|Fort Augustus, or Kilchuimen, originally
named Cill Chuimein after Saint Cummein, Abbot of Iona who
established a church in Fort Augustus in the 6th century, lies on the
south west end of Loch Ness. It is well worth stopping over for a
couple of hours to taste the delights of this very pretty village.
What to do in Fort Augustus:
Park yourself in the main car
park on the north side of the swing bridge next to the Tourist
Information Centre. Parking is free off season and very cheap in
season. A two or three minute walk takes you to the central feature
of Fort Augustus - the Caledonian Canal with it's five locks
transferring vessels from Loch Ness 15.5m above sea level to Loch Oich
at 32m. Each lock can raise or lower a vessel 2.4m.
On the road up beside the
Canal is the
Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre.
A small museum with displays of how the canal was built. Free
Open Spring & Autumn, five days. Summer daily 10am till 5pm
Tel: 01320 366493
Clansman Centre Heritage centre
of the Highlanders in reconstructed turf house. Traditional
clothes worn by very enthusiastic and knowledgeable Highlanders who
show you how their forebears lived in the 17thc. Well worth a
visit (even if only to be kitted out in a
proper kilt!). Also armoury
made by the owner.
On A82 in centre of Fort Augustus (next to swing bridge)
April to October, seven days a week, from 10am till 6pm
Tel: 01320 366444/07798761456
Highland Rare Breeds
Croft. See Highland cattle, red deer,
rare breeds of sheep and fowl. Up the path next to the river bridge.
Open March - Oct. Mon-Sun. 10-6pm.
The Great Glen Way runs through
Fort Augustus. Arriving from the south you'll enter by the canal
once boasted a railway,
sadly this closed for good in 1946. You can still see the old bridge
pillars over the River Oich. The station was where the school is
today, rails going over the canal and river cutting over the main
road at the far end of the car park and down to the lochside and the
Cruise Loch Ness. Go aboard
the Royal Scot at Fort Augustus. Trips last about an hour and go
part way up the Loch. Refreshments. 3D sonar. Indoor and outdoor
Leave from the swing bridge (2 mins from car park)
There are gift
shops, a small shop for your provisions, excellent butcher, pubs &
restaurants and a petrol station that doesn't stay open terribly
late. Walk beside the canal for a few miles or there are some
pleasant wooded and river-side walks about 2 miles out of Fort
Augustus. Heading north go past the car park, first left and next
proper left and left again at the fork. You'll come to the Forestry
Offices. Park and walk. Follow the coloured walks.
The Caledonian Canal and River Oich both run
into Loch Ness at Fort Augustus.
Fort Augustus Abbey is closed.
See below for details.