Scotland is known for Loch Ness, its beauty and highlands. Of course, Scotland is so much more. Brendan spoiled us with an amazing vacation to Fort William, a place we thought we will only stay to see other sights. Instead we found ourselves in love with the highland village itself. Lying at the foot of Ben Nevis, this village can become a serious tourist hub. However in the middle of November it’s a quiet, peaceful town with plenty to see and do.
Fort William’s Intense History
Fort William has surprisingly a lot of history. The history can be traced by following the bronze statues from Sore Feet to the interior of the fort (you can find this across from Morrisons, McDonalds and the train station). On our first day we doted on the West Highland Museum. The museum hides away behind a bronze statue of the Model T Ford that climbed Ben Nevis in nine days. On our arrival, the driver or rather Henry Alexander’s statue wore the latest fashion: a long, orange traffic cone. Apparently, the Scotish still hold true to their fun loving character.
The museum is a definite must to those who want to indulge in the Scotish heritage, battles and character. But for those who are really in tune with their curious side needs to have a chat with the man who wrote all the history plaques himself, Ian Abernethy. He can be found in his cozy secondhand bookstore, Ben Nevis Book Corner. His knowledge of Fort William’s history and more recent events, such as the Queen’s visit when he was still a wee lad, makes for a fantastic story time.
If you want to read more about the history without visiting Fort William, you can have a look here. Further, Fort William sports many creative, artistic, unusual and cultural stores. We ran out of time and spending money purely by exploring what was around us. It’s completely understandable why this is the outdoor capital of the UK. But we couldn’t linger in Fort William the entire vacation.
What is a visit to Scotland without trying to find Nessie? We took up the challenge and found ourselves at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. If you have an interest in all the Loch Ness conspiracies, this is the place to find out the truth. The Loch Ness expert, Adrian Shine, has done plenty of research into the Loch Ness and the findings are open for all to view. We were lucky enough to spot him behind the counter when we entered the building! In the end, after viewing all the footage, information and old newspaper clippings, it is up to you to make the decision about Nessie’s existence. Even for those who don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster, this exhibit offers something to read, see and learn.
If you are up for crowds and water, you will find plenty of ferries that allows you to explore Loch Ness from a completely new angle. We decided the ferries drew too much of a crowd and skipped ahead. Even in the November cold people are willing to go on this particular adventure.
Treasures of the Earth
Our morning started like this:
Then turned into this:
Treasures of the Earth in Corpach may look like a small building, but we managed to spend a few hours admiring their immense collection of gems, crystals, rock, metals and fossils. If you ever wanted your own fossil, this is the place to get one. We were quite amused when we found “dino poo” and being told that it sells well under children. Yet it’s not their collection alone that impress. Plenty of work went into decorating and getting the atmosphere just right. Indeed, they succeeded as their exhibit has been noted and awarded.
With so much more to explore, we hope to go back again! Perhaps then we can see the Isle of Skye. Where do you want to go and what would you like to see? Comment below and let us know.