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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    Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RW
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    Delicious food, comfortable accommodation, and a warm Highland welcome ...The Clan Macduff is a friendly, family run hotel sitting right on the banks of the picturesque Loch Linnhe, just on the edge of the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William. Our wonderful food, very comfortable accommodation, and the personal approach...

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    Invercoe Highland Holidays where we offer you quiet, getaway from it all vacations, in what is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque of the Scottish Glens. Here in Glencoe, an area renowned worldwide for its rugged grandeur and also for the Massacre of the Clan MacDonald in 1692, you can have...

  • Snowgoose Apartments
    Snowgoose Mountain Centre, Statio Road, Corpach, Fort William, Highland, PH33 7JH
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    The Old Byre a luxury self catering cottage and has been converted to a romantic cottage for two. Fluffy bathrobes, luxury toiletries, rolltop bath, real log fire and underfloor heating make this cosy cottage a real escape from the City for two.Our stone-built cottage comprises open-plan living room, kitchen and one...

  • Ealasaid Studio Apartment
    Ealasaid, Victoria Road, Fort William, PH33 6BH
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    Ealasaid is a self-catering studio apartment, perfect for 2 people in a quiet residential area of Fort William, just a 3 minute walk to the town centre with its shops, restaurants and attractions. It has a 3 start Visit Scotland rating This ground floor studio apartment is bright and spacious and...

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    Strontian, By Acharacle, Ardnamurchan, Highlands, PH36 4JA
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