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Commando Memorial and High Bridge – Historical Adventure Walk

An easy circular route in the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Lochaber linking these two historic sites and passing through lovely woodland and alongside the River Spean – great views to Ben Nevis throughout.

The Commando Memorial  is a Category A listed monument in Scotland, dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Situated around a mile from Spean Bridge village, it overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle. Unveiled in 1952 by the Queen Mother, it has become one of the United Kingdom’s best-known monuments, both as a war memorial and as a tourist attraction offering views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr.

The monument stands as a memorial to the British Commandos who trained all around the Lochaber region which the monument overlooks, while they were based at the Achnacarry Commando Training Centre established in 1942. As such it is used as site for memorial services, including the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and Remembrance Day ceremonies.

A Garden of Remembrance, which was subsequently added to the site, is used by many surviving World War II Commandos as the designated final resting place for their ashes. It has also been used as a place where many families have scattered ashes and erected tributes to loved ones who belonged to contemporary Commando units and who have died in more recent conflicts such as the Falklands War or in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Highbridge is located on the River Spean, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) downstream from the village of Spean Bridge in the Scottish Highlands. The village takes its name from this bridge.

The bridge was originally built by General Wade in 1736 (at a cost of £1,087) as the crossing of the River Spean on his Inverness to Fort William military road. This bridge was superseded in 1819 by a new bridge further upstream, designed by Thomas Telford. Highbridge was last repaired in 1893, but partially collapsed in 1913, and only the piers now remain. The remains are protected as a category B listed building.

It was the site of the first action of the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, the Highbridge Skirmish, when a small number of Keppoch MacDonalds fooled a company of troops led by Captain Scott into thinking the bridge was heavily defended. The government troops retreated and were pursued to Loch Oich, where they surrendered.

Terrain

Well made path suitable for some all-terrain baby buggies. Wooden bridges can be slippery, dogs must be kept on leads.

Distance

4.5 kilometres

Time

1.5 hours

Click to see full route information from Walkhighlands >

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