Prior to the building of a Cromwellian wooden fort in 1654 the area the current town was inhabited by Clan Cameron. The fort was named after William of Orange wh ordered the building of the fort to control the Highland Clans. Maryburgh, the settlement that grew around the fort was named after his wife, Mary II of England. Maryburgh was later renamed Gordonsburgh and then Duncansburgh before eventually being renamed Fort William, after Prince William, Duke of Cumberland. In the Jacobite rising of 1745 Fort William was besieged unsuccessfully for two weeks by the Jacobites.
Fort William is served by train from Glasgow, Mallaig and London and is the perfect base for exploring the Western Highlands.