Wed. May 29th, 2024
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Blending spectacular settings and tumbling torrents, Scotland’s waterfalls are ideal for improving your wellness. Whether you’re just listening to the soothing sounds of cascading falls, or taking an invigorating dip in a linn beneath them, their draw is almost bewitching.

We’ve pulled together a list of some of the best quiet waterfall walks in Scotland to enjoy. Walk by them when they’re in full flow with winter snow melt or after heavy rainfall to witness their drama, or take a lazy day’s saunter in summer, when water levels are lower, and enjoy their gentler side.

Linn Of Ruthrie Falls

Where: Charlestown of Aberlour, Moray Speyside
Distance: 2 miles/3.2 km
Grade: Easy
Public transport: Bus services run to Aberlour from Elgin Bus Station.
Terrain: A good woodland path with some wooden steps.

This short walk, starting and finishing in Aberlour, takes waterfall walkers along the Aberlour Burn leading to the double-cascade Linn Falls. It’s not the biggest waterfall by any means, but its lovely setting will undoubtedly do wonders for your well-being. Aberlour is also where delicious Walker’s Shortbread is made.

The route is signposted from Aberlour Distillery – ideal for a post-walk dram to round off your walk! This is also a great rest-day walk for those walking the Speyside Way, which runs through the town on the way from Buckie in Moray, south to Aviemore.

Ramnahol WaterfallShetland

Where: Between Aith and East Burrafirth, Mainland, Shetland
Distance: 1 mile/1.5 km
Grade: Easy
Terrain: Well-constructed core path, with some steps and muddy sections.

Ramnahol Waterfall, or ‘pool of the ravens’ in Norse, is the perfect place to start your Scottish waterfall walks journey. It’s easily reached by a short path near the B9071 road, just beyond The Original Cake Fridge and Tea Shop, an ideal option for a ‘peerie’ post-walk snack.

Take the well-constructed path alongside the Burn of Lunklet, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, until you reach the lovely falls, which are fed by the Loch of Lunklet further up. Extend the walk onto moorland beyond the falls, for fantastic views over the area.

Explore Ramnahol Waterfall: Ramnahol Waterfall
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Eas a’ Chual Aluinn WaterfallHighlands

Where: Near Kylesku, Sutherland
Distance: 6 miles/10 km
Grade: Difficult
Terrain: A rough and, at times, faint path through rugged country. The route is boggy in places.

At 200m, not only do you visit the UK’s highest waterfall, a short detour, near the start of the walk, takes you to the hauntingly-named Wailing Widow Falls, at the outflow of Loch na Gainmhich.

The walk continues on along increasingly rough terrain, beyond the loch, leading to the top of the Eas a’ Chuil Aluinn. Linger awhile and absorb the dramatic views over the falls and down Glen Coul to lochs Beag and Glencoul. When this cascade is in full flow, especially after heavy rainfall, it dwarfs Niagara Falls, which are only 51m in height!

Explore Eas a’ Chual Aluinn Waterfall: Eas a’ Chual Aluinn Waterfall

Eas Dubh a’ Ghlinne GhairbhHighlands

Where: Gruinard Bay, Wester Ross
Distance: 2 miles/3.2 km
Grade: Easy
Terrain: Rough terrain on a path that is muddy and faint for some sections.

Set behind stunning Gruinard Bay, a short and steady climb up the Inverianvie River reveals the Eas Dubh a’ Ghlinne Ghairbh waterfall. From above the waterfall, the views back towards the bay are breathtaking. Relax here for a while and let the soothing sound of the falls crowd your senses.

If the bay is busy, there are a number of lovely beaches nearby to explore, or visit Inverewe Garden close by. Remember to take care when driving on single-track roads and park responsibly at Gruinard Beach.

Explore Eas Dubh a’ Ghlinne Ghairbh Waterfall: Eas Dubh a’ Ghlinne Ghairbh

Plodda Falls and Dog FallsHighlands

Where: By Cannich, Highlands
Distance: Dog Falls – 2 miles/3.2 km; Plodda Falls – ½ mile/1 km
Grade: Moderate
Terrain: Uneven gravel paths with some steep slopes, rocky sections, steps and a narrow bridge.

With remarkable mountain, loch and riverside scenery, Glen Affric is regarded by many as one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens. This magical landscape is further enriched by two dramatic waterfalls, which are perfect for a wellness walk.

Dog Falls, within Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, is a series of falls in a splendid setting of gnarled old Scots pine trees. Keep your eyes peeled for crossbills, wood warblers and other small birds singing in the trees above. Follow the red way markers from the car park for a circular walk, or a slightly longer walk is available if you want to extend your time here.

On the south side of Glen Affric, and only nine miles from Dog Falls, Plodda Falls are surely one of Scotland’s hidden treasures. Falling straight for 46 metres (over 150ft), this is the tallest waterfall in the region and a viewing platform offers dizzying views over the top of the falls.

