Walk, cycle or sail the Caledonian Canal

Cutting clean through Scotland’s Great Glen and connecting Inverness to Fort William, the Caledonian Canal is one of the great waterways of the world. The Caledonian Canal offers visitors spectacular scenery. With many exciting opportunities to experience this unique waterway on foot, by bike or by boat. People return each year to enjoy Scottish holidays on this dramatic canal. Boating holidays here are particularly popular on the Caledonian Canal. As the canal opens up into Loch Ness, where boaters can sail the waters of this vast Scottish loch. Who knows, whilst sailing Loch Ness you might even find the Loch Ness Monster!


Running through the Great Glen

Magnificent scenery in the Highlands of Scotland

The Great Glen

The stunning mountain scenery of the Scottish Highlands offers a surprising setting for a canal. The Great Glen is an ancient fault line through which the Caledonian Canal runs. It follows this Scottish glen almost directly from the south west to the north east. This stunning towpath also connects the Great Glen Way with the South Loch Ness Trail. Creating the epic 80-mile Loch Ness 360° Trail. The Great Glen is so vast, you could almost claim that all land north-west of it is an island!

Caledonian Canal History

Stretching from Fort William to Inverness, the Caledonian Canal is 60 miles long. 22 miles of which are man-made. Connecting the natural lochs of Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, the famous Loch Ness and Loch Dochfour. The canal is, even by today’s standards an amazing feat of engineering. First opened in 1822, it was constructed to help commercial shipping avoid the treacherous journey around the west coast. Unfortunately, by the time the canal was completed, many boats under sail had been replaced by steamships. Which were much better able to negotiate the west coast waters than their predecessors. So traffic through the canal never really paid for itself. Today, however, the canal is full of life with walkers, cyclists, leisure boaters and holidaymakers.


Enjoying the Caledonian Canal

A bustling waterway to visit and enjoy in Scotland

The Caledonian Canal today

This Scottish waterway is always busy with boats of all sizes. Many of them private pleasure boats from all over the world, who come to make the voyage through the legendary lochs through which the canal passes.  The most famous section of water that forms part of the Caledonian Canal is of course Loch Ness! The canal joins Loch Ness at the lovely Scottish village of Fort Augustus. Here you can find one of several cruise companies offering a variety of boat trips and boating holidays to choose from if you feel tempted to take to the water. You can also combine boating with walking sections of the Great Glen Way. This famous trail follows roughly the same route as the canal.

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Great Glen Way
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