Loch Eil The Highlands

In the Scottish Highlands, Outward Bound Loch Eil is perfectly located for adventure. It’s the ideal centre for young people from upper primary school right through to apprentices at the start of their careers.

The Outward Bound Trust
Loch Eil Centre
Achdalieu
near Fort William
PH33 7NN
01397 772866

What to expect at Loch Eil

Your programme

Loch Eil is in the outdoor capital of the UK. There’s so much here, from beaches to glens, fresh water lochs and rivers to the most famous Munro of all – Britain’s highest mountain: Ben Nevis.

Having all of this on our doorstep means we can tailor our learning and adventure activities exactly to the needs of your programme and your group. The skill of our instructors means no two adventures are the same at Loch Eil, but you can be sure that every particpant will have their own unique journey and learn that they are #morethanyouthink.

Life at centre

Loch Eil's £2 million refurbishment is almost complete. Expect modern dorm rooms that sleep 2-6 people, all ensuite with guaranteed hot showers. You might like to know that we're powered by our own hydro scheme, solar panels and air source heating. Group leaders and visiting staff have their own twin ensuite rooms with cuppa making facilities.

Our huge equipment centre and drying room is where we keep all the specialist kit, boots and waterproofs you'll need. And back in the main house, the student lounge is used for relaxing, group presentations and yes, you can access wifi from here.

After a day of adventures, our chefs know exactly what you'll want to eat! If you’re coming to Loch Eil and have any dietary requirements, remember to let us know about these via your medical form before you come.

Loch Eil 800x500 sea kayak
Loch Eil 400x250 dorm room
Loch Eil 400x500 rock scramble
Loch Eil 400x250 canoe by Ben Nevis
Loch Eil 400x500 gorge jump
Loch Eil 800x500 heather walk
Getting here

Loch Eil is just 15 minutes drive from Fort William. You might think that being in the Highlands we’re pretty rural, but our centre is at sea level and you’ll be on A-roads whatever direction you’re coming from. We’re a three hour drive from Glasgow city centre and less than four from Edinburgh.

If you choose to arrive by train, Outward Bound Loch Eil has it’s very own railway station – built by apprentices who were on a programme here in the 1970s but that’s another story

You’ll find detailed directions on our centre factsheet – or for online maps our postcode is PH33 7NN.

Digital Map
Canoeing on Loch Eil at sunset
A bit of history

The house at Loch Eil is called Achdalieu Lodge. The iconic white villa with it's conical roofed tower was built in 1875 by the 24th Chief of the Clan Cameron as a shooting lodge. From 1904-1939 the house was rented privately as a base for hunting and fishing. In 1939 it was taken over by the army and used as a military training camp. The house was turned into a hotel in the 1950s.

In 1964 Lord Dulverton bought the estate from Sir Donald Hamish Cameron. He planned to run summer courses for disadvantaged boys from urban areas, introducing them to countryside matters, exercise and character training. The Loch Eil Trust ran the centre from 1965-1976 and despite success in learning and adventure (around 6000 young people came to the centre in those years), it didn't have enough money to continue. In August 1976 merger talks started with the Outward Bound Moray Sea School. It was agreed that the school would move to Loch Eil and the property lease would transfer to The Outward Bound Trust.

Outward Bound Loch Eil opened on 1 January 1977. Thousands of young people have visited since then, including groups of apprentices from British Rail who as part of their programme built the train station to serve the centre!

Are you one of the 1.2 million people who've been on an Outward Bound course since 1941? We’d love to keep in touch – find out more at our alumni community hub.

Loch Eil alumni

Over 1.2 million people have been to Outward Bound since we were founded in 1941. Have you been to Loch Eil?

Visit our alumni community hub

Our Courses

Each Outward Bound course is unique and gives young people the skills to become more confident and more capable at school, college and the workplace.

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Loch Eil 1600x800 wild pony
Wild pony watching our group go by