The village of Spean Bridge is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery in Britain. The Lochaber area is a magnet for walkers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. It offers something for everyone, no matter what your ability or fitness level.
We can recommend and book a range of fantastic outdoor activities, everything from wildlife safaris to white water rafting, quadbiking to clay pigeon shooting. For full information on the multitude of things to do visit THE OUTDOOR CAPITAL OF THE UK
Britain’s highest mountain (4406 ft) is only a 15 minute drive. The Ben Nevis track rises from Glen Nevis and zig zags to the summit. On a clear day the views are amazing.
Allow 6-7 hours. Treat this imposing mountain with respect as weather conditions and visibility can change rapidly. Walking boots, waterproofs and warm clothing essential. www.nevispartnership.co.uk
Nevis Range Ski Centre and Mountain Gondola
Located just 6 miles away on the slopes of Aonach Mor. Ascend to 2150 ft by Britain’s only mountain gondola. Restaurant, walking trails and award winning downhill mountain bike track. During winter it offers the highest ski runs in Scotland and 20 km of pistes. www.nevisrange.co.uk
Glen Roy and the Lochaber GeoPark
The intriguing Parallel Roads of this beautiful glen are located off the A86, only 5 miles east from Spean Lodge. The ‘roads’ refer to gravel shorelines, 30 feet wide, which are clearly visible along the hillsides here and elsewhere in Glen Spean. They were formed 10-20,000 years ago by the receding levels of an ice-dammed lake. Glen Roy is one of the most significant geological features of the Lochaber GeoPark. www.lochabergeopark.org.uk
The Road to the Isles
The road journey from Fort William to Mallaig is unforgettable for its contrasts of stunning mountain, loch and coastal scenery. The fishing port of Mallaig provides ferry connections to Skye and the Small Isles.
On your way, visit the Glenfinnan Monument at the head of Loch Shiel. This commemorates the site of the raising of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s standard and the rallying of the clans in 1745 at the start of the Jacobite Uprising.www.nts.org.uk
Arisaig is also worth a visit and is where seasonal boat trips sail to Eigg and Rum. The lovely Silver Sands of Morar and Loch Morar, one of the deepest expanses of freshwater in Europe, are also on this route.
The Jacobite Steam Train
Enjoy the romance of steam? Then take this memorable round trip rail journey from Fort William to Mallaig following the Road to the Isles. You’ll cross the great railway viaduct in Glenfinnan which has featured in all the Harry Potter movies. (A train from Spean Bridge connects with the steam train at Fort William). www.jacobitetrain.com
The Isle of Skye
This is a fantastic day trip from Spean Bridge. Skye can be reached by ferry from Mallaig or by the road bridge at the Kyle of Lochalsh. The A87 to the bridge will take you through Kintail and yet more majestic mountain and loch scenery. Don’t miss the famous Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Duich which featured in the movie ‘Highlander’.www.eileandonancastle.co.uk
Once on Skye, you’ll be impressed by the jagged peaks of the Cuillin Mountains, the spectacular setting of Dunvegan Castle and the smoothness of Talisker single malt whisky.
Loch Ness and Inverness
The A82 road north from Spean Bridge takes you through the Great Glen and follows the shore of Loch Ness. Try and catch a glimpse of its most famous, but elusive, resident.
Urquhart Castle is one of Scotland’s best known historic monuments. www.historic-scotland.gov.uk It commands a wonderful position with far reaching views up and down Loch Ness.
Visit Drumnadrochit for lots of monstrous information.
The city of Inverness sits astride the River Ness and is the capital of the Highlands.
You’ll find excellent shopping and great places to eat. Nearby is the Culloden battlefield – the site of the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746. Cawdor Castle, with its wonderful gardens and ‘MacBeth’ associations, is also closeby. www.cawdorcastle.com
Absorb the dramatic mountain beauty of Scotland’s most famous glen. Learn more about the infamous Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. 30 mins drive south on the A82. www.nts.org.uk
A haven for otter and eagle, this unspoilt area is another easy day trip from Spean Bridge. The rugged west coast of Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point on the British mainland. Climb the Ardnamurchan lighthouse or enjoy the pristine beauty of Sanna Bay. Travel to the small car ferry at Corran, south of Fort William, for the short trip across Loch Linnhe. Take the A861 to Salen and then turn left onto the peninsula.
‘Monarch of the Glen’ Country
Discover the location for the popular BBC TV series. Travel 15 miles east from Spean Bridge on the A86 and you’ll reach Loch Laggan. Across the loch stands the magnificent Ardverikie House – the Glenbogle of the TV series and also the setting for the film ‘Mrs Brown’ starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly.
Travel a little further and you‘ll enter the Cairngorms National Park. Visit the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig, the beautiful Rothiemurchus estate, the resort of Aviemore or take the funicular railway up Cairngorm mountain. Whatever the weather, and whether you’re lively or lazy, there’s something for everyone in the West Highlands!