things to do in fort william

Last Updated on: 13th April 2024, 09:44 am

Welcome to Fort William, Scotland, a charming town nestled amidst breathtaking natural landscapes. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history lover, or simply looking for a cultural experience, Fort William has something for everyone. From thrilling adventures to indulging in local cuisine, this picturesque destination has it all.

Discover the top things to do in Fort William and make the most of your visit to this scenic town. Explore nature’s beauty by hiking up Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK, or immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of the Glen Nevis valley. Dive into the rich history and culture of Fort William by visiting historical sites, such as the Old Inverlochy Castle or the West Highland Museum.

For thrill-seekers, Fort William offers an array of exciting activities. Hop aboard the Jacobite Steam Train for a scenic journey that will take your breath away, or explore mountain biking trails known for their challenging terrain and panoramic views. Families can enjoy a day of fun at the Treasures of the Earth museum or engage in water sports on Loch Linnhe.

Don’t miss the chance to indulge in a whisky tasting session at the Ben Nevis Distillery, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. Take a boat trip on Loch Linnhe and experience the tranquility of the water while admiring the surrounding natural beauty. And of course, satisfy your taste buds with delicious local cuisine, from fresh seafood to traditional Scottish dishes.

Fort William is also an ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas. Take a day trip to the Isle of Skye or discover the dramatic landscapes of Glencoe. Visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle or embark on a boat tour of Loch Ness, famous for its mythical creature. The possibilities are endless!

So, whether you’re seeking adventure, beauty, history, or culture, Fort William awaits. Plan your trip now and discover the many wonders this Scottish gem has in store for you.

Explore Nature’s Beauty in Fort William

Fort William is known for its stunning natural landscapes and is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply enjoying the scenery, Fort William offers plenty of opportunities to connect with nature.

Take a hike up Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Explore the Steall Waterfall, the second highest waterfall in Scotland, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Glen Nevis valley.

Visit the Lochaber Geopark and discover the unique geological heritage of the region.

Fort William’s natural attractions provide a perfect backdrop for outdoor activities and adventures. Whether you’re hiking through the picturesque mountains, exploring enchanting waterfalls, or uncovering the geological wonders of the region, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to discover in and around Fort William.

Experience History and Culture in Fort William

Fort William is a town steeped in history and culture, offering a wealth of attractions that showcase its rich heritage. Whether you visit in the rain or in December, you’re bound to find something to captivate your interest.

Begin your exploration at the West Highland Museum, where you can delve into the fascinating story of the West Highlands region through its impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits. Discover the tales and traditions that have shaped this remarkable part of Scotland.

For a journey back in time, venture to the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle. As you wander through the remnants of this ancient stronghold, you’ll uncover tales of battles and intrigue that date back centuries. It’s a captivating destination for history enthusiasts.

Attraction Description
West Highland Museum A collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the West Highlands region.
Old Inverlochy Castle Ruins of an ancient castle with a fascinating history.

Take a leisurely stroll along Fort William High Street and immerse yourself in the town’s vibrant atmosphere. Browse the local shops for unique souvenirs, dine at charming restaurants serving delicious Scottish cuisine, and admire the historic buildings that line the street. There’s always something to discover.

“Fort William is a captivating blend of ancient history and modern charm. Whether rain or shine, visitors can explore fascinating museums, wander through the ruins of castles, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the town. Don’t miss the chance to embrace the rich history and culture that Fort William has to offer.”

Fort William is not only a destination for outdoor adventures but also a treasure trove of history and culture. Whether you enjoy exploring museums, uncovering ancient ruins, or simply strolling through charming streets, Fort William has something to offer everyone. So, rain or shine, December or any other time of the year, immerse yourself in the captivating history and vibrant culture of this Scottish gem.

fort william things to do in the rain

Thrilling Adventures in Fort William

Fort William is a haven for adventure seekers, offering a wide range of thrilling activities. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping experiences or family-friendly fun, this Scottish gem has something for everyone.

One of the must-try adventures in Fort William is taking a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train. Known as the “Hogwarts Express” from the Harry Potter movies, this scenic rail journey takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. Marvel at the stunning views as the train chugs its way across the Scottish Highlands.

For those who love mountain biking, Fort William has some of the best trails in the country. Challenge yourself with the rugged terrain and be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views. Whether you’re a novice rider or an experienced mountain biker, the trails around Fort William offer excitement and a true sense of adventure.

Water sports enthusiasts will also find plenty of options in Fort William. Explore Loch Linnhe by kayak or paddleboard and discover the beauty of its crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re gliding across the loch or navigating its gentle waves, it’s an exhilarating way to experience the natural wonders that Fort William has to offer.

Fort William is also a great destination for families. Enjoy a round of mini golf or visit the Treasures of the Earth museum, where you can marvel at a stunning collection of gemstones, fossils, and crystals. Create unforgettable memories with your loved ones as you embark on exciting family-friendly adventures in Fort William.

