Visit Fort William, Glen Nevis and Ben Nevis in the Outdoor Capital of the UK

The online guide to the Fort William area including Banavie, Caol, Claggan, Corpach, Glen Nevis, Inverlochy, Tomacharich & Torlundy

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Walking up the Ben Nevis Foopath

In fine weather the ascent of Ben Nevis by the mountain footpath from Achintee is a relatively straightforward day out. In poor weather, however, the ascent is a serious undertaking and it is all too easy to underestimate the difficulty of the conditions which may be encountered high up on the mountain. Finding your way across the extensive summit plateau can be extremely difficult and, in the poor visibility which often prevails, a high degree of skill with map and compass is essential.

The mountain footpath from Achintee is the most frequented route with hundreds of walkers climbing to the top every year. You should allow four hours up and three hours down for an average trip. One alternative is to hire the services of a professional mountain guide, who will provide an excellent guided walk up Ben Nevis either as a private party, or as part of a small group sharing the mountain guide's services.

The track slants up along the side of Meall an t-Suidhe before reaching the Red Burn - a major feature on the slopes of the mountain. Beyond the Red Burn, the path climbs in a series of long winding zig-zags before reaching the summit plateau. The mountain track has been used to reach the summit of 'The Ben' in a variety of ways. The first ascent by a motor car was made in 1911. This was a publicity stunt to promote the Model T Ford. The ascent took several days and involved the use of planks and ropes. The mountain track was followed from about half-way up. The second car ascent in 1928 was completed in one day and there have been numerous other motorised ascents over the years. Other items which have been taken to the top are wheelbarrows and a piano.

On the plateau the route becomes less distinct as the path makes its way across a sea of stones and boulders. The rocks on the lower slopes of the mountain are mainly granites and schists while the top section is composed of Andesite and other volcanic lavas. On a clear day the views across to Glen Coe are stunning:- Beinn a' Bheithir, Bidean nam Bian (the highest peak in Argyll) and the famous notched ridge of the Aonach Eagach.

A final steepening leads to the summit which the Ordnance Survey trig point shares with various cairns, an emergency shelter and the ruins of the meteorological observatory. The Ben Nevis Observatory was manned for twenty-one years from 1883 to 1904 and readings were taken every hour during this period and telegraphed down to the Superintendant's House, now know as Glentower Guesthouse - the attractive pink house near the West End car park.

The view to the north and east takes in Carn Mor Dearg (the big red peak), Aonach Mor (the big ridge), and Aonach Beag (the small ridge). Along with Ben Nevis (the meaning is not certain - possibly the 'venomous' mountain), these four mountains form a group of peaks over 4000 feet - there are nine altogether in Scotland (none in the remainder of the British Isles). The other five 4000 footers are in the Cairngorm hills much further east. Beyond Aonach Beag lie the Grey Corries - a long ridge which comprises four Munros - Scottish mountains over 3000 feet in height above sea level (there are 284 Munros). To the south the view encompasses the Mamore ridge with a further ten Munros - Ben Nevis occupies a supreme position amid a sea of lower peaks.

Immediately to the north lies the precipitous north face which provides some of the best climbing in Britain - both in summer and winter.

If you are not too confident on the mountains, and would enjoy the experience of a guided walk up Ben Nevis, please get in touch with one of our advertisers.

Clan Macduff Hotel

Clan Macduff Hotel
Our family run lochside hotel in Fort William opens from April to October and offers great value for money accommodation, very comfortable hotel facilities and great lochview dining. If you are planning a visit to Fort William and the Highlands...
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Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RW
Tel: 01397 702341

Best Western Imperial Hotel

Best Western Imperial Hotel
The Imperial Hotel is located just off Fort William's High Street and offers lochside views from the upper floors. We have excellent hotel facilities, a good menu for dinner and bar suppers, and comfortable rooms, some which have loch views....
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Fraser Square, Fort William, PH33 6DW
Tel:

Ben Nevis Hotel

Ben Nevis Hotel
Nothing is overlooked - Except Ben Nevis Whether you are visiting on business or for some quality leisure time the hotel is an ideal base where you can be sure of a warm Scottish welcome. Situated at the foot of Ben Nevis in Fort William, The...
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North Road, Fort William, PH33 6TG
Tel: 0044 (0) 1397 702331

