Fort William, Scotland – The Adventure Capital Of UK!

After three days in Edinburgh, with the most amazing summer weather and getting the most out of our press passes from VisitScotland, we headed further inland to one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland – the Highlands.

We stayed in Fort William, known as the gateway to the Highlands and the adventure capital of UK.

Sitting at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in UK, and at the head of Loch Linnhe, a sea loch, the beauty surrounding this town is unmistakable.

When asking the locals in Edinburgh what their favorite place in Scotland was, they all said with dreamy eyes that nothing beats the highlands.

And then, finally, when it was right before my eyes, I could see why - the scenery spreading out far into the distance was absolutely stunning.

Muddy Mountain Biking

But walking down the main street in Fort William one thing became very clear to us: everyone else must have known something which we did not, as they were all fully equipped with enough gear and clothing to go mountaineering for days, ready to tackle any weather.

Sure enough the next day, the weather had switched. It was cold, rainy and windy, and the mountains were hiding behind the mist.

We were going on our first adventure: mountain biking.

The Ben Nevis range is world famous for its great mountain biking, and Nathan who loves mountain biking talked me into it.

We grabbed some bikes from Alpine Bikes and when we arrived at the start of the mountainbike track the weather suddenly changed again. The mist was gone and the sun came out.

But many of the tracks were still muddy, and with no experience whatsoever I was up for quite a challenge.

At first I actually walked down with my bike (pretending to having biked down to Nathan) because I was so scared of the steep hill, but then I pulled myself together and decided that I was going to do this, falling and hurting myself or not (which I eventually did), I would not chicken out.

And like I’ve said before, if you try something you’re scared of you might actually find that you like it.

Fast forward 10 minutes later and all I could say was WOW – it was so much fun, and the track was awesome.

With many hills going down and not so many going up, it was less challenging for the condition and more for the skills, but it was still hard not to look away from the windy road to appreciate the green forest and the river running next to you.

The View From Aonach Mor

We finished the day by taking a gondola up to Anoach Mor, a big mountain with incredible views over Ben Nevis, the Great Glen and the Inner Hebrides.

While seeing the landscape from below is great, seeing it from above was definitely the best way to truly appreciate it. The view you see is that of the first picture in this post.

Cruising The Loch

The next day we went on a cruise on Loch Linnhe with Crannog Cruises. The morning started out windy, and the sun and clouds were fighting each other for attention.

It was quite spectacular to see the patches of sun and shadows playing over the smooth rolling hills around us, and with the sea being everything but calm, the little boat was up for a bumpy ride.

Having been in Fort William for only three days, I had quickly understood why everyone else had so much gear with them – the weather could change from one moment to the other, and we actually experienced three seasons in one day..!

The Most Scenic Train Journey In The World?

We left Fort William with some awesome experiences, and took the West Highland Line to Glasgow, which was voted the most scenic train journey in the world on Wanderlust magazine. So, was it true?

To tell you the truth, the scenery was definitely one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and since the Europe Train Challenge we have been on a lot of trains..!

Most of the time the landscape was very remote and it kept changing all the time, which made it very interesting.

This is a great way to spend a few days in the Highlands and I would love to go back and see more.

Disclaimer: Our trip to Scotland was in part sponsored by VisitScotland, our mountain bike hire sponsored by Alpine Bikes, & our cruise trip sponsored by Crannog Cruises.

12 Responses to Fort William, Scotland – The Adventure Capital Of UK!

  1. Pooja Singh October 19, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    did you see the Loch Ness monster.

  2. TheWorldOrBust October 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    Wow, that looks like some amazing scenery, I didn’t think Scotland looked like that!

    • Iain Miller October 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      You’re absolutely right, amazing. Once you get away from the larger towns and cities, it has some of the most spectacular scenery for such a little country.

      • Sofia - As We Travel October 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

        I second that, I was amazed by how beautiful it was and how much there was to see in such a small area.

    • Sofia - As We Travel October 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      The country side really looks exactly like in Braveheart. Next time we’ll rent a car so we can stop every five minutes to take photos :P

  3. Scrapbooking October 21, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Wow. Thanks for the post. This is such a nice place. Scotland.

    • Sofia - As We Travel October 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

      I’m glad you like it, it’s a beautiful place to visit :)

  4. Where to visit in Scotland October 23, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Wow, beautiful pictures…beautiful scenery, beautiful country! It is definitely worth visiting! 

    • Sofia - As We Travel October 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      Yes it is – we also loved everything about Scotland, can’t wait to go back again :)

  5. Erika Schweitz January 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    I had a friend crash on my couch at the beginning of December. I hadn’t seen her for a year and a half so that was fun, and I found out that she’d been studying adventure tourism in Fort William for the past 6 months. It looks like I’ll have to go crash on her couch next… :)

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