Lochaber: A Historical Guide Lochaber, Scotland, is a sparsely-populated area, remote but romantic, centred on Fort William. It contains no mediaeval burgh, no major monastic site, and for its size, not even many Scottish castles. However, it does include the highest mountain in Great Britain, Ben Nevis, 4406 ft, the deepest lake in Western Europe, Loch Morar, and the most westerly point of the British mainland Ardnamurchan Point. Daniel Defoe described it as a 'mountainous barren and frightful country, full of hideous desert mountains and unpassable'. Much of the land surface is mountain or bog, and its coastline is indented by long sea lochs, while the interior contains some very large fresh water lochs, the longest of which are Loch Shiel, at 17 miles, and Loch Arkaig at 12 miles. The name Lochaber first appears in Adamnan's Life of St Columba, written c.690. It probably refers either to the top of Loch Linnhe, or to a possible loch, later a bog, east of Banavie. Much of the scattered population of Lochaber has always lived close to its long and sheltered coastline, and until the last 200 years most communication was by water. One local minister in the 1790s claimed, probably correctly, that Tahiti and other Pacific islands were better surveyed than parts of the west coast of Scotland. Only a few intrepid travellers came here before the nineteenth century, when roads, steam-boats and then the railway rapidly opened up the area to tourism. Attempts to introduce new industries during the twentieth century had mixed success, but the population, having declined for almost two centuries, has now stabilised. Perhaps a better understanding and de-mythologising of the past may help to develop a sustainable economy for the future. This is the first detailed historical and archaeological guide to this beautiful and little-known part of Scotland.
A Summer in Lochaber This is the story of the first Jacobite Rising, not the 1715 rebellion but that of the summer of 1689. Less that a year after the arrival of William of Orange in Britain, an army of Gaels, Lochiel, Glengarry, Sir Donald of Sleat, MacLean of Duart and others, rallied for the cause in Lochaber under the leadership of "Bonnie Dundee". The clansmen had lost none of their fighting skills and, reviving Montrose's brilliant Highland charge, they achieved signal victory at Killiecrankie. Although it cost him his life, the memory of the charismatic Dundee and that famous battle is celebrated yet in memory and song. The author aims to bring the story to life through recourse to contemporary sources, letters, memoirs and, in particular, poetry in Latin, Scots and Gaelic, and gives a detailed account of the leaders and their clansmen and how and why they marched to Killiecrankie.
Scrambles in Lochaber (Cicerone Guide) This guide describes some of the best scrambles to be found within a 45km radius of the town of Fort William, an area which includes not only Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, but also Ben Alder to the east, Ben Cruachan to the south, Garbh Bheinn to the west and The Saddle to the north. Most of this area falls within the Lochaber Area of the Highland Council. It is the most popular area in the whole of Scotland with hillgoers, and justifiably so, for it contains some of the most varied and spectacular mountain scenery in the Highlands. The guide contains over seventy routes in Lochaber. This guide is for those who seek more interesting routes. A number of the scrambles described here have been popular for years and are fairly well worn, but many others are little frequented and consequently have a certain pioneering atmosphere about them. Some experience of route finding will be useful in such cases. The majority of scrambles involve lengthy sections of hillwalking in approach or descent, and this should be taken into account when planning an outing.