Posts for Outdoor Capital

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.


Glenlochy Rare Old Single Malt Whisky Now Being Served at Crannog

Thursday 29th Aug 2013

Whisky CroppedCrannog is delighted to now be able to serve our guests a wee dram of Glenlochy Rare Old Single Malt Whisky, distributed by Gordon & MacPhails; part of the Rare Old Range. This whisky, from a distillery which is no longer in operation, was brewed at the former Glenlochy Distillery, built in 1898 by the Fort William Distillery Co Ltd.

In 1937 Thomas Rankin, a local to Fort William, and who, strangely enough,  had a car hire firm, bought the distillery. He then sold it on to distillers Train and McIntyre, who transferred it to their subsidiary Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd.  This company acquired a range of other distilleries at the same time, including Bruichladdich, Benromach, Fettercairn, Glenesk, Glenury Royal and Strathdee. Glenlochy was in production until 1983. In 1992 the site was sold to West Coast Inns Ltd, and developed it into a hotel complex.

Glenlochy maltingsThis Glenlochy Rare Old Single Malt was distilled in 1979 and is 46% proof. It is pale gold in colour with a medium body. Its cask was a refill sherry hogshead and its style is classic Highland – a bit like Crannog!

Gordon & MacPhail suggested the following tasting notes, both with and without water:

Without Water:

Aroma – Campino boiled sweets and fresh apple pie. Freshly cut green grass and driftwood aromas.

Taste – Initially sweet and salty – toasted digestive biscuits, with a hint of smoke.

With Water:

Aroma – Aromas of Manzanilla Sherry and hot sand on the beach. Dark chocolate and freshly ground black pepper notes emerge.

Taste – A subtle smokiness with flavours of freshly baked shortcrust pastry and oiled wood developing.

Are you a whisky connoisseur? Which is your preferred Scottish tipple? Which would you recommend to our guests at Crannog? Leave a comment below to share your favourites!


A Unique Wedding Venue with Crannog

Thursday 8th Aug 2013

Beside the water and surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery must be one of the most perfect settings for your special day. Our cruise boat and restaurant offer a unique combination of rustic charm and quiet sophistication to provide the unrivalled surroundings and venue for your day. Take a bespoke cruise to Loch Eil where vows can be said on deck under a back drop of Ben Nevis. Guests can then enjoy a few canapes or a buffet with bubbly onboard whilst cruising home.

Wedding on Souters LassOur wedding coordinator, Sarah-Louise, is friendly, informative and knowledgeable. She can suggest amazing menus using fresh local produce sourced from the sea or, alternatively, Scottish meats and vegetarian options – depending on you and your guests’ pallets. Here is just a sample of possible menus; Sarah-Louise would be delighted to help you choose something to suit your exact taste and budget.

Our wine list is well researched and varied; our wines have been specifically chosen to match our range of dishes, so, again, there is plenty to choose from. We are happy to accommodate your requirements and a copy of our current wine list can be found here. Sarah-Louise is available to discuss your needs, because we know that every bride’s requirement is different and she has some great ideas to help create that special day. If you would like to contact our wedding coordinator directly please contact

Read some of the lovely comments from past couples who have celebrated their wedding with Crannog here.

Were you married aboard Souters Lass?  What made it especially perfect for you?  Or, if you’re already married, leave any hints or tips below for anyone organising their wedding.



Evening Cruising on Loch Eil

Thursday 25th Jul 2013

With this amazing spell of weather and regular evening sailings the cruise boat has been making its journey up Loch Eil on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday evenings. Boarding for the evening cruise starts at 7.15pm departing from the Town Pier at 7.30pm. Our regular evening Skipper Jamie Ball provides an entertaining commentary with information and facts about Ben Nevis, Fort William and the beautiful area we live in. As the sun sets Cruising with Ben Nevis behindJamie keeps his binoculars on hand ready for identifying the abundant wildlife. En route through the narrows Souters Lass passes a heron’s nest. Wildlife appear from all angles including porpoise, black throated divers, buzzard, cormorants, moorhen, oystercatcher, whooper swans, and more. Recently there has even been an osprey lurking in the trees. The journey continues into Loch Eil. Here Ben Nevis can be seen in all its splendour with amazing lighting from the sun as it sets in the west. Souters Lass then turns and heads for home before darkness falls.

Come and join us on any of our sailings; call the crew on 01397 700714.

If you have any questions about our evening cruises and the wildlife we have seen leave a comment for Jamie and he’ll get back to you. Alternatively, come and join one of our daytime cruises which depart daily at 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm and you can join them in the wheel house.


Locally Sourced Shellfish at Crannog

Thursday 18th Jul 2013

Shellfish at CrannogAt Crannog, the seafood we serve is sourced mainly from the West Coast of Scotland; we aim to serve seafood from as local a source as possible. We regularly have mussels, langoustines, scallops and clams along with crab claws and lobster served on our daily specials. Our langoustines have historically been fished here in Loch Linnhe or Outer Loch Linnhe; more recently large, succulent  langoustines have been landed at the nearby harbour of Mallaig and brought to Crannog to be served at the restaurant in the space of a few hours.

Just a few miles away our mussels are bought from a local farm in Loch Eil. If sea conditions are difficult we travel a wee bit further to get supplies from Glencoe, Mull or Arisaig.

This summer our Mallaig fishermen are already nearing their fishing quotas for monkfish and cod. Once the quota has been caught the fishermen are no longer allowed to sell them so Crannog will be looking elsewhere for these fish. The East Coast fishermen at Peterhead or Scrabster are equally good suppliers.

LobsterOur lobster comes from Eigg and scallops come from around the island of Islay, complementing our full array of seafood and ensuring  our guests are provided with the finest, freshest, locally sourced produce that makes Crannog so special.

If you have any questions about our seafood and where it comes from leave a comment and one of our chefs will be delighted to get back to you!


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