Fort William's main attraction is undoubtedly Ben Nevis, at 4,406ft/1,343m Britain's highest mountain. The origin of the name is subject to one or two interpretations, but the most likely meaning is "shrouded in fog" - and on most days of the year it is! However, on a clear day the bare, reddish shades of granite and porphyrite gleaming in the sunset make an unforgettable sight. A relatively easy ascent of Ben Nevis is possible by following the route from Aichintee House (2.5mi/4km; parking lot). This route requires about 2.5 hours. Every year in September a race to the summit starts here with a time of 87 minutes as the current record.
Ben Nevis Map
On a clear day the view from Ben Nevis extends for about 150mi/240km and takes in the Scottish Highlands and Islands as far as the Hebrides and the Irish coast. Many walkers choose to start their ascent in the evening and then bed down in a sleeping bag at nightfall so as to be able to savor a Ben Nevis sunrise, another unforgettable experience - as long as the fog does not intervene. Despite the relatively easy climb, the dangers posed by rapid changes in the weather should not be underestimated and walkers should take all the necessary precautions. The long northeast face presents the biggest challenge and it should only be undertaken by experienced climbers. The tourist office in Fort William and the Scottish Mountaineering Club can provide detailed route maps.
Map of Fort William Attractions