Ben Nevis & Glencoe Guiding

Walking and Climbing on Famous Scottish Mountains
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Drive sensibly on our Highland roads

A page of advice about travelling by car in the Highlands and in Glencoe and Lochaber specifically.

Every summer someone dies on the A82 between Glasgow Fort William and Inverness. This is a tragedy ! These are not accidents - these deaths are caused by BAD DRIVING. Please read the info below and prepare for your drive to Fort William. We want you to arrive safely and enjoy your visit to Fort William.

Drive on the left
YIELD to vehicles on your right

In the UK, EVERYONE drives on the left hand side of the road. This means the simple, basic, No 1 Rule of the Road is to GIVE WAY or YIELD to traffic coming from your RIGHT.

Speed Limits - THINK ABOUT IT!
 The maximum speed limit anywhere in the Highlands is 60mph, but on many Highland roads this speed is dangerous due to bad road surfaces, windy roads, and very slow moving vehicles being driven by visitors in rental cars and motorhomes. Many sections of the A82 are now limited to 50mph.

BUM IN GEAR - BRAIN IN NEUTRAL !
In the Highlands driving too slow can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. Here's what happens...

You're driving along a road, as far as you're concerned, you've only been driving on the wrong side of the road, in a strange rental car, with the wheel on the wrong side of the car, for a few days. Or you're pulling your caravan to park it somewhere else, or your mini-camper only does 40mph.
 
You are completely astonished at how close the oncoming traffic is passing you. Everytime a coach or a truck approaches, you're sure its going to hit you.
 So you're traveling along the road at between 35-40mph and just coping nicely.
 However, behind you, there are now a large number of other vehicles all crawling along at YOUR speed - maybe 12 or more. Suddenly, a driver in one of these vehicles decides he's had enough and he's going to overtake you - but he has to get passed all the other cars behind you first - if its the last thing he does. Sadly, it often is the last thing he does. The resulting car crash is horrific - mangled vehicles, dead people in cars, blood all over the place - and some poor souls have to clear it up!
 
This need not happen. All you have to do is:
 
CHECK YOUR MIRRORS FREQUENTLY - when traffic is building up behind you, its time to pull over!

CHECK YOUR SPEED - 50mph is quite a reasonable speed to travel - 35mph is not and other drivers consider it very selfish.

KEEP 20 metres behind the car in front!

USE PASSING PLACES and LAY-BYS
When you see a blue road sign with a big letter P on it, this means you can pull up, to let cars go by.

DON'T STOP ON THE HIGHWAY - you will cause a road traffic accident !

MOTORHOME DRIVERS
If you are coming to the Highlands in a motorhome please consider the following:

Driving at 38mph is unacceptable if you don't pull over often to allow others to pass - use those huge wing mirrors to see the long queue of vehicles waiting to get past you

Parking in lay-byes overnight is a NO-NO ! There are many excellent holiday motor parks - 3 in Fort William so use them ! Contribute to our economy and use local parks. Check out Invercoe Holiday Park,  Glen Nevis Holiday Park and Lochy Holiday Park
Be consideate - don't park in places where you block the road ahead and dont dump your toilet in our lay-byes

Speeding and Impatience

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE - AT ALL TIMES -
A minimum of 20 metres is the least you should consider.

Keeping a clear, safe distance from the vehicle in front, allows faster vehicles to pass safely between two slower moving vehicles. This distance also provides everyone with a good THINKING DISTANCE - the distance your vehicle travels before you react to changes.

BE SEEN !  Use your headlights !!!!
A simple and effective way to help on-coming vehicles to SEE YOU, is to drive at all times with your dipped, main headlights ON - try this test for yourself.
 
Next time you're driving along on a wet day, spend more time observing the vehicles approaching you. See how more quickly and more easily you can DETECT and JUDGE a vehicle with its headlights on... 

Really simple or what?

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Wild West
Wildlife safaris and scenic tours in wild places    Wild West offer a selection of wildlife safaris and Scenic tours based in the Lochaber area. See Scotland's " Big Five", Photograph red deer or discover the landscapes and legends of the Scottish highlands. Due to Covid restrictions all tours are offered on a private basis and prices are for a group of up to six people, not per person.  The following is a selection of safaris and scenic tours available with Wild West. for more choices please go to the Wild West website BOOK NOW The Big Five Scotland’s big five of golden eagle, red deer, red squirrel, otter and harbour seal can all be found within 25 miles of Fort William and on this safari, it’s possible to see them all on the same day.  The trip runs every Wednesday and includes a 2 hour cruise on Loch Shiel, taking you into the heart of some of Scotland’s wildest country. Cruises/boat trips can be included in full day safaris on other days, by request. Cost: £350 for up to six persons. Cruise is extra £30 per adult. £20 per under 16 Book online at Wild West - The Big Five The Wee Safari Starting from Fort william this tour crosses loch Linnhe by ferry and visits the Morven peninsula, a quiet wildlife haven well away for the main tourist hotspots. We find red deer and seals on most trips and regularly spot otters. Feral goats and red squirrels are often encountered as well as a great variety of birds. This trips last around 4 hours   Cost: £195.00 for up to six people Book online The Wee Safari The Wee Fort William Tour This is short private tour around the Fort William area.  You’ll visit Neptune’s staircase, one of the engineering marvels of the 19th century, enjoy views of Ben Nevis, hear the story of how Aluminium transformed the highlands of Scotland, see the site of the battle of Inverlochy and explore the ruined Inverlochy castle. We’ll also visit the commando memorial at Spean Bridge. But the highlight of this tour will be a walk to Steall valley through Steall gorge, a spectacular chasm forged by glacial forces 12, 000 years ago. Steall waterfall is the second highest in Britain and was used as a backdrop in a scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire. On the way, we’ll hope to find the “hairy coos” (highland cattle) that live in the glen Cost: £195.00 for up to six people Book online. The wee Fort william Tour Glencoe Mountains And Massacres This tour travels south from Fort William, following the shores of Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven to the village of Glencoe, overlooked by the famous Pap. We’ll stop off at the National trust visitor centre to learn the story of the 1692 massacre of Glencoe. We’ll travel through the spectacular scenery that is Glencoe, learning about the volcanoes and glaciers that shaped the landscape we see today.  Then we’ll take a walk up the steep narrow path to discover the Lost Valley where the MacDonald’s hid their cattle *. Carrying on to Glen Etive we will start with a visit to the falls on the river Coupall, the subject of innumerable iconic images. Further down the glen, we’ll stop to recreate the famous scene from Skyfall with Bond and M before looking for the red deer which can often be found grazing close to the road. Cost £350.00 for up to six people Book now. Glencoe Mountains and massacres *For the less adventurous this can be substituted with a ride up the chairlift. Supplementary charges apply, please ask. If you don't see what you are looking for in the choices above, please ask. Wild West will be happy to help you develop your own unique wildlife safari or scenic tour and multi day tours can be organised
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Hunter Mountaineering
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The Highland Mountain Company
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Photography Courses & Field Trips
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River to Sea Scotland
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