River to Sea Scotland

Guided canoe and kayak journeys in the Scottish Highlands
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Wildlife Safari Trips around Fort William

Scottish wildlife indigenous to the Fort Wiliam and Lochaber area include golden eagle, minke whale, basking sharks, red deer and red squirrel.

Lochaber Wildlife
The Fort William and Lochaber district is well established as the Outdoor Capital of the UK and known for both adventure sports and it’s spectacular scenery. However, for the wildlife enthusiast, this is one of Scotland’s hidden gems, on the edge of Europe’s last true wilderness.

For a long time, For William and Lochaber has remained in the shadow of it’s better known neighbours Mull and Speyside. But all the wildlife for which these areas are known, with the exception of the capercaille, can be found here. Scotland’s “Big Five” of golden eagle, red deer, otter, harbour seal and red squirrel can all be found in Lochaber and with the help of a knowledgeable local guide it is possible to see them all in a single day.

For the avid birdwatcher there is an endless variety of species, including some of the UK’s rarest birds. Black and red throated divers nest on a number of local lochs. A healthy breeding population of common scoter can be found in the Great Glen. The Scottish crossbill, the UK’s only endemic species can be found in the pine forests. Ospreys and sea eagles are now sighted regularly and numbers are increasing. And few of our remote glens are without a pair of our most iconic birds, the golden eagle.

For lepidopterists, the chequered skipper butterfly is found within 30 miles of Fort William and nowhere else in the UK and pearl bordered fritillaries can be found at a number of locations throughout the region.

Around the coast dolphins, porpoise and minke whales are regularly sighted. In summer, as the water warms and plankton blooms spread north, basking sharks follow this summer feeding bonanza. And our resident pod of orca are seen occasionally around the Small Isles

Lochaber is also home to a population of Scottish wildcat, a species of feline more seriously endangered than the siberian tiger.  The Ardnamurchan peninsula has been declared a wildcat sanctuary with special conservation measures introduced to bring the species back from the verge of extinction, and whilst nationally a very rare mammal, pine marten populations locally are very healthy. Add to this some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery to be found in Europe and you have the perfect recipe for the wildlife holiday of a lifetime.

If you are looking for a new adventure during your visit to the Fort William area, we recommend contacting WildWest Safaris who provide excellent guided wildlife safari trips in the area.

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Climb When Youre Ready
Come and explore the steeper side of Lochaber! I provide experienced and friendly guiding and instruction on Ben Nevis and in Glencoe. I specialise in taking and teaching novices climbing and mountaineering. All my days out are bespoke and just for you and your party. Whether you are looking for a guided day out on a spectacular route or to learn/polish up on your own skills to become more independent in the hills and on the rock. Expect to be asked a lot of questions about you and what YOU want from a day out as I'll be trying hard to make it a great experience for YOU! If you are a hillwalker already I can take you onto classic routes such as Ledge Route or Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis or perhaps Curved Ridge or the Aonach Eagach in Glencoe. If you are/aspire to be a rock climber we can do a day locally on the accessible crags of Polldubh or head for a classic route such as Agag's Groove or Adrverikie Wall. I don't hire anyone else so I apologise if I'm not free but I can recommend qualified and experienced colleagues who can give you a great day out locally. Like many of the other qualified local instructors I'm a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and I also train and assess junior Award holders. I hold the highest Mountain Training UK Qualification for roped mountaineering and climbing the Mountain Instructor's Certificate and am fully insured for all the activities I undertake. To find out more about me visit http://www.climbwhenyoureready.com to see what I can do for you.
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Snowgoose Mountain Centre
From the aspiring novice to the more advanced mountaineer Snowgoose Mountain Centre offers the perfect introduction, course, mountain guiding or holiday of a lifetime. This is whether you want an introduction to rock climbing & abseiling, learn to lead on  rock, develop your navigational skills or tackle big mountaineering routes in summer or winter. Maybe you will want to extend your summer mountain activities into autumn and winter by getting to grip with the skills needed to take on winter walking, winter mountaineering then snow and ice climbing. Our aim is always to introduce  our clients to the  fundamental  hill and mountain skills or develop those they have already so that they can independently progress their mountaineering expertise through out the year from summer into winter mountaineering. • Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing Courses are run at this fantastic time of year in the Scottish Highlands by Snowgoose Mountain Centre when the hills and mountains are covered with snow and ice. Our skills based winter courses for climbing, mountaineering and guiding are delivered in the mountains around the Ben Nevis and Glencoe areas in a convenient location four  miles from Fort William. We deliver courses in basic ice axe & crampon techniques, avalanche awareness, through to advanced winter climbing courses. Complete winter novices are introduced to the basic winter walking skills needed to travel in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands safely in winter  giving a solid skills base. •  A wide range of mountain based skills coaching, courses, guiding & holidays are on offer throughout the spring, summer and early autumn suited to the needs of individuals, families, & groups. Our courses & holiday are led only by local, friendly , professionally qualified and experienced course leaders, instructors & guides based largely on “the Ben” Nevis, Glen Nevis, Glen Coe, Creag Meaghidh, Ardgour and Kintail areas. If you are new to mountain based activities and our area  then why not join a group or book a guide to do the ascent of the UK’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis. An iconic day out on the mountains – which ever way you do it. We cater from absolute beginners wanting a leisurely mountain walk to those requiring an in depth refresher before taking a qualification assessment. Our rock climbing courses provide a logical progression from indoor wall climbing to Classic Munro, Rock, Ridge mountain routes. Participants going on overseas, high altitude trekking holidays find that our courses – summer or winter – are an excellent value preparation for such expeditions. Snowgoose Mountain Centre is an AALS licensed centre (Adventure Activities Licensing Authority) and a DofE AAP (Approved Activity Provider) for Expeditions and Residentials.  John Cuthbertson holds the MIC (Mountain Instructors Certificate) which is the highest UK based mountain instructor's qualification. He is a also an Accredited Gold DofE Assessor for walking & paddling expeditions.
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Loch Shiel Cruises
For a unique cruise through one of Scotland’s most remote, beautiful and unspoilt landscapes, take a trip to Glenfinnan. Join local skipper Jim Michie on his lovingly restored 1940 ex-naval harbour launch, who will guide you along this magnificent loch while keeping a close eye out for Golden & Sea Eagles, Red Deer and a variety of Rare Wildlife.   A variety of cruises operate on the Loch. A morning 2 hour run takes you to majestic Glenaladale, former homeland of a notable branch of the Clan MacDonald who were prominent in there support of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s attempt to regain the throne of Britain for his father, the exiled King James. A superb view of the “Jacobite” steam train crossing MacAlpine’s famous 21 arch viaduct can be seen on this cruise.   A 1 hour cruise to the Prince’s Bay will give a you taste of the Loch and its stunning surrounding landscape.   An afternoon 2.5 hour cruise visits Gaskan, where the writer and naturalist Mike Tomkies found the perfect seclusion to study and record the wide variety of his beloved wildlife.   For a great day out go on the Wednesday Loch Cruise which takes you the full length of the Loch to the crofting community of Acharacle where you can have lunch before returning home. This cruise passes the “Green Isle”, ancient sanctuary of St Finan and burial ground for over 1500 years.   Sileas is available  for private charter, be it for weddings, birthdays, corporate or group outings.   Further details on the cruises & timetable can be found on our website.   Don’t miss the boat, this is not just a cruise but an unforgettable experience!   Timetabled Cruises operate on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Only. Private Charter Available 7 Days/Week April to November. ADVANCE BOOKING ADVISABLE.
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