Caledonian Canal with boats

In the last week of October 2010, retired couple Anji and Fred Jenkins took a full board cruise aboard MV Lord of the Glens along the Caledonian Canal, and kindly allowed me to edit some of their photos taken along the route to present here…..

The canal is 100km long providing a navigation for sizeable boats between the East and West coasts of Scotland and running from northeast to southwest from Inverness to Fort William. The canal is actually a combination of natural Locks joined by man made canal sections; these account for about 30km of the whole. The lochs joined together are Loch Dochfour, Loch NessLoch Oich, and Loch Lochy. The lochs lie along the geological fault of the  Great Glen. There are 29 locks and 10 bridges some being swing bridges. It was completed in 1822 by Thomas Telford.

The trip started at Inverness and ended at Fort William.

Setting sail, the route soon warms up in interest by passing through Muirtown Locks 1.5km from the centre of Inverness, a flight of 4 raising the canal. Dockgarrock Lock ends this first man made section raising the canal further into Loch Dochfour.

Lochend marks the start of Loch Ness the second largest in area in Scotland and some 37km long and 230m at its deepest.  It contains Urquhart Bay a favourite with tourists including well photographed Urquhart Castle

Fort Augustus lies at the end of Loch Ness and a flight of 5 staircase locks lowers the canal for its passage along a canal section into Loch Oich.

Laggan locks, a staircase pair, lowers the canal into Loch Lochy. This is a wild area without roads!

The Gailochy locks lowers boats again into the longest man made section of the canal measuring 10km.

This stretch is terminated by Neptunes Staircase at Banavie, a series of 8 locks lowering the canal.

A short stretch leads to Corpach Locks and out into Loch Linnhe and to Fort William the end of the journey.

Some of the views along the route are recorded in The slideshow with photos taken by Angie and Fred (shown below) and edited and by me. (Click on images for larger view).

Anji and Fred Jenkins

Until 8:59pm on Monday 30 May you can watch Julia Bradbury’s walk along the West-most 8 miles of the Caledonian Canal.