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There is so much fabulous scenery in the Scottish Highlands, and many things to see and do. It is no surprise that thousands of people head to Scotland every year for a thoroughly enjoyable time hiking, hill walking, climbing, windsurfing, and sailing down the canals and around the many lochs. One of Scotland’s most famous canals is the Caledonian Canal, which runs from Inverness on the north-east coast to Corpach on the west coast.

The canal was built during the early nineteenth century and stretches for sixty miles, with just one-third of it being entirely man-made. The rest of the sixty-mile route is made up of four lochs: Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, Loch Dochfour, and the famous Loch Ness.

Along the canal, there are twenty-nine locks and ten bridges, as well as four aqueducts.

Exploring the Caledonian Canal

There are many ways to enjoy the beauty that the Caledonian Canal has to offer, and one of the most popular ones is by taking a boat trip. Caledonian Canal tours are available from Clyde Cruises and give passengers the chance to enjoy some wonderful cruises along this fabulous waterway.

caledonian boat trip

The Caledonian Canal – Cycle & Sail Cruise is a fantastic day out for the whole family, with the option to take a full- or half-day cruise. These cruises give passengers the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing trip down the Caledonian Canal with full commentary on board. Half-day cruises travel six miles in an hour and then passengers can make their way back on bicycles, which are included in the price of the ticket. This route is particularly suitable for children, as the cycle routes are flat. The full-day cruise takes in 11.5 miles in two-and-a-half hours and includes cycle hire for the return journey as well.

Along the many cycle paths are opportunities to enjoy wildlife spotting and rock pooling, as well as plenty of places to stop for a picnic.

For those who do not want to hire a bicycle, Caledonian Cruises also offers a host of other Caledonian Cruises from Banavie and Laggan. These wonderful cruises are the perfect opportunity to see some of the spectacular scenery and sites the Highlands have to offer including historic buildings, stunning lochs, and majestic mountains. There may even be the chance to spot some fabulous wildlife creatures such as otters, eagles, squirrels, and deer.

There are many other ways to enjoy the Caledonian Canal, with many people opting to book paddling days or even paddling expeditions, which can last for three to five days! There are many challenges along the canal for those that decide to partake in long distance paddling. It is recommended that people new to kayaking or canoeing travel with experienced paddlers or instructors.

Opportunities also abound for fishing along the canal and in the lochs. Salmon and sea trout fishing are popular. While you do not require a permit when fishing along the canal, a permit must be obtained when fishing in the lochs.

Walking Around the Canal

One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the Scottish Highlands is on foot, and there are numerous walking trails all over the area. The area around the Caledonian Canal is no exception. Those who like to hill walk and enjoy stunning scenery will have hours of pleasure exploring all that Scotland has to offer.


Many people like to walk along the canal path, and there are a number of forest walks nearby. However, there are many more walking opportunities across the Highlands, with The Great Glen Way being one of the most popular choices.

This route takes in 73 miles and stretches from Inverness to Fort William. Sections of the route run along the canal path, but there are many forest tracks worth travelling.

The South Loch Ness Trail is another popular walking route and is ideal for all levels of walker. This is a shorter trail at just 23 miles, which stretches from Loch Tarff to Torbreck.

Fort William

Fort William is located on the west coast of Scotland, near the head of Loch Linnhe. It is one of the most popular tourist towns in the Scottish Highlands and is close to Ben Nevis. Fort William is famous for the many outdoor activities on offer, including climbing, hill walking, cycling, and sailing.


Many Caledonian Canal cruises begin or end in Fort William, and the town gets thousands of visitors each year. There are many fabulous places to stay, in and around Fort William, and plenty of things to see and do there.


The Caledonian Canal runs from Inverness to Fort William; the city of Inverness is considered the ‘capital’ of the Highlands. Inverness is perhaps most famous for Loch Ness and the legendary Loch Ness Monster that attracts thousands of visitors each year. However, the city has much more to offer than just the chance to spot a mythical creature.


Inverness and the surrounds are home to some stunning scenery as well as a number of historic castles. It has many fabulous bars, restaurants, and pubs where tourists can enjoy a bite to eat after a day cruising down the canal or walking around the lochs.

Enjoying the Canal

The Caledonian Canal is the perfect place from which to enjoy the Highlands, and Clyde Cruises are the ideal choice for a relaxing, pleasant cruise. If you would like to see more of the canal or the Highlands in general, contact Clyde Cruises today to book your seat.

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