The Caledonian Canal

Like the Forth and Clyde, the Caledonian Canal is a major sea-to-sea waterway linking Scotland's east and west coasts. It was completed in 1822, built to large dimensions by well known engineer Thomas Telford, and is still used by many sea going boats to this day.

Large boat in Corpach basin

Unlike the Forth and Clyde, the Caledonian runs right through the heart of the Highlands and is surrounded by stunning scenery. It traverses the Great Glen from Fort William in the south west to Inverness in the north east. Although the total distance is over sixty miles, most of this is made up of natural lochs - Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy - which have been connected by four stretches of manmade canal.

Fort Augustus Locks

The scale of the canal's engineering works is impressive and dwarfs most of the other Scottish canals. It has 29 locks in total, the best known of which being the staircase flight of 8 locks near Fort William known as "Neptune's Staircase". All of the bridges, including railway lines and major roads, are opening bridges, giving unlimited headroom for masted vessels using the canal.

More information on this canal, including maps, is planned for the future.

View photos of the Caledonian Canal in the gallery