/ Fort William, the ugliest town in Scotland

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Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
Considered by some as the outdoor capital of the UK, but Fort William is one of the most depressing ghost towns in the UK.
AdCo82 on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

and your point is?
Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to An Triubhas: As above
Ben Sharp - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00: I get what you mean but I quite like it, it's nicer than Aviemore imo. Although I know technically it's not "nicer", it just feels like a normal town as opposed to an artificially constructed tourist trap.

Oh yeah and would I be right in guessing you don't see many other towns in Scotland?!
malky_c - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00: ever been to Cumbernauld?
silhouette - on 31 May 2013
In reply to malky_c:
> (In reply to Gene00) ever been to Cumbernauld?

Neither have you by the sound of it. The town centre is ugly but the residential areas are well landscaped with grass and trees.
andymac - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Fort William ,on a wet miserable day ,is not the cheeriest of places ,and the High Street is perhaps in need of a shot in the arm.

There are far worse ,and dirtier ,towns than FW.
Father Noel Furlong on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

You've obviously never been to Stoke....utter shitehole.
malky_c - on 31 May 2013
In reply to silhouette: Heh! I was sure your profile was going to say you were from Cumbernauld.

Been through it a few times, but it hasn't made me want to stop. I think you'll find that the majority of dire towns in the UK have nice bits somewhere in the suburbs.
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013



I like the Fort. It's no oil painting, but it has a kind of Yukony feel. Real things happen there, things involving lorries and winches and spanners and diesel oil. And it has better views than Stoke, which incidentally is not in Scotland.

The main downer about the Fort is the herds of aimless, overdressed English outdoor types wandering around in the rain, complaining in loud voices about how much they don't like it there :-)
silhouette - on 31 May 2013
In reply to malky_c: True, Cumbernauld town centre is ugly. In fact last time I went there it was even uglier than the time before. I lived in Kildrum about a mile east near the theatre which is not bad at all. Some good walks.
MG - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>
>
>
> I like the Fort. It's no oil painting, but it has a kind of Yukony feel. Real things happen there, things involving lorries and winches and spanners and diesel oil. And it has better views than Stoke,

Better than Stoke is hardly a ringing endorsement! The high street seems to be dying on it's feet right now.
Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to malky_c: Aye, too many times. I get where you're coming from!
Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong: No, never. But thanks in advance for the warning
Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

>
> The main downer about the Fort is the herds of aimless, overdressed English outdoor types wandering around in the rain, complaining in loud voices about how much they don't like it there :-)

And when the sun goes down they are replaced with drunken marauding scantily dressed toothless yocals

Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

I cycled down the Fort's main street on a Friday evening a couple of weeks back. The Volly looked as terrifying as ever :-)
Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: ha ha
toad - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>
>
>
> I like the Fort. It's no oil painting, but it has a kind of Yukony feel. Real things happen there, things involving lorries and winches and spanners and diesel oil.

It's funny I get an unfocussed nostalgic feel about Milton Keynes - the electric charge of the metaphysical discussion, the nuanced intellectual debate, the iconoclasm...

But I'm guessing the dermatitis from the wet and the old oil is manageable, and the number of people missing a knuckle or two from getting it trapped in the winch is lower*


Actually, probably not true, but you get my point.
PeterM - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

er, no, by a long way..methil, EK, Cumbernauld, Greenock, Paisley, Aviemore, Thurso, Wick, ....
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to toad:

There are beautiful bits in MK. I was cycling along a road somewhere near Willen the other day, with a lake on either side of me, down a tall avenue of sunlit poplars. Magnificent.
climb the peak - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong: I can second that
dissonance - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> I like the Fort. It's no oil painting, but it has a kind of Yukony feel. Real things happen there, things involving lorries and winches and spanners and diesel oil. And it has better views than Stoke, which incidentally is not in Scotland.

thats what you think. Check the paragraph 567 section d of the treasury report on Scotland going independent.
Luton, Stoke and Hull will all be being handed over. Currently the No campaign are in two minds as to whether to advertise this or whether to keep quiet and deliberately lose the vote.

toad - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to Gene00)
>
> You've obviously never been to Stoke....utter shitehole.

