Blackwater Hostel - Things to See and Do on the West Highland Way
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Things to See & Do!

Although a small village, Kinlochleven has many local amenities. Such as a Co-op supermarket – which is open from 7am-10pm everyday, Post Office, fish and chip shop and also three pubs offering hearty bar meals The Highland GetawayThe Tailrace Inn and the MacDonald Hotel. Most stop serving food around 8:30pm and so be sure to stop by before then. Why not try one of the local River Leven Ales to accompany your meal, they are brewed right here in the village – just around the corner from the hostel.


There is more to Kinlochleven than the West Highland Way. With many exciting activities right on our doorstep, with the village based in the heart of The Outdoor Capital of UK.


Kinlochleven is a popular location for many hillwalkers – surrounded by Mamores. It is a great base for all you Munro baggers with many walks starting here. Also a well used stopover for those walking The West Highland Way – one of Europe’s most well known walks. For more information on the many walks available in the nearby area take a look at Walk Highland which has a range of walks for all abilities.


We work with many baggage transfer companies for those walking the West Highland Way that would like their luggage dropped off at their accommodation stops along the way. See their websites for more information: Travel-liteAMS ScotlandGinger Routes.

Mountain and road biking

The area is becoming increasing popular for biking with some epic mountain bike trails coming down into the village and scenic cycle routes on the surrounding quiet Highland roads. There’s also great downhill tracks and trails at the nearby Glencoe Mountain Resort and Nevis Range. Unable to take your own bike – not to worry, there is a local bike hire shop Off Beat Bikes, where you can book a bike to explore some of the many great routes. Their main shop is in Fort William however they have a pop up shop in the Ice Factor where you can arrange for bikes to be collected from.

Watersports and adrenaline

For those thrill seekers there is also many watersports available, which can be booked through Vertical Descents. Some of the many activities on offer are canyoning, gorge walking, white water rafting, coasteering. Or if you fancy an exciting new challenge there is the new Via Ferrata which runs beside the Grey Mares Waterfall, right here in the village.


Ice Factor – one of the worlds biggest indoor ice climbing walls, is located just 200m walk from us and provides fantastic indoor climbing, bouldering and ice walls where you can get lessons or pay to climb. They also have a high wire course area outside which is not for the faint hearted! If you would prefer just to observe, there is also a cozy cafe & bar overlooking all the facilities where you can relax with a coffee and soak up the atmosphere.


Or perhaps you’d prefer to learn outdoors on the real thing. If so there are many local guides available who you can pay to take you out on the mountains and learn while experiencing the stunning scenery.

West Highland Lodge in the winter

Wintersports – skiing, snowboarding & sledging 

Kinlochleven is located between two Scottish ski resort areas and so is a great location to be based in order to try them both. Glencoe Mountain Resort is one of Scotland’s longest established ski areas and is only a 20-30 minute drive. Or Scotland’s newest ski area, Nevis Range, is about a 40 minute drive in the opposite direction. Glencoe resort now offers 20 runs and 8 lifts catering for skiers and boarders of all abilities.


Or if you would prefer to swap the ski’s for a sledge there is now also a fantastic sledging area at the top of the chairlift and ever better – it is absolutely free! Nevis range offers the same great range of runs and lifts plus there’s also a fantastic Ski School available for beginners. Both resorts are open throughout the year, allowing for chairlift/gondola rides to take in the stunning scenery, mountain walks and other activities such as mountain biking in the summer.


There’s plenty of places to fish in and around the area. Sea angling is free in Scotland. No license or permit is required to fish the wide open coastline. Mackerel, sea trout and pollock are all commonly caught from the shore. However many local rivers and lochs have restrictions on them or permits are required and so it is worth checking with local tourist boards to ensure you are fishing legally.


In Kinlochleven, you are required to obtain a permit to fish local rivers which can be obtained from the post office. Prices are very reasonable and day permits are available. If you prefer Fly Fishing, try Torlundy Farm who offer stocked ponds of trout to fly fish while taking in stunning views of Ben Nevis and the local wildlife. Not sure of the best places to go, why not book a fishing trip on Loch Leven with local tour company Seaxplorer who also provide fishing equipment if required.


If you prefer the more sedate sport of Golfing there are a range of courses to choose from in the surrounding area in Ballachulish, Fort William and Glencruitten all set in the stunning scenery of the Highlands of Scotland. The nearest being Dragons Tooth in Ballachulish which is around a 20 minute drive away by car and it offers a 9 holes course with club house and other activites such as Segways & archery on site. Glencruitten golf course could be combined with a day trip to Oban, located just on the outskirts of the town. It offers a beautiful 18 hole course with club house and golf shop on site. Fort William golf club offers another 18 hole course and is set between sea and mountains at the base of Ben Nevis next to Ben Nevis Distillery.


All offer day passes for visitors and so no need to be a member.

Touring by Car or Bike

Kinlochleven is ideally located for day trips just off the A82 with many popular tourist destinations easily accessible by car or bike such as Fort William, Ben Nevis, Mallaig, Glenfinnan, Oban, Loch Ness, Inverness and the Isle of Skye. For local bus information to Glencoe, Ballachulish & Fort William see Shiel Buses. Popular with motorcyclists also, Kinlochleven lies on a popular B863 route and makes a good stopover on the way to or from the ever increasingly popular NC500 the ultimate road trip showcasing the scenic coastline of northern Scotland along with fairy-tale castles, white sandy beaches and historical ruins.

Blackwater Hostel build external

Our hostel can accommodate up to 39 guests between 10 private en-suite rooms of various sizes. Each room has central heating, double glazing, TV, comfortable bunk beds with bed linens included. Other facilities include drying rooms, communal kitchen & dining area plus free WIFI. Only 200m from village centre.

West Highland Lodge Hostel external

Overlooking the village of Kinlochleven, our lodge has recently been renovated with new heating system & double glazing. Sleeps up to 32 guests between 8 private rooms. Comfortable bunk beds with bed linens included. Communal showers/toilets, kitchen, lounge & dining area & drying rooms. Free WIFI.

The Glamping Pods are ideally positioned with many overlooking the River Leven. A great alternative to camping. We have 10, all season pods sleeping from 2-4 people. Each pod offers luxuries such as electric lights & sockets, free wifi, TV, microwave, fridge and kettle, electric heater/fan, storage & midge screens.

Many of our guests tell us it’s, “The best equipped campsite along the West Highland Way”. Just 2o0m from the village centre. Great base for walkers. Camping guests have the use of the following facilities: free WIFI, shower/toilet block, charging points, drying rooms, picnic & covered pot wash area.

We’re hoping we get to meet you soon!
Our bookings are always busy, so don’t miss your ideal date!

Alternatively if you prefer to book via telephone, call our team on 01855 831 253