Things to Do in Fort WilliamGorge Walking Fort William

Outdoor Activities in Fort William For Everyone!

The Scottish Highlands is a fantastic place to live and we never have a problem finding things to do in Fort William and the surrounding area. People often ask us what we do for fun and how did we find some of our activity locations & the simple answer is that in our spare time we go exploring and have adventures of our own! We also live and work in an awesome place with loads of stuff to do form relaxed walks and canoe journeys, fishing in the sea, lochs and rivers as well as occasionally scaring ourselves to death just for fun!

archerySummer Activities in Fort William

With the warmer weather arriving and the holidays getting closer more and more visitors to our area will be looking for things to do in Fort William during their stay. Active Highs have got a fantastic fun filled activity program running during 2016 with something for everyone from gentle canoe trips, target sports, family rafting trips suitable for age 5 plus, to adrenaline pumping activities such as white water rafting and canyoning! We have put together a short guide for you to take a look at which may answer some of your questions to help you find some of the best things to do in Fort William this summer!

climbing-1What Activities Can I Do With My Family ?

We get asked this question all of the time by nervous parents and quite rightly so, after all, they are your family and kids! All of our activities are family friendly and most being suitable for kids of 8 years and over with a few exceptions. Our age restrictions are also not hard and fast as all kids are different with some 7 year olds being bigger than some 10 year olds! What we don’t do is mix large same sex parties such as stag & hen groups with your little ones, and I’m sure you will agree this is for the best!

Raft-Safari-2White Water Rafting or River Rafting Safari ?

Again, a question that we are asked quite a lot is “what’s the difference?”. For those of you that are not versed in the art of grading rapids and white water here is a quick overview for you. Rapids are graded by an international grading system on a scale of 1 to 6 with grade 1 being the easiest meandering flow and the definition of grade 6 being “cannot be attempted without risk of death, with the right team on the right day in the right conditions”.

The River Rafting Safari trip is a very easy and relaxed river trip using our white water rafts. We normally raft down the River Oich which flows 5 miles down into Loch Ness at Fort Whitewater rafting scotlandAugustus and this trip is a lovely river journey with nice scenic views from the river and has some small rapids of up to grade 2. This is a fantastic trip for families with young children, people nervous around water or if you are looking for a nice relaxing & fun river journey. The minimum age for the River Rafting Safari Trip is age 5 +.

Our White Water Rafting trips on the River Garry  are one of the most popular things to do in Fort William and anyone over age 8 can take part (but we recommenced that Mum or Dad come as well, and we also reckon you will enjoy it!). The rapids on the River Garry are grade 3 & 4 so it is a big step up from the river rafting safari and not for the faint hearted! Having said that the river is a fantastic trip if you are a first time rafter as well as the rapids are pool drop Seland Canyoning Wetsuitswhich means you get a rapid followed by a flat pool and our qualified and experienced raft guides will look after you and yours and help you enjoy your white water rafting experience.

Gorge Walking or Canyoning?

Both activities involve wearing pretty much the same kit, a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet but for canyoning trips we also wear a canyoning harness similar to what you would wear for rock climbing but with something that looks like a nappy attached to it! Just to give you an idea what you will look like check out the picture on the right!

Canyoning with Active HighsWe have 2 different canyoning trips available in different locations. Our most popular trip is our adrenaline buzz half day canyon trip. A great fun canyon full of flumes, slides, a couple of fun optional jumps and an abseil over a 30ft waterfall! This trip has an age limit of 12+ and is really popular with adventurous families with teenagers and groups!

Our Ben Nevis Canyoning trip is a little more technical in nature with big slides into deep pools, more abseils, more rope work, more remote and has a longer walk in and takes a little longer and is in an awesome place with amazing views from the top!

If in doubt choose the adrenaline buzz half day canyon trip and the you will always have something to come back for!

Gorge Walking Fort WilliamIf you like the idea of canyoning but feel a little nervous or have children younger than 12 a gorge walking trip could be a great fun morning or afternoon activity. Like canyoning you will still find yourself swimming and wading through a mountain stream in a deep gorge but the features are a step or two down. There is a bit more scrambling up and down small waterfallsas you follow the rivers path with some option smaller pool jumps. Children from age 8 and upwards can take part in our gorge walking adventure. Gorge walking is one of our most popular family activities with regular trips going most weeks throughout the school holidays!

Canoe & Kayak Trips & Lessons

Canoeing-1Being based in the heart of the Great Glen on Loch Oich it would be terribly rude of us not to take advantage of this most scenic location and take people out to enjoy it by canoe and kayak! We have a fleet of Venture Prospector 16 foot open canoes which are both stable and maneuverable and a great way to enjoy the loch. We offer 2 hour canoe trips, half day canoe trips and full day canoe trips in the Great Glen and Caledonian Canal system and are also able to offer bespoke trips on Loch Ness. If you fancy spicing it up a little you may want to try our full day loch and river trip where you will spend the morning paddling up Loch Oich and the afternoon navigating the rapids on the River Oich and finish in Loch Ness.

You can also paddle one of our sea touring kayaks around the loch and we also have a 2 man double touring kayak which is very stable and great for a parent and small child. Our fleet of sea kayaks are designed for long distance journeys and we can cover a lot of water in a short peiod of time (once you are used to your boat that is). There is also plenty of space for spare clothing, and more importantly snacks and drinks! We offer the same 2 hour, half day and full day sea kayak trips as well as a 2 hour splash session for youngsters or anyone just looking simply to mess about in the water!

For the Land Lovers!

If water is not your thing we do also offer a few different options of land based activities  such as our introduction to rock climbing and abseiling where we will teach you the ropes (pardon the pun!), get you to walk off a cliff backwards and teach you to climb as well as keep each other safe! A great fun half day session at a learner friendly location, not too high and not too steep!

We also have a selection of other activities including target sports including archery and crossbow shooting, body zorbing and water walkers!

So if you are looking for things to do in Fort William this spring or summer then don’t forget to check out Active Highs website, email us at or give us a call on 01809 501459.

Here’s to some sunshine!