Fort William, Scotland

August 11 – Fort William is a quiet city on the bank of Loch Linnhe. It marks the end of the West Highland Way, entrance for the climb up Ben Nevis, and the beginning of the Great Glen Way, which we will start hiking in a few days. For some of us, it was the fort commanded by the evil Black Jack Randall in the Outlander books. Here’s what it looks like today. There is a pedestrian shopping street:

A kilted man amid tourists on the High Street
Doesn’t Jim look sporting in a tweed cap?
A young man salutes hikers walking into town

We had the opportunity to eat some traditional Scottish foods while we were here: Scotch broth (with carrots and barley just like my Grandma made it), Scotch pie (a minced beef and spice pie with a soft crust) and Scotch eggs (a hard boiled egg surrounded by sausage meat encased in bread crumbs). All delicious.

Scotch broth
Scotch pie
Scotch eggs

We also finally tried haggis, which is sausage made of sheep’s pluck (heart, lungs and liver) cooked with onion and oatmeal in a sheep’s stomach. It tastes sort of like liverwurst – an acquired taste.

There are pretty churches here:

There is a Highland Museum with lots of old stuff:

An old quern, for grinding grain
Harps
Carved gravestone

A grassy town square with lots of folks and dogs enjoying the 70 degree day:

In 1911, a local car dealer drove a Model T up Ben Nevis. He and his car are commemorated on the town square.

We walked a bit north of town to see the old Inverlochy Castle, built in 1270 on the bank of River Lochy, and captured and burned by Robert the Bruce in 1307. It can be viewed from all sides, but is fenced to prevent visitors from climbing on the old crumbling walls.

Here’s an old painting of the castle we saw in the museum:

Old Inverlochy Castle

A relaxing break from the trail!

5 thoughts on “Fort William, Scotland

  1. Hey Karen and Jim – my sisters, mother and I were there in Fort William in 2007. We stayed at the Fassfern Guest House on Achintore Rd across from the Loch Linnhe. Mom and her mother attended a ball there in Fort William in 1949 while visiting their family, Clan Cameron, in Achnacarry. Mom was 19 and wrote in her diary how the women were rather stuffy and the men in their kilts were handsome 😊 while there in 2007, we met Donald Cameron who drove us around the hamlet telling stories of how they manage the property and museum to help keep the places active. He showed us the bridge where in the movie Rob Roy, they threw him off the bridge. I can’t remember the name of the place we ate, but remember they had the best Sticky Toffee Pudding 😁 So look forward to your next updates – Cheers Ellen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! We walked up Fassfern Rd. to get to our guesthouse with a beautiful view of the Loch. At the museum we watched the 1946 film The Commandos about the Scots training their Green Berets at Achnacarry. These days a lot of the town’s commerce depends on hikers and climbers who come to scale Ben Nevis. A lovely town. Thanks for traveling with us!

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