Explore Plodda Falls: Plodda Falls and Dog Falls
Explore Dog Falls: Plodda Falls and Dog Falls

Hallaig FallsIsle of Raasay

Where: Isle of Raasay, Highlands
Distance: 4 miles/6.5 km
Grade: Moderate
Terrain: A good waymarked grassy path, care required near the clifftop falls.

This waterfall walk offers stunning views towards the Cuillin mountains on Skye, towards Dùn Caan – the highest point on Raasay, and to the Scottish Highlands. Take a short detour from North Fearns to the ruined crofting township of Hallaig, which takes walkers to Hallaig Falls which tumble directly into the sea.

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Hallaig township is immortalised in local poet Sorley Maclean’s most important work, Hallaig. Maclean was born on Raasay in 1911 and wrote the poem to commentate on the clearance of the township 100 years earlier. Imagine how tough, and rewarding, life might have been, in this special place during these times. The Isle of Raasay is a fabulous place to escape the everyday – don’t miss the distillery!

Explore Hallaig Falls: Hallaig Falls

Black Spout WaterfallPitlochry

Black Spout Waterfall, Perthshir

Where: Pitlochry, Highland Perthshire
Distance: 3 miles/5 km
Grade: Easy (moderate if extending to include Moulin, then back to Pitlochry)
Terrain: A good woodland path, which can be muddy in places, pavement and minor roads.
Public transport: There are regular train and bus services to Pitlochry.

Starting in the popular holiday town of Pitlochry, this walk makes its way up through lovely woodland beyond Blair Athol Distillery. The route leads to a platform perched over the Edradour Burn looking over to 60m Black Spout Waterfall. It’s a stunning setting, especially in autumn. The walk continues along a narrow and sometimes muddy path to Edradour Distillery – Scotland’s smallest distillery, where you can join a tour and enjoy a dram.

Extend the walk to include the Moulin Path, where you can drop into the Moulin Inn and try their on-site brewed craft beers and something tasty to eat, before heading back to Pitlochry.

Explore Black Spout Waterfall: Black Spout Waterfall

Loup of FintryFintry

A close-up of the Loup of Fintry, the waterfall in full flow, bathed in golden evening light.

© VisitScotland, all rights reserved.

Where: Near Fintry, Campsie Fells
Distance: ½ mile/1 km
Grade: Easy
Terrain: A good, if sometimes muddy, signposted footpath.

Rising from the Gargunnock and Fintry hills, the Endrick Water snakes through some lovely Stirlingshire countryside, before dramatically dropping 94 feet over the Loup of Fintry and continuing on past Drymen and into Loch Lomond. This very short walk is well signposted not far from the village of Fintry and the falls are best seen after heavy rainfall. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery of the Campsie Fells.

Car parking is limited, so if it’s busy, the Pots of Gartness, also on the Endrick Water near Killearn, are close by and are a great spot to watch salmon jumping during the autumn months.

Explore Loup of Fintry: Loup of Fintry

Greenock CutInverclyde

Greenock Cut waterfall

Where: Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, near Greenock.
Distance: 7 miles/11 km
Grade: Easy
Terrain: Well-maintained vehicle tracks and footpath.
Public transport: Train services between Glasgow Central and Drumfochar stations – the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre is 3 miles from Drumfochar.

Drink in stunning views over the River Clyde, savour the rough beauty of the regional park’s moorland, and tread the ancient cobbles of more than 20 beautiful stone bridges on this epic circular walk.

The undisputed highlight of the walk is the Greenock Cut itself – a 6.5-kilometre-long aqueduct built in the 19th century to carry water from the nearby Loch Thom reservoir to the town’s burgeoning industries. Now a designated Scheduled Monument, the Cut ends in a jaw-dropping waterfall that’s worth the walk all by itself. The Coig offers more information about this quieter part of Scotland.

Greenock Cut: Greenock Cut

Greeto FallsNorth Ayrshire

Yacht Haven in Largs, Ayrshire

Where: Largs
Distance: 2.5 miles/4 km
Grade: Difficult
Terrain: Good tracks and steep hill paths.
Public transport: Regular train and bus services run between Glasgow and Largs.

Set in the moorland behind Largs on the North Ayrshire coast, and a world away from the hurly-burly of the town, are the lovely Greeto Falls. From the town, follow a good footpath above the Gogo Water until you reach the falls, high above Largs – a popular local picnic spot and a great place to unwind.

The route is steep, but rewards with stunning views across the Firth of Clyde to the isles of Cumbrae | PDF 5.9MB, Bute | PDF 5.9MB and Arran | PDF 5.9MB and to Cowal and Kintyre. Return to the town for a well-being boost from Nardini’s | PDF 5.9MB or Geraldo’s | PDF 5.9MB! There are more walks | PDF 5.9MB to enjoy around the Largs area too.

Source: https://www.visitscotland.com/

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Moray

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By Lala