Activities

    

We are never quite sure where to start when arriving in a holiday house, there always seems to be a lot of planning trips and activities when we feel we ought to be relaxing.  So to make things easy these few pages just outline various trips and activities that we like and others might like too.

Relax in the garden, view the mountains.  It's very peaceful.  Kids can go explore the woods or Shinty field at the back of the house.  There are a number of easy walks nearby and some great mountain biking routes.  Shinty is the national sport up here.

Outdoor Adventure

Fort William is the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the UK - you can even do a degree in Adventure Tourism Management. Everything is here to do and to hire, for kids and for adults.   Kayaking, Rock climbing, Ice climbing, Splash Rafting, Gorge walking, Skiing, Mountain biking.

The Nevis Range is a good starting point situated 5 miles from Spean Bridge on the Road to Fort William, you can get there in less than an hour by mountain bike through the forest.   The high wire walk at the Nevis Range is lots of fun, you can also hire ski and biking equipment.   It is worth a trip up Aonach Mor on the Gondola.

Gondola Cable Car

The Gondola Cable Car from the Nevis Range to above 600m on Aonach Mor takes you Skiing in winter, downhill mountain biking in Summer and what has to be the the highest play park in the country.   It's good just for the view.

Skiing

The Nevis Range is a 10 minute drive (if you are enthusiastic it's a one hour run through the forest) and is your base for skiing if you stay with us in winter.  There are 12 lifts in total, including Scotland 's only mountain gondola. The beginner's area is a stone throw away from the top station, with a variety of easy green and blue runs. The runs are predominately wide and open with some challenging blue and red runs in the main Snowgoose bowl for intermediates and extensive off-piste black and red runs for the more experienced. 

Not quite the Alps, though we do remember some wonderful days skiing in Scotland and some poor ones elsewhere.  There are also ski runs at Aviemore (1h30 away), Glencoe (45mn away) and Glen Shee all within driving distance.

   

Mountain biking

Fort William is famous for mountain biking and hosts every year in June the world mountain biking championships. There are countless trails within minutes of the house.   You can hire mountain bikes at the Nevis Range or in Fort William itself cycle shop and bike hire.

Ice factor (Kinlochleven)

I read about the Ice Factor first in a magazine in East London of all places.   It has the worlds biggest indoor ice climbing wall, it's a lot of fun.  I found the ice-climbing easier than rock climbing, just hit the ice with the axe.  Drive through Fort William, towards Glencoe but turn left  and drive along  Loch Leven, we typically stop for lunch at the Loch Leven Sea Food Cafe,  the kids like to skim stones on the beach and you can see the live shell fish in tanks.

Golf

Scotland is the home of golf and Lochaber will not disappoint you: there are a total of 6 golf courses within a hour's drive of the house.  The 9 hole Spean Bridge Golf Club is just next to the train station or ten minutes walk.  The 18 hole course Fort William golf club at the base of Ben Nevis, is fifteen minutes by car.

Sea fishing

We went sea fishing in Oban (obanfishing).  You can also go sea-angling in Fort William  and in Ballachulish (sea-fishing):


Fly fishing

There are many opportunities for fly fishing in the area: fishing-scotland , field-and-country-sports.


Crannog restaurant and cruises (Fort William)

The Crannog restaurant does good lunch time menus, being built on the pier you have views overlooking Loch Linnhe.  The wildlife Cruises run from the same location.

Appin, Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary (Oban)

The road down to Appin is pretty scenic and takes in a fair number of view points.   There is a forest of Giant Red Woods with a Nature Trail on route.  The  sea life sanctuary  has a very nice stony beach, kids can play without a lot of attention.  I like the aquariums.  Our kids repeatedly asked to be taken back.

Highland Folk Museum (Newtonmore)

The Highland Folk Museum  brings to life the domestic and working conditions of earlier Highland peoples. Visitors to this living history Museum can learn how our Scottish Highland ancestors lived, how they built their homes, how they tilled the soil and how they dressed, in a friendly and welcoming environment.  The Museum not only encapsulates human endeavour and development in Highland life from the 1700s to the present day, but offers an opportunity to explore a beautiful natural setting, home to red squirrels and tree creepers.

Landmark Forest Adventure Park (Carrbridge)

Head east on the A9.   Keeps the kids occupied all day: adventure slides, forest walks, forestry (landmarkpark).

Highland Wildlife Park (Aviemore)

To reach the Highland wildlife park take the A9 East.  Discover Scottish wildlife and endangered animals of the world's mountains and tundra in our spectacular setting.  Drive around the Main Reserve in your own car and then investigate the walk-round area on foot.

Restaurants

There are some very good restaurants in the neighbourhood, such as Russell's and the Old Station Restaurant in Spean Bridge, the Crannog, the Lime Tree and Cafe Mango in Fort William and the Lochleven Seafood Cafe in Kinlochleven which offer fantastic seafood and where you can see your dinner swimming around in seawater tanks before it gets to your plate!.