What's on Fort William Guide 

fort william
fort william town

 

A couple of miles miles west, at Corpach, you can admire Neptune’s Staircase of locks on the Caledonian Canal. Also in Corpach is the wonderful collection of crystals, gemstones and fossils at Treasures of the Earth.

Meanwhile, no description of Fort William could be complete without reference to Ben Nevis, normally climbed from Glen Nevis, just to the north east of the town. This is the UK’s highest mountain. Though the Ben dominates the town in distant views, especially from across Loch Linnhe or from Corpach, it is invisible from most of Fort William itself due to the intervening ridge separating the town from Glen Nevis. Just a little further north east is the Nevis Range ski centre, with its gondolas taking you high onto Aonach Mor.

Some Fort William History

The original Fort William was built by Cromwell in 1654 and was a wooden structure to shelter English troops sent to sort out the local Camerons

Fort “William”

The Fort in Fort William was first built by Cromwell’s forces in 1654 to pacify the local Clans, especially the Camerons. It was first known as the Garrison of Inverlochy and was just a wooden stockade on an earth bank protecting 250 troops. Together with Fort Augustus and Fort George it was the lowest outpost of a chain of Government defences intended to suppress the “savage clans and roving barbarians” as Dr.Johnson later called the locals!

An early skirmish with the Camerons at Achdalieu resulted in an English Officer having his throat bitten out!

About 1690 a substantial Fort was raised with stone walls 20 feet high, a deep dry ditch and a bomb proof magazine. The Fort then became known as Fort William named after William of Orange – and the small village which grew up nearby was Maryburgh, named after his wife.

The reinforcements were well tested in 1746 when the 600 men in the Fort were sieged by the Jacobite Army – and despite several days bombardment from the Cow Hill behind the town, it survived largely intact. As the Highland Clans were pacified and the Jacobite threat diminished the Fort became less important, but was till manned by the regular army until the Crimean War in 1854. Latterly these soldiers were used to suppress the local smuggling trade rather than fight the clans!

The Fort was later sold and dismantled and was used as the Railway Yard for the West Highland Railway when it reached Fort William in 1894.

Part of the Old Fort can still be seen beside the roundabout and in front of West Highland College UHI. A plinth at its centre marks the start of the 73 mile “Great Glen Way” – a walk which follows the line of those early government defences to Inverness.

Fort William remains of strategic importance in the Highlands, no longer as a military stronghold but as a thriving centre of commerce and industry in Lochaber and at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Spotlight on Fort William Events

manran 10 by the ben
manran 10 by the ben

MÀNRAN: 10 BY THE BEN

Multi award-winning Scottish band Mànran celebrate their 10th anniversary at the foot of Ben Nevis with an array of musical friends.

About this Event

MÀNRAN: 10 BY THE BEN will be a two day music festival held over Easter weekend on An Aird shinty pitch in the heart of Fort William, Lochaber.

Mànran host the event with an array of musical friends and guests to celebrate their big 10 year anniversary.

Friday 10th April 2020 will see Keir Gibson open the celebrations, followed by Breabach, Dougie Maclean and finished by Skerryvore.

Saturday 11th April 2020 kicks off with the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band, followed by Flook, Donnie Munro and finished by Mànran.

Day tickets and weekend tickets are available.

14-17 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.

Doors open at 5pm on both days and the event finishes on both nights at 11pm

Come join the party.

 

The Scottish Six Day Trials

The Scottish Six Days Trial itself always runs from Monday to Saturday, starting on the first Monday in May, which is always the May Day Bank Holiday in the UK. If you know the date of the May Bank Holiday then you know when the SSDT is! However there’s loads more to see and do before that. The Trials action kicks off in Lochaber on the Friday before the SSDT with the two-day Pre ’65 trial taking place, based in the small town of Kinlochleven near to Fort William. Then there is the buzz of the SSDT paddock on Sunday with the annual “weigh-in” of the competitor’s bikes before the traditional parade of riders down Fort William High Street in the afternoon. If you want to get away from Trials for a while or you have family with other interests, there are all sorts of other things to do and see in the area!

