The Great Glen Way Chapter 3: To Fort William

The train journey continued. North of Tyndrun station, we passed Ben Dorain. To me, its shape was like Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. The train crossed two viaducts, curved around Ben Dorain, and then continued north.

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We passed other places: Bridge of Orchy; Rannoch, Corrour (the highest railway station in Britain), Tulloch and others too.

Fort William has a population of about 10,000, so it isn’t a big town. However, many people visit it because Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain, is there. The valleys, or glens, near Ben Nevis, are also popular with movie makers. For example, Braveheart, Rob Roy, and Harry Potter were made there.

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Finally, the train arrived at Fort William station. Walter and I left the station. We had our rucksacks on our backs and were looking for our first place to stay, the Nevis Bank Inn. We began walking to it. On the way, we passed the Duncansburgh Church, near the official start of the Great Glen Way. The name comes from Sir Duncan Cameron. Because he was rich and important, he tried to change the town’s name to Duncansburgh. He didn’t succeed. In Gaelic, the name of the town is ‘The Garrison’. Why? General Monck, who was part of Oliver Cromwell’s army, built a wooden fort in the area in 1654. Then General Mackay built a stone one in 1690 and gave Fort William its name. Fort William has a martial history.

But we weren’t thinking about the town’s history or its names. We were thinking about tomorrow, because tomorrow, our walk started.

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