Wullie Davidson Bus Pass Ramblings: Glasgow – Inverness – Fort William

old car statue.jpg

This outing didn’t quite go to plan. Decided on the Glasgow-Inverness-Fort William-Glasgow run. There’s a change at Perth for the Inverness stage, for which the timetable allots 5 minutes, except the connecting bus had ‘broken down’, and there would be an hour’s delay, which was actually an hour and 15 minutes.

High Street Fort William

Cut a long short, I got into Inverness with 5 minutes to spare for the Fort William bus. It took two hours to ‘do’ the Great Glen, and arrive in Fort William. I noticed that Ben Nevis still had patches of snow near the summit.

Ben Nevis

IMG_2947a“IMG_2947a” by Bald Bloke with a Camera is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Museum Fort William

I had two hours to do the tourist bit, which is probably generous. Fort William is charming, but there’s not a lot going on. Basically, just the High Street. I thought it would be a harbour town with lots of fishing boats, but it wasn’t. There’s a pier, but few boats. I visited the museum, which was better than I expected for a small town. It has about 8 rooms, all of which are packed with exhibits, including the ‘birching table’ and birch, which was used for miscreants. It has two holes in it for the birchee’s (is that the right word?) arms to go through, and they were tied together under the table. I think it said the last birching that took place was in 1948, a teenager who had broken into a shop.


It was sunshine and showers all day, but the clouds parted for the sun as the Glasgow bus left Fort William. The run between Fort William and Glencoe was the most stunning scenery I’ve yet seen, particularly at Glencoe.

glen coe grass mountains

I’d only ever seen it on television, but it doesn’t compare with actually being there. The mountains were truly ‘majestic’. That’s the only word. I saw a red deer stag road kill at Bridge of Orchy, but although I keep an eagle eye for wildlife, I’ve seen remarkably little on my two trips, despite doing several hundred miles through what ought to be perfect  woodland wildlife habitat. I saw one roe deer today – 10 minutes outside Glasgow, on the motorway verge, and a hare at Quarter village, outside Hamilton. I didn’t see a single live mammal in the Highlands, not even a rabbit.

Glen Coe

glen coe cottage

I’ve ticked off Inverness and the Great Glen, and probably won’t do them again. But, if I can get a sunny day, I’ll do the Fort William run, and stop off at Glencoe. It’s a magical place.

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Day Away on Scottish Ferries
Wullie Davidson's Bus Pass Ramblings - West Highland Railway, Mallaig and Ferry to Armadale

This section: Wullie Davidson: Blogging about Bus Pass Jaunts in Scotland

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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