Neptune’s Staircase

By Klaus with K - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By Klaus with K - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Neptune’s Staircase is a system of eight locks , located in the Scottish village of Banavie, at the entrance to the Caledonian Canal – ( The Caledonian Canal connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William in Scotland- United Kingdom ) . At the entrance to the Caledonian Canal. With a distance of 457m, they are the longest in the UK and raise boats to 19.5m above sea level in around 90 minutes.

The Neptune Staircase was designed by engineer Thomas Telford as part of the construction of the Caledonian Canal, and built between 1807 and 18112. This achievement, at the cutting edge of the technique of the time, remained unmatched until the construction of the Panama Canal in 19143.
The majesty of this work which allows fishing boats or tourists to start or end the crossing of the Caledonian Canal, which connects the sea from North to the Atlantic Ocean via the famous Loch Ness. Please note, parking is not easy to find to reach the site.

Access : Coordinates: 56.846, -5.094 / Neptune’s Staircase is located in the village of Banavie, a few miles from Fort William. The West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig crosses the canal at the lock system. Banavie train station is next to the lock. The Road to the Isles (A380) is right next to the railway line.
/ Parking (free) is provided right next to the site.

Highlights :

  •  The complex is part of the Caledonian Canal and is located near Banavie (a village in the vicinity of Fort William). It is the largest ‘lock stair’ in the United Kingdom. Originally the locks were powered by manpower, but nowadays the operation is hydraulic.
  •  Its name was given to it by the workers during its construction in reference to Neptune, god of the sea among the Greeks.
  •  The Caledonian Canal was built by Thomas Telford between 1804 and 1822. It is over 96 kilometers long and follows the Great Glen. Its route crosses the three lakes that we had just passed, Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness, so that only 35 kilometers are real canals with 29 locks.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / The walk along the Neptune’s Staircase is easy and very pleasant / Scenic Driving- Auto Touring.

Go next : Fort Augustus, where another ladder of locks lowers ships to the level of Loch Ness to the north. Next to the Fort Augustus Locks is the Caledonian Canal Heritage Center


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