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How to Book a Hotel in Fort William
In order to book an accommodation in Fort William enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Fort William hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Fort William map to estimate the distance from the main Fort William attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Fort William hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Fort William is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Fort William is waiting for you!
Hotels of Fort William
A hotel in Fort William is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Fort William hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Fort William are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Fort William hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Fort William hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Fort William have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Fort William
An upscale full service hotel facility in Fort William that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Fort William hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Fort William
Full service Fort William hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Fort William
Boutique hotels of Fort William are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Fort William boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Fort William may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Fort William
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Fort William travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Fort William focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Fort William
Small to medium-sized Fort William hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Fort William traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Fort William hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Fort William
A bed and breakfast in Fort William is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Fort William bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Fort William B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Fort William
Fort William hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Fort William hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Fort William
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Fort William hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Fort William lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Fort William
Fort William timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Fort William often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Fort William on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Fort William
A Fort William motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Fort William for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Fort William motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Fort William (Scottish Gaelic: An Gearasdan[ən ˈkʲɛrəs̪t̪ən] "The Garrison") is the second largest settlement in the Highlands of Scotland with around 10,000 inhabitants - and the largest town: only the city of Inverness is larger.
Fort William is a major tourist centre, with Glen Coe just to the south, Aonach Mòr to the east and Glenfinnan to the west, on the Road to the Isles. It is a centre for hillwalking and climbing due to its proximity to Ben Nevis and many other Munro mountains. It is also known for its nearby downhill mountain bike track. It is the start/end of both the West Highland Way (Milngavie-Fort William) and the Great Glen Way (a walk/cycle way Fort William-Inverness).
Around 726 people (7.33% of the population) can speak Gaelic.
Fort William, Highland: Etymology
Questions over the town's English name are various. The post-Glorious Revolution fort was named Fort William after William of Orange, and the settlement that grew around it was called Maryburgh, after his wife. This settlement was later renamed Gordonsburgh, and then Duncansburgh before being renamed Fort William, this time after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland; known to some Scots as "Butcher Cumberland". Given these origins, there have been various suggestions over the years to rename the town (for example, to Invernevis). These proposals have led to nothing.
Questions over the town's Gaelic name are also quite interesting. The Gaelic name for the town is An Gearasdan; this is an adaptation of the French term garnison. French loanwords in the Gaelic language are very rare, and can only correspond with specific times in Scottish history: during David I's politically pacifying introduction of a Norman aristocracy in Scotland after the Norman conquest of England, and the period covering the Auld Alliance.
The most likely derivation for the town's Franco-Gaelic name is from the Scoto-Norman Clan Comyn, who built Inverlochy Castle in the Norman style that is familiar throughout Scotland during this period. French loanwords that took root during the Norman ascendancy in the British Isles and the Auld Alliance are far more common in the Scots language than in Gaelic.
Of course it is perfectly possible that there is a much simpler, possibly more likely explanation - the modern Gaelic name for Fort William, An Gearasdan is derived from the English garrison - which is itself derived from the French garnison - and entered common usage some time after the royal garrison was established during the reign of William of Orange or perhaps after the fort established during Oliver Cromwell's rule as Lord Protector.
Fort William, Highland: History
Historically, this area of Lochaber was strongly Clan Cameron country, and there were a number of mainly Cameron settlements in the area (such as Blarmacfoldach). The nearby settlement of Inverlochy was the main settlement in the area before the building of the fort, and was also site of the Battle of Inverlochy.
Fort William from Loch Linnhe.
The town grew in size as a settlement when the fort was constructed to control the population after Oliver Cromwell's invasion during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and then to suppress the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century.
In the Jacobite rising known as the Forty-Five, Fort William was besieged for two weeks by the Jacobites, from 20 March to 3 April 1746. However, although the Jacobites had captured both of the other forts in the chain of 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.
More on the history of the town and the region can be found in the West Highland Museum on the High Street.
