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Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Lucy Gillmore

It might be known affectionately as ‘the Ben’, but don’t think a tramp up Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, is a walk in the park. Its summit, at over 4,400ft, can be clad in snow in summer, the weather changing in a second as you zigzag up the rocky Mountain Track. However, around 125,000 people make it each year and the sense of achievement – and the views – are second to none. ‘The Ben’ is the most challenging but rewarding Munro ‘to bag’.

Go prepared though, it can be cold on the summit even if it’s sunny below so take a fleece and waterproofs. On sunny days beware of dehydration, wind and sunburn.

 

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: Full day

Getting there & doing it

Climbing Ben Nevis is free, though there’s a parking charge at the Visitor Centre, about a mile and a half from Fort William. From there, cross the bridge to Achintee and the start of the Mountain Track, the old access and pony route that winds up to the now ruined observatory at the summit. The stony track climbs in a series of zigzags and is well-maintained but does peter out towards the top into rocky scree.

Take plenty of water, a picnic lunch and snack bars for energy food. Also take a map and compass in case the fog comes down.

When to do it

Hiking to the summit is possible all year round but depends on the weather and climbing conditions. Do not attempt in cloudy or bad weather – walkers have in the past got ‘lost’ on the mountain.

Who to go with: organised tours

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PLEASE NOTE WE CANNOT ALLOW ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 7 ON TOUR WITH US. When exploring Scotland on your 1 Day Loch Ness, Glencoe and Scottish Highlands Tour, you will get to experience the very best of Scotland in a jam packed adventure. This tour is perfect for those who might have limited time and want to get the most for their money. With breathtaking scenery and landscapes of unspoilt nature you’ll travel the Scottish highlands, getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Experience Scottish culture through the folklore of Scotland’s myths and legends, historical sites and learn about the history of our wonderful country. Every twist and turn of the winding Scottish road has a new photo opportunity, a new story to be told and a new experience to be had.

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Intrepidus Outdoors is an adventure tourism and outdoor education provider based in Edinburgh. We specialise in canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and mountaineering, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland and the North of England. The experiences that we provide take clients into some of the most exquisite, incredible and extreme environments the UK has to offer.

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