Thrilling Adventures in Fort William

Adventure Description
Jacobite Steam Train Experience a scenic rail journey through the Scottish Highlands
Mountain Biking Conquer challenging trails with breathtaking views
Water Sports Kayak or paddleboard on Loch Linnhe
Family-Friendly Activities Enjoy mini golf or visit the Treasures of the Earth museum

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or on a family vacation, Fort William offers an array of exciting adventures. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and adrenaline-fueled activities that make this town a must-visit destination.

Indulge in Whisky Tasting

Fort William is home to the Ben Nevis Distillery, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. Take a tour of the distillery and learn about the whisky-making process. Enjoy a whisky tasting session and savor the flavors of Scotland’s famous spirit. The distillery offers a unique experience for whisky enthusiasts and is a must-visit for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Activity Description
Whisky Tasting Experience a guided tasting of different whisky varieties, learning about their unique characteristics and flavor profiles.
Distillery Tour Embark on a guided tour of the Ben Nevis Distillery, gaining insight into the whisky-making process from grain to cask.
History and Heritage Discover the rich history and heritage of the Ben Nevis Distillery, dating back to its establishment in 1825.

If you’re visiting Fort William with your dog, many distilleries allow well-behaved dogs on their tours. Check with the Ben Nevis Distillery for any specific pet policies. Additionally, whisky tasting can be enjoyed even on rainy days, making it a perfect indoor activity in Fort William.

“Whisky is liquid sunshine.” – George Bernard Shaw

Whisky Tasting in Fort William

The Ben Nevis Distillery Experience

At the Ben Nevis Distillery, you’ll get a chance to delve into the world of whisky production and sample some of Scotland’s finest spirits. The tour takes you through the distillery’s traditional methods, showcasing the brewing and fermentation processes, distillation in copper stills, and maturation in oak casks. After the tour, indulge in a guided tasting session, where expert whisky connoisseurs guide you through a selection of carefully selected whiskies, explaining their unique aromas, flavors, and characteristics.

Whether you’re a whisky enthusiast or simply curious about Scotland’s national drink, the Ben Nevis Distillery offers a captivating experience filled with history, craftsmanship, and of course, the opportunity to taste exceptional whiskies. Don’t miss this chance to become immersed in the world of Scottish whisky in the heart of Fort William.

Enjoy a Boat Trip on Loch Linnhe

Take advantage of one of the many free things to do in Fort William and embark on a boat trip along the picturesque Loch Linnhe. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery as you sail across the tranquil waters and soak in the surrounding beauty of the mountains and coastline.

Loch Linnhe offers a peaceful and serene setting, allowing you to unwind and appreciate the natural wonders that Fort William has to offer. The boat trip provides a unique perspective, giving you the opportunity to observe the stunning landscape from a different vantage point.

“The boat trip on Loch Linnhe was absolutely stunning. The views were breathtaking, and it was incredibly peaceful out on the water. A must-do when visiting Fort William!”

-Emily, Visitor to Fort William

Several tour operators operate boat cruises on Loch Linnhe, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences and schedule. Whether you’re interested in a leisurely sightseeing tour or a more adventurous wildlife excursion, there’s something for everyone.

Benefits of a Boat Trip on Loch Linnhe:

  1. Experience the tranquility of the water and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
  2. Appreciate the stunning landscapes and panoramic views of the mountains and coastline.
  3. Spot local wildlife, such as seals, dolphins, and seabirds, in their natural habitat.
  4. Capture beautiful photographs of the scenic surroundings to treasure as lasting memories.

Don’t miss the opportunity to add a boat trip on Loch Linnhe to your itinerary when exploring Fort William. It’s a fantastic way to relax, connect with nature, and truly appreciate the natural beauty of this charming Scottish town.

Taste the Local Cuisine

Fort William is home to a variety of restaurants and cafes that offer delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, traditional Scottish dishes, or unique culinary experiences, this charming town has something to satisfy every palate. Indulge in the delectable offerings at the following dining establishments:

Crannog Seafood Restaurant

Located on the banks of Loch Linnhe, the Crannog Seafood Restaurant offers a seafood dining experience like no other. Savor the taste of locally sourced and sustainably caught seafood, expertly prepared by the talented chefs. From fresh oysters to mouth-watering lobster, this restaurant showcases the best of Scottish seafood.

Local Pubs

Immerse yourself in the cozy ambiance of a traditional Scottish pub while enjoying classic dishes. Try haggis, a quintessential Scottish delicacy made with minced lamb or beef, oatmeal, and spices. Pair it with a pint of local ale and experience the true flavors of Fort William. Some popular pubs to visit include the Grog and Gruel and the Ben Nevis Inn.

