Fort William is one of the best places to explore for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK. Situated in Lochaber, a visit here takes you to the foot of the infamous Ben Nevis, the wilderness of Ardnamurchan, the West Highland Peninsulas and so much more. The diversity is unmatched, and whether you prefer your adventures on foot or on two wheels (or maybe a bit of both), this guide will help you decide where to go, what to do, and show you how to make it home in one piece. Hopefully.
We recently teamed up with Komoot to find the best hiking, road cycling, and mountain biking routes around Fort William. To ensure that we found the cream of the crop, we approached local experts and asked them to show us their top 5 trails, paths, and roads. Your hosts are Connor Holdsworth and Mark Clark, renowned hiking and cycling guides respectively. First up, Connor’s walks:
You’ve got options with this one, whether your looking for a brief afternoon stroll or a beefy multi-day trek. Follow some fast flowing rivers, coast along the steep slopes of wild fells, or make the climb and enjoy some thrilling ridge lines. Highlights include a peaceful trek to the commando memorial and a winding path through a stunning forest which eventually reaches the summit of Outlandia hill.
If you’re searching for a hike you can really sink your teeth into, then the tour of Ben Nevis is a no-brainer. Sure, climbing the mountain is a classic, but there’s something special about circumnavigating the whole base, getting a view of the peak from every single angle, getting to know the mountain far better than if you only followed one path up it. That said, if the itch for rocky ridgelines and steep summits still bothers you, this guide will take you up Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean, two Munros with tonnes of technical terrain on offer.
Full article here: Best Walks around Fort William
Trust Mark Clark to only be allowed 5 routes, and still end up taking you on a massive tour of Lochaber. As you may have noticed from the map, several of these rides follow alongside a body of water. This is no coincidence. Lochaber’s peaks are great, but it’s hard the beat the beauty of good ol’ Scottish lochs. Take a loop around Loch Leven, or brave the gravel sections on the giant circuit around loch Sheil. Better yet, if you’re up to the challenge, why not take on the Ardnamurchan Epic, almost 100 miles of breathtaking views and thigh-burning ascents – plus a cheeky ferry at one point.
Another big highlight in this collection is the historical Road to the Isles, a near 50-mile stretch moving further and further into the wildlands, carving through mountains and eventually tumbling out onto the scenic, yet scarcely visited coast. On this route, you’ll be able to stop and see the iconic, towering railway bridge from the Harry Potter films, also known as the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Time your visit right (or wait around for a while) and you could even catch a glimpse of the Hogwarts Express, The Jacobite steam train barreling over these great stone arches with a thick grey plume sputtering up the chimney and lingering behind.
Full Article here: Best Road Cycling Routes in Lochaber
You won’t be surprised to hear that the Scottish Highlands are home to some of the gnarliest ridgelines and challenging gully trails in the UK. However, you may be intrigued to learn that Lochaber is also a highly accessible region for beginner and intermediate riders; our second collection from Mark showcases the varied and vibrant MTB trails around Fort William. Many of the routes belong to a fascinating historical canon, you’ll find yourself following the remnants of an old industrial tramway, then cutting across the Great Glen on the Cour Loop, an ancient glacial glen that runs through Scotland via the Caledonian Canal.
Sourcing our routes from local experts really paid off with this lot, we’re especially proud of The Hidden Glen, a little-known circuit with loads of room for customisation and freestyle riding. The trails of Glen Loy are stunning, you’ll start off zipping through the ancient dark forests before carving up the slopes of the Nevis range, and from there, pick your poison. Dive back into the choppy woodlands and hit a few jumps while you’re at it. This is a perfect little playground, though if you’re looking for similar runs with more space and variation, the Nevis Range Resort is the place to be. Open to all levels, endlessly explorable, and an impressive infrastructure of well-maintained trails, this one is definitely a highlight pick.
Full article here: Best Off-Road Cycling Routes in Lochaber
Komoot: Your Route to Adventure
Komoot is an app that lets you find, plan, and share adventures with the easy route planner. Driven by a desire to explore, and powered by the outdoor community’s recommendations, it’s komoot’s mission to inspire great adventures making them accessible to all.
New to komoot? For a free regional bundle (worth £8.99) simply follow this link to komoot.com and create your free account today.