I wnet through Stoke on the boat a few years ago - You get a very wierd view of the city - the backs of the old potteries, closed factories. It's so far beyond dereliction in places that it feels like you've stumbled onto the set of some steampunk/ mad max/ Zonbie apocalypse
MG - on 31 May 2013
In reply to dissonance: I quite like applying the good bank/bad bank idea to the UK. Add Blackpool to your list.
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to dissonance:

Aargh!

Luton, Stoke, and Hull are indeed absolute hell-holes.

I tell you where is unexpectedly pleasant, though: Wolverhampton. Cycled round it looking for a curry house the other day. It's not bad at all. Some nice civic buildings, some nice little parks, the usual shops. A bit like Bolton, only without the rain.

Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to PeterM:
> (In reply to Gene00)
>
> er, no, by a long way..methil, EK, Cumbernauld, Greenock, Paisley, Aviemore, Thurso, Wick, ....

It's the sheer beauty of the surrounding area that saves Fort William from the list of towns you mentioned above! IMO


Mike Stretford - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to dissonance)
>
> Aargh!
>
> Luton, Stoke, and Hull are indeed absolute hell-holes.
>
> I tell you where is unexpectedly pleasant, though: Wolverhampton. Cycled round it looking for a curry house the other day. It's not bad at all. Some nice civic buildings, some nice little parks, the usual shops. A bit like Bolton, only without the rain.

It never rains in Wolverhampton? As for Hull, I thought it was very much like your description of Wolverhampton.

I think these threads should be renamed "Mood you were in when you visited a particular place"
Just a bhoy - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Gene00)
> The Volly looked as terrifying as ever :-)

From what I've heard we'd be OK in there.....
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Just a bhoy:

I was wearing my Celtic ruckie at the time, as it happens.
Bobling - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

I once drove through the outskirts of Middlesbrough, perhaps I just got the wrong area but I have never felt the need to lock my car doors before when stopping at traffic lights.
ThunderCat - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Bobling:

This reminds me of my Plymouth thread. If the UK needed an enema, Plymouth is where you'd stick the pipe.
blondel - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Bobling:

Heh! My son was at Teesside University, and my car broke down one day when I was picking him up.

"Don't break down in this street!" he cried in horror. "This is where they have all the gang fights! They'll probably stab us!"

In fact the only sign of life at all was a granny sleeping in the sun on a hard chair outside her front door and we escaped unscathed. And Saltholme Bird Sanctuary, right in the heart of the town, is an amazing place for birdsong at twilight, and there are often seals in the river. And I love the warm winds that blow through the streets in the summer - even though I'm a country hick and hate cities with a vengeance. There's something to appreciate everywhere if you look hard enough - so long as they don't stab you first!
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Bobling:


I once walked through Sunderland in a pair of Desert-Rat shorts. (It had been hot on the train. I dressed for the heat.) It's the only place people have ever actually pulled over to inform me of my sartorial mistakes, and invite me to participate in a beating.
PeterM - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

That may be your opinion but it is so wrong! Have you been to the central belt at all? Get to Falkirk.....Alloa, slamanan,.......
Gene00 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to PeterM: I used to work in Bathgate, I've had the misfortune to visit most of the holes in the central belt
Eric9Points - on 31 May 2013
In reply to PeterM:
> (In reply to Gene00)
>
> er, no, by a long way..methil, EK, Cumbernauld, Greenock, Paisley, Aviemore, Thurso, Wick, ....

Thurso's OK, at least the buildings don't look like they're about to collapse.

Amazed no one's mentioned Kilmarnock. Like Homs but without the sunshine.
Kid Spatula - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Not one of these places is even near Skelmersale for pure shitholeness.
Big Steve - on 31 May 2013
In reply to : Luton, worse town in Britain in 2004 and has got worse since.
Ben Sharp - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: I think Tim may be on a one man mission to cycle through the countries run down towns and cities and find something good about them!
Pids - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to PeterM)
>> Amazed no one's mentioned Kilmarnock. Like Homs but without the sunshine.

