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Email: rcameron@whinknowe.co.uk | Tel: 01397 772227

Neptune's Staircase

Neptune’s Staircase

Steam train

Steam train

Old Inverlochy Castle

Old Inverlochy Castle

Kayaking the Spean Gorge

Kayaking the Spean Gorge

Scrambling. Ledge Route; The Ben

Scrambling. Ledge Route; The Ben

Skiing

Skiing

Rock Climbing / Etive Slabs

Rock Climbing / Etive Slabs

Things to see and do

Banavie, Lochaber

Banavie has long been recognised as an excellent base for a Lochaber holiday. Perhaps because the best views of Ben Nevis are to be had from here it was the original base for climbing the Ben before the construction of the pony path and the establishment of the observatory on the summit in 1883.  I still think this view of the big hill is as good as they come.

Neptune’s Staircase

The village is perhaps most famous for ” Neptune ‘s Staircase”, the biggest set of locks on the Caledonian Canal. There always seems to be something happening here, tall ships passing through the locks, pleasure craft arriving or fishing boats making for the western fishing grounds.

Steam Train

In summer railway enthusiasts favour the canal bridge as a spot to photograph the Jacobite steam train on its daily journey to or from Mallaig. You can join it at Banavie Station, if you like.

History

Lochaber is steeped in history. Just up the road is the much visited Clan Cameron Museum. The West Highland Museum in Fort William has one of the finest collections of Jacobite memorabilia and much more. Just a few miles away at Glenfinnan the National Trust for Scotland operate a visitor centre where the Stuart standard was raised in August 1745. Inverlochy Castle is a classic 13th century castle of enceint; two significant battles were fought outside its walls and it played a part in the Scottish Wars of Independence (Storyboards/ Free entry)

If this all seems a bit too energetic there is no shortage of scenery to admire. Boat trips on Loch Linnhe are popular or you can drive down to Arisaig or Morar and lie on beaches with view to die for. If you want to see golden eagles take one of Jim Michie’s cruises down Loch Shiel from Glenfinnan.

Eating Out

A ten minute walk down the canal bank takes you to the Moorings Hotel, patronized by the rich and famous. Mel Gibson used it during he filming of “Braveheart” and they will provide you with a pleasant bar meal or full restaurant facilities. A little farther down the canal bank is the excellent “Lochy Bar” which provides remarkable value tasty meals and also boasts internet access. You can, of course go to these establishments by car or taxi.

Local supermarkets in nearby Caol and Corpach make it easy to buy essentials.

Walking and Climbing

Not only do we offer you a convenient base for climbing Ben Nevis and Lochaber’s other Munros but Aonach Mòr is also on hand for winter snowsports or scenic trip on the Nevis Range gondola to the well appointed mountain restuarant in summer. Lochaber has been called the outdoor capital of the UK and there is lots to do – canoeing (see also www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk ) , mountain biking, canyoning and white water raftingRockhopper, our nearest neighbours,  are an established sea kayaking business, giving instruction and guiding.  They  also hire out boats including open canadian canoes that can be used on the canal by the cottage. Paddle Lochaber come highly recommended for sea kayak guiding and instruction at all levels.  I  have a deep familiarity with the outdoor scene here and am happy to provide info if required.

Traffic is still light on the B8004 but you can avoid it altogether and take a walk along the banks of the Caledonian Canal or the River Lochy. Keep right on to Inverness , if you like, 60 miles away on the Great Glen long distance walk and cycle way. “Whin Knowe” is an ideal base for climbing or walking on Lochaber’s hills, kayaking its magnificent rivers or skiing Aonach Mòr, a mere ten minutes’ drive away. Paragliders use the gondola to access a high take off point in summer.  Bikes can be ssafely stored in a barn or a garage and a power washer is available if they need cleaning.

From the cottage you can enjoy traffic free walks starting at your front door. We have direct access to the towpaths of the scenic Caledonian Canal and the Great Glen Way. A stroll along the banks of the River Lochy will take you to historic Tor Castle and Banquo’s Walk, or you can walk down to Banavie and watch all sorts of craft negotiating ” Neptune ‘s Staircase”, the longest flight of locks on the canal, while steam trains puff past on the West Highland line. There is also a very reasonable 18 hole golf course close at hand where a round costs only £25. There are several other golf course within an hours drive.