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Things to do in Fort William

Our most recommended things to do in Fort William

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on the bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows (depending on the time of year) and a cup of coffee. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in the Fort William area, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness. Choose to visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glenoce & The Highlands Day Tour

2. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glenoce & The Highlands Day Tour

Following pickup from central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument as you venture to the Highlands. Visit Callander, and stop for morning coffee in this bustling town described as the gateway to the highlands. Head northwards over Rannoch Moor until you reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop for lunch and free time nearby the Fort William area, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have some free time with the option to cruise on the Loch, or if you don't want to take the cruise you can relax in one of the bars or restaurants in the tranquil village or on the pier.  After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Laggan. On the way home, enjoy a refreshment stop in Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian resort town. Then, head south through Fife, and cross the Forth next to the amazing Forth Bridge, before arriving back in Edinburgh.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

3. From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan viaduct for stunning views. Admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Tour

4. Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Tour

Try a Glenfinnan, Glencoe, and Fort William adventure, beginning in the heart of Edinburgh city center from Royal Mile. Take in the scenery of classic modern Hollywood films. Depart Edinburgh's bustling streets, pass some of its most iconic sights like Edinburgh Castle on your way out, and begin your journey north into the rugged Scottish Highlands. Stop for refreshments at the gateway to the Highlands in Callander before continuing to Glencoe. Drive through the land where James Bonds' Skyfall was filmed. See the backdrop to some scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Pause here for photos and to learn all about the history of Glencoe, including the massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. From the atmospheric Glencoe, travel further along the banks of Loch Linnhe to the Highland town of Fort William, which sits at the foot of Britain's tallest mountain - Ben Nevis. Stop here to stretch your legs and have an early lunch break. Next, continue on to Glenfinnan Viaduct, the location of many Harry Potter scenes, encased by the shores of Loch Shiel. See the location of the Jacobite Steam Train, and of “Black Lake”. Take in the setting for the Triwizard Tournament, and the loch on which Hogwarts sits. Continue on to Glenfinnan Monument, which symbolizes one of the most important events in Scottish history; the 1745 Jacobite uprising. Next, departing Glenfinnan, you’ll begin your return journey to Edinburgh, stopping for refreshments at the small village of Pitlochry.

From Edinburgh: Magical Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

5. From Edinburgh: Magical Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

Get first-hand experiences at some of the sets in the Harry Potter film series with your guide. Travel through Scotland on a bus to these locations, and conclude your tour with a visit to Glenfinnan Visitor Center. Pass some of the key film locations from all 8 Harry Potter movies as you lose yourself in the wilderness of Rannoch Moor. Discover the volcanic glen from "The Prisoner of Azkaban" en route to Fort William, where you will board the Hogwarts Express steam train. Cross the Victorian-era Glenfinnan Viaduct and get views of Loch Shiel from the "Chamber of Secrets." See the site of the Triwizard Tournament from "The Goblet of Fire" and continue to the fishing village of Mallaig to get some time for lunch.  You will board the coach from Mallaig where we will have a stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Center for an excellent chance to photograph the steam train returning across the viaduct before you return to Edinburgh.

From Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Trip

6. From Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Trip

Step into scenes used in famous films like the Harry Potter franchise on this bus day trip from Glasgow. See the bridge that the Hogwarts Express passes over, visit the Glencoe meadow, view a piece of Jacobite history at the Glenfinnan Monument, and enjoy free time in the town of Fort William. Begin your tour with pickup from the heart of Glasgow. Board a comfortable and climate-controlled bus and be whisked away from the bustling streets. Take in the stunning views as you travel through the heart of the Trossachs National Park which is known as "the Highlands in Miniature." Stop for a rest in Tyndrum, in the Trossachs area, before your Glenfinnan tour continues onwards to Glencoe. The Glen is arguably one of Scotland's most famous glens. It has been featured in the James Bond film 'Skyfall' ' Outlander,' and a Harry Potter film. Journey onwards to the Glenfinnan Viaduct which is known to many as the "Harry Potter Bridge" where the Jacobite Steam Train, the Hogwarts Express, passes during the parts of the year when it is running. The bridge is surrounded by mountains that line the shores of the stunning Loch Shiel.  See if you can spot a grindylow under the surface causing mischief at Loch Shiel which was the location of the Black Lake at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. It was used as the backdrop for scenes like Buckbeak's beautiful flight and the Triwizard Tournament.  Take pictures of the loch and bridge before heading to the nearby Glenfinnan Monument, a symbol of one of the most important events in Scottish history, the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. From Glenfinnan, travel along the banks of Loch Linnhe to the Highland town of Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis. Enjoy plenty of free time in Fort William to stretch your legs and have a lunch break After lunch, begin our return journey to Glasgow. Pass Loch Lomond and pause for a photo and coffee break. Arrive back in the city center in the early evening.

Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

7. Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

Embark on a boat tour of Loch Linnhe. Pass picturesque villages, seal, islands and a Caledonian forest. Hear live commentary from the skipper. Depart from Fort William's town pier and head towards the top of Loch Linnhe. See the charming village of Corpach which has Scotland's most instagrammed shipwreck. Marvel at islands teeming with birdlife. Sail over the entrance to the Caledonian canal. Admire traditional black houses, stunning glens, an ancient Caledonian forest, and salmon and mussel farms. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, otters, and porpoises. Have the chance to purchase refreshments and from the crew. Get close to Black Rock for the chance to see seals and seal pups. Head back to Fort William.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

8. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Embark on a 3-day guided trip to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. See the Glencoe Valley and the Eilean Donan Castle. Admire the rolling pastures of the Isle of Skye and visit lake Loch Ness. Day 1 From Edinburgh, you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Traveling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast, your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, a trip to Uig, and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock, or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, the backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty lochside village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Jacobite Train 3-Day Highland Tour

9. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Jacobite Train 3-Day Highland Tour

Explore the Highlands of Scotland and the magical Isle of Skye on a 3-day sightseeing tour. Discover an area of outstanding natural beauty, full of Viking history and ancient myths and legends. Take a journey packed with Scotland's most iconic sights and scenery. Then ride on one of the great train journeys of the world on the charming Jacobite Steam Train. Day 1:Depart Edinburgh and drive past stunning views of the Forth Bridge to enter the Highlands through Perthshire. Admire a land of ancient forests, rivers, and mountains. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Continue north into the Highlands before you enter the Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, explore the shores of Loch Ness. Cross to the famous Isle of Skye, passing Eilean Donan Castle en route. Marvel at Scotland’s most famous icons. Your home for the night is Portree, capital of the “Winged Isle.” Day 2:Today you will spend a full day exploring the dramatic Isle of Skye, with its amazing scenery and fantastic myths and legends. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape against the backdrop of the jagged Cuillin Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular cliffs of Quiraing, the mysterious rock formation of Old Man of Storr, the cascading waterfalls of Kilt Rock, and imposing Dunvegan Castle. Spend overnight on the Isle of Skye. Day 3:Explore the south of the island, known as the “Garden of Skye,” before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Here you will have the option to board the Jacobite Steam Train to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct and see a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign. Head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, before riding through the heart of Rob Roy country to arrive back in Edinburgh in the early evening.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

10. Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Loch Ness from Edinburgh and tour the Scottish Highlands. See the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, keep an eye out for Nessie on a boat cruise and enjoy a picnic lunch. Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, shortbread, and chips. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is equipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the onboard bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers, and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

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What people are saying about Fort William

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,090 reviews

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour! Our guide John was very entertaining and had lots of great information to tell us about Scotland and the landmarks that we passed on the drive. He played us some Scottish songs too! I will say there was a lot of time spent on the bus, since Loch Ness is a far drive, but the scenery was beautiful the whole time. There were several stops along the way, so we were never on the bus for too long. Loch Ness is beautiful, and we opted to do the boat cruise which was well worth it. Overall a great tour, and I would recommend it to see the Scottish Highlands!

This was my first time going on a solo trip and I was reluctant to book the tour first, because of my anxiety and shyness. The tour was beautiful and I had lots of fun. David (the tour guide) was wonderful and constantly made me feel very welcome. He also had great jokes and very insightful stories to share. I will cherish the memory of this tour forever. Thank you David and Adam for such a fun experience!! Also thank you David for taking pictures of me when I was too shy to ask hahaha

It was my best excursion ever! Full of emotions, laugh’s, great explanation about every single detail, PAUL SANTA made it epic, this guy know the job like nobody else! Epic amazing !!! Amazing Scotland, and Amazing guide wich made everything perfect ..! I will be back and book again but, only with Paul SantA!!!

Unique experience with great stops in the Highlands! Our guide John kept telling exciting stories about Scotland and the Highlands during the trip. It was great fun and a lot of fun - would definitely recommend!

Other than the amazing trip, I give 5 stars because of the excellent guide (Mr. Alan?), who talked us through Scottish history, wildlife and Scottish culture.