Places to Visit

Kinloch Hourn and Knoydart

After passing Lochan Torr, the road continues a further 16 miles or so west, passing Tomdoun, with its tiny church, the small settlement of Poulary, Kingie Pool and Loch Quoich with its sweeping hydroelectric dam, the largest rockfill dam in Scotland, before reaching Kinloch Hourn.  This is a spectacular and unique trip through rugged, mountainous country ending at a fjord like sea loch, with sightings of deer and other wildlife likely.  Kinloch Hourn is the starting point for footpaths into Knoydart, one of the most inaccessible and wild areas of the British Isles.

Invergarry and the Great Glen

The road east from Lochan Torr travels along the northern shore of Loch Garry, with attractive loch, river, mountain and woodland views, before joining the A87.  Invergarry is five miles further east on the A87 in the Great Glen, close to where the River Garry flows into Loch Oich.  Glengarry Heritage Centre has an exhibition about the history of Glengarry including information about the clan MacDonell, the emigrations to North America and the Victorian Ellice estate village.  It also sells a selection of books, maps and cards and, at certain times, refreshments are available at the Community Hall where it is housed. North of Invergarry on the A87 is the famous Glengarry Viewpoint, from where Loch Garry looks like a map of Scotland.

Fort Augustus and Loch Ness

Situated five miles further along the Great Glen where the Caledonian Canal joins Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is an attractive and thriving village with spectacular views along Loch Ness and of the Caledonian Canal.  Attractions include the Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre, the flight of five locks linking the Caledonian Canal with Loch Ness, Fort Augustus Abbey, a Rare Breeds Park, Iceberg Glass and the Clansman CentreCruise Loch Ness operates power and cruise boat trips on Loch Ness, including views of Urquhart Castle and Nessie hunting trips.  There are also shops, cafes, restaurants and other facilities.

Great Britain’s Highest Mountain, Ben Nevis, Nevis Range and Fort William are approximately 45 minutes travelling time by car from Lochan Torr.

The Glen Nevis Visitor Centre (01397 705922) is located 1.5 miles along the Glen Nevis road from the A82 and is the main starting point for climbing Great Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.  The visitor centre provides information about the local area and walking trails and has a shop selling outdoor equipment.

Nevis Range ski area and mountain experience - Great Britain’s only mountain gondola takes visitors up to 650m on the north face of Aonach Mor, near Ben Nevis, providing access to the ski and snowboarding area in Winter and to mountain trails and panoramic viewpoints.  In Summer it also provides access to the mountain discovery centre and the World Cup downhill bike trail.  Other facilities include a mountain restaurant, bar and shop and base station café.  There are also high wire adventure courses, low level trails and, for cyclists, the famous cross country Witch’s Trails. Please refer to the Nevis Range website for further information and details on opening times and restrictions.

Fort William has a range of high street shops, including a number of outdoor, cycling and gift shops and Morrison and Tesco Metro supermarkets.  Visitor attractions include Ben Nevis Distillery, Treasures of the Earth at Corpach, a display of crystals, fossils and gemstones, the West Highland Museum, which tells the story of the region and includes exhibits relating to Bonnie Prince Charlie, boat cruises (with wildlife spotting opportunities) on Loch Linnhe and Loch Shiel and Neptune’s Staircase, a flight of eight locks on the Caledonian Canal at Banavie which forms the longest lock staircase in Great Britain.

Fort William is also the starting point for the train journey to Mallaig, one of the greatest railway journeys in the world.  The Jacobite steam train travels through breathtaking scenery past Britain’s highest mountain, deepest loch, shortest river and most westerly station before dropping down to the sea’s edge to provide views of the Inner Hebrides.  It is also famous for its role as Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.

There is a choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs in Fort William and a Michelin starred restaurant at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel on the A82 three miles north of the town.

Spean Bridge - Spean Bridge Mill has weaving demonstrations, a whisky shop, gift shop, cafe and tartan centre.  There is also a branch of the Highland Soap Company.

The Commando Memorial is a tribute to the commandos who trained in the area in World War II.  The Viewpoint provides views over the dramatic scenery of Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries (B8005 near Spean Bridge).

Glenfinnan Monument and Visitor Centre – Glenfinnan Monument (which can be climbed by visitors) is situated in magnificent scenery at the head of Loch Shiel and was erected as a tribute to the clansmen who fought for the Jacobite cause with Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745.  The visitor centre includes displays about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign and his defeat at Culloden.

Glenfinnan Railway Museum includes information about the construction of the spectacular railway line from Glasgow to Mallaig, including the Glenfinnan Viaduct, as well as housing a café, in a train dining car, and shop.

Clan Cameron Museum, at Achnacarry, gives the history of the Clan Cameron.

The Road to the Isles between the A82 North of Fort William and Mallaig provides stunning views of the Small Isles of Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna, with beautiful white sandy beaches around Arisaig and Morar.

Visit Lochaber Geopark and learn about the formation of the Lochaber landscape.

The Great Glen is a series of rivers and lochs, including Loch Ness, on the geographical fault line linking Fort William and Inverness.  There are spectacular views along the Great Glen and attractions including Invergarry and Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and the Nessie exhibition and Nessieland in Drumnadrochit.

Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, has a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants and attractions.  Attractions include the Inverness Botanic Gardens, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Inverness PoolCulloden Battlefield, 5 miles east of Inverness, was the site of the last major battle on British soil in 1746 when the Jacobite Army was defeated by government forces.  There is an exhibition centre, shop and restaurant.

Other spectacular areas, with stunning views and abundant walking and photo opportunities, include Kintail and Morvich – north of the A87, 16 miles east of Kyle of Lochalsh (the Five Sisters of Kintail and the Falls of Glomach are part of this magnificent area, which contains ten Munros), Loch Arkaig and Glen Pean, Glen Shiel and the South Shiel (Cluanie) Ridge, Glen Affric National Nature Reserve and West Affric and Glen Roy National Nature Reserve (turn off the A86 in Roy Bridge), which includes the Parallel Roads, the remnant shorelines of the glacial lakes that once filled the glen.

Iconic Eilan Donan Castle is situated at Dornie on the A87 to Skye.  The Isle of Skye, has dramatic sea and mountain scenery and many attractions. Sea Probe Atlantis provides glass bottom boat trips from Kyle of Lochalsh.

Balmacara Estate and Woodland (on A87 adjoining Kyle of Lochalsh) is a crofting estate of 2,750 hectares with superb views of Skye and Applecross and sheltered walks by the shores of Loch Alsh.

The Highland Folk Museum is in Newtonmore. Dalwhinnie Distillery offers tours of the distillery, tastings and a shop.

Cairngorms National Park and Cairgorm Mountain - visit Britain’s highest railway station at 1097 metres on the funicular to walk, cycle, see wildlife, panoramic views and the mountain garden.  Visit the Cairngorm reindeer herd or Strathspey Steam Railway. Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie has a collection of around 200 animals, including  tigers, wolves and polar bears and Scottish wildlife.

Glencoe, Rannoch Moor and Loch Leven – Loch Leven sea loch runs from Loch Linnhe inland to Kinlochleven.  Glencoe is famed for its majestic mountains and geographical formations and the notorious massacre.  There is a visitor centre run by the National Trust for Scotland with exhibitions, café, shop and picnic area.

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