Tucked away in the heart of the Scottish Highlands lies Fort Augustus, a charming village which sits at the southern end of Loch Ness. Best known for simply being the village next to Loch Ness, there is no denying that Fort Augustus is well-placed for exploring the famous loch, but there are also plenty of other reasons why you should visit this village.
You'll find stunning scenery, rich history, and more. We wanted to highlight this information for anyone planning to visit in 2023, let's get into it:
Where is Fort Augustus?
The village sits at the southern end of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, between Fort William and Inverness. It lies approximately 34 miles southwest of Inverness and is situated right on the Great Glen Way, a popular long-distance walking route. It's also 24 miles west of the town of Kingussie, 80 miles north-west of Dundee, and almost exactly 150 miles north-west of Edinburgh.
What is there to see and do during your time in Fort Augustus?
You'll find quite a bit to see and do during your visit to Fort Augustus, and even more so if you're willing to travel a little outwith the village. Here are our top recommendations:
Visit Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle, situated on the banks of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, is a magnificent ruined castle that dates back to the 13th century. The castle played an important role in the Wars of Scottish Independence and was the scene of numerous battles over the centuries. Today, visitors can explore the castle's ruins and learn about its turbulent past, as well as enjoy stunning views of Loch Ness and the surrounding Highlands. You can take a boat with the Cruise Loch Ness company straight to the castle from Fort Augustus, which takes a couple of hours in total. Learn more about the castle here - historicenvironment.scot
Take a walk
The Great Glen Way passes through Fort Augustus, and although you might not fancy walking all 79 miles of this route, you can walk part of it and still enjoy some stunning scenery. The Fort Augustus to Invermoriston section is one of the shorter sections of the route as only 9 miles in length but still offers plenty to see and the forest section is wonderful to explore. You can also take an alternative high route of this section which offers stunning views of Loch Ness and the surrounding area (pictured). Learn more and plan your walk here - highland.gov.uk
Explore Loch Ness
Visit The Clansman Centre
The Clansman Centre in Fort Augustus is a living museum dedicated to the history of the Scottish clans, and if you want to learn more about the local history then it is well worth a visit. The center offers visitors the chance to learn about the culture and traditions of the Highland clans. You'll find weaponry, music, and clothes here, all of which would have been a part of the clan lifestyle. Live demonstrations are held here regularly, and the staff members are often clothed in traditional highland dress. Learn more here - clansmancentre.uk
Visit the Iceberg Glassblowing Studio
For a wonderful example of a traditional business operating in Fort Augustus, a trip to Iceberg Glassblowing Studio is highly recommended. Opened in 1982, this company has been using traditional glassblowing methods to make a lovely range of products, with everything from jewellery to vases. You can visit the gallery to see recent examples of things which these talented experts have made, or you can actually buy something for yourself to take home. It's great to see a business like this still operating, learn more here - icebergglass.com
How to get to Fort Augustus?
Fort Augustus is well placed and fairly straightforward to reach from most parts of Scotland:
By Car: the village is situated on the A82, which is the main road running from Glasgow to Inverness. The drive from Glasgow takes approximately 2.5 hours, while the journey from Inverness takes around 45 minutes.
By Train: the nearest railway station is at Spean Bridge, which is approximately 26 miles away from Fort Augustus. From Spean Bridge, visitors can take a taxi or bus to reach the village. It is important to note that public transportation in the Scottish Highlands can be limited, so it is recommended to plan ahead and check schedules before travelling.