Seven miles northeast of Fort William by the A82, on the slopes of Aonach Mhor, one of the high mountains abutting Ben Nevis, the Nevis Range is Scotland’s highest winter ski area. Highland Country bus #42 runs from Fort William to the base station of the country’s only gondola system. The 1.5-mile gondola trip (15min), rising 2000ft, gives an easy approach to some high-level walking as well as spectacular views from the terrace of the self-service restaurant at the top station. From the top of the gondola station, you can experience Britain’s only World-Cup-standard downhill mountain-bike course, a hair-raising 3km route that’s not for the faint-hearted. There are also 25 miles of waymarked off-road bike routes, known as the Witch’s Trails, on the mountainside and in the Leanachan Forest, ranging from gentle paths to cross-country scrambles. Alpine Bikes rents mountain bikes as well as full-suspension bikes for the downhill course from their shops in Fort William and at the gondola base station. The base station area also has a café and there’s a play area and nature trail nearby.

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