The Caledonian Canal is a remarkable feat of engineering, designed by famous Scots engineer Thomas Telford in the 1800s. Part man-made and part formed by four natural lochs. It runs 60 miles from northeast to southwest, along a geological fault line in the Great Glen. Stretching from Inverness to Fort William. Boats move along using locks, and there’s a series of 29 of them on the canal. This is a wonderful destination for waterside walking and cycling. Watching the boats go through the locks is one of the highlights!
The village of Fort Augustus, on the southern tip of Loch Ness, is known as the gateway between Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal. You can visit the Caledonian Canal Visitor Centre here. This has information about the canal, and also a gift shop and café. Fort Augustus is a picturesque place, where you can walk along the towpath and watch the boats go through the locks.
Nature and engineering
This is a fascinating waterway, which combines four natural lochs (Loch Ness, Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Dochfour) together with engineered canal way. It is 60 miles long, and 22 miles of this is man-made. The canal opened in 1822 to create commercial shipping routes. However, by the time it was built, more powerful steamships had taken over from canal boats, which were able to take on the more challenging west coast waters. Today, the Caledonian Canal is mainly a tourist route, used for leisure boating.
Walking in the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands luxury accommodation
Enjoy these Caledonian Canal walks during a stay at Eagle Brae luxury log cabins, located around 20 miles from Inverness. You can browse more of our local walks here and take a look at our hand-made log cabins here. If you need any help at all in planning your Highland adventures, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.