May 16th 2016
It’s Mairi’s birthday tomorrow so Anne and I arranged with her to meet up at Fort William. We met at Morrisons car park just after 12. We went into Morrisons to get little bottles of drinks and then took both cars to Corpach Basin. We had our picnic lunch there. We left for our walk at 12.55. It was a stunning early summer’s day.
We walked up to the main Fort William – Mallaig road passing a park with standing stones in it.
Then we branched towards the Gairlochy road. The views out to Ben Nevis being stunning.
There were a lot of new houses built going out but finally we got clear of them.
At 2.55 we reached Muirshearlich the top of our walk and cut down towards the canal. There is the most unusual thing here – a tunnel goes under the canal. I never expected this when planning the route. Even after all these years this tunnel was not flooded out. Telford knew what he was doing!
This is after passing through the tunnel where my Etrex 20 lost it’s signal. seems to be smirks all round. Just great to be with our wee girl, Mairi.
We came up the embankment to the canal and followed the old towpath. This is now part of the Great Glen Way.
It’s quite incredible that the canal was dug out by hand. I believe the navies were paid by the barrow load. It is an incredible achievement and still in use.
Here we are getting towards the top of Neptune’s Staircase. Neptune’s Staircase is a staircase lock comprising eight locks on the Caledonian Canal. Built by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822, it is the longest staircase lock in Britain, lifting boats 64 feet. It consists of eight locks, each 180 feet by 40 feet.
We stopped at 2.55, near the top lock, and had something to eat.
View up Neptune’s Staircase.
Crossing the railway just below the staircase.
Getting back to Corpach. There are still a few locks to go before the sea lock.
We got back to the cars at 3.40. I really enjoyed the walk.
Here are a few videos.