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.

You may be interested in...


  • Ben Nevis Inn Bunkhouse
    Ben Nevis Inn, Achintee, Fort William, PH33 6TE
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    Set at the foot of the Ben Nevis mountain footpath, the Ben Nevis Inn offers bunkhouse accommodation and a restaurant with a selection of fresh, wholesome food in an informal atmosphere. The bunkhouse provides accommodation for up to 24 persons and has a kitchen, showers, toilets and drying area. If you...

  • Invercoe Highland Holidays - Glencoe MacIain Cottages
    Invercoe, Glencoe, Argyll, PH49 4HP
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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...

  • Burnlea Cottage in Fort William
    Burnlea, Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RN
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    Totally renovated in 2013 with panoramic views over Loch Linnhe to the hills beyond, this stylish Fort William cottage is less than 1 mile from the shops, restaurants and pubs of Fort William town centre. Cottage accommodation comprises 1 twin/super-king bedroom, kitchen/sitting room, shower room.Free WiFi /parking and guests have use...

  • Na Tighean Beaga - The Little Houses
    Roybridge, Inverness-shire, PH31 4AG
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    Since 1976 the Matheson Family have welcomed visitors to Na Tighean Beaga, our comfortable self catering bungalows and chalets in Roy Bridge, near Fort William The experience we have gained over the years will ensure a successful and enjoyable holiday for everyone in your family or party.The SiteSome 300 metres from...

  • Maybank Holiday Home
    Muirshearlich, Banavie, Fort William, PH33 7PB
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    Maybank holiday home is set on the Caledonian Canal with stunning views for Ben Nevis and the boats sailing the Canal. Sleeping 8, Maybank is excellent for large families or group of friends. Maybank is a high standard, well appointed, self catering holiday home set on the bank of the Caledonian...

  • Glen Nevis Holiday Cottages
    Glen Nevis Holidays, Glen Nevis, PH33 6SX
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    Imagine the freedom and independence of your own Highland Holiday Cottage – purpose built with every comfort, allowing you to make yourself truly at home in Glen Nevis. Glen Nevis Holidays offer 3 and 4 star cottages.Our 4 star Foresters cottage, an estate property which as its name suggests has past...

  • Ravenswood Self Catering
    Ravensdale, Corpach, Fort William, PH33 7JJ
    Ravenswood Self Catering

    Unique 4 Star Self Catering accommodation, sleeping up to 9 guests.  Within a recently refurbished upper conversion of a substantial Victorian Villa.  Ravenswood Self Catering provides an ideal base for an extended family – or a group of friends – holidaying in the Fort William and Lochaber area (The Outdoor Capital of...

  • Guisachan Guest House
    Alma Road, FortWilliam, PH33 6HA
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    A warm welcome awaits you at Guisachan House, a family run private hotel in Fort William offering bed and breakfast in Fort William. We are situated on an elevated position off the main road with views over Loch Linnhe and surrounding hills only 5 minutes walking distance from Fort William town...

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