis and at the original end of the West Highland Way. There are two cottages that sleep four (1 double and 1 twin in...

  • Invercoe Camping and Touring Park
    Invercoe, Glencoe, PH49 4HP
    Invercoe Camping and Touring Park

    Touring in Scotland with your motorhome, caravan or tent can be lots of fun and you'll find Invercoe in Glencoe has something for you - lots of touring pitches, good touring park facilities and services, big mountains and an equally big welcome !
Our long established caravan and camping park offers a high...

  • St Andrews Guest House
    Fassifern Road, Fort William, PH33 6BD
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    Only minutes from Fort William town centre and within walking distance of the train station and bus stance, St Andrews House is a wonderful, Victorian building and home to the Wynne Family. Originally the rectory and Choir School for St Andrews Church, which can be seen from the house.St Andrews provides...

  • Glen Nevis Holidays 4 and 5 star Luxury Lodges
    Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6SX
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    Glen Nevis Holidays in Fort William, offers some of the best self catering holiday accommodation facilities in the United Kingdon. Located at the foot of the highest moutain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis dominates this beautiful Highland glen. The River Nevis flows past one side of our park, which is...

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