The Outdoor Capital of the UK
Fort William and its surroundings are collectively referred to as the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Which is hardly surprising given the impressive number of outdoor activities and events being enjoyed by adventurers over the course of the year. From water sports, to paragliding and all the walking and rock climbing you can do in between, the Fort William area offers a wide selection of activities that will appeal to first time and seasoned adventurers alike.
1 – Water sports galore
Lochs, rivers, and canals offer an opportunity for everyone to have fun in the waters just outside of Fort William. While sea kayaking on Loch Eil is a great way to enjoy the mountain views in a relaxing setting, white water Kayaking in the River Nevis is a thrilling challenge for bold adventurers. On many lakes and rivers, you can plan a rafting excursion and even take sailing courses if you want to improve your skills. Fort William is also home to many recreational diving areas with sites featuring the exploration of shipwrecks.
2 – Ben Nevis and mountain activities
Take a gondola up some 650m above sea level on Aonach Mor to a paragliding launching site. The site may be for the more experienced, but those who take the plunge may find the opportunity to hit thermals spots that will hoist them far and above the 1300 meters of Ben Nevis.
Speaking of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles also happens to be at the center of many events including the Ben Nevis Race, a wild marathon taking challengers up and down the UK’s highest peak. The Tour de Ben Nevis is also of note as the region’s equivalent to France’s classic bike race.
3 – The Highland Games
Every year, in the month of July, Fort William welcomes participants and spectators to the Lochaber Highland Games. The Highland games are a unique and engaging way to mix tradition, social activities and sporting fun. It’s a competitive event that celebrates the Scottish and Celtic heritage. Although famous for events such as the caber toss, the Scottish hammer throw and the maide leisg, Highland games are often memorable because of their pipe bands performing at the opening and closing ceremonies.
Add fishing, skiing, golfing and horseback riding to the list, and you still end up with just a sample of what Fort William and its surroundings have to offer in terms of outdoor activities. You can reach Fort William by train out of Glasgow three times a day from Monday to Saturday and twice on Sundays. The journey is about 3 hours and 40 minutes long. Also, receive a free extra day of travel when you purchase the BritRail Freedom of Scotland Travelpass between April 1st and April 30th, 2013!