Neptune's Staircase, Banavie

One of the great engineering feats of its time, Neptune's Staircase represents Britain's longest flight of locks. It took almost 20 years for Scottish architect Thomas Telford to design and build the staircase lock in the early 19th century. Ironically, when the construction was finally put to use 20 years later, there was no longer much need for it. However, you can still see boats being lifted 20 m (65 ft) above sea level through the eight locks--a process that takes nearly an hour and a half. Plan to visit Neptune's Staircase during your Fort William vacation using our convenient Fort William online route builder .
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(Fort William is the nearest city to Neptune's Staircase)

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Neptune's Staircase Reviews
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  • Great site to visit as a stop off en-route. It is a marvel of engineering! There is a station on the route from Fort William to Mallaig if you are doing that trip it's easy to hop off the train on the...  more »
  • As we were in the area we stopped to have a look at this feat of engineering. It was a beautiful day, sun shining and lots of boats coming up the staircase so a real chance to see it in action. Cafe n...  more »
  • This was one of our "things to see in Fort William" and it did not disappoint. We walked 3 miles along the canal and on the way back saw the locks being used. We were also fortunate enough to see the ...  more »
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  • We just stopped in the way past. We're familiar with the lock at Fort Augustus which is very interesting and this one is equally so. It's a good way to spend a short time and then maybe have a snack or something at the canal side restaurant watching the boats go by. Very relaxing.
  • Impressive engineering set against amazing scenery. Lovely little shops and cafe surrounding the locks. At its best when boats are actually transiting through the locks.
  • Pretty set of staircase locks within easy walking distance of Fort William. Ideal for those who like to take leisurely stroll on a Sunday afternoon and take some pictures.
  • Excellent place its all well kept and clean looking. You can get up very close to the boats. Everyone seemed friendly with a good atmosphere around the place. The car park for it though is off road and has big potholes be careful driving through there they really need to upgrade the car park to tarmac.
  • Were lucky on the day we were there as a luxury cruise ship was going down them. Good cafés and a pub with outdoor seating over looking the locks. Well worth a visit

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Where to stay in Fort William

A B&B along the high street provides access to pubs and cultural life. However, luxury hotels set among idyllic countryside are outside the city center. Consider a stay inside a refurbished historical building at one of the handful of guesthouses. less expensive lodging is also available in scenic areas within walking distance of the high street, or main street.
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15 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Ireland & United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL February, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Fort William & Glenfinnan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM GREECE April, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 11 days in Scottish Highlands BY A USER FROM MALTA June, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: June, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Scottish Highlands BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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