I've finally caved in to years of pleading , cajoling and occasional threats from my wife and we are off to Fort William end of Feb for a two nighter, taking the train .
Any suggestions for good accomodation and walky pubs? We are obliged by law to do Ben Nevis one of the days, what else should we do - bearing in mind no car to get to and from.
Montgomery Wick wrote (see)
I just wouldn't stay in Fort William, period. It's a grim shithole. I just got into an argument with a Ft Bill druggie in Inverness this morning, and ended up having to nut him! The MacDonald Hotel in Kinlochleven is open all year - including the ten quid chalets round the back, and decent bus connections to/from Ft William. I'm just sitting in the Nevisport cafe waiting on one now...
Monty's right. There are some decent B&Bs but the town itself is Chav Central.
After dark, the main street consists of 2 groups of people:
WHW walkers nervously making their way back to their accommodation
Locals lurking in doorways smoking and shouting at each other
The McDonald Hotel is perfectly adequate and Kinlochleven is altogether nicer than Fort William.
Fort William isn't that bad. I've only had to nut 4 folk in 30 years of visiting, and only been nutted once. Some good pubs.
"Fort William isn't that bad."
As in "Milton Keynes isn't that bad"; "Egremont isn't that bad"; Mogadishu isn't that bad"
Although the latter probably doesn't have that many good pubs.
Beds, food, beer, mountains on the doorstep. What more do you need?
I prefer to camp in the hills myself.
I like Egremont. Nice town and best chinese takaway in west Cumbria, in my opinion.
Fort William ain't so bad either, but would agree that Kinlochleven would be a good alternative base. The Tailrace has good beer and excellent accommodation.
Best pubs for real ale and walkers are Grog & Gruel and Nevis Bar (called something else now, but below Nevis sport)
Id rather stay in Glencoe, Clachaig Inn (best pub in the highlands by far) or one of the hostels, lots of B&Bs in the village, but a few miles from the Clachaig (local taxi available)
But F W is ok.
Most towns seem to have their chav element-a sign of the times I suppose.
Don't let this put you off Fort William though, there is a lot going for it. For accommodation try Taransay B&B on the edge of the town, quiet and with lovely views. I stayed there for 4 days this year and enjoyed it. I'm sure also the owner would give you a lift to the start of the Ben Nevis footpath.
If you are stuck for something to do, try the train from the town to Mallaig- brilliant.
For cheap grub during the day, try Morrisons next to the train station.
FW may lack charm (to put it mildly) but if, like OP, you are going by train, then it has a lot going for it. And after a few pints in the G&G, followed by a curry, you can feel positively mellow.
In answer to OP's question about a walk for day 2, a classic long day's walk (but with plenty of downhill ) is to take the first train up to Corrour (about 07.30-ish) and then walk back down to Fort Bill via Glen Nevis. It's about 20 miles - the last few miles are on the road but there might be a bus (not sure at that time of year though).
Guy Hurst wrote
"Fort William isn't that bad."As in "Milton Keynes isn't that bad"; "Egremont isn't that bad"; Mogadishu isn't that bad"Although the latter probably doesn't have that many good pubs.
Abdulla Nuradin Ahmed's used to be the best bar in Mogadishu.
Unfortunately, I think it's no longer there. I think the owner was shot outside it.
So now it's Fort William Ho!
Am I weird in that I actually like Fort William? I've been there so many times it feels like a 2nd home to me now. Eventually I may move there but I wonder if there's much in the way of work in the area. Fort William has a decent supermarket (Morrisons), outdoors gear shops, Nevis Bakery - it's worth going to Fort William just for a pie The people there are friendly. Glen Nevis campsite is nice and of course there's Ben Nevis. The only thing I don't like about Fort William is that there's not really anywhere to wild camp except near the Steall Falls and along the WH Way, which is too far from the town to be sensible when you're on foot. But the same applies to Aviemore until you get into Rothiemurchus Forest. The only good thing about Aviemore is nice fish & chips. The only supermarket there Tesco is limited and fairly expensive.
I've stayed in the MacDonald Hotel cabins in Kinlochleven too, as has been mentioned it's only £10 per night from October+. As much as I like Kinlochleven for being a quaint sleepy village with friendly locals, I only end up there coming from somewhere going somewhere i.e. trekking there from Corrour/Rannoch Moor along Blackwater Reservoir and getting some food in the Co-Op. Other than that it's a bit dull & boring and I never want to hang around when I'm there.
What do people do all day in Kinlochleven? A fair amount must either be unemployed or have a long commute?
Right on son, it's a bloody good pie shop!
But Fort William is a shite hole. Great mountains, really great mountains!
The only spot of bother i've had was in the Claggan Estate few years ago.
Tend to stay at Tulloach Farm past Roybridge if i'm walking in that area.
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