Fort William and Lochaber Adventure Guide

Fort William and Lochaber is one of the best regions for adventure in Scotland it’s located in the western highlands and stretches from Glencoe in the East to the Small Isles to the West. It’s a dramatic and fascinating landscape with ancient volcanoes and mountains sculptured by glaciers.  The region includes the highest mountain and deepest freshwater body of water in the UK, Loch Morar.  Adnamurchan lighthouse is the most westerly point on the UK mainland and is a prime spot for whale watching during the summer months. The coastline between Mallaig and Arisaig is particularly stunning with beautiful white beaches and clear sea  making is perfect for Kayaking , the sunsets over the Small Isles are simply breathtaking.

Lochaber is a huge outdoor playground for with 34 Munros, isolated Lochs and large expanses of wilderness created by the highland clearances, the most famous of which is the beautiful Knoydart located north of Mallaig . There are miles of single track for Mountain biking and quiet lanes on the Ardnamurchan and Morvern peninsula for Road Cycling. The Scottish winter can provide excellent mixed snow and ice climbing, Nevis and Glencoe have excellent ski facilities which transform to Mountain Bike centers once the snow has melted.

We have explored the region over many years and have selected our top five adventures, hillwalks , canoe trips and beaches. There are also links to great pubs, restaurants and accommodation for the adventurous traveler.

Our top 5 Adventures

  1. Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg Arete – Spectacular route for experienced hillwalkers 
  2. Aonach Eagach – Classic knife edge ridge in Glencoe
  3. Sea kayaking at Arisaig –  World renowned location with incredible scenery
  4. Mountain biking on Nevis – Take the Gondala up and ride the world cup black or red run
  5. Wild camping on Knoydart – Remote location with stunning views and turf roofed cabin

Hillwalking and scrambling

  1. Ben Nevis & Carn Mor Dearg – The finest one day route in the UK?
  2. Aonach Eagach – Classic ridge scramble in Glencoe
  3. Curved ridge Buachaille Etive Mor – Classic route up an iconic Mountain
  4. Rum Cuillen – Remote, exhilarating, committed, fantastic
  5. Ring of Steall – Scrambling, exposure and four Munros
walkers on mountain in Glencoe

Descending into Glencoe

Mountain Biking

The Ride Fort William website is a great source of information for trails with everything from family trails to black downhill runs. The Nevis Range and Glencoe Resort have uplifts to save your energy and maximise the time going downhill

  1. Nevis range  – Black UCI mountain bike world cup run and red cross country run
  2. Witch’s trails – Blue and red runs in the forest, uses the Nevis uplift
  3. Glencoe Mountain Resort –  Black, red and cross country runs
  4. Devils staircase – Short route from Glencoe to Kinlochleven with superb views
  5. Laggan Wolftrax – Highly rated forestry commission site just east of Lochaber

Road Cycling

  1. Fort William to Ardnamuchan loop – An exhilarating 80 mile road route with breathtaking loch and sea views
  2. Caledonian way  – Campbeltown to Oban: 166 miles. A challenging route, with on-road and some traffic-free sections
  3. Glencoe to Kinlochleven – A superb 19 mile circular route alongside Loch Leven
  4. Great Glen cycle route – An 83 mile route from Fort William to Inverness on tracks, hybrid bike required
  5. Ardnamurchan peninsula – Cycle route on a beautiful, remote location

Canoe / Kayak

  1. Arisaig – World renowned sea kayaking location
  2. Loch Shiel – Multi day trip from Glenfinnan to the sea
  3. Castle Tioram and Loch Moidart – Explore the sheltered Loch and 13th Century castle
  4. Loch Ba – Short trip to enjoy the views or  a classic trip across Rannoch Moor
  5. Loch Morar and Nevis – Portage to Tarbet and paddle to Sourlies bothy

Best Beaches

  1. Camusdarach – Arisaig
  2. Sanna – Ardnamurchan
  3. Singing sands – Ardnamurchan
  4. Silver sands – Morar
  5. Laig Bay – Eigg

 camasdrach beach panorama

Short adventures

Best short walks

  1. Lost valley Glencoe – Dramatic in the heart of Glencoe
  2. Glen Nevis and Steall Falls – One of the best short walks in Scotland
  3. Singing sands – Picturesque Beautiful and secluded beach
  4. Devils staircase – Section of West Highland Way that crosses the Aonach Eagach
  5. Glenfinnan – Dragonfly and woodland walks in this historic location

Loch Morar jetty

Loch Morar

Hidden gems

  1. Loch Morar – The deepest body of freshwater in the uk
  2. Castle Tioram – Ruined castle on small tidal island in Loch Moidart
  3. Sunset over Rum from Camusdarach
  4. Jacobite steam train over Glenfinnan viaduct to Mallaig, made famous by Harry Potter

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Fort William and Lochaber adventure map

fort william and lochaber adventure map