We have made it to the western end of the Caledonian Canal. At least, as far as we can cruise on our hire boat. Sadly, Neptune’s Staircase Locks are beyond our limit of navigation.
Strictly, the location is Banavie – a small village on the outskirts of Fort William. This is where the Caledonian Canal heads off to the Atlantic Ocean, via Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe.
Neptune’s Staircase Locks were built by Thomas Telford in the early 1800s, being completed by 1822. It is the longest such flight in Britain, rising some 62′ over a quarter of a mile. It takes around an hour and a half to navigate through the 8 chambers.
The locks were not without their problems. In 1929 repairs had to be made, closing the canal for 2 weeks. Further repairs have been required over the years, culminating in a major rebuild over the winters from 1995-2005.
In the foreground of the picture can be seen the railway bridge for the Fort William to Mallaig railway line. This is a rare surviving example of a railway swing bridge over a canal that still operates. Between this bridge and the Neptune’s Staircase lock flight is the A830 road bridge, which also swings.
The weather again has been typical Highlands weather. A mixture of sunshine and showers. I have used some HDR on this image to enhance the moodiness of today’s weather, as well as to improve the colour in the shot.
- Taken: 30 Jul 2017
- Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIIA
- Lens: Olympus 40-150mm 1:4-5.6
- Focal Length 66mm
- 1/400 Sec
- ISO 200