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Campsites in Fort William, Highlands and Islands

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4 bookable campsites within 15 miles of Fort William

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Why visit Fort William?

Visit Neptune’s Staircase

The village of Banavie, just across the river from Fort William, hosts one of the greatest feats of engineering in the Highlands. Neptune’s Staircase was built by Thomas Telford and finished in 1822, and consists of eight locks raising boats 62 feet uphill over a quarter of a mile of the Caledonian Canal between Lochs Linnhe and Lochy. It takes boats 90 minutes to go up and down the flight. Should you tire of watching the manoeuvres of barges and yachts, Banavie has great views of Ben Nevis as well as several cafés for a refreshing cuppa.

Loch cruises

For towering views of Ben Nevis and the chance to see seals basking on the aptly named Seal Island, plus dolphins, porpoises or birds of prey (ospreys are often spotted), take a cruise around Lochs Linnhe and Eil. Other attractions you’ll see along the way include the entrance to the Caledonian Canal at Banavie, salmon and mussel farms, and the wreck of the MV Dayspring fishing vessel. If you’re visiting in winter, book a boat with inside seating in a heated cabin to keep the chills away. 

Harry Potter’s viaduct

Take the Jacobite Steam Train for the 84-mile round-trip rail journey between Fort William and Mallaig on the west coast. At Glenfinnan, you’ll doubtless recognise the 21 arches of the viaduct that starred in the Harry Potter films. Occasionally the train pauses mid-viaduct to let passengers admire the views to Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel. The end of the line is at Mallaig, a fishing port with several restaurants and a ferry terminal with services to the Isle of Skye

Long-distance walks 

Fort William is the gateway to two famed long-distance walks. The 79-mile Great Glen Way follows the Caledonian Canal through the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, before heading along the north side of Loch Ness, past Urquhart Castle and finally into Inverness. Heading south, the West Highland Way is 96 miles in length and finishes in Milngavie near Glasgow. Highlights of this hike include the spectacular waterfalls in Glen Nevis and the cone-shaped peak of Buachaille Etive Mòr on Rannoch Moor.

Essential things to do in Fort William

  • Take the Nevis Range Mountain Gondola up to Aonach Mòr at 2,132 feet for summer views over Ben Nevis and the Highlands, or skiing and snowboarding in winter 

  • Visit Old Inverlochy Castle, a 13th-century relic with scant remains of its fortified towers, significant for the part it played in Civil Wars battles during the 1640s

  • See the monument dedicated to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion in Glenfinnan, at the head of Loch Shiel, and learn about the prince’s defeat at Culloden in the Visitor Centre

  • Take a tour of the manufacturing process and have a dram at Ben Nevis Distillery, dating from 1825 and one of the oldest malt whisky distilleries in Scotland

Unusual things to do in Fort William

Visit the Treasures of the Earth Museum

If you're interested in geology, this museum is one for you. The raw materials have been 500 million years in the making at one of the biggest private collections of crystals, gemstones and fossils in the UK. You’ll spot fossils of dinosaur droppings, the skull of a sabre-tooth tiger and crystals that change colour in ultraviolet light. 

Drive the Glen Etive road

Channel your inner James Bond and follow the scenic 12-mile single-track road leading to a dead end on the banks of Loch Etive. It's a fabulous drive for anyone, but film buffs will likely recognise the route featured in Skyfall. To get there from Fort William, take the A82 road through Glencoe and turn right about 11 miles south of Glencoe village. If you get to Glencoe Mountain Resort (also on the right), you’ve gone too far. 

Here’s how

If you're sold on the idea of Fort William, now it’s time to decide what kind of camping break you’re after. There are plenty of options around here, from traditional campsites to cosy cabins or spacious, family-friendly yurts.

Whether you’re searching for family-friendly Fort William holidays or heated log cabins for winter breaks, the Pitchup tick-box filters can narrow down your choices to help you find the Fort William campsite that suits the best. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at some of our most popular searches. 

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Not convinced about Fort William? Perhaps you’d rather be nearer Edinburgh and Glasgow, or fancy the idea of a camping break in Fife. And don’t forget that there are scores of campsites in the north of England too, from the Lake District and Cumbria to Northumberland.