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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    Unit 4, Ben Nevis Way, Glen Nevis Business Park, Fort William, PH33 6RX
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  • 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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    Achintee, Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6TE
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    Achintee Farm Guest House is beside the river in Glen Nevis, at the start of the Ben Nevis footpath. We offer a peaceful, relaxing stay with plenty of walking right from the front door and mountain views all around. The West Highland Way passes close by. Our 19th century farmhouse has...

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  • 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...

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    Situated on the edge of the pretty village of Onich, this cosy, comfortable, semi-detached holiday cottage has been nicely furnished. Set along the A82, it makes a perfect base for touring this beautiful part of the Highlands. Glencoe, Fort William ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, Loch Ness and Inverness all within...

  • Craiglinnhe Court Self catering
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    Set in mature landscaped gardens with views of Loch Linnhe and Ardgour Hills and only a few minutes walk into the town centre, Craiglinnhe Court is a modern, light and spacious holiday apartment in Fort William. Accommodation comprises master bedroom with king bed and a single room. The property sleeps 2/3....

  • Great Glen Yurts - unique accommodation
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