West End Hotel

West End Hotel
The West End Hotel is a well appointed, family run hotel with a tastefully furnished restaurant, lounge bar and delightful patio. We welcome visitors to Fort William for bed and breakfast or all-inclusive short stays. Our hotel accommodation is...
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High Street, Fort William, PH33
Tel: 0044 (0) 1397 702614

Nevis Bank Inn

Nevis Bank Inn
Fort William's Nevis Bank Hotel opened its door for the 2010 season at the end of May after a total refurbishment with very contemporary styling and a comfortable environment. The new management team welcomes you to our exciting place to stay...
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Belford Road, Fort William, PH33 6BY
Tel: 01397 705721

Inverlochy Castle Hotel & Restaurant

Inverlochy Castle Hotel & Restaurant
Stay at one of the best Scottish Castle Hotels in the Highlands! Nestling in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis, Inverlochy Castle sits amidst some of Scotland's finest scenery. Inverlochy was built in 1863 by the first Lord Abinger, 2...
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Torlundy, Fort William, PH33 6SN
Tel: 0044 (0) 1397 702177

Cruachan Hotel, Fort William

Cruachan Hotel, Fort William
With superb lochside views and a short distance to Fort William town centre, the Cruachan Hotel is a good choice as an affordable hotel if you are planning a visit to our Highland town. We have lots of private parking, generous sized public...
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Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33
Tel: 0044 (0) 1397 702022

The Lime Tree Hotel Restaurant and Gallery

The Lime Tree Hotel Restaurant and Gallery
The Lime Tree in Fort William is a Small Hotel, Restaurant and high quality Art Gallery offering you unique accommodation in a convenient location in the Highlands of Scotland. Whether you choose to relax at The Lime Tree, enjoy the spectacular...
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Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RQ
Tel: 01397 701806

Alexandra Hotel

Alexandra Hotel
Part of the very fabric of Fort William, since 1876 The Alexandra Hotel provides traditional Scottish Hospitality at its best and located in the centre of Fort William is an ideal base from which to explore the Highlands and Islands. Relax by...
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The Parade, Fort William, PH33 6AZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1397 702241

Guisachan Guest House

Guisachan Guest House
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...
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Alma Road, Fort William, PH33 6HA
Tel: 01397 703797

Innseagan House Hotel Fort William

Innseagan House Hotel Fort William
The New Innseagan House Hotel in Fort William Hotel The Innseagan House Hotel is a small hotel with breathtaking views across Loch Linnhe. Your host Alexandra, welcomes you to the relaxed family atmosphere, good food, roaring fires and a...
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Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RW
Tel: + 44 1397 700841

Moorings Hotel

Moorings Hotel
The Moorings Hotel is one of the most desirable hotels in the Scottish Highlands offering the best accommodation, wedding and conference facilities. But don’t take our word for it, come along and experience the tranquillity and quality for...
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Banavie , Fort William, Banavie, Fort William, PH33 7LY
Tel: 01397 772797

Croit Anna Hotel

Croit Anna Hotel
The Croit Anna Hotel is situated 4Km south of Fort William on the A82 by the shores of Loch Linnhe and  is ideally located for touring the Western Highlands, with such famous places as Ben Nevis, Glencoe and Glenfinnan only a short drive away....
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Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33
Tel: 0044 (0) 1397 702268

Ossians - budget accommodation

Ossians - budget accommodation
Ossians offers budget accommodation in the centre of Fort William. Only 100 meters from the end of the West Highland Way, and close to rail and bus stations, it's ideally placed for backpackers and tourists for simple but clean and tidy hotel...
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Ossians, High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH
Tel: 01397 700857

Kirkhope Mountaineering - Ben Nevis mountain guide

Kirkhope Mountaineering - Ben Nevis mountain guide
Based in Fort William, in the outdoor capital of the UK, we are ideally situated to help you get the most out of your outdoor experience. With Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain on our doorstep and Glen Coe, the Mamores' and the Grey...
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1 Melantee, Claggan, Fort William, PH33 6PX
Tel: 075000 29783

