April 19, 2024

Visiting Ben Nevis? 7 Things You Have to Do

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK, towering over the Scottish Highlands at 1,345 metres. If you’re visiting Ben Nevis, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. This iconic mountain offers stunning scenery, exhilarating activities, and fascinating history. To make the most of visiting Ben Nevis, here are seven things you absolutely have to do:

1. Hike to the Summit

The most obvious activity when visiting Ben Nevis is hiking to the top. The summit hike is around 7-9 hours round trip from the visitor centre, covering nearly 8 miles and 4,400 feet of ascent. While a challenging hike, reaching the summit is extremely rewarding. You’ll be standing on top of the UK, with panoramic views over the Highlands. The hike will take you through different landscapes, from wooded valleys to rocky slopes. With the right preparation, hiking to the summit of Ben Nevis is a must-do for any visiting tourist.

2. Try Skiing or Snowboarding

You probably don’t associate Ben Nevis with skiing, but the mountain’s northern corries actually have some of Scotland’s most reliable snow patches. When conditions allow, you can ski or snowboard on Ben Nevis between January and April. For experienced skiers, the descents off the summit are a unique experience. Or head to the lower slopes for more gentle runs. Seeing Ben Nevis transformed into a winter playground when visiting is an incredible sight. Keep an eye on conditions, and be prepared for serious Scottish weather.

3. Visit the Ben Nevis Distillery

After all that hiking and skiing on Ben Nevis, you’ll have earned a dram from the local distillery. The Ben Nevis Distillery sits at the foot of the mountain, having drawn water from the Allt a’ Mhuilinn for whisky-making since 1825. Visiting tourists can tour the distillery to learn about whisky production and taste the distinctive local spirit. Don’t miss the legendary Ben Nevis 10 Year Old Single Malt, matured at the distillery beneath Britain’s highest peak.

4. Explore Nevis Range

Surrounding Ben Nevis is Nevis Range ski resort. As well as skiing, this area offers a host of activities for visiting tourists. Take a gondola ride 440 metres up Aonach Mòr for spectacular views without hiking Ben Nevis. Nevis Range also has downhill mountain biking trails catering from beginners to experts. Try your hand at disc golf, take a high-wire forest adventure, or ride the UK’s only mountain gondola zipline. There’s so much on offer to fill your itinerary when visiting.

5. Walk Around Steall Falls

If you want more stunning scenery without summiting Ben Nevis, take the walk to Steall Falls. This spectacular waterfall drops 120 metres off the mountainside, making it one of Scotland’s highest waterfalls. The 6.5km loop walk follows a dramatic gorge with views of the cascading water. You’ll also pass Neptune’s Staircase, the longest staircase lock system in Britain. With the imposing north face of Ben Nevis as a backdrop, Steall Falls is a must-visit sight when in the area.

6. Drive the Road to the Isles

Visiting Ben Nevis means you’re well placed to take one of Scotland’s most scenic drives. The Road to the Isles runs from Fort William past Ben Nevis to Mallaig. Along the way, stop at Glenfinnan Viaduct and visit the famous Harry Potter bridge. Continue through spectacular Glen Shiel to arrive at Mallaig. From here, you can take a ferry to the Small Isles or Isle of Skye. Driving the Road to the Isles makes an unforgettable day trip when visiting Ben Nevis.

7. Sample Local Seafood

After all your hiking and exploring, you’ll have worked up an appetite. Luckily, the area around Ben Nevis offers top-quality local seafood. In Fort William, indulge in fresh Scottish salmon, juicy langoustines and oysters at The Grog & Gruel. Down the road in Mallaig, sample just-landed fish and chips or seafood platters brimming with crab and lobster. Fuel up on the region’s excellent seafood after burning energy exploring Ben Nevis.

With Britain’s highest summit, dramatic landscapes, and lots of activities, visiting Ben Nevis promises an incredible Scottish Highlands experience. Follow this list to make sure you check off the top things to do. Just remember to respect the mountain, check conditions, and come prepared when visiting. You’ll return home with amazing memories from the iconic peak of Ben Nevis.

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