But when the sun shines Marvin and his mates all come out, taps aff, and it is a glorious place
Chris Harris - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Once had the bad luck to get stuck in New Cumnock on the way back from Arran.


John Workman - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
Didn't you see the NO CYCLING signs or are you ones of those idiots that just ignore them?
Ramblin dave - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>
>
>
> I like the Fort. It's no oil painting, but it has a kind of Yukony feel. Real things happen there, things involving lorries and winches and spanners and diesel oil.

Agree. :-)

Larkhall on the other hand seems grim. We stopped for chips there on the way back from a winter trip once, and wondered whether it would be wise to keep helmets and axes handy...
Double Knee Bar - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong: Stoke is well developed compared to Fort Bill. Seriously, i was shocked at the state of fort william last year.

Don't get me wrong, Stoke isn't paradise, but the shitholes in Stoke are nowhere near as run down as the shitholes in bigger cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and London.
Cuthbert on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>
>
>
> I like the Fort. It's no oil painting, but it has a kind of Yukony feel. Real things happen there, things involving lorries and winches and spanners and diesel oil. And it has better views than Stoke, which incidentally is not in Scotland.
>
> The main downer about the Fort is the herds of aimless, overdressed English outdoor types wandering around in the rain, complaining in loud voices about how much they don't like it there :-)

+1 :-)
Duncan Bourne - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
The city of LOVE! :o)
Duncan Bourne - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
Obviously those who bash Stoke (unless of course they mean Stoke Newington) don't live there. If they did they they would know what a lovely place it is to live. Green (as vegitation), cheap, close to lots of good climbing, no traffic jams, people are friendly and talk to you and over all a very mellow place to live. Of all the cities in the UK only Stoke and Bristol would I ever consider living in.
tlm - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:

> You've obviously never been to Stoke....utter shitehole.

Beauty or ugliness is in the eye of the beholder. Most place have something beautiful about them to me:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3030/2647651054_df2e6500ee_m.jpg
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:


Of all the cities in the UK only Stoke and Bristol would I ever consider living in.


Woww.... that's going some. Personally, I don't much like Bristol. I find it disorienting, and much too big, and kind of messy. But then, I don't live there.

Given a look at the map, and all the amazingly beautiful country around it in every direction, you've got to be right about Stoke's usefulness as a base.

Anyway, given my continuing Dundee-is-Dandy campaign, I'm hardly going to bash someone for praising an unpopular town :-)
Ramblin dave - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
I think one thing here is that the stuff that makes a place nice to live in is quite different from the stuff that makes it an immediately attractive place to waste a wet tuesday afternoon in, or to blow into for the day for a work meeting or something. I've lived in a couple of places that were pretty dreary on first acquaintance but actually really nice, welcoming, lively places once you got to know them...
tlm - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
>
> Given a look at the map, and all the amazingly beautiful country around it in every direction, you've got to be right about Stoke's usefulness as a base.

It's smack bang in the middle of all the climbing in the country...

and it is also full of parks, canals, nature parks, greenways and small patches of green land, unlike any other city - anywhere else, all these little parcels of land would have been built on!

It is full of hidden gems, prized by those who live here, but you won't see them whizzing past on the A50. I love it - more a collection of communities than anywhere else I've ever lived.
Duncan Bourne - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
My niece lived in Dundee and thought it was great!
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> I think one thing here is that the stuff that makes a place nice to live in is quite different from the stuff that makes it an immediately attractive place to waste a wet tuesday afternoon in, or to blow into for the day for a work meeting or something. I've lived in a couple of places that were pretty dreary on first acquaintance but actually really nice, welcoming, lively places once you got to know them...


You're right. And of course, the people can make a place. Birmingham is (in my outsider's view) a breathtakingly, spectacularly ugly town. But Brummies are great. Friendliest people in England.
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:


Town! What am I thinking of? City. SOOOOO sorry, Eric.
tlm - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> You're right. And of course, the people can make a place. Birmingham is (in my outsider's view) a breathtakingly, spectacularly ugly town. But Brummies are great. Friendliest people in England.

