Visit Fort William in 2024

Lochs, mountains, rivers, adventures await...
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About life in Lochaber

Lochaber Life - about people living in one of the most rural areas in the British Isles - Fort William demographics

Fort William and Glen Nevis is an important part in the Outdoor Capital of the UK - hardly surprising when you consider the highest mountain in the British Isles towers behind our small Highland town and community. Fort William is a key destination for people wishing to take part or spectate in world class outdoor sporting activities. This area is unique in that almost all major, recognised sports can be enjoyed like diving in our coastal waters to kayaking or sailing on the seas and lochs to climbing many of the highest mountains in the British Isles - and lots of activities in between.

We use the name "Outdoor Capital of the UK" to describe the potential for outdoor activities set amidst beautiful and mostly wild landscapes which we know locally as Fort William and Lochaber. Fort William and Lochaber is an outdoor adventure playground and increasingly this involves outdoor adventure and tourism. But equally important it is a place where people also live and work, go to schools and choose to retire to this area.,

Let us explain this word "Lochaber". Lochaber is the name given to a huge area of the Scottish west Highlands that includes Glencoe, Fort William & Glen Nevis, Ben Nevis, a good part of the Great Glen and much of Glen Spean, the Road to the Isles including Mallaig, the Ardnamurchan peninsula and in the north, the lands of Knodart. Some of the key historical-political moments in the UK occurred in this area.

Check the activity providers on our Outdoor Activities section of this site. We also consider "Outdoor Capital" to describe all the traditional activities like highland games, touring by car, motorcycle or bicycle, simply enjoying our peaceful and quite countryside locations - we have more than most communities in the British Isles !

A great many people work outdoors doing traditional things like fishing and estate working, crofting and forestry.

The Lochaber community is a small one - less than 20,000 people living in an area greater than the whole of Luxembourg. Our community is mostly a rural one with many small villages and communities scattered all over Lochaber. Our economy is potentially fragile and is increasingly dependent on lots of small, family businesses providing all sorts of products and services. Our college - West Highland College UHI, is a fantastic learning resource where locals can study Further Education and even a growing number of Degree courses through the UHI - University of the Highlands and Islands. if you are coming to Fort William and Lochaber, we really hope you enjoy your visit and find everyone you meet friendly and welcoming.