Neptune’s Staircase, Banavie, Lochaber

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Total distance – 4.7 kilometres

Ascent – 30 metres

Walking conditions – Mainly tarmac footpath. Buggy compatible. No difficulties.

Time required – Around 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

Nearest town – Fort William

In a bid to impress my wife I splashed out on a two night’s dinner, bed and breakfast deal at the 4 star Moorings Hotel in Banavie, near Fort William. The amount of freebies on offer such as the range of biscuits in this 4-star paradise more than warranted the extra cost. But an added bonus was that the Moorings Hotel was right next to the Thomas Telford designed, Neptune’s Staircase. This engineering masterpiece just happens to be set in one of Scotland’s greatest landscapes, and can be taken in with a very enjoyable walk along the Caledonian Canal to Loch Linnhe.

Park in  the large public car park in Banavie, adject to the Moorings Hotel and walk a few metres to the Caledonian Canal, then turn right.Follow the canal across the road and over the level crossing followed by a 1.6 kilometre easy stroll along the banks of the canal until it meets Loch Linnhe. Cross over at the final sea-loch and you’ll find a delightful picnic area to stop to have your lunch at. The ducks will have already been pursuing you along the canal and are expecting to be fed, so make sure you’ve got some extra bread. Then it’s simply a case of walking back up the other side of the canal.  Keep going until you’ve got to the last footbridge, then turn left and walk back down to the car park. And don’t leave until you see a boat crossing the staircase because it’s a sight to behold.

Neptune's Staircase

Route

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