70. From Oban to Inverness by the Caledonian Canal.
98 M. Steamer daily in ll1/* hrs. (6 a.m. to 5.15 p.m.; if a later boat
be taken, the night may be spent at Banavie or Fort William). Fares 22s.,
10s. Cd., return 33s., 16s.
After leaving Oban, the steamer touches at Appin, whence there
is a ferry to Lismore (p. 541), and then sails through Loch Linnhe
to (l'/^hr.) Ballachulish (*Ballachulish Hotel, 1 M. from the pier,
R. or D.4s.6d.; Loch Lee en, temperance, R.from 4s., D. from 3s. 6d.),
a charming excursion in fine weather. The village, 2'/2 M. from the
pier, is grandly situated at the entrance of Loch Leven, an arm of
the sea stretching towards the E. The Ballachulish slate quarries,
which have been worked for two centuries, are the largest in Scotland.
At Ballachulish coaches meet the steamer to convey passengers to the
wild Glencoe, the scene of the atrocious massacre of the unsuspecting and
hospitable Macdonalds on 14th Feb., 1692, by royal troops. The drive there
and back (18 M.), including a stay of Va hr. at Ossian's Cave, the finest
part of the glen, takes 4 hrs. (return-fare 5s. 6d.), but the coaches do not
go all the way to the pass (comp. p. 542). — Another coach plies daily
from Ballachulish via (16 M.) Kingshouse (inn) and (25 M.) Inverornan (hotel)
to (23 M.) Bridge of Orchy (p. 548), in connection with the evening-train
thence to Glasgow. — To Oban via Loch Etive, see p. 542. — Branch-railway
to Connel Ferry, see p. 543
The steamer now crosses Loch Linnhe, which marks the bound¬
ary between Argyllshire and Invernessshire, and, beyond Ardgour
(Hotel), whence a mail-cart runs to Strontian (15 M., fare 5a.),
passes through the Corran Narrows. At the head of the loch (16 M.
or 1 hr. from Ballachulish) lies —
Fort William (Station; *Caledonian, R. or D. 4s.; *Alexandra;
*Palace, R. 3s. &d., D. 4s. 6d.; West End, R. 3s. 6d., D. 3s.; Waverley,
Central, R. 2s. Qd., D. 2s., two temperance hotels; Ben Nevis, well
spoken of), formerly the key of the Highlands and now a con¬
venient tourist-centre. The fort, originally erected by General
Monk, was rebuilt under William III. Passengers for Inverness
land here and proceed to (2'/2 M.) Banavie (see below) by railway
to join the canal-steamer.
Fort William is a station on the West Highland Railway from Glasgow
to Mallaig (R. 71). — To Fort Augustus via Spean Bridge, comp. p. 549. —
A coach runs from Fort William daily to the head of Glen Nevis (8 M.;
return-fare is. 6d.) via (2 M.) Achintee.
"Ben Nevis (4406 ft.), the highest mountain in the British Islands,
may be ascended from Fort William in 4 hrs. by a good pony-track.
Those who use this track, which begins at (2 hrs.) the farm of Achintee
(see above) are expected to purchase a guide-ticket (Is.; for pony 3s.), the
proceeds of which go to keep the path in repair. Guide (unnecessary) 10s.;
pony and attendant 16s. The "View from the top is fine, especially on
the N.E., where there is a precipitous descent of 1450 ft. At the top are an
Observatory, established in 1883 and closed in 1904, and a Temperance Inn
(R. & B. 10s. 6d., luncheon 3s.). — The ascent may also be made from
Banavie (see below) in 3-3'/2 hrs.
Banavie (^Banavie Hotel, R. 4s., B. 3s., D. 5s.), at the mouth
of the Caledonian Canal, is also a station on the West Highland
Railway (R. 71). The Caledonian Canal, 62 M. long, traverses