I thought the city centre is now pretty beautiful - they've kept all the lovely old stuff, and made a coherent design which brings the whole lot together. And then they have all those miles and miles of canals...

Everywhere has run down bits, and I quite like a bit of character rather than the plastic blandness that you end up getting in places where there is more money...

Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to tlm:


OK-- if I'm changing trains in Brum, and have an hour to spare, what should I look out for?

I'll admit my view of Brum is based mainly on the Stygian grimness that is New Street, surely the most purely and irredeemably awful railway station in Britain... but horrible railway stations is another thread. Another thread with a lot about Haymarket in it...
Steve nevers on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Duncan Bourne)
>
>

> Woww.... that's going some. Personally, I don't much like Bristol. I find it disorienting, and much too big, and kind of messy. But then, I don't live there.
>


Ah Bristols alright, although the Bedminster area does remind me of Swansea in the '80s.

As for it being messy, its not so bad now the youth have moved on from ketamine.

tlm - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> OK-- if I'm changing trains in Brum, and have an hour to spare, what should I look out for?

We spent a lovely day in the art gallery - they have a really good collection of pre-Raphaelite art.

http://www.bmag.org.uk/collections

We also went for an amazing meal at a place called Simpson's a few years ago. However, that is something for a whole evening, not just an hour! We had 13 delicious courses, and it was a meal that I will not forget in a hurry. A really special occasion place.

http://www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk/

Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to tlm:

Excellent--thanks for the tips. I love the Pre-Raphaelites.
Timmd on 31 May 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
> [...]
>
> It's smack bang in the middle of all the climbing in the country...
>
> and it is also full of parks, canals, nature parks, greenways and small patches of green land, unlike any other city - anywhere else, all these little parcels of land would have been built on!
>
> It is full of hidden gems, prized by those who live here, but you won't see them whizzing past on the A50. I love it - more a collection of communities than anywhere else I've ever lived.

Sheffield has 200 parks in it. Sounds fairly similar to Sheffield in some ways, which has been described as a collection of villages by some. I've nowhere to compare it with tho. (:-))
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Timmd on 31 May 2013
In reply to tlm: Stoke sounds nice.
Dauphin - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Peterheid.

D
Father Noel Furlong on 31 May 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong)
> [...]
>
> I wnet through Stoke on the boat a few years ago - You get a very wierd view of the city - the backs of the old potteries, closed factories. It's so far beyond dereliction in places that it feels like you've stumbled onto the set of some steampunk/ mad max/ Zonbie apocalypse

Sounds like the Stoke i drove through. Never have i wished down could do without traffic lights so i didn't have to stop! Don't know what a Zonbie acopalypse is but i think you're right Stoke goes way beyond an ordinary acopalypse.
David Barratt - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Gene00: Was in Fort William last weekend and witnessed the violent night life. A lad, maybe about 14, tipped over a bin and got arrested. I for one was staggered. We got out as soon as we could.
Tim Chappell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to David Barratt:
> I for one was staggered.


Is that the English for "blootered"?
Duncan Bourne - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
A happy days

It is all a bit shiny and modern now along the canal
Fat Bumbly2 - on 31 May 2013
OP: How well do you know Scotland?
samreddevilz - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00: I have never been there yet ! Wish to be there very soon ;-)
Pinch'a'salt on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to David Barratt:

Tipping a bin over = violence??

Try Glasgow or Paisley on a Saturday night (or old firm game day etc etc) for some proper violence...

