Landmarks along the Caledonian Canal were lit up in honour of its 200th anniversary.
Last night Neptune’s Staircase, the canal’s lock system near Fort William, and Gairlochy Lighthouse were lit up in beautiful greens, purples and blues.
And in spite of inclement weather, visitors described the scene as “spectacular”.
The canal stretches for 60 miles along the Great Glen from Inverness in the north-east to Fort William in the south-west.
In addition to the 29 locks, the canal also winds its way through Loch Oich, Loch Lochy and Loch Ness.
The canal was built between 1803 and 1822 by industrial icon Thomas Telford and was designed to make it easier for ships to travel from across Scotland.
Before the canal opened ships had to travel around the hazardous Pentland Firth, which could take days in rough weather.
When the canal was finished it was 12 years behind schedule and £425,000 over budget – the equivalent of around £14 million in today’s money.
With the invention of the motor vehicle, the canal was no longer seen as an important trade route in Scotland, but now enjoys life as a popular tourist attraction.
In honour of the 200th anniversary of both the Caledonian Canal and the Union Canal, Scottish Canals have lit up landmarks along the route.
Caledonian Canal marks 200 years.
The celebrations continue with the recreation of the historic first journey using the Loch Ness Barge near Tomnahurich Bridge in Inverness.
The Caledonian Canal has recently undergone work including replacing the lock gates at Kytra and Fort Augustus.
Mackenzie Construction is working with Scottish Canals to celebrate the occasion.
Mark Wilson, construction director at Mackenzie Construction “Over the past 15 years we have worked closely with Scottish Canals to protect Scotland’s canal heritage while transforming spaces along the network for future generations so we are delighted to be partnering with Scottish Canals to celebrate this milestone moment.”
Scottish Canals, chief operating officer, Richard Millar, said: “This is a big year for Scottish Canals as we celebrate 200 years of the Caledonian and Union Canals.
“These important heritage assets have stood the test of time; providing important transport routes, bolstering the local and national economy and helping put Scotland on the map as experts in engineering and innovation.”