If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience, head to the Ben Nevis Distillery. Explore the art of whisky-making and enjoy a tasting session of Scotland’s renowned spirit. Sample dishes infused with whisky, adding a distinctive flavor to your dining experience. Fort William truly offers a gastronomic journey for food enthusiasts.

fort william cuisine

Restaurant Cuisine Location
Crannog Seafood Restaurant Seafood On the banks of Loch Linnhe
Grog and Gruel Scottish pub food Fort William High Street
Ben Nevis Inn Scottish pub food Glen Nevis

Explore the Surrounding Areas

Fort William serves as a gateway to the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, offering easy access to a multitude of nearby attractions. Here are the top 10 things to do in Fort William, Scotland:

  1. Take a day trip to the Isle of Skye and immerse yourself in its awe-inspiring landscapes.
  2. Explore the charming town of Glencoe, renowned for its fascinating history and stunning scenery.
  3. Visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, a picturesque fortress that has been featured in numerous films and TV series.
  4. Embark on a boat tour of Loch Ness, home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster.
  5. Discover the mysterious beauty of the Fairy Pools in the Cuillin Mountains.
  6. Travel to the enchanting Isle of Mull and spot unique wildlife, including puffins and sea eagles.
  7. Take a scenic drive along the North Coast 500 route, known for its breathtaking landscapes.
  8. Visit the picturesque village of Plockton and admire its charming waterfront and palm trees.
  9. Explore the historic site of Glenfinnan Viaduct and witness the iconic Jacobite Steam Train pass by.
  10. Immerse yourself in Scottish history at the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the infamous Battle of Culloden.

Fort William’s surrounding areas offer endless opportunities for adventure and exploration, from exploring ancient castles to experiencing the magic of the Scottish countryside. Make sure to include these top attractions on your itinerary to truly make the most of your visit to Fort William, Scotland.

Nearby Attractions in Fort William

Attraction Description
Isle of Skye A stunning island known for its rugged landscapes, fairy pools, and ancient castles.
Glencoe A historic village surrounded by breathtaking mountains, offering hiking and scenic views.
Eilean Donan Castle A picturesque castle located on a small island and featured in many movies and TV shows.
Loch Ness A famous loch known for its mythical monster, Nessie, and beautiful surrounding scenery.
Fairy Pools Natural pools and waterfalls in the Cuillin Mountains that create a magical setting.
Isle of Mull An island offering stunning landscapes, wildlife, and charming coastal villages.
North Coast 500 A scenic driving route highlighting some of Scotland’s most stunning coastal scenery.
Plockton A picturesque village with a beautiful waterfront and palm trees.
Glenfinnan Viaduct A historic viaduct famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter films.
Culloden Battlefield The site of the historic Battle of Culloden, showcasing Scotland’s turbulent past.


Unleash your sense of adventure and immerse yourself in the wonders of Fort William. This hidden gem in the heart of Scotland offers a plethora of unusual things to do and experience. Whether you’re seeking thrilling activities, exploring breathtaking landscapes, or indulging in Scottish culture, Fort William delivers it all.

Discover the majestic beauty of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK, or marvel at the cascading splendor of the Steall Waterfall. Delve into the rich history and culture of the region as you explore the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle or wander along Fort William High Street, where local shops and historic buildings await.

If you’re in search of adrenaline-pumping adventures, Fort William won’t disappoint. Challenge yourself with mountain biking on the rugged trails, or take a ride on the famous Jacobite Steam Train, relishing the picturesque landscapes along the way. For those with a taste for whisky, a visit to the Ben Nevis Distillery is a must, where you can immerse yourself in the art of whisky-making and indulge in some delightful tasting sessions.

Fort William is more than just a destination; it’s an experience that will leave you with lasting memories. So why wait? Embark on a journey to Fort William and uncover its hidden treasures. Explore, discover, and embrace the unusual things that this Scottish town has to offer. Fort William is calling, and it’s time for you to answer.


What are some of the top things to do in Fort William, Scotland?

Some of the top things to do in Fort William, Scotland include hiking up Ben Nevis, visiting the West Highland Museum, taking a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, and exploring the beautiful Loch Linnhe.

Are there any free things to do in Fort William?

Yes, there are several free things to do in Fort William, such as exploring the Steall Waterfall, taking a walk along Fort William High Street, and enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

What can I do in Fort William if it’s raining?

If it’s raining in Fort William, you can visit museums like the West Highland Museum or Treasures of the Earth, enjoy a whisky tasting at the Ben Nevis Distillery, or relax and enjoy a boat trip on Loch Linnhe.

Can I visit Fort William without a car?

Yes, you can visit Fort William without a car. The town is well-connected by public transport, and many attractions and activities can be accessed by foot or bike.

Are there any family-friendly things to do in Fort William?

Yes, Fort William offers several family-friendly activities such as mini golf, visiting the Treasures of the Earth museum, and enjoying outdoor adventures like hiking and biking.

Can I bring my dog to Fort William?

Yes, Fort William is a dog-friendly destination. Many hotels, cafes, and outdoor spaces in the area welcome dogs. However, it’s always a good idea to check individual restrictions or guidelines before visiting.

What are some unusual things to do in Fort William?

Some unusual things to do in Fort William include visiting the Lochaber Geopark, exploring the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle, and taking a day trip to the Isle of Skye or Glencoe.