Mind you, a mate once had to climb out of the velux window upstairs in the Nevisport bar (as was) having been threatened with unspeakable things by a Mallaig fisherman (mind you he had made a slightly off remark about the fisherman's girlfriend...) and chased round the bar!
Cuthbert on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Pinch'a'salt:

Remember that time the J-man destroyed the table next to the stairs?
Murko Fuzz - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

In terms of the towns infrastructure, it's a shit hole. Dubbed 'the town that bares it's arse to the world', relating to the view as you drive along the bypass. Everything else is great.
Cuthbert on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Murko Fuzz:

Agreed. Who decided to build houses with black roughcast in Upper Achintore? this isn't Fort William's fault or the council, more indicative of a lack of investment by the state in its own people.
Tim Chappell - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:


Meanwhile I hear on the radio that the Texans who are planning to invest in Dundee FC are also planning to invest in Dundee City. They like the look of our waterfront makeover: these days in the City of Discovery a multi is not a monument, it's a target. And unlike Edinburgh, we get on with it--the waterfront will be finished in about one-tenth of the time it takes Edinburgh City Council to finish recriminating each other about their disastrously inept tram scheme. And the V & A is coming too!

There's no doubt about it--Dundee is, and I use this word solely to drive you frantic with irritation, the happeningest place in the whole of Scotland :-)
Eric9Points - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
>
> Meanwhile I hear on the radio that the Texans who are planning to invest in Dundee FC are also planning to invest in Dundee City. They like the look of our waterfront makeover: these days in the City of Discovery a multi is not a monument, it's a target. And unlike Edinburgh, we get on with it

Have you got the tense right there "we get on with it"? Shouldn't you be saying "We'll be get on with it"? Just remarking on this because when I passed through Dundee a few weeks ago it still looked like a shithole to me.

Good luck with the improvements anyway, they'll need to be extensive to fix a century of architectural vandalism.

Tim Chappell - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:


Oh, get back under your bridge, you small-minded, sour little troll.
andymac - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Pinch'a'salt:

I do believe that young Barratt was not being entirely serious.
dek - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
>
>
> Oh, get back under your bridge, you small-minded, sour little troll.

You tell him Tim!...it's not called the 'Wee Apple' for nothing......

(Pronounced 'Wee A-Pul')
David Barratt - on 01 Jun 2013
Indeed.
David Barratt - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: And as for Dundee... It's a lovely City that is deservedly attracting investment.
Andrew Mallinson - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

...stop looking in the mirror Tim.....

ANdy
Pids - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Saor Alba)
>
>
> Meanwhile I hear on the radio that the Texans who are planning to invest in Dundee FC are also planning to invest in Dundee City. They like the look of our waterfront makeover: these days in the City of Discovery a multi is not a monument, it's a target. And unlike Edinburgh, we get on with it--the waterfront will be finished in about one-tenth of the time it takes Edinburgh City Council to finish recriminating each other about their disastrously inept tram scheme. And the V & A is coming

Built some houses at Dundee Quay a few years ago, went back to visit them last month - yup, cheap flats/town houses thrown up during the last housing boom now look like a ghetto in about 5 short years.

Dundee waterfront, still a disaster area waiting for the next boom time, and it ain't going to happen soon!

Good to see some evidence of civic pride, but it's still Scumdee to many folk!
stroppygob - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Pah.

Spend a day in Llanelli, then get back to me.
I like climbing - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
Stoke Newington is great.
Pinch'a'salt on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to andymac:
> (In reply to Pinch'a'salt)
>
> I do believe that young Barratt was not being entirely serious.


Aaah... that somehow passed me by... (I blame the flu I have been battling all week...).

I do remember being quite amused late one Saturday night after MacNasty's had kicked out, on an Old Firm night, a young lad up a streetlamp, with about 5 or 6 coppers trying to get him down to no avail - the stand off lasted at least an hour (yes we did stay to watch!).
(We had simple pleasures back in those days in the Fort)

Pinch'a'salt on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Pinch'a'salt)
>
> Remember that time the J-man destroyed the table next to the stairs?

Indeedy. Happy days!
Murko Fuzz - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
Agreed 100%. All it would take is the will to do it.
Skol on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Murko Fuzz:
Fort Bill is fine. Not your posh southern English town but wouldn't want to live in one of those .
Just had a bad weekend in Aviemore and not in a rush to go back.
I'm from Stoke, lived there for 32 years and wouldn't go back to live. Only go to see relatives and get oatcakes. True, some people are nice there, but as a general judgement it's as rough as a bears arse. Nowhere is much different now if it had an industrial past. Maggie laid waste to it. So, we have 2 generations of people in poorly paid jobs, or with no work ethic at all as there are no jobs with a living wage, living in shitholes that add to the depression.
Ps The canals were constructed for transportation of produce, not for the jolly water gipsies to look at the scenery:-)!
Eric9Points - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

I'm reminded of an Ayrshire saying, "the only folk that want to live in Patna are folk fae Drongan". Replace Patna and Drongan with Fort William and Syoke ;+).