Ben Nevis viewed from Neptune's Staircase
Fort William is the northern end of the West Highland Way, a long distance route which runs 95 miles (153 km) through the Scottish Highlands to Milngavie, on the outskirts of Glasgow, and the start/end point of the Great Glen Way, which runs between Fort William and Inverness.
On 2 June 2006, a fire destroyed McTavish's Restaurant in Fort William High Street along with the two shops which were part of the building. The restaurant had been open since the 1970s and prior to that the building had been Fraser's Cafe since the 1920s. Development work began in 2012 on new hotel accommodation and street-level shops and these opened in 2014.
Fort William, Highland: Future development
A "Waterfront" development was proposed by the Council, but there was no overwhelming support for this in the town. The development would have included a hotel, some shops and some housing, but it was stated early in 2008 that it was unlikely to be completed before 2020. It was announced in April 2010 that the project had been abandoned.
Fort William, Highland: Geography
Fort William viewed from Corpach
Originally based on the still-extant village of Inverlochy, the town lies at the southern end of the Great Glen, Fort William lies near the head of Loch Linnhe, one of Scotland's longest sea lochs, beside the mouth of the rivers Nevis and Lochy. They join in the intertidal zone and briefly become one river before discharging to the sea. The town and its suburbs are surrounded by picturesque mountains. It is also on the shore of Loch Eil. It is close to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, Glen Nevis and the town of Achnaphubuil, is on the opposite shore of the loch. When the railway opened to Fort William on 7 August 1894, the station was given prime position at the south end of the town. The consequence was that the town was separated from the lochside by railway tracks until the 1970s when the present by-pass was built, and the station was re-located to the north end.
The town is centred on the High Street, which was pedestrianised in the 1990s. Off this there are several squares. Monzie Square (named after the Cameron Campbells of Monzie, Perthshire, former landowners in the town), Station Square, where the long-since demolished railway station used to be, Gordon Square (named for the Gordons, who owned land where the town now stands in the late 18th century, when the town was named Gordonsburgh), and Cameron Square - formerly known as Town Hall Square. There is also Fraser Square which is not so square-like since it now opens out into Middle Street but it still houses the Imperial Hotel.
The main residential areas of the town are unseen from the High Street and from the A82 main road. Upper Achintore and the Plantation spread steeply uphill from above the high street.
Inverlochy, aluminium plant, Corpach and Loch Eil
Inverlochy, Claggan, An-Aird, Lochyside, Caol, Banavie and Corpach outwith (ie outside) the town are the other main residential areas. These areas are built on much flatter land than the town.
Glenfinnan, 17 miles (27 km) away, is home of the Glenfinnan Monument (Jacobite era) and the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct (as seen on a Bank Of Scotland £10 note). The viaduct has become known to millions in recent years as the "Harry Potter Bridge" after it featured in the films of the books by J.K. Rowling, specifically Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Glenfinnan has also been used in Charlotte Gray and Highlander.
Just outside the town is a large aluminium plant operated by Alcan and powered by the Lochaber hydroelectric scheme, in its day the biggest tunnelling project in the world. This was formerly served by the Lochaber Narrow Gauge Railway better known locally as the Puggy Line.
Destinations from Fort William
Mallaig, Portree, Shiel Bridge,
Kyle of Lochalsh, Ullapool
Spean Bridge, Invergarry, Fort Augustus, Inverness
Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Arisaig
Roybridge, Dalwhinnie, Aberdeen
Ballachulish, Inveraray, Dunoon
Bridge of Orchy, Crianlarich, Glasgow
Fort William, Highland: Climate
Fort William has an oceanic climate (Cfb) with moderate, but generally cool, temperatures and abundant precipitation.
Climate data for Fort William, United Kingdom
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Source: Weather 2 Travel
Fort William, Highland: Transport
Arrival at Fort William of the overnight sleeper train from London Euston.
The West Highland Line passes through Fort William. Owing to the difficult terrain in the area, the line from Glasgow, to the south, enters from the northeast. Trains from Glasgow to Mallaig, the terminus of the line, have to reverse at Fort William railway station.
