Ben Nevis Holiday Park

Situated in Fort William under the gaze of the highest mountain in the UK is Ben Nevis Holiday Park by Highland Holidays. Located around a three hours drive from Edinburgh this convenient and easy-to-reach getaway is the ideal place for both a relaxing or adventurous Scottish staycation. Ben Nevis Holiday Park offers a range of accommodations to suit everyone’s tastes, needs and budgets. In addition to a variety of self-catering accommodation in the form of lodges, pods and caravans, the park also offers a picturesque area for camping and touring. Although the site is compact in comparison to others I have visited, the accommodation has been thoughtfully dispersed around the grounds allowing just enough space between each dwelling to not feel overlooked. A recent addition to their accommodation is a stunning selection of luxury hot tub lodges ranging from one bedroom to four. Travelling with friends, I opted for their ‘Nevis 3 Bed Hot Tub Lodge’ located at the rear of the park and backed by the most impressive views. Arriving on a summer’s day the park was filled with a hive of activity with families, couples and dog-walkers taking full advantage of the surprisingly warm Scottish weather and the park’s beautiful surroundings.

Checking in to the newly renovated reception area, the friendly staff provided us with lots of helpful information with regards to our stay and a useful map of the holiday park. A quick drive led us to our designated lodge, decked in a modern grey exterior and surrounded by ample parking space. On entering the lodge, I was completely surprised by just how spacious it was. Setting foot through its generous entranceway, the lodge opened up to an impressive open-plan living, dining and kitchen area. The space exuded a slick contemporary aesthetic with cool hues of white, light and dark greys teamed with warm wooden flooring and furniture. Floor-to-ceiling windows not only flooded the space with natural light but also took advantage of those surrounding views outside, framing Ben Nevis like some kind of artwork.

The lounge with two comfortable sofas looked onto a large flat screen tv and electric log fire, making it the perfect place to chill with friends and enjoy an evening of movies. The well-equipped kitchen finished in charcoal grey had everything we could need to take full advantage of our self-catering experience, including; an American-sized fridge/freezer, gas cooker, dishwasher, wash machine, microwave and wine cooler. The adjacent kitchen island was an attentive addition, allowing the person who is cooking to still be able to socialise with guests at the same time. A breakfast bar and large dining table provided plenty of space to dine and enjoy the delights of those encompassing vistas. To top up your food supplies there is a small on-site shop in reception which sells essentials, including fresh eggs laid by the adorable chickens that wander the grounds. Although there are no restaurant facilities on site, a new cafe and takeaway will be opening soon providing a selection of sandwiches, cakes and drinks etc.

Our lodge had three generous bedrooms composed of two double bedrooms and a twin room. The rooms were adorned with calming natural hues with good quality beds, a dressing table and the addition of a smaller flat-screen TV. Each included clean and comfortable bedding along with fluffy white towels and bathrobes/slippers for each guest. Although the rooms did have window coverings in the form of blinds, I feel the addition curtains would have ensured a cosier look whilst providing additional blockage from the light outside, but this is just a personal preference. Each of the rooms also benefited from a spacious en-suite shower room along with toiletries from the nearby Highland Soap Company. Most importantly the rainfall shower had great water pressure and a constant supply of warm water, something which could be temperamental in these types of accommodation.

The exterior of the lodge was equally impressive with a considerable outdoor space that can be accessed by a separate secure entrance or via the large sliding doors in the lounge area. The decked area included plenty of outside space for each guest to enjoy including a dining table and the luxurious addition of a bubbling hot tub. The hot tub was perfectly positioned to take in those majestic views of Ben Nevis whilst sipping on a glass of champagne. It was the ideal place to relax those aching muscles after a full day of sightseeing. I especially appreciated the provision of a range of plastic glasses and separate blue towels specifically for use whilst utilising the hot tub. For those hygiene enthusiasts out there like myself, the hot tub is checked daily by the onsite team during your stay and cleaned after every visit.

If you can manage to pull yourself away from the comforts of the lodge, the holiday park is surrounded by an array of stunning places to visit. If you don’t want to stray too far from your accommodation, the beautiful River Lochy is just a stone’s throw away. Running adjacent to the holiday park and following the Great Glen Way, you can enjoy cascading waters, beautiful nature and stunning scenery right on your doorstep.

River Lochy

A few minutes drive from the park adjacent to the Old Inverlochy Castle is the family-run business, The Highland Soap Company. This new visitor centre provides factory tours, soap-making workshops and a store where you can purchase their handmade natural skincare products. There is also an on-site Larder Cafe, which is a great alternative if you want to have lunch away from your self-catering accommodation without travelling too far.

If you are looking for a more adventurous outing then you can always tackle the nearby mountain, Ben Nevis. Being the highest mountain in the UK and reaching 1,345 metres above sea level it is no easy feat. The average time to climb Ben Nevis is around 7-9 hours, so you have to be prepared for what can be a strenuous journey especially if you aren’t an avid hill walker. Like me, if you are just not ready to reach those heady peaks, take a visit to the nearby visitor centre and wander around the beautiful countryside that lies at the base of the natural beauty. It is the ideal place to learn more about the area, grab a picnic table and munch away on your homemade sandwiches under the shadow of the mountain.

Under a thirty-minute drive from Ben Nevis Holiday park is the renowned Glenfinnan Viaduct, the longest concrete bridge in Scotland. This outstanding railway bridge built in the 1890s has an impressive 21 arches that tower 100ft above the River Finnan below. It is here where the Jacobite steam train made famous from the Harry Potter movies, crosses on its journey from Fort William to Mallaig. Hundreds of Harry Potter fans and train enthusiasts gather each day to witness the train as it trundles along the bridge, its steam billowing in the air against the beautiful backdrop. One piece of advice is to time your visit by viewing the train timetable online and arriving there well in advance as the car park fills up quickly. You can also visit the nearby Glenfinnan railway station which has a museum, quant signal station and a unique dining car inside a 1958 railway carriage.

Although the park itself provide leisure activities, its location makes it the ideal place for a sublime Scottish staycation. Its incredible position amid picturesque scenery provides a relaxing escape, with the option of adventure nearby. This in conjunction with the extremely well-appointed accommodation and friendly staff meant I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Ben Nevis Holiday Park. Work is still ongoing and I can imagine that the park will only get better and better. With so many things yet to explore, such as the gondola up Aonach Mor, mountain bike trails and sailing trips, I can’t wait to return to this part of Scotland and make Ben Nevis Holiday Park my tranquil base. 

Blu Blazer Guy Rating:

Location – 4/5
Customer Service – 4/5
Accommodation – 4/5
Cleanliness – 4/5
Facilities – 3.5/5

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