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Evidence of human inhabitants in Fort William dates back as far as 7500 BC in the form of cave markings and human remains. These primitive people are today believed to be the ancestors of the modern Scots. The first castle built in the region, Iverlochy, was constructed in the early 13th Century by the area's ruling clan. For hundreds of years, this, and other clans in the area battled among themselves and with armies from England for the right to govern Scotland and the Fort William region. It was during these years that the Scots gained their reputation as fierce warriors.
Tourism began in the Fort William region as early as the 19th Century when access to the area was made easier by its first steamboats. The rise in the number of visitors gave birth to hotels and soon the town was lit with gas lamps and home to several shops and services. In 1894, the Scottish Railway extended to Fort William bringing even more visitors.
Fort William today is a very popular tourist destination for active travelers of all types because of its opportunities for hiking, camping, boating, and biking in beautiful natural surroundings.