Caledonian Canal River Guide & Cruises
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The Caledonian Canal runs northeast across the Great Glen of northern Scotland that connects the North Atlantic with the North Sea. Starting near Fort William in Loch Lynnhe it climbs "Neptune's Stairway" under the shadow of Ben Nevis to cross Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness before entering the Moray Firth at Inverness. It was constructed in the early 19th century by engineer Thomas Telford, and is a sister canal of the Gota Canal in Sweden, also constructed by Telford.
The canal was conceived as a way of providing much-needed employment to the Highland region. The canal opened in 1822, having taken an extra 12 years to complete, and cost £910,000. Commercially, the venture was not a success, but the dramatic scenery of glens, castle and historic villages has turned it into a tourist attraction and it is now it is used mainly for leisure.
Theres plenty of interesting wildlife to discover, from the iconic red deer to some rare ancient species of beetle. The Great Glen is popular with migrating sea birds on their way between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The canal is decorated by manmade relics, including the ruins of Urquhart and Invergarry castles. And of course the modern legend of the Loch Ness monster attracts tourists!