Once again I am returning to the fabulous Scotland. This time to Fort William which I thought looked stunning in any photos I have seen. I went to Edinburgh Last year and Inverness the year before.
I got my tickets 12 weeks before I travelled on the Caledonian Sleeper Train from London Euston to Fort William following the advice on here: www.seat61.com
I paid £36.20 each way using a railcard and choosing a seat rather than a sleeping option. I only had a small budget and always travel as frugally as possible.
The seats are large recliners and very comfortable from Euston to Edinburgh. From Edinburgh to Fort William it is just a normal train carriage.
I stayed three nights in “Clan Macduff Hotel”:http://www.clanmacduff.co.uk/ which had stunning views and great food. I paid £225 for a single room with breakfast for three nights. This worked out much cheaper than the local Travelodge at £100 per night without breakfast. The room was lovely with a side view of the Loch and Mountains. I half expected a small box room overlooking the bins as a single traveler.
The restaurant is good too, lovely choice of breakfast and evening meals are very reasonable. I paid £24 for a three course meal with a glass of wine.
Fort William itself is a real hub of activity as climbers head to Ben Nevis, or people set off walking or cycling. Then there are the connecting services for ferries to Skye as well as the famous Steam train ride through the highlands. Think Harry Potter and the famous arched Viaduct.
I went on the famous steam train and paid £34 return and it is the most amazing train journey through lochs and mountains. It is truly magnificent.
I also took the same train route using the ordinary train service the next day and paid £9.40 return. Same train line, same views, again stunning. The journey last around 90 minutes each way. It is fantastic value for money.
The train takes you to Malliag which is a small harbor and town. I took a three hour boat trip from here which cost £20 and was beautiful. It heads out of the harbor were a few dolphins hurried across the waves, towards the mountains and makes two stops.
The mountains loom in front of you and you expect Viking ships to be hiding behind them. It is a joy to feel the sea spray jumping up and see the remote houses of the hardy people who live here.
In Fort William this boat trip and lunch deal is a must – http://www.crannog.net/cruises/our-cruises/. I saw seals on this trip as well as a very clear view of the famous Ben Nevis. Which to me looked like a large grey Rhino lying on top of the hills, all grey and craggy!
I was lucky with the weather on my trip and only got a few showers during the mornings. I went at the end of August.
The people are friendly and you hear accents from lots of different countries. I felt very comfortable there traveling alone. Prices are good for food I paid £7.00 in a café for fish and chips and tea. It was lovely too. There is a little bakery in Fort William on the high street were you can buy carrot cake and tea for £2. Pretty good value and there are the usual places to eat for the thrifty person like Morrison’s Supermarket cafe by the railway station.
I loved it, it is unspoiled, wild and magnificent and I would certainly go again.