What is the Scottish Six Days Trial?

The Scottish Six Days Trial is a Motorcycle Trial with a difference! It has the additional test of reliability over long distances with riders completing up to 100 miles each day over six consecutive days. Each day they will take on a combination of rough moorland, rocky tracks and public roads in the best – and worst – weather the Highlands of Scotland can throw at them! Each daily route is designed by the Clerk of the Course to challenge the ability, experience, strength and stamina of each rider. To ride 100 miles and negotiate 30 sections each day for six consecutive days requires strength, expertise and exceptional reliability from both rider and machine.

Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup

THE 2-WHEELED GODS OF GRAVITY ARE BACK IN THE FORT, RETURNING FOR THE 19TH CONSECUTIVE EXPLOSION OF SKILL AND SPEED ON THE SLOPES OF AONACH MOR, 6-7 JUNE.

IF YOU’VE BEEN BEFORE, YOU’LL KNOW WHY THE FORT WILLIAM WORLD CUP IS SO UN-MISSABLE. IF YOU’RE THINKING OF MAKING THE TRIP, COME AND JOIN US FOR ANOTHER LEGENDARY CELEBRATION OF BIKING ACTION. GRAVITY. IT’S THE LAW IN THE FORT.

ADVANCE TICKETS SAVE YOU MONEY AND GUARANTEE ACCESS TO THE ALL-IMPORTANT GONDOLA OPTION. GONDOLA TICKET NUMBERS MAY BE LIMITED, ESPECIALLY ON THE SUNDAY.

What’s on Fortwilliam events

Mar
28
Sat
Hello Spring Wild Stravaig @ The Lost Valley Glencoe
Mar 28 @ 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Hello Spring Wild Stravaig @ The Lost Valley Glencoe | Ballachulish | United Kingdom

Step into spring with a wild stravaig into the Lost Valley followed by a fantastic Aerial Yoga class indoors in the afternoon with Claire. This day involves a guided walk (led by Penny a qualified Mountain Leader), which explores the Lost Valley, a beautiful place to practice Chi Gong. Our trip will involve some short mindful activities and the chance to learn more about spring practices based on Traditional Chinese medicine. For the walk you will need a full set of waterproofs, sturdy walking boots or trainers, a rucksack and a packed lunch. Warm comfortable layers for Claire’s Aerial session are ideal. A more detailed kit list is provided for you when you book. We meet in Glencoe at 9.30am and our day will finish back in the village at around 4.30pm.

The walk is on an established path which is steep and rocky at times with some steep drops and will last around 4 hours. No experience of yoga or hillwalking is needed but a reasonable level of fitness will help you fully enjoy the experience.

Mar
29
Sun
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together
Mar 29 @ 2:00 am – 2:30 am
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together

From Wednesday, 25th March Lochaber Hope will be hosting a virtual zoom community chat every day from 2pm – 2.30pm.

The aim is simply to get together and share the positives in the community as so many good things are happening. We have two requests:

1) Please don’t use bad/unsavoury language.
2) Please use it for good to support each other and learn from each other.

We will upgrade and develop as required as we go along.

Aly Smith has great pleasure in inviting you to our first actual Virtual Community Zoom Meeting.

Topic: Lochaber Hope’s Community Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 25, 2020 02:00 PM London
Every day for 14 days

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/966893653

Isles of Glencoe March Wedding Fair 2020 @ Isles of Glencoe Hotel & Leisure Centre
Mar 29 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Discover what makes weddings in the heart of Glencoe so special. Mountains, lochs, contemporary spaces and the best views of the Scottish Highlands….by the bag full.

Join us from 12-3pm to have the chance to picture how your own big day might look and feel. On hand for a chat, the team are there to show you the ins and outs of our wedding packages. But most importantly – they’re there to understand how you want your day to go.

You’ll be welcomed with a glass of fizz (naturally). Then you’re free to take a stroll, have a browse at the suppliers’ displays, and explore the hotel at your leisure. If you’d rather take a guided tour and hear a bit more about how you can make the function spaces your own, the team can do that too.

