5 Towns to Visit on a Caledonian Canal Cruise

Discover the land of the clashes of the clans, the plight of the Picts and the strongholds of Scotland. The Scottish Highlands is one of the most beautiful areas to discover and experience in the UK. The Highlands was the ruling seat of many Scottish clans with each castle and corner is steeped in legend and history. The Caledonian Canal has played an integral and central role in the life of the Highlands, so let’s take a look as to why this canal has so much to offer visitors!


1.     Invergarry

All those who pass by Ivergarry will undoubtedly notice an ancient castle ruin peering out above the forest. Invergarry Castle was built in the 1600 by Donald Mc Angus the Chief of the Clan MacDonnel as a defence for those entering the west highlands. The original clan castle lies at Strome not far off from Invergarry. Invergarry castle was laid siege then burnt by the Commonwealth invaders. Today, only the Castle’s thick outer walls survive and shows you the framework of this 17th century structure. Definitely plenty of photo-worthy opportunities in this spot and a wonderful opportunity to visit a less crowded site.

Glengarry Castle Hotel lies nearby and offer fantastic afternoon teas and walks in the area.

invergarry le boat 2


2.       Banavie and Fort William

Banavie is believed to be the birthplace of the infamous St. Patrick and boasts stunning views of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Banavie is a great spot for getting in some fresh air and enjoying outdoor activities. Walking trails, hikes and mountain biking are but a few sports you can enjoy here. Across the water is the town of Fort William where you can visit the Ben Nevis whiskey distillery, try out some local cuisine and explore the area. Follow Harry Potter and ride the famous West Highland Railway which also offers visitors an amazing opportunity to witness the beauty of the Highlands from its elevated rail.

For those cruising in the area, be wary of Neptune’s Staircase which is the lake’s longest river lock! Banavie is beautiful, but also challenging!

ben nevis le boat


3.       Fort Aghustus

Fort Aghustus could be the perfect setting for a Scottish fairy-tale or legend. It was named after a fort built during the Jacobite uprising in the 1800s, and has since been built as a canal to assist with water traffic. Fort Aughustus is a quiet town, but it is filled with fantastic activities for the whole family. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy river rafting and the Great Glen trails for walking and cycling. Children will delight in the Rare Breed Croft outside the village, which houses some of the UK’s rare livestock breeds that are native to the isles.

A trip to the scenic Moriston Falls is also worth your while to take in some of Scotland’s natural beauty and you can do some exploring to Invermosriston village. The Clansman Centre is a great opportunity for history and culture lovers who want to find out more about Scotland’s ancient families.

fort aghustus le boat


4.       Drumnadrochit

Drumnodrochit is a key stop along the Caledonian as its world famous for its mythical monster the Loch Ness or Nessie as it’s fondly called by locals. The beautiful scenery with castle ruins atop a sprawling lake set against the mountains is breath-taking. There are plenty of walking trails around the lake and even go angling. Besides trying to spot the elusive Loch Ness monster, you can visit the Loch Ness exhibit and explore the Urquhart Castle Ruins.

loch ness le boat


5.       Inverness

Inverness is the capital of the Scottish Highlands and lies at the end of the Loch Ness Lake. The town has been home to many important wars and also inspired the fictional play Macbeth by Shakespeare. Inverness was home to the ancient Picts and royal family houses of Scotland. You can visit the ancient Pictish fort at Craig Phadrig which has many wonderful walking trails in the surrounding forest. While Inverness Castle provides a wonderful back drop to the landscape, visitors can enjoy a stroll in the surrounding gardens and enjoy its hilltop views. Mountain bikers and canoeing are also great ways to explore the town and surrounds.

Overall, Inverness has something to offer everyone!

inverness le boat

Are you read for an adventure in the Scottish Highlands?