Seriously, I agree that there are far worse places than the Fort.

Also, someone mentioned earlier that Fort William bares it's arse to anyone driving on the town centre bypass. True enough but that road was only built or at least upgraded a couple of decades ago. When all the shops were built on the High Street, that was the main route through the town. It would be nice to think that the town will gradually evolve into something that has a more open aspect onto the loch side.
Skol on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
I'm always uplifted driving into Fort Bill. Think it's a great place. It does have a last outpost feel to it. Someone told me that the end of the west highland way was shifted to the end of the high street, in order to boost trade?
Douglas Griffin - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Skol:

> It does have a last outpost feel to it.

It depends. Any time I'm driving through Fort William (which isn't often), I'm arriving from the North and it's the biggest town I've passed through since leaving home.

It's not particularly pretty, but it's very far from being the ugliest town in Scotland.
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andymac - on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

There are plans to give the dual carriageway etc a bit of a facelift.


Has anyone had the privilege of passing through Alexandria (not the Egyptian one).

Cuthbert on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to andymac:

The thing about places like Alexandria and Fort William is that they are in glorious settings. Amazing places I'd say and when I hear people raving on about "the Lakes" I find myself feeling sorry for them. Stoke sounds like a disease.
999thAndy on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Can any town really claim to be beautiful?

And Fort William is probably not the ugliest town in Scotland, since Barrhead is still on the map.
MG - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
>
> And Fort William is probably not the ugliest town in Scotland,

True but I think in terms of failing to taking advantage of the oppportunities available it must be top. Stunning location so let's build a high street from which you can't see any of it and surround it in dual carriageway!
Cuthbert on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to MG:

I really do wonder about you sometimes Martin, particularly your tendency to get everything right all the time with almost no knowledge of the situation.

Fort William High Street was not built in one go and developed for the same reasons as elsewhere - the economy created a situation where it was advantageous to build next to the main thoroughfare thus creating the street. This happened long before tourism was as important as it is today.

So your view that some kind of decision was arrived at is very wide of the mark.
MG - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
Sorry, I was forgetting, this is of course an entirely serious thread and my post an entirely serious post and you are the foremost expert in the planning history of Fort William (as well as everything else).
Ramblin dave - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:
So, pie in the sky time, if you got a blank cheque from the EU to make Fort William's infrastructure a bit nicer (while keeping the spanners and winches and diesel oil end of things), what would you do?
Cuthbert on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to MG:

Ah right, I didn't realise you were joking. I think it may be some time until you get on "Live at the Apollo".
MG - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Gene00)
> So, pie in the sky time, if you got a blank cheque from the EU to make Fort William's infrastructure a bit nicer (while keeping the spanners and winches and diesel oil end of things), what would you do?

Knock down a load 60/70s monstronsities. Make much more of the water front (the dual carriage way is a real barrier). Try and get the high street functioning again.

Richard Carter - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Bobling:

That made me laugh. Yes Middlesbrough looks a bit rough, but actually;


1) The people are generally friendly. I got knocked over by a HGV and fully expected the resulting crowd to pinch my bike or mock my lycra, but no there was none of that. People here are very down to Earth.

