On the shores of Loch Linnhe is the charming little village of Onich, to the north of Ballachulish Bridge, 14km (8 2/3 miles) southwest of Fort William. It's a good center if you're taking the western route to Inverness or going to Skye and Fort William.
Glencoe: Scenery & Sorrow
Near the spot where Loch Leven joins Loch Linnhe, Ballachulish Bridge links the villages of North and South Ballachulish at the entrance to Glencoe. The bridge saves a long drive to the head of the loch if you're coming from the north, but the scenic drive to Kinlochleven lets you come on the celebrated wild Glencoe from the east. Glencoe runs from Rannoch Moor to Loch Leven between majestic mountains, including 1,147m (3,763-ft.) Bidean nam Bian. In this resplendent area, with its towering peaks and mysterious glens, you can well imagine a fierce battle between kilted Highlanders.
Known as the "Glen of Weeping," Glencoe is where, on February 11, 1692, the Campbells massacred the MacDonalds -- men, women, and children -- who'd been their hosts for 12 days. Mass killings weren't uncommon in those times, but this one shocked even the Highlanders because it was a breach of hospitality. The Monument to the Massacre of Glencoe, at Carnoch, was erected by the chief of the MacDonald clan. After the incident, the crime of "murder under trust" was introduced into Scottish law as an aggravated form of murder that carried the same penalty as treason.
Glencoe Visitor Centre, at Glencoe (tel. 01855/811-507 or 0844/493-2222; www.glencoe-nts.org.uk), is built on the site of the massacre of the Clan MacLeans. The center tells the story of the massacre and offers a fine exhibition on mountaineering. Visitors can also see an audiovisual presentation. The center is open March daily 10am to 4pm, April to August daily 9:30am to 5:30pm, September to October daily 10am to 5pm, and November to February Thursday to Sunday 10am to 4pm, charging £5.50 adults and £4.40 seniors, students, and children 16 and under for admission.
Glen Orchy, to the south, is well worth a visit for its wild river and photogenic mountain scenery. It was the birthplace of Gaelic bard Duncan Ban MacIntyre, whose masterpiece is the song "In Praise of Ben Doran."