Fort William, Scotland

Fort William (Gaelic An Gearasdan, Stronghold " ), with about 9,766 inhabitants ( 2006 estimate ), the largest city in the western Scottish Highlands. It is located on the shores of Loch Linnhe, at the southern end of the Great Glen. Being close to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, Fort William is a tourist stronghold with shopping street, hotels and bars.


Fort William is situated on the shores of Loch Linnhe, the longest bay ( Sea hole ) of Scotland, at the mouths of the rivers Nevis and Lochy. The city and its neighborhoods are surrounded by remarkable mountain views including Ben Nevis. Loch Eil is another bay that connects near the city with the Loch Linnhe.

The nearest large towns are Inverness in the north-east (about 90 km), and Glasgow in the southeast (about 120 km). Among the smaller towns in the area include Mallaig, Fort Augustus and Oban. About 20 km to the west of Fort William Glenfinnan is where the Glenfinnan Viaduct (also known as Harry Potter Bridge ) is located.


Originally, the area around Lochaber land of Clan Cameron. There were a number of settlements of this clan in the environment (for example Blarmacfoldach ). The city has developed around a 1650 founded by Oliver Cromwell under the name Fort Inverlochy fortress. 1690 was the fortress by William III. (German Wilhelm III. ) renamed Fort William. While the place itself first bore the name of Maryborough, then renamed in Gordon, Pennsylvania, and later in Duncan Borough, he eventually took the name of the fortress of self.


The Caledonian Sleeper connecting Fort William directly with the British capital London. Furthermore, the West Highland railway line leads to Glasgow to Mallaig in the south and in the north- west. The station itself is designed as a railhead and is used annually by about 160,000 (2008/ 09) traveler. In the summer months in addition to start the historic steam train Jacobite Steam Train ( also known as " Harry Potter train " ) from Fort William to Mallaig.

Fort William is also the main bus junction in the Western Highlands and goal of most bus routes in the region. There are links to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, but also in the sparsely populated north of Scotland to nationwide destinations in England.

The major arterial roads that lead to Fort William, the A82 and the A830. The A82 comes from the south of Glasgow and continues to Inverness; The A830 runs from Fort William to Mallaig harbor town.


Goals for the day

  • Ben Nevis, highest mountain in Britain ( 1,344 m)
  • Glen Nevis, worth seeing valley with the Steall Falls ( waterfalls ) and the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre Ionad Nibheis
  • Nevis Range ski area at Aonach Mòr
  • West Highland Museum with the history of the Jacobites and the area
  • Glen Coe, impressive valley
  • Old Inverlochy Castle, the ruins of 1270
  • Ben Nevis Distillery with Visitors Centre, whiskey distillery
  • Neptune 's Staircase, on the Caledonian Canal lock system with seven levels and swing bridge
  • Glenfinnan Monument at Loch Shiel, monument to the Jacobite Rising of 1745 in a romantic seascape, Glenfinnan Viaduct ( known from the Harry Potter films )

Long-distance footpaths

Fort William is the target of one of the most famous long-distance trails in Scotland, the West Highland Way. In addition, Fort William is also the starting point of the Great Glen Ways, which happens, among other Loch Ness and leads to Inverness. The unmarked Cape Wrath Trail also begins in Fort William, leading in the extreme north-west of Scotland.

Underwater Centre

Fort William is the Underwater Centre resident, one of the leading training centers for professional divers in Europe. However, it is also possible to obtain from acting as a scuba diver. The Centre also offers dives in historical and modern professional equipment and in the pressure chamber.


A few kilometers from the city center, at the Nevis Range, is a mountain bike downhill, which attracts thousands athletes and supporters from the UK, as well as outside attracts. Since 2002, this route is one of the most popular venues for the Mountain Bike World Cup. 2007 Fort William hosted the mountain bike world championships.

In winter, Nevis Range is very popular with skiers and snowboarders and is one of the most popular winter sports resorts in the UK.

The Fort William FC plays in the Highland Football League, but is not as popular as Shinty in Fort William. Therefore, the team has also found problems players and must therefore also in the league suffer.


Fort William and the surrounding area has been used in numerous films as a production site, including Being Human, Braveheart, Highlander, Restless Natives, and Rob Roy. The British TV series Rockface was shot largely in Fort William, as well as some scenes from Monarch of the Glen. A scene of the Scottish film Local Hero was also shot in Fort William.

Sons and daughters

  • Charles Kennedy - former leader of the Liberal Democrats grew up in Fort William although he was born in Inverness.
  • Allan McDonald - poet and Catholic priest was born in Fort William and grew up here
  • Daniel McLean McDonald - founder of the Birmingham Sound Reproducers