Your FREE ticket includes:
– Glass of fizz on arrival
– Guided resort tour – filled with hints, tips and wisdom on how to make these spaces your own
– Handpicked selection of local exhibitors
– Inspiration and much, much more!

https://www.facebook.com/events/711754925898312/

Sunday Sing a Long @ Ballachulish, Highland
Mar 29 @ 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Sunday Sing a Long @ Ballachulish, Highland | Ballachulish | United Kingdom

This Sunday’s Sing-A-Long will be “Don’t Stop Believing!” Remember to have your lyrics and air guitars to hand🤩
Sing or play along with us all – Only you will be able to hear your side so don’t be shy ….It’s all a bit of fun ❤
Just download the “Zoom’ App and sign in on Sunday !!
Look forward to seeing you all for a but of fun !!!!

Mar
30
Mon
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together
Mar 30 @ 2:00 am – 2:30 am
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together

From Wednesday, 25th March Lochaber Hope will be hosting a virtual zoom community chat every day from 2pm – 2.30pm.

The aim is simply to get together and share the positives in the community as so many good things are happening. We have two requests:

1) Please don’t use bad/unsavoury language.
2) Please use it for good to support each other and learn from each other.

We will upgrade and develop as required as we go along.

Aly Smith has great pleasure in inviting you to our first actual Virtual Community Zoom Meeting.

Topic: Lochaber Hope’s Community Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 25, 2020 02:00 PM London
Every day for 14 days

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/966893653

Explore Lochaber walks @ Lochaber Countryside Rangers
Mar 30 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Explore Lochaber walks @ Lochaber Countryside Rangers | Fort William | United Kingdom

Three hour walks exploring different parts of Lochaber and the history and wildlife of the area

Tots Tunes at Home @ Ballachulish, Highland
Mar 30 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Tots Tunes at Home @ Ballachulish, Highland | Ballachulish | United Kingdom

Join us online every Monday at 10am to enjoy some music and movement with your little Tots Tuner 🎶
Have fun joining in with nursery rhymes, songs and actions whilst helping your child with their cognitive, physical and emotional development 🎶🎶
Please like our page and tune in on Monday !!!
We can’t wait to see you all !!

Arts Coffee Morning @ Bright Productions
Mar 30 @ 11:00 am – 11:00 am
Arts Coffee Morning @ Bright Productions | Kinlochleven | United Kingdom

Arts Coffee Morning. Grab your hot drink and get ready to chat about all your creativity and even your worries. What dreams are you keeping alive? For all performers, composers, artists, writers… join in on Zoom.

Mar
31
Tue
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together
Mar 31 @ 2:00 am – 2:30 am
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together

From Wednesday, 25th March Lochaber Hope will be hosting a virtual zoom community chat every day from 2pm – 2.30pm.

The aim is simply to get together and share the positives in the community as so many good things are happening. We have two requests:

1) Please don’t use bad/unsavoury language.
2) Please use it for good to support each other and learn from each other.

We will upgrade and develop as required as we go along.

Aly Smith has great pleasure in inviting you to our first actual Virtual Community Zoom Meeting.

Topic: Lochaber Hope’s Community Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 25, 2020 02:00 PM London
Every day for 14 days

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/966893653

Land Rover Safari (3 Hour Tour) @ NTS Glencoe
Mar 31 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Land Rover Safari (3 Hour Tour) @ NTS Glencoe | Ballachulish | United Kingdom

Land Rover Safari (3 Hour Tour)

Taking place at
Glencoe National Nature Reserve

The Highlands

Dates between
31 Mar – 10 Nov

Let us transport you through Glencoe and Glen Etive, going slightly off the beaten track. Our ranger-led safari will give you 3 hours of history, geology, wildlife and more!

Binoculars are provided but you may wish to bring along a camera and a snack. Outdoor clothing and footwear is advised.

This tour is suitable for adults and children aged 12+.

