The first part of this summers child minding duties was the main reason for setting up for six nights at Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park situated two miles from the eastern outskirts of Fort William. Its a large well organised Camping park that offers a total of four fields for Caravan and motorhomes with space for 200 serviced pitches alongside five fields for tents which have 30 electric and 200 regular pitches The Park extends to 30 acres in total. Also the site has two and three berth Camping pods, a children’s play area, a well-stocked park shop/reception and plenty of service blocks.
|Camp Site Play Area for Children of all ages.|
|Braveheart Car Park.|
|Picnic Time at the Braveheart Car Park.|
|Some good solid walking paths.|
|The Wishing Stone.|
Most of the folk that use this site are walkers and hill climbers and even leaving to one side the the 5 hour climb up Ben Nevis and the West Highland Way which ends in Fort Williams main square there are plenty of lower level paths to satisfy all levels of walkers including our 7 year old granddaughter Hollie. Just to get her in the swing of the natural exercise that walking offers our first excursion was easy low level circular walk from the nearby Glen Nevis Visitor Centre to the ‘Wishing Stone’ via the Braveheart car park so named because it was built for the making of the Mel Gibson movie of the same name.
|Hollie ready for the days walking.|
|Views from our walk.|
The Wishing Stone was left after the glaciers melted and was thought to have had magical properties by the people that inhabited the Glen during the Iron Age. According to folklore the local elders would consult the Stone and it would give its answers by revolving. No longer revolving, as far as you can tell, you can still make a wish by hopping or walking around it three times. Ending this section of the leisurely 5 mile walk with a well deserved reward of ice cream we walked back along the path that runs along side the River Nevis to the bridge that crosses to the Youth Hostel and the short walk back to the camp site. Incidentally if you keep going for a couple of miles along the river path the scenery makes the walks rather hard going, well worth it.
|Whats left of the Fort.|
The village of Fort William is named after the ruinous, and rather sad remains of the Fort. Originally built for Cromwell by General Monk during the 1650s then reconstructed and renamed in 1690 during the reign of William of Orange. In 1746, from March 14th until April 3 the Fort was placed under siege by Charles Edward Stuart’s Jacobite Army but could not be taken. It was garrisoned until 1866 after which most of it was demolished. Today the railway and the A82 runs through what would have been the middle of the Fort.
Last time we came to the town was very early in the year and there did not seem to be much going on, what a difference a couple of months in too the season makes. The town was packed with a great many visitors, walkers and tourists which made sure that all the shops, restaurants and coffee shops were buzzing. Remember that as a full back on a rainy day there’s always the Lochaber Leisure Centre that sports a 25-metre swimming pool.
The Bronze Ford, cast at Powderhall Bronze Foundry Edinburgh in 2018, commemorates the ascent of Ben Nevis in a Model T Ford by Henry Alexander of Edinburgh. He left Cameron Square Fort William on 9th May 1911 and returned triumphant 9 day’s later.
|Start of walk.|
The end of another holiday loomed so a memorable final day was required. What better than a good walk up to the summit of Cow Hill which offers views down Glen Nevis and out across Fort William down to Loch Linnhe to Corran and up to Loch Eil.
|Not far to go now.|
|Service Path up to the Cow Hill Summit and the Mast.|
First part of our walk is along the steep Peat Track that was originally used by local people to walk into the moorland to cut peat, which was then stacked and dried and used as fuel for heating during the winter months. It joins a vehicle track that services the mast up at the peak of Cow Hill and is nowhere as steep as the previous section, which was rather a relief.
|Views from the Summit.|
A picnic lunch was enjoyed at the summit allowing time to appropriating the views. After our break we set off back down using the same route as the assent. It was a walk that was enjoyed for the tranquillity of these hills and the beautiful surroundings. Ben Nevis was tempting but to be honest was probably a little too ambitious, and certainly to hard for our wee granddaughter - well that’s my excuse.