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...


  • Ardmory Bed & Breakfast
    Ardmory, Victoria Road, Fort William, PH33 6BH
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    Ardmory B&B in Fort William is a modern house with a spacious garden in a quiet street close to the town centre with private parking and convenient for railway and bus stations. There are panoramic views over Loch Linnhe and surrounding mountains. We have 2 double rooms and 1 twin room....

  • Rustic View Bed and Breakfast
    Rustic View, Lochyside, Fort William, PH33 7NX
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    A superb, secluded Fort William bed and breakfast with it's own extensive gardens and views of Ben Nevis. We offer exceptional comfort in one of our ensuite rooms with every facility you might imagine from an established 4 Star property. One of our rooms is on the ground floor. Enjoy breakfast...

  • 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...

  • Ben Nevis Log Cabins
    Harland, Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6ST
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    Beautiful self catering log cabin sleeps a maximum of 4, includes a double and twin room. Situated at the foot of Ben nevis and at the end of the west highland way in one of Scotland's most beautiful glens it is ideally situated for walking, cycling, climbing or just relaxing. Feels...

  • Ardlinnhe Bed & Breakfast
    Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RQ
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    Ardlinnhe offers a unique experience for visitors to Fort William. We have a superb location facing Loch Linnhe and three quality ensuite bedrooms to ensure your stay is a very comfortable one. With lots of private parking and only a 5 minutes walk along the lochside into the town centre, it...

  • Loch Linnhe View holiday cottage
    3 Ben Nevis Terrace, Fort William, PH33 6RA
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    Loch Linnhe View is an excellent base to explore Lochaber and the Highlands. This quiet end terrace cottage style house overlooks Fort William, with views of Loch Linnhe and the Ardgour and Corpach hills.The accommodation has its own parking and is a few minutes walk from the town centre. It has...

  • The Old Byre
    Blarmachfoldach, Fort William, PH33 6JF
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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...

  • Tigh na Drochaid Self Catering
    Glen Nevis, Fort William, PH33 6PF
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    We are now offering autumn and winter short self catering breaks. This modern, semi-detached apartment is located near the foot of Ben Nevis and at the entrance to Glen Nevis in the heart of Britain's outdoor capital. Attached to the owners' property it is within walking distance of Fort William's town...

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