Meet at the Glencoe Visitor Centre at 9.30am.

Dates: Every Tuesday, from 31 March to 10 November

Please contact the ranger team for further information on [email protected] or 01855 811307.

RYA Scotland Strategic Consultation 2021-2025 Discussion, Fort William @ Lochaber Yacht Club
Mar 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
RYA Scotland Strategic Consultation 2021-2025 Discussion, Fort William @ Lochaber Yacht Club | Fort William | United Kingdom

The current RYA Scotland strategic plan is about to get a big refresh, get involved!

RYA Scotland has moved forward significantly over the last four years and seen a sustained growth in membership. We want our organisation to continue to flourish and deliver on our purpose to protect and promote safe, successful and rewarding boating in Scotland. This is your opportunity to help us do so.

Apr
1
Wed
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together
Apr 1 @ 2:00 am – 2:30 am
Lochaber Community Zoom Get Together

From Wednesday, 25th March Lochaber Hope will be hosting a virtual zoom community chat every day from 2pm – 2.30pm.

The aim is simply to get together and share the positives in the community as so many good things are happening. We have two requests:

1) Please don’t use bad/unsavoury language.
2) Please use it for good to support each other and learn from each other.

We will upgrade and develop as required as we go along.

Aly Smith has great pleasure in inviting you to our first actual Virtual Community Zoom Meeting.

Topic: Lochaber Hope’s Community Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 25, 2020 02:00 PM London
Every day for 14 days

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/966893653

Knoydart Stool Making Course – 4 places
Apr 1 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Knoydart Stool Making Course - 4 places

Join the Wood Knoydart making team to learn the art of green woodworking and make your very own 3-legged rustic stool using homegrown Knoydart timber.

At this hands-on one day workshop you will get to grips with the tools, techniques and processes of green woodworking and rustic furniture making whether it’s all new to you or you’ve done it before.

Guided by the Wood Knoydart team you will craft your own piece of furniture from green roundwood and a precut top using a side axe, drawknife, tenon cutter, drill, japanese saw, wood carving knives and other tools. Working outside at Knoydart Forest Trust’s forest workshop in Inverie you will be immersed in the fabric of our community woodland.

The workshop will start at 10am and run to around 4pm. Tea, coffee and snacks will be on offer. We ask all participants to bring lunch and wear warm working clothes and suitable footwear.

Suitable for 16+ year olds.

Easter Treasure hunt at the Ben Nevis Visitor centre @ Lochaber Countryside Rangers
Apr 1 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Easter Treasure hunt at the Ben Nevis Visitor centre @ Lochaber Countryside Rangers | Fort William | United Kingdom

Drop in between 11-pm on Wednesday 1st April to take part in a fun family treasure hunt around the Visitor centre grounds and along the riverside, solve the clues and earn a non-chocolate prize. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is a suggested minimum donation of £2 per child for this event to enable future events to continue.

Land Rover Safari (1.5 hour tour) Every Wed, Thurs & Sun @ NTS Glencoe
Apr 1 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Land Rover Safari (1.5 hour tour) Every Wed, Thurs & Sun @ NTS Glencoe | Ballachulish | United Kingdom

Let us transport you through Glencoe, going slightly off the beaten track. Our ranger-led Land Rover safari will give you an hour and a half of history, wildlife, geology and more!

Binoculars are provided but you may wish to bring a camera and a snack. Outdoor clothing and footwear is advised.

Suitable for adults and children aged 10+

Meet at the Glencoe Visitor Centre.

Dates:

Every Wednesday afternoon at 2.30pm from 1 April to 11 November

Every Thursday afternoon at 1pm & 3pm from 2 April to 12 November

Every Sunday morning at 10.30am from 5 April to 15 November

Every Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm from 5 April to 15 November

Please contact the rangers for further information on [email protected] or 01855 811307.
Dates & Times
Wednesday 1 April
14:30
Thursday 2 April
13:00
Thursday 2 April
15:00
Prices

Adult
£25.00
Child
£15.00

What’s on Lochaber Events