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Love Lochaber- Glencoe and the Outdoor Capital of the UK

Lochaber is rich with outstanding scenery, lively culture and captivating history. This area, made up of Fort William and Glen Nevis, the Road to the Isles, Glen Spean, Glencoe and Loch Leven, takes in an incredible melange of landscapes, from the coastline at Ardnamurchan and Mallaig in the west to the Great Glen in the north.

Lochaber is famous as the set piece for the film Skyfall and the Outlander novel, and a visit in person doesn’t disappoint. Some of the most beautiful landscapes in Britain are here, such as the Mamores, Buachaille Etive Mor and the Three Sisters of Glen Coe. Wild stags wander the hills among effervescent waterfalls and shimmering lochs.

Glen Coe is the site of a notorious massacre following the Jacobite Uprising of 1689. Members of Clan Campbell killed 38 members of Clan MacDonald, while another 48 died of exposure after they were burned out of their homes. The worst part of the crime was the fact that the Campbells had accepted the MacDonald’s hospitality under false pretences before going on the killing spree- known as ‘murder under trust’- a crime most heinous in the eyes of the Highlander.

Situated on the shores of Loch Linnhe, Fort William is the largest town in the Highlands. Begun as a small settlement, Fort William came to prominence when the stronghold was constructed to control the population after Oliver Cromwell's invasion during the English Civil War, and later, to suppress the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century. In the 1746 Jacobite rising known as the Forty-Five, Fort William was besieged for two weeks. Although the Jacobites captured both of the other forts in the chain of the three Great Glen fortifications-Fort Augustus and the original Fort George- they failed to take Fort William. During the Second World War, Fort William was the home of HMS St Christopher, which was a training base for Royal Navy coastal forces.

Known as the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, Fort William is best known today as a base for everything from hitting the slopes to mountain biking to tackling white water rapids. Some of the finest powder in Scotland draws winter sports enthusiasts from around the world. It’s a centre for hill walking and Munro climbing- especially Ben Nevis- and is the terminus point for the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way. More on the history of the region can be found in the West Highland Museum on the High Street.

Rustic villages such as Kinlochleven and Glencoe are postcard-perfect locations to explore and soak up the local culture. Here, live traditional music flows like fine whisky, and homely cafés serve up smiles and Highland home baking. No trip to Lochaber is complete without a visit to one of its famous pubs and hotels for a dram and good craic.

Nevis Range in Fort William may be known for its winter sports, but spring is also a great time to visit for a ride on the gondola, mountain biking, walking or relaxing with a meal or a cuppa while taking in fabulous mountain views.

You can experience fantastical modes of transportation- the Jacobite steam train made famous in the Harry Potter films, gondola trips up Nevis Range, or the more routine mountain bike or boat rides- never mundane in such a magical landscape. Many welcoming hotels, B and Bs and touring parks provide Highland hospitality for every budget.

Getting to Lochaber: From Glasgow the A82 via Crianlarich goes through Glencoe to Fort William. There are regular trains between Fort William and Glasgow and bus services between Glasgow, Fort William and Inverness. Ferries leave Mull for Ardnamurchan and a bus service from Fort William goes to Loch Ailort.

Sit back, relax with a wee dram, and let Imagine Alba Day Tours show you the best of Lochaber! Visit Glencoe, Rannoch Moor and Fort William with our kilted driver and historian guide. Contact us today to start planning your private luxury day tour from Oban today.

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