Snowgoose Mountain Centre & The Smiddy Bunkhouse

Snowgoose Mountain Centre & The Smiddy Bunkhouse
Snowgoose Mountain Centre offers mountain & water based skills training and guiding on the West Coast of Scotland. Our family run business provides from family days out on the water or crag to winter skills training and wilderness expeditions...
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Station Road, Corpach, Corpach, Fort William, PH33 7JH
Tel: 01397 772467

Abacus Mountain Guides

Abacus Mountain Guides
Abacus Mountain Guides provide world class mountain adventures on the west coast of Scotland. With the highest qualifications in Mountaineering, Canyoning and Mountain Biking, plus twenty years of experience, we deliver expert coaching and guiding...
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6 Hillview Drive, Corpach, Fort William, PH33 7LS
Tel: 01397 772466

Atlas Mountaineering | Ben Nevis Mountain Guide

Atlas Mountaineering | Ben Nevis Mountain Guide
Come join us at Atlas Mountaineering for a special experience on the UK's highest mountain. Being based in Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of the UK, at the foot of Ben Nevis, we are available on short notice for private or group mountain...
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Flat 4, 155 High Street, None, Fort William, PH33 6EA
Tel: 07446 191 098

Lochaber Guides - hill and mountain guiding

Lochaber Guides - hill and mountain guiding
We pride ourselves in offering our clients a unique and unforgettable experience in the Scottish Mountains. Lochaber Guides is run by Dave Anderson. Dave holds the Summer and Winter Mountain Leader Award as well as the Single Pitch Award for Rock...
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60 Castle Drive, Lochyside, Fort William, PH33 7NS
Tel: 07903 459266

Hunter Mountaineering & Guiding

Hunter Mountaineering & Guiding
Welcome to Hunter Mountaineering - We offer professional and experienced Guiding, Instruction and Coaching in all aspects of British Mountaineering and Climbing, based in Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis in the Highlands. This Spring,...
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The Birches, Lundavra Road, None, Fort William, PH33 6RD
Tel: 07724 740225

Active Highs - outdoor activities Fort William

Active Highs - outdoor activities Fort William
Active Highs are a modern outdoor adventure centre offering quality outdoor activities including white water rafting, canyoning & gorge walking, canoeing, kayaking, climbing & abseiling, archery and mountain biking. We are based at The...
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The Great Glen Water Park, South Laggan, PH344EA
Tel: 01809 501459

The Highland Mountain Company

The Highland Mountain Company
Situated at the base of Ben Nevis in Fort William The Highland Mountain Company offers and delivers high quality mountain guiding and instruction in a range of outdoor activities to families, friends and small groups. Our Aim - Is to deliver...
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31 Lochy Road, Inverlochy, Fort William, PH33 6NW
Tel: 07815 688608

Adventure Nevis - Ben Nevis Mountain Guide

Adventure Nevis - Ben Nevis Mountain Guide
If you are looking for a Ben Nevis Mountain Guide, Adventure Nevis is a Scottish-based guiding service offering classic mountain days on Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, standing at 1,344 metres. The Ben Nevis mountain footpath ascent...
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3 Bracara, Morar, PH40 4PE
Tel: 01687 460163 or 0771 4844686

West Coast Mountain Guides

West Coast Mountain Guides
West Coast Mountain Guides Ltd is now owned by principal mountaineer Bruce Poll, a well respected climber and instructor within Scottish mountaineering circles. Bruce offers a full range of hill-walking, scrambling, ridge-walking and general...
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Calluna, Heathercroft, Fort William, PH33 6RE
Tel: 07710441580

Wildwood Bushcraft - survival skills, natural history and adventure in the Highlands!

Wildwood Bushcraft - survival skills, natural history and adventure in the Highlands!
Bushcraft survival courses and woodland nature days in Lochaber - perfect for a family or small group outdoor activity. We offer unique experiences involving bushcraft survival skills, woodland crafts, wildlife tracking and navigation, in the...
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Wildwood, Roshven, Lochailort, PH38 4NB
Tel: 01687 470415
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Office: Ben Nevis Office, Tomacharich, Fort William, PH33 6SW
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