Built by the famed Scottish engineer and architect Thomas Telford in 1815, this former lock keeper's house stands proud on Neptune's Staircase, a stunning flight of eight locks on the Caledonian Canal. With superb views along the canal and across to Ben Nevis, it's a great base for four to explore the Scottish Highlands and Western Isles.
Telford House East is a semi-detached property which was restored by Scottish Canals in early 2012 and now provides high quality holiday accommodation in a sought after waterfront location.
To the left of the entrance is the well equipped kitchen which leads through to the comfortable sitting room, complete with a wood-burning stove. Also downstairs, there is a spacious family bathroom and a dining room with a grand bay window overlooking the canal. Upstairs there is a double bedroom and a twin bedroom. The front of the property has a lawned garden with outdoor furniture where guests can view the boats as they pass through the locks.
Turn your stay into a touring holiday through the Highlands by combining a short break at Telford House East with a stay at one of our cottages further North.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom|
|Check in time:||16:00|
|Check out time:||10:00|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Inverness Airport 119 km, Nearest railway: Fort William 2.5 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Fireplace, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (1), Sofa Beds (1), Single Beds (2), Cots available (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
A route for a ship canal through the Great Glen was considered as early as 1726, but it was not until 1773-4 that it was surveyed for the same reasons, and by the same engineer, as the Crinan. Further plans were produced, but in assessing the wider problem of Highland emigration ('The Clearances') in 1801-2, Thomas Telford recommended that, as well as helping fishing, agriculture and industry, a canal would provide much-needed employment.
Work began in 1804 as a government initiative managed by a board of commissioners; uniquely amongst the Scottish canals, the Caledonian has always been a public venture. Experienced foremen (from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct for example) were brought in to oversee the works but had to manage a local workforce absent during harvests and fisheries. This, coupled with rising costs and lack of funds, meant slow progress. In order to permit the largest ships the locks were 170 by 40ft (52 by 12 m) and 'clustered' to save money - thus the magnificent lock flights at Banavie (Neptune's Staircase), Fort Augustus and Muirtown (Inverness) were built.
As well as over 21 miles of man-made canal, Lochs Oich and Dochfour had to be deepened and, to assist the passage of masted vessels, swing bridges rather than draw-bridges were planned. The canal was finally opened in 1822 and although the Baltic Trade it was built to serve had already declined, it was of immediate benefit to the fishing industry. Journey times improved after the lock gates were mechanised in 1964-69 and cruise businesses have responded to interest in the Loch Ness Monster.
The Caledonian represents a triumph of British civil engineering innovation, is littered with iconic features and makes a significant contribution to the breath-taking landscape of the Great Glen. Its cultural significance should be regarded as being of international, not just national, importance.
Banavie is a couple of miles outside of Fort William, the 'Outdoor Capital of Scotland'.
Overlooking the spectacular Neptunes Staircase, this Thomas Telford-designed house affords all the luxuries a holidaymaker or tourist could ever want.
Use as a base for a Highland tour, or as aprt of your journey along the Great Glen Way