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Neptune’s Staircase

There is something for those who love travelling and being to new places. Have you heard something about the ‘Neptune’s staircase’? If not, then you are missing something worth watching. The spectacular structure was designed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1822.

locks at Banavie

picture via Kildonan Bed and Breakfast

The Neptune’s staircase is built over the Caledonian Canal located at Banavie, near Fort William just north of Loch Linnhe in Scotland. The Caledonian Canal covers a distance of 60 miles over the Great Glen from Corpach near Fort William in the south west to Inverness in the north east. Covering an area of about 500 yards, it is known to be the largest staircase lock in the United Kingdom and it can lift the boats to a height of 64 feet! It comprises of nine locks. Each lock gate weighs about 22 tons. The approximate cost of these locks was estimated to be about $50000. Fishing boats as well as tall ships and pleasure craft can be seen passing through it. It attracts many tourists because of its splendid structure.

It takes about ninety minutes for a boat to pass through them. Basically the boats which take the route between the Atlantic and the North Sea pass through this famous staircase. One of its major advantages is that it provides a safe inland route from Moray Firth to the Forth of Lorne. These locks are operated through hydraulics. This grand chamber consists of lock chambers having a width of about 40 feet. They have a depth of about 20 feet. Although now there is a mechanised system to turn the locks, but previously massive capstans were used in order to operate them which required a lot of hard work. The operators had to do a lot of labour in operating them. At the top most flight of stairs, telescopes are provided for the tourists to enjoy the magnificent view. The final lock is about 203 feet. Made out of natural rocks it leads to Loch Linnhe. Glen Mallie, a beautiful and spell bounding cedar bungalow, is located close to the Neptune’s staircase. In fact there is also a museum located here. Many hotels are located near this structure for the convenience of the tourists. For those who love gemstones and crystals, Treasures of Earth located nearby is a nice place to visit.

Recently, the British Waterways have installed a new lighting system at the Neptune’s staircase. About multi million pounds have been spent over this project. This would not only to is beauty and encourage tourists to visit this beautiful creation but also sure safety of the waterways following this path. Green light illuminates the beautiful structure at night.

Fort William attracts many tourists every year because of its scenic beauty and millions of places to explore. It’s the best place for recreation and to relax. Beautiful glens, forests, beaches, mountains and greenery which are a part of this place are fabulous. Mountain biking is one of the most popular sports here. Fort Williams can be stated as the ‘heaven on the earth’.

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6 Responses to “Neptune’s Staircase”

  1. Virginia says:

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  2. Great info, thanks for useful post. I’m waiting for more

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  6. Interesting post i totally agree with the comments above. Keep us posting

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