"Under Ben Nevis" Top 5 Page for this destination Fort William by stevezero

Fort William Travel Guide: 223 reviews and 398 photos

Fort William (Gaelic: An Gearasdan, "The Garrison") is the largest town in the west highlands of Scotland. Originally based around the village of Inverlochy, where you can still find the castle ruins, the town lies at the southern end of the Great Glen, on the shores of Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil. It is close to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and the beautiful Glen Nevis. The town is a major tourist centre with Glen Coe just to the south, and Glenfinnan to the west, on the Road to the Isles.
However, the town is not of local origin. It grew up as a settlement next to a fort constructed to control the population following Oliver Cromwell's invasion during the English Civil War, and then to suppress the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century. The fort was named Fort William after William Of Orange, and the settlement that grew around it was called Maryburgh, after his wife. This settlement was later renamed Gordonsburgh, and then to Duncansburgh, before being renamed Fort William, this time after "Butcher" Cumberland. Given these origins, there have been various suggestions over the years to rename the town (for example, to Invernevis). These proposals have led to nothing as of yet.
The West Highland Line passes through Fort William. Owing to the difficult terrain in the area, the line from Glasgow, to the south, enters from the northeast and trains from Glasgow to Mallaig, the terminus of the line, have to reverse at Fort William.
The Caledonian Canal connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:handy, good shopping, good travel links
  • Cons:can get busy
  • In a nutshell:great place from which to explore the highlands
  • Intro Written Jun 14, 2006
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