2) Unlike Manchester no one here can afford a gun, so it's not so bad! :-P
Murko Fuzz - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Skol:

It was shifted. I don't think it's made a blind bit of difference. Hilariously there's now a bun fight between the east end of town and the west end, with the woollen mill having a sign saying ' The ORIGINAL end of the WHW ', and various establishments along the high street (including pubs) advertising "congratulations, come in and get your certificate". All seems a bit desperate to me.
hoodmonkey - on 03 Jun 2013
Sorry but nowhere trumps Rochdale in the shit town stakes. Heroin and benefits capital of the UK, the town centre looks like Behruit and even McDonald's couldn't justify keeping a restaurant open there.
The New NickB - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to hoodmonkey:

Only the bit about McDonalds is true.
Ramblin dave - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Murko Fuzz:
Although I guess it highlights a bit of an issue that Fort William has, namely that the area around it attracts a huge number of tourists but the town itself is fairly crap at extracting money from them, largely because there's no particular incentive to spend time there.

Have they tried getting more tourist attractions (thinking Keswick Pencil Museum sort of things, not the Eiffel Tower or anything) in the centre? It might encourage people to linger a bit and be a boost for the high street in general. Maybe they could de-mothball the National Mountaineering Exhibition or something. But I guess it'd be hard to set that sort of thing up now because tourists don't generally go into the centre...

Sorry, thinking out loud now...
Cuthbert on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

You are right but the trouble is that much of the property in the High Street is controlled for afar, an item on a balance sheet. The rates are also too high. 27k for the tiny Thorntons shop!
hoodmonkey - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Yep bit of embellishment for effect there. My point remains though and I'm Rochdale born n bred not a pass-thru tourist.
The New NickB - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to hoodmonkey:

I won't claim to be born and bred, only lived here 30 years on and off, the last 15 through choice. I can see the problems with the place, but actually really like the place.
Skol on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
Really? Stoke sounds like a disease? Which one?
Are you from a deliverance town?
hoodmonkey - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Don't get me wrong, Rochdale is home to some of the funniest, kindest people I know and has lots of weird and unique things about it, but as a proud Rochdalian it's my right to slag it off!

It does have lots of problems though and seems to have fared a lot worse than many other similar towns in Greater Manchester/Lancashire in recent years.
andymac - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> You are right but the trouble is that much of the property in the High Street is controlled for afar, an item on a balance sheet. The rates are also too high. 27k for the tiny Thorntons shop!

Brave move by Cotswold ?

Bit of investment to get that lot set up.

Cuthbert on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to andymac:

Yeah good on them. I can't see it surviving though.
andymac - on 03 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Was my feeling walking through.

Wrong end of the street, for one thing.

Didn`t realise Blacks had gone. Used to have a good choice of boots
Wiley Coyote - on 05 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Does Scotland have ANY attractive towns? Just spent a few days in Edinburgh and found it a gracious and impressive city but I genuinely can't think of a single Scottish town that I've looked at - and I've visited my fair share - and thought "This is pretty". On the way home from Edinburgh we pulled off the A1 and stopped in some 'historic market town' for breakfast to avoid the motorway caffs. We both commented that while it had some nice buildings and the people were friendly enough it was just incredibly stark and depressing with no trees, no flowers, no soft edges just lots and lots of bare stone. It had all the cosiness and warmth of a Wee Free Chapel. And that was with the sun shining. I dread to think how cheerless it would be in the rain.
Father Noel Furlong on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

You're right Scotland's a shit hole, that's why so many tourists go there.

Troll.
MG - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote: There is rather a lot of dour austereness, and more recently grey pebbledash (why!). But try Peebles, Doune, Dunkeld or St Andrews for prettiness.
Tim Chappell - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Well, go to Blackpool then. Or Great Yarmouth.
Wiley Coyote - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> You're right Scotland's a shit hole, that's why so many tourists go there.
>
Including me for my last two summer hols. But few, I think, go there for the attractiveness of the towns, which is the point I was making.

Cuthbert on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

I think it comes from a slight different view of glory and is related to the Church of England and Church of Scotland and how they view the celebration of beauty. In Scotland it's slightly different and greyness is sometimes accepted as desirable.

999thAndy on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
I don't recall too much grey pebbledash in Balamory ...
Tim Chappell - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> I think it comes from a slight different view of glory and is related to the Church of England and Church of Scotland and how they view the celebration of beauty. In Scotland it's slightly different and greyness is sometimes accepted as desirable.


