7 Reasons To Fall For The Caledonian Canal | Natural Retreats

7 Reasons To Fall For
The Caledonian Canal

Snaking across Scotland from the bustling Inverness in the East, to the outdoor adventure capital of the UK; Fort William, in the West, the Caledonian Canal is a harmonious blend of man-made engineering and spectacular natural waterways. Join us as we dig a little deeper into why this incredible route should be on your travel bucket list in 2017...

ONE | This area is alive with adventurous activities!

Part of the 'Great Glen Way', the Caledonian Canal runs alongside scores of scenic woodland trails and waterside paths that make the perfect starting point for an adventure on two feet (or wheels!). Whether taking a leisurely ride along the towpath, or scaling heights on a mountain bike, there's always a sight to be seen!

TWO | It's HUGE (and provides the perfect way to explore central Scotland)

The Caledonian Canal stretches 60 MILES along the Great Glen from adventure captial Fort William to the thriving Inverness!

THREE | It's rich in history...

Steeped in Victorian history, the canal was originally constructed to provide a direct link between the East and the West of Scotland, to help with trade. The canal was finally opened after 12 years of construction in 1822, at a total cost of £910,000! News of this exciting new trading route began to spread, and caught the attention of high profile figures in British society such as Queen Victoria who actually took a trip up the canal in 1873!

FOUR | It's home to 'Neptune's Staircase'...

You can even enjoy the Caledonian Canal without getting your feet wet - enter the canal barge! The most impressive engineering achievement on the Canal lies north of Fort William, where you can visit Neptune's Staircase - a ladder of eight locks that raises boats to a height of 70 feet above sea level over 500 yards (definitely one to look out for!)

FIVE | It forms part of 'The Great Glen'

Only one third of the entire length of this iconic waterway is man-made, the rest being formed by the breath-taking Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. These deep blue lochs are all situated within the Great Glen, formed by an ancient geological fault in the Earth's crust. Visitors to this spectacular region can lose themselves on the 'Great Glen Way' - 79 miles of incredible trails, track, canal and loch to discover!

SIX | Legends and Mystery

As well as taking centre stage on the silver screen, Loch Ness has also starred as the breath-taking back-drop to many a television programme. Most recently, ITV's hit new thriller; 'The Loch' attracted 5 million viewers to watch it's first episode, where the nation was immediately hooked on the serial killer storyline set against this naturally mysterious location.

SEVEN | On the doorstep of 'The Ben'

The Southern tail of the Caledonian Canal snakes around the foot of the UK's highest mountain - Ben Nevis. This incredible natural wonder stands 1,345 metres above sea level and a trip to this spectacular corner of Scotland wouldn't be complete without craning your neck to take in it's magnificent, imposing silhouette against the sky. For adventurous explorers, the summit can be reached via the Pony Track on the south side of the mountain, but for epic photographs we suggest keeping your feet on the ground on the Loch Shore in Fort William which provides the best viewpoints.

To book your next adventure on the Caledonian Canal, call our Xplore Team on 01625 416430 or browse our Canalside Cottage collection.