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Fort William or Inverness???

Sydney, Australia
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Fort William or Inverness???

Hi,

We will be travelling from Glasgow to Aberdeen (by car) and want to drive via Loch Ness where we are thinking of staying for just one night. Where is the nicest place to stay...Fort William or Inverness...or somewhere else?

There are 4 of us - a married middle aged couple and two 20-something females and we will be travelling in late September if that makes any difference.

Does anyone have any recommendations for hotels/inns in this area?

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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1. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

Fort William is an unattractive town, and Inverness isn't much better! But they are surrounded by spectacular landscapes, lochs etc. So best to stay somewhere in between. There are plenty of places around Fort Augustus, Invergarry etc. What's your budget?

Salem, Massachusetts
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2. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

I don't know if I'd completely agree about Inverness...we thought it was considerably nicer than Ft. William; however, I think choosing might have more to do with how you want to schedule your travel days. It's ABOUT two hours from Glasgow to Fort William and about 4 from FW to Aberdeen, via Loch Ness. It's about four hours from Glasgow to Inverness (along the loch) and about 2½ on to Aberdeen. Depending upon how much time you want to spend at Loch Ness (if any?), perhaps those numbers and, as asked, your budget/needs for accommodation enroute may influence your decision. Days will be somewhat shorter, but you still have close to 12 hours of daylight (0700-1900) at that time of year- if that matters.

Glasgow, United...
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3. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

I'd say that Inverness is the more attractive town (with a better selection of eating out options) whereas Fort William is surrounded by more beautiful mountain and loch scenery. There is good scenery near Inverness too - but not so much right on its door step.

I haven't stayed there since it changed hands but Huntingtower Lodge, just south of Fort William is a lovely B&B, in a nice setting - so that would be one option. I've never managed to find anywhere that great in Inverness itself, but the Tomich Hotel, between inverness and fort william was quite nice.

By the way, along with a lot of Scots I'd say that Loch Ness has done a rather better job of marketing itself than most other Scottish places - and with a bit less cause than many. Unless you are lucky enough to see Nessie (and she's never shown herself to me) there are many more beautiful lochs and glens - glen affric near Inverness or Glencoe or Glen Nevis near Fort William being good examples.

Shrewsbury
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4. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

It really depends upon what you're after, of course. I first visited both settlements in the mid- to late 1970s. At the time I thought that Fort William was pretty awful but close to some wonderful scenery and that Inverness was simply somewhere to pass through on the way to much lovelier places.

I've been to both in the last few years and I have to say that my opinion of Fort William hasn't changed much (the fish and chip shop has improved) but the revitalised city of Inverness is now a place we try to stay at least for a night. Hootananny's is likely to give you as memorable night in Scotland as any pub/bar in the country.

Loch Ness is a short drive away, but there is much better scenery in Scotland, although I was more impressed with it last month when we drove along it than on previous visits - maybe we were lucky with the light or something. A few pics here give a hint of a certain gloomy grandeur but the surrounding hills, in Scottish terms are actually rather dull and bland.

avengerpenguins.com/v-web/gallery/Scotland08…

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

Thanks folks,

We feel that we can't go all the way to Scotland without seeing the famous Loch Ness....and I'd love to see Urquhart Castle! We will however be also visiting the Trossachs and Loch Lomond.

Thanks for all your replies...we are now considering whether to maybe just do a sight-seeing drive along the Loch and simply continue on to Gardenstown where we could stay for the night.

Glasgow via Loch Ness to Banff/Gardenstown - is that quite do-able in the one day? Especially if we take time out for a bit of a look at Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle?

Cheers,

Manchester, United...
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6. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

It's doable, in a stressful sort of way! But it would all be a bit of a blur - I'd advise slowing down a bit and taking your time. After all, this is a holiday isn't it ;-)

ayrshire
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7. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

Hi davannSydney, Can I suggest that you take your time meandering up to Fort William and take time to enjoy and appreciate the sights along the way, it's really pretty countryside, and make sure you take a wee peep at Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond, very pretty. I would definately agree that Fort William is not the most stunning of places, but there is a wee place just outside it on the road to Mallaig (5 mins) called Benavie, its at the foot of Neptunes Staircase (The Caledonian Canal) and the Moorings hotel sits right at it. We stayed there last weekend and it was just a treat, really good food and a lovely setting looking right onto Ben Nevis. I feel that if you take your time to there, you can relax and enjoy your trip to Urquhart Castle which would probably take about 1-2 hours to get to from Fort William, and then enjoy your drive across to the east coast via Inverness. Or another option is to head straight for Inverness but stay in the lovely village of Beauly just west of it. The Priory hotel there where we have stayed many times is a lovely hotel and really good food also. If it was me, I'd opt for the first one. Your heading up our beautiful West coast so take time and enjoy it. P.S. coming to your country in September, can't wait!!

Cambridge, United...
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8. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

at that time of year the days will be of average length (daylight hours i mean to say) so my first tip is

set off early so as to make the most of the daylight hours

if i read your query right you are travelling from glasgow to aberdeen but have decided to take 2 days to get there do that you can take the scenic route

you are thinking of going glasgow - loch lomond - glencoe - fort william - loch ness - inverness - aberdeen

this is a GREAT idea and deserves 10 out of 10 - the scenery is fantastic....

however.....

with just a little more driving (and admittedly you miss loch ness - but nice as it is it is no different from 50 other lochs) you can make this trip absolutely sensational - right up there with any drive you have ever done

it will take a bit longer and to have 3 days would be great but the scenery is so fantastic ALL THE TIME you wont mind the time in the car

everyone does stirling\oban\pitlochry\fort william etc and says how wonderful it is

they are right, but the route i am about to give is just a step or threre up in class....

continue from fort william on the a82 to inverness, but soon pick up the a87 for kyle of lochalsh

as you near kyle you will see glenelg signposted DO take the detour to this little fishing village

return to the a87 and continue on past the eilaen donan castle and on to kyle - now continue on to Plocton, another lovely little village - the plocton inn oes great food and has rooms and is a possible overnight stop

continue on to lochcarron, drive all the way round the locj to the town of loch carron and continue on

soon you will see applecross signed via the mountain pass route - not to be missed

the applecross inn does great food from 12 - 21 and also has rooms

leave applecross by the coast road to shieldaig - another nice litle village with an inn

continue on to torridon and detour along the north bank of upper loch torridon to diabelg

return to torridon and continue on to kinlochewe

you are now back on the nain roads continur voa achnasheen to inverness and onto aberdeen

this is just soooooooooooo worthwhile

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

...and sooooooooooo exhausting ;-)

ayrshire
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10. Re: Fort William or Inverness???

It is beautiful going across to Kyle of Lochalsh, but the scenery you will be passing going up Loch Ness will be every bit as lovely. And why miss out on the one thing you really want to see. Don't make sense to me.