Ben Nevis

Britain's highest peak (8miles/13km return; 7hrs)

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Ben Nevis is Britain’s highest mountain (1,344m/ 4,409ft), which makes it a fiercely popular challenge. Some 100,000 people attempt it every year.

This generally makes it a bit too busy for quiet communing with nature, but it’s a great hike all the same. And it’s doable by anyone who’s fairly fit – at least when conditions are good – but don’t skimp on equipment (waterproofs, food, water etc).

Also bear in mind that the summit is frequently misty – which can make navigation difficult and dangerous (700m-high cliffs await!) – and snow can fall on pretty much any day of the year.

In winter the ascent is a very different and much more dangerous prospect. Every winter, people are rescued off the mountain.

The main route up the Ben Nevis is called the Tourist Track (or Pony Track – after the pack animals that transported equipment to the 19th-century summit weather station that’s now in ruins). You are best picking up this track from the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre where there’s plenty of parking (the map marker for this entry has been placed there).

Note too that the Ben Nevis Inn is only a five minute walk away from the centre on the other side of the river and it would be rude not to drop in for a celebratory drink on your way back. It has good views of the mountain and is an excellent place to contemplate how the record time for the annual Ben Nevis Race can possibly be 1hr 25min 34sec: Yes, to the summit and back!

At A Glance

Glen Nevis Visitor Centre
Fort William PH33 6PF
44 1397 705922

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