Fort William

For other places with the same name, see Fort William (disambiguation).

Sitting at the head of Loch Linnhe, a sea loch, and at the foot of Ben Nevis, Fort William is the major town of the South Western Scottish Highlands, Scotland. The High Street is the heart of the town - here one will find most of the shops, pubs and restaurants and at its northern end, beyond the bypass, the bus and railway stations.

Get in

This is a major town and a transport hub, accessible from more-or-less anywhere in Sctoalnd.

By bus

Several coaches a day run to and from Glasgow, Oban, Kyle of Lochalsh, the Isle of Skye and Inverness. Up to three per day run to and from Mallaig and in summer a couple also go to Edinburgh, Kingussie and Aviemore.

Local buses run to Kinlochleven via Glencoe.

By train

Three direct trains a day run to and from Glasgow (Queen Street) via Crianlarich and Loch Lomond on the spectacular West Highland Railway and continue on the even more scenic route to Mallaig.

The Caledonian Sleeper is an overnight sleeper train that runs direct to Fort William from London. Due to its historic popularity among the landed gentry travelling to shooting parties it is affectionately nicknamed the "Deerstalker". The train leaves Euston every evening at 8PM except on Saturdays. Fares are £120 return, but "Bargain Berths" are available down to £19 one way if you book up to 12 weeks in advance - but are notoriously hard to get on the Fort William service during peak summer season. As an alternative you can travel on the overnight Glasgow train (which leaves Euston at 2300) and complete the journey using a day service.

Get around

The centre of Fort William is small enough to get around on foot.

In summer local buses run to Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.


Loch Linhe


Ben Nevis on a cloudy day
Steall Falls in Glen Nevis.


Shops on the High Street offer a wide choice of Scottish dresses, woollenware, mementos and of course Scotch whisky. For many souvenirs, each clan has a particular design and colour, although bear in mind that this is generally a marketing exercise for tourists! However, if you really want a hip flask/scarf/whisky bottle with your chosen tartan or crest, a wide variety is generally on display. Many of the tour operators bringing in tourists provide a lunch break at Fort William.


The local meat and fish has a good reputation and when in Scotland trying haggis is a must. Vegetarian options are almost always available and for those that like a little less lung in their meals vegetarian haggis is delicious.


It is Scotland and so one need not worry about availability of drinks. The in-thing is single malt whisky but tourists also have a wide choice of popular branded blends. Note that, as in many other Scottish towns, it is illegal to drink in public places like the High Street.


There are many places to stay at different budget levels in and around the town. The A82 road to the south has an almost continuous row of Bed and Breakfast and guest houses stretching for about 4 km (2.5 mi) out of the centre - if booking online and you don't have a car, check the location before you book if you don't want a long walk into town and back.






There is an Internet cafe in the High Street and free Internet access in the library, also on the High Street.

Go next

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