Posts for September 2013

4 * Visit Scotland Quality Assurance Award for Crannog Cruises

Thursday 26th Sep 2013

It is with great excitement that last week we were awarded a 4 * rating by the Visit Scotland Quality Assurance team. A mystery inspector visited the Town Pier almost a month ago. He remained anonymous as he purchased his ticket and boarded the cruise boat on a 4pm sailing, the last on that particular day. Listening to the safety briefing and following skipper David Mackie’s commentary, he noted everything from staff interaction with guests to wildlife observed and even the cleanliness of the toilets!

David and IainThe inspector was certainly impressed with all aspects of the cruise. Almost 3 weeks later he sent his report to us; he felt the cruises exceeded customer expectations, which we’re delighted to report. Pre-cruise information was described as ‘excellent with an up to date website with a blog and active social media presence’.

David said “I am delighted we have achieved this 4* grading. We all work extremely hard to try and exceed our customer expectations. The live commentary, along with our wildlife watching, provide a great accompaniment to the fantastic scenery and views of Ben Nevis whilst aboard.”

Souters Lass continues to sail up to 4 times per day until the end of October.

Leave a comment below if you think we exceeded your expectations when you cruised with us, or if you’d like to give us a pat on the back!

Pictured above are full time employees David Mackie and Iain MacDonald.

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Ben Nevis, situated in Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of the UK

Wednesday 11th Sep 2013

A stay in Fort William would not be complete without a good view of Ben Nevis. This impressive mountain can by seen clearly from most parts of Fort William, and especially from Loch Linnhe.

Ben Nevis from the water

Walking Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK standing at 1344 metres (4408 feet). The average walker takes between 7 and 9 hours to complete their full trip up and down ’the Ben’, and it is a hard day’s walk for anyone.

There are estimated to be around 125,000 visitors to the mountain each year. Many of these are climbing Ben Nevis on their first leg of the National 3 Peaks Challenge. They follow this with a visit to the Lake District to climb Scafell Pike, at only 978 metres (3209 feet), England’s highest mountain, before heading to Wales to finish on Snowdon at 1085 metres (3560 feet).

The Ben Nevis Race

The annual Ben Nevis Race takes place on the first Saturday in September – this year’s event was held just last weekend. The race starts from Claggan Park in Fort William where almost 600 runners set off to climb the 4408 feet to the summit before returning to the park, covering a distance of almost 10 miles. The fastest men and women manage this in less than 2 hours with the record of 1hour 25 minutes and 34 seconds being help by Kenny Stuart of Keswick Athletic Club since 1984.

Finlay by Richard PetrieThis year local runner Finlay Wild achieved a win for the 4th time in a row in an amazing time of 1 hour 30 minutes and 6 seconds, while the ladies race was won by Angela Mudge in a time of 1 hour 52 minutes 40 seconds.

Photo courtesy of Richard Petrie Photography.

Don’t forget if you are heading out into the hills, especially on your own, it is always a good idea to let people know where you’re heading. A form that climbers and hillwalkers are encouraged to fill out before heading into Scotland’s hills has been made available online.

Have you ever climbed ‘The Ben’?  How long did it take you?  What advice have you got for others considering hiking to the top of the UK?  Leave your comments and advice below.

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