Forgive this off-topic and me-centred aside--but have you been looking at my stuff, Saor? I'm interested by your use of "glory" in the first sentence above.

Probably the answer is no and I shall get tarred and feathered for asking, but never mind, at least it'll sort out my acne.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Cuthbert on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I wasn't using it in any particular way, more referring, roughly, to the use of imagery between CofE, CofS, Scottish Episcopal Church, presbyterian etc and the effect that has on the general view of beauty and celebration of beauty.

What stuff do you mean? I haven't been looking at anything in particular more just seeing it and reading it over the years.
Father Noel Furlong on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to Father Noel Furlong)
> [...]
> Including me for my last two summer hols. But few, I think, go there for the attractiveness of the towns, which is the point I was making.

Interesting point. I think given this is an outdoor forum that people on here will visit Scotland as an outdoor venue. There are plenty of others who don't.
Sam_in_Leeds - on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00

Surprised no-one's mentioned Bradford aka Bradistan.

Looks like once up-on-a-time it had some beautiful elegant Victorian buildings but now it just looks well, shit.

A real shame it seems to now be in some sort of "Managed decline"
yorkshirebloke on 06 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00: lived there 5 years...YIP
Jim Fraser - on 08 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

Fort William ugly? In 2013? Something is wrong here! In 1999 it was hellish. Public buildings around An Gearasdan and Ceann Loch Liobhann were literally falling apart. It was dreadful. I know because for several months I was employed to inspect them. On the basis of what I see now I would want to give An Gearasdan an award for the level of improvement.

Railway towns like this are never pretty. There are examples all over the country. They just seem worse when they are placed in beautiful surroundings.
steev on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Gene00:

I have two points:

1 - Why on Earth are people suggesting towns in England as candidates for ugliest town in Scotland?

2 - Fort William is most certainly no beauty from an architecture point of view, but then most highland towns are pretty functional-looking. It is certainly somewhere that reveals its charms to you gradually, and the more time you spend there, the more you start to like it. I would certainly consider moving back there one day if it didn't rain 350 days a year.
Cuthbert on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to steev:

Well said. I like Fort William a lot. It's a real place with a mixed economy and people who aren't as shallow or clone-like as most in the outdoor world.
John Rushby - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to steev:

I agree about being functional.

What people forget is that Fort William has to provide work and housing 365 days a year. The tourist season is short and sporadic, so the town has to rely on other investment, such as the new trading estates, the Morrison's, Alcan, offshore engineering . These are not picture box industries, but they do provide work. It's a bit harsh to say it's ugly when the economic reality is function then form. It is a damn site better than when I first visited 30 years ago. True the high street has a high void rate, but so do many towns that freely on visitor income.


As for Bradford - it is a classic post industrial city. Our master in Westminster have however decided that the National Film and Television museum should be shut down, no doubt to free up funding for new gilded taps in the Royal Opera House.

It suffers as it never got the investment that Leeds, Liverpool or Hull received in the 80's and 90's so it is very much playing catch up.

andymac - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:

Towns economy will have done quite nicely yesterday and today ,with the downhill World Championships.

usually get about 20,000 speccies
Toby S - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to steev)
>
> I agree about being functional.
>
> What people forget is that Fort William has to provide work and housing 365 days a year. The tourist season is short and sporadic.

Nope. The tourist 'season' proper lasts from Easter through till the tail end of September. Even then FW and the Highlands still have a fair percentage of vistors out with those times . Throw in some pretty successful ski seasons and it's pretty much a year round business. It has peaks and troughs but to say its short and sporadic isn't entirely accurate.
John Rushby - on 09 Jun 2013
In reply to Toby S:

The businesses I work with up there can struggle. A late wet Easter, crap summer can be a disaster and there isn't really that much time to make hay.

If you compare the Scottish tourist season with UK, especially England it is usually much shorter. A typical lodge or cottage owner will work on letting 30 weeks, whereas say in the Lakes or Dales it can be up to 40 weeks.

I take your point about a good ski season but it's transient and often day visits from which secondary spend is often limited.



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