Information For SSDT Spectators
Spectating at the SSDT is absolutely FREE!
All we ask is that you respect our request to leave your bikes at home – the future of the SSDT is dependent on the goodwill of our landowners, and whilst they are happy for our riders and officials to ride across their ground, unauthorised riders following the trial could result in the loss of huge areas of ground that would threaten the very existence of the trial.
The best sections for spectating will be detailed in the official event program along with a map and directions, and there is plenty fun to be had getting to the sections by road and by foot!
Each day of the SSDT covers around a hundred miles of ground each day, but the event starts and finishes in Fort William every day, so your best bet for accommodation is in the Fort William area.
You can find full details of the accommodation available in and around the town from the local Tourist Information office :
15 High Street
You can also find lots of information about places to stay in Fort William at the Visit Fort William website.
There are thirty different sections on any given day of the Scottish Six Days Trial so you are not short of choice. However, not all of them are accessible to spectators and some that are require considerable walking, though you will be amongst the most spectacular scenery Britain has to offer so it's worth taking the time to enjoy it. You can find details on the best sections to watch, along with maps showing their location and directions for accessing them in the official SSDT program. The program is available to purchase from various outlets in and around Fort William from late April onwards.
In Fort William
As the SSDT takes over the main car park at the west end of Fort William for the duration, there is no public parking available in that car park throughout the week. Instead, a park and ride facility is provided from the car park at the other end of the waterfront, behind the Nevis Centre and the Morrisons supermarket.
Shuttle buses will run from the signed area at the Nevis Centre to the bottom of the ramp in the West End Car Park continually throughout Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and a limited service will operate through the week. The West End Car Park will provide a drop-off area and limited disabled parking.
The countryside of Lochaber was never designed for parking large numbers of vehicles. Whilst some of the popular groups have dedicated parking, it can be difficult at others so get there early or consider perhaps visiting one of the less popular groups.
Always park considerately:
- Never park where there are yellow Police cones and follow the directions of the Police.
- Always park COMPLETELY off the road. A general rule is, if there is a solid white line down the side of the road then, if your car is TOTALLY behind that line, you'll not cause any problems.If there is just a grass verge then ensure your vehicle is completely on grass, not tarmac. If you can't get your vehicle totally off the road, then please find another spot where you can.
- NEVER, EVER, EVER park in the passing places on single track roads. (Yes, people really do this!) These passing places are there to allow vehicles to pass each other safely. They aren't parking lay-bys!
Planning the routes for the Scottish Six Days Trial is no small job – it requires months of planning and liaison with all the individual landowners and regulatory bodies and the route is generally not finalised until late March each year.
Whilst the club know the planned routes by late March, unfortunately they aren't published in advance. The reason for this is that the SSDT is only made possible by the goodwill of the local landowners who allow us across their land. Unfortunately, past experience has shown that publishing our routes prior to the Trial results in a small number of riders taking the opportunity to investigate new routes and sections and riding illegally. We can’t afford to upset our landowners, so in an effort to protect their ground from illegal riding, the routes of the event are not published before the event. Full routes with maps and tips for the best viewing spots are detailed in the official programme, available in the Parc Ferme and from various outlets in Fort William. Proceeds from the sale of SSDT programmes are donated to charity.
We appreciate that this isn’t really helpful for those of you who want to plan your trip around Lochaber, but hopefully you can understand that protecting the future of the Trial has got to be our priority.
We would encourage you to take your road bike with you - it will make parking much easier for you and you will be able to enjoy some of the best roads in Scotland.
However, off-road riding is definitely not allowed. Off-road bikes are not allowed on ANY off-road part of the SSDT course. That is one thing that we are very strict about. Following the Trial on two wheels is absolutely not permitted.
The future of the SSDT is dependent on the goodwill of our landowners, and whilst they are happy for our riders and officials to ride across their ground with the full backing and insurance provided by Edinburgh & District Motor Club, unauthorised illegal riders following the Trial could jeopardise the future of the event forever.
First of all visit the Event Hub in the West End Car Park - this will be hosting some great nights of entertainment to give you something to do in the evenings - see the full programme of events on this website.
Whilst the Scottish Six Days Trial is the reason for coming to Fort William in the first week of May each year, we appreciate that not all the family may be as devoted to the Trial as you are!
Don’t worry – there is a whole host of things to do in Fort William besides watching the SSDT. It’s not known as The Outdoor Capital of the UK for nothing - and there’s plenty to do indoors too! For more information contact the local Tourist Information Office :
15 High Street
Tel: +44 (0)845 225512
You can also find lots of information about things to do in Fort William at the Visit Fort William website.