An overnight train, the Caledonian sleeper, has its terminus at Fort William. This service is known colloquially as 'The Deerstalker'.
The stands for local buses and express coaches are on MacFarlane Way adjacent to the railway station.
The Caledonian Canal connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William.
Fort William, Highland: Sports
Fort William, Highland: Mountain biking
Just outside the town, parallel to the Nevis Range Gondola, there is a large downhill mountain bike track which attracts thousands of visitors every year, including international competitors and fans.
Each year since 2001, Fort William has hosted a round of UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, and in 2007 it hosted the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships ('The Worlds'). Also a trials competition is held, at the various courses at the bottom.
Fort William, Highland: Motorcycle trials
Fort William is the home of the Scottish Six Day Motorcycle Trial (SSDT), held annually in the first full week of May. It attracts many competitors from all across the globe and in 2011 the event celebrated its centenary year.
Fort William, Highland: Others
Fort William has two major shinty teams, Fort William Shinty Club and Kilmallie Shinty Club. It also has a football team, Fort William F.C., that competes in the Scottish Highland Football League and plays home games at Claggan Park. There is also a cricket club at Fort William that participates in the North of Scotland Cricket Association league. (NoSCA).
In addition, the town is home to Lochaber Rugby Club and to the Lochaber Yacht Club, a Community Amateur Sports Club that was founded in 1954. The town also has one golf club, called Fort William Golf Club, which has eighteen holes and is open all year round. It also hosts weekly competitions.
Fort William, Highland: As a film location
Movies filmed in or near Fort William include Being Human, Braveheart, Highlander, Restless Natives, the Harry Potter series and Rob Roy. The TV series Rockface was filmed mainly around Fort William and some scenes of Monarch of the Glen were filmed around Lochaber although mostly near Newtonmore. Local Hero shot the internal Houston scenes in Fort William.
Fort William, Highland: Festivals
Main article: Fort William Mountain Festival
In a celebration of mountains and the culture that surrounds them, and in recognition of the importance of climbing and walking tourism to the town, the Fort William Mountain Festival is held there each year. For a number of years, this volunteer-led festival has concentrated mostly around film but, starting in the Year of Highland Culture - Highland 2007, its scope was widened, and it dropped the word 'film' from its title.
Highland Tribes music and cultural festival is held in Fort William in July of each year. The festival focuses on new and diverse Scottish music including many local acoustic acts and mainstream bands from all over the country.
Fort William, Highland: Convention
The Fort William Convention, otherwise known as 'Fort Con' is an annual event on the town's calendar. Fort Con is a celebration of pop culture which includes comics, films, artists and authors. The first event in 2016 had a turnout of 1300 people and the event is set to grow year in year out. Previous guests who have appeared at the event include William Hope, Virginia Hey and John Altman. The next event is in August 2017 which moves the convention from a late Autumn date to a mid-Summer one.
Fort William, Highland: Education
Lochaber High School is the local high school and serves a large catchment area which includes the surrounding villages. The town itself is served by three primary schools, one of which is a Catholic school.
Fort William, Highland: Notable people
Hugh Cochrane, recipient of the Victoria Cross
Charles Kennedy - Former leader of the Liberal Democrat party and former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Ross, Skye and Lochaber. Although born in Inverness, was brought up and educated in Fort William.
Danny Alexander - The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey. Brought up in Invergarry, a small village just outside Fort William.
Justin Ryan - interior decorator and television presenter, although born in Glasgow, was brought up in Fort William.
Allan MacDonald - Roman Catholic priest, Scottish Gaelic scholar, and pastor in South Uist and Eriskay, was born and brought up in Fort William.
Daniel McLean McDonald - Founder of the BSR company and benefactor of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in the University of Cambridge.
John Wood, recipient of the Victoria Cross
Barry Hutchison - author
John McGinlay - former Scotland national football team internationalist
Fort William, Highland: Notes
"Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies" (PDF). Population figures. September 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
"Faddoch (Ross), An Fhàdaich" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-30.