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Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Scottish Highlands  /  Lochaber  /  Fort William

Fort William

4
Mountains · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
Fort William 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.HistoryThe earliest recorded settlement on the site is a Cromwellian wooden fort built in 1654 as a base for English troops to "pacify" Clan Cameron after the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The post-Glorious Revolution fort was named Fort William after William of Orange who ordered that it be built to control the Highland clans. 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).
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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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