Eas Chia Aig Waterfalls with autumn trees

Fort William & Spean Bridge

Fifteen miles to the north on the A82 is the town of Fort William, known locally as The Fort or An Gearasdan. This is the largest town in the area with shops where you can pick up souvenirs and outdoor clothing.

Stay on the A82, heading towards Inverness, until you reach the roundabout where you can take the A830 signposted to Mallaig. A short distance ahead you will reach Neptunes Staircase, a series of eight locks that rise from sea level at Fort William to the height of the Caledonian Canal. The Canal links Fort William to Fort Augustus thirty miles to the north, at the southern end of Loch Ness.  At Fort Augustus there are seven locks bringing the canal to the level of Loch Ness.  The canal allows vessels to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea without having to travel all the way around the north coast of Scotland.

Instead of returning to the Inverness road, or carrying on to Mallaig, take the B8004, by the side of the locks. This is a nice drive and on good days you will get good views to Ben Nevis across the river and the canal. The B8004 takes you over the canal and up to the Commando Monument at Spean Bridge or you can bear left on the B8005 and drive up to Loch Arkaig. On this road you will drive along The Dark Mile and see some waterfalls close to the road called Eas Chia Aig.

There is ample parking at the Commando Monument and on a clear day great views to Ben Nevis. The monument is dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II.

From the Commando Monument you can either turn left on the A82 and drive towards Inverness, in this direction there is Urquart Castle and boat rides on Loch Ness. Or you can turn right, back to Fort William.

A few miles before Fort William you will see a turning to your left for the Nevis Range. You might fancy a detour here to take a cable car ride up Aonach Mor.