Paddy and Plunkett Take Fort William!

Hello there Beastie friends! It’s a bit of a rainy old day in Dublin today – ah, the Irish summer! So I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely be up for seeing where Paddy and Plunkett’s wandering paws have taken them. You may remember we left them here last week
Paddy and Plunkett in Fortwilliam - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, I can now reveal that this place with the lovely view is Fort William, in the Scottish Highlands!

Fort William did actually start life as a fort – the earliest recorded settlement here was a wooden fort, dating back to the mid-1600s. It’s seen a fair amount of military activity since then, most notably during the Jacobite uprising in 1746. Back then, forces supporting the reinstatement of James Stuart to the British throne laid siege to the town for two weeks! These days, it’s much more peaceful. In fact, the original fort was much bigger than what remains there today!
The Peaceful Heart of Fort William - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

What brings many people to Fort William now is its proximity to the Highlands. Look, Paddy has spotted Ben Nevis!
Paddy Admires Ben Nevis - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt may be shrouded in mist, but it’s pretty difficult to hide completely. It’s Scotland’s highest mountain, after all!

Closer at hand, the boys explored the fort a little further…
Sally Port at Fort William - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“This is the sally port, Paddy! They used it to bring in supplies by boat back in the day. Look at that stonework…”

Paddy found this very impressive… Until he learned that the sally port has been out of action for many years, and no-one was going to row past with a sandwich for his lunch.

No, his mind quickly turned to other things… Like climbing mountains! The West Highland Way walking trail starts (or ends, depending which direction you go) in Fort William, and stretches 96 miles across some of Scotland’s most beautiful and rugged countryside. But the first section, in the town, is deceptively easy going…
Walking the West Highland Way - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPerfect for little short Beastie legs! And luckily for the boys, just as their paws began to get tired, they happened upon a friendly local who offered them a lift home.
Hitching a Ride Home - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

This bronzed fellow in his Model T Ford is here to commemorate a publicity stunt that took place here more than 100 years ago. Mr Henry Alexander, the local Ford dealer, had the bright idea of asking his son to drive one of their Model Ts to the top of Ben Nevis. He wanted to demonstrate to the buying public that these cars were as good (or even better than) their hand-built British counterparts. The trip there – and more importantly, back down again – was tricky, but a success. There’s even some recently-rediscovered film footage of the descent! You can see it and find out more about the statue here.

Of course, Paddy was eager to take the wheel and recreate the journey himself… But since Mr Henry Alexander Jr was literally welded into the driving seat, he had to settle for riding shotgun!
Leaving Fort William - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWe’ll rejoin the boys in a couple of weeks. Next week… A new Beastie friend for you all to meet. And this one has SO MANY ACCESSORIES!

See you then!

10 thoughts on “Paddy and Plunkett Take Fort William!

  1. I’m not sure I believe they’re in Scotland – it’s sunny!
    I’ve not been to Fort William before, but now the boys have shown it off I will definitely add it to my list

    1. Hahaha! Yes, I feel the same way when I see pictures of Ireland in the blazing sunshine ๐Ÿ˜‚ I guess they were just really lucky! Fort William does look beautiful… And after seeing the boys tackle a short (very short!) stretch of the West Highland Way, I’m a bit tempted myself! Let us know if you head over that way!
      Cheers for dropping in, Hannah ๐Ÿค—

  2. How do these two always get such good weather for their travels? Fort William is meant to be one of the wettest places in Britain yet there they are, sauntering off along the West Highland Way without even a thought of pulling on their wellies. As for the car going up the mountain…..well now, there’s a master class on marketing!

    1. I know! I’m definitely going to have to tag along with them one of these days… Sunshine just seems to follow them wherever they go. As for the Model T, it was an impressive feat… When I was reading up about it, I found out that the snow was 5ft deep in some places along the way! I think that Mr Alexander Jr could have benefited from having Paddy and Plunkett there to moderate the weather a little… Thanks for dropping in, Queen Bee!

    1. Hahaha! I believe the Beasties avoided any pudding-related mishaps, although in fairness Paddy would probably carry on eating regardless! This is a story that deserves elaboration though – a pea in a fruit salad might be ok, a pea in a cheesecake definitely is not! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thanks for stopping in, Jon!

  3. Fort William, you say? I would concede that my guess of Loch Something-Or-Other was incorrect, but I bet this place was called Fort Loch when old William wasn’t around. Great pics and love the car…but now I really want to see P&P whizzing down Ben Nevis in it.

    1. Noooooo! Encouragement to grab the wheel is the absolute last thing that Paddy needs ๐Ÿ˜‚ And funny you should say that the place surely had another name before William showed up! Early records have it down as An Gearasdan… The origins of this gaelic word weren’t recorded, but wild speculation has led some people to conclude that it’s a corruption of the English word “garrison”. So, Fort Loch? Not a million miles off the truth ๐Ÿ˜

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