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Flocking to Fort William to climb Ben Nevis, pick your way up sheets of ice, have a hill walk or hurtle down a mountain on a bike?More power to your padded elbow, we say – you’ve picked quite the place.
Either way, you’ll be looking for a luxury berth to come back to, so hightail it to the centre of the Highlands and Linnhe Lochside Holidays, a four-star park five miles from Fort William with luxury lodge, holiday homes and tent and touring pitches.There are boat trips from Fort William pier to Seal Island and its breeding colony of grey seals, with seal spotting and birdwatching trips available from several other nearby islands including Skye, Craigleith and Colonsay.Within an hour, beachcombers can reach the famed silver sands of Morar; look out for Nessie’s cousin Morag at nearby Loch Morar.There are several indoor activity centres and attractions within easy reach too for rainy days: that ice-climbing can be had at The Ice Factor in Kinlochleven, or see how Highlanders used to live at the living history Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore (there’s a West Highlands Museum in Fort William too).Get an overview of it all at the Nevis Range Mountain Centre, which has high wires, snow sports, the Mountain Bike World Cup each summer, and the country’s only mountain gondola for scenic sights.More sedately, the glens around this area are prime fishing spots to land brown trout and Atlantic salmon, and there are mackerel and herring shoals off the coast.
If you’re new to the art, there are local excursion companies that provide all tackle, training and equipment.
Go out on the water less hair-raisingly than in a raft or kayak with a cruise down Loch Linnhe, on the Sound of Sleat, on the Caledonian Canal or down Loch Shiel to Acharacle.
There’s stunning scenery of Loch Eil and the surrounding mountains, hedges and shrubs set around to support local wildlife, and we’re particularly impressed with the private beach with free fishing and boat launch…
The park amenities include baths for those who might have staggered down sore-muscled from Ben Nevis, a launderette, licensed shop with fishing tackle, drying room and wifi across the entire park with free access for the chalets.
Toddlers have their own playroom and there are adventure playgrounds for the bigger folk (no, not parents: you’ll be burning off your energy ice-climbing instead).
Activities on land, sea and in air are the order of the day in Fort William and the Highlands, with almost every outdoor adrenaline-focused activity possible catered for.