Fort William

Set at the western end of the Great Glen (and the Caledonian Canal), the little town of Fort William has a thoroughly relaxed air. Even the tourist shops (which appear to make up 99% of the shops on the Main Street, the Scottish equivalent of a High Street) are low-key and friendly.

I was surprised to discover substantial remains of the fort of Fort William, built by General Wade during the pacification of the Highlands, and a short distance out of town Lochaber Castle, a quite impressive ruin that was ancestral home to the Red Comyns before they were suppressed by Robert the Bruce. Together with the nearby "Neptune's Staircase" at the exit of the Caledonian Canal, that about makes up the sights of Fort William.

The scenery is superb, of course, and Ben Nevis, lowering over the town is dramatic enough for any lover of the out-doors. Alas, the dreaded scourge of the Highlands is present in abundance - the midges. We appealed to a local for advice: "What do you do during the midge season?"
He looked at us dourly and replied, "Stay in."

Our two films, however, are about another scourge of the Highlands: bagpipes.