We kind of fell in love with Fort William (an occupational hazard when you travel frequently) and seem to gravitate there frequently. Under the lure of Ben Nevis, the UK’s second finest scenery (the Lake District has to come first) and all those lochs, here are our best 8 Things For Kids To Do In Fort William.
Treasure’s Of The Earth
On the outskirts of Fort William in this independent museum showcasing some of the earth’s finest stones, gemstones, crystals & fossils. Perfect for any kid interested in the earth’s history or special rocks that date back millions of years. These gems are from all over the world and the walls are painted carefully with illustrations.
A ticket here will allow entrance twice.
Neptune’s Staircase is a lock comprising eight locks on the Caledonian Canal. Built by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822, it is the longest staircase lock in Britain. The system was originally hand-powered but has been converted to hydraulic operation. You can see where to hand locks used to be as they’ve been filled in.
This amazing feat of engineering raises the canal by 19 metres (62ft) over a quarter of a mile and takes around 90 minutes for a boat to traverse. If you can be there for a boat cruising through, although it’s a bit slow it is good to see. Alternatively you can cross the water on the lock gates every 20 metres or so.
This easy walk from the entrance to the canal from the sea at Loch Linnhe goes up to the staircase and the loch.
Old Inverlochy Castle
On the banks of the River Lochy, stand the ruined 13th-century Old Inverlochy Castle that was the backdrop for two of Inverlochy’s battles. It was once one of the most important castles in Scotland and used to be surrounded by a moat.
This straightforward walk from the centre of Fort William heads along the riverside to reach the romantic ruins of Inverlochy Castle. The return runs by the railway.
The gardens on The Parade benefit from green lawns and brightly coloured flower beds. They’re small but perfect for picnics, bubble blowing and running around!
On the high street this little vegan and vegetarian gem has a brilliant nook at the back and a great menu. They also sell a number of whole foods
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West Highland Museum
With seven different rooms to explore there is bound to be something to tickle the fancy of your kids. From knives of the Jacobites to guns in the second world war and from stuffed animals to local costumes, there is a huge amount of local history to be learned.
3 Wise Monkeys Climbing Centre
If you don’t know how to rock climb, you can book an introductory session at this indoor climbing and bouldering centre that is right in the middle of Fort William. Downstairs are a number of climbing walls whilst upstairs is bouldering and the cafe.
The children and Emma climbed here whilst Rich worked upstairs in the cafe.
West Highland Way End Statue
Just because you haven’t sweated it out on the 151km West Highland Way doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the statue. At the end of the high street (and the start of the East Highland Way) is this old-fashioned statue of a man rubbing his weary feet.
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