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24 Jul 2019

Six Scottish waterfall paradises

Hermitage Black Linn Falls
Exploring and summertime go hand in hand, and nothing feels more adventurous than stumbling upon a roaring waterfall while the sun beats down. Even if the weather can’t always be guaranteed, the beauty and drama of Scottish waterfalls will certainly not disappoint. Pack a picnic, grab your camera, look out your wellies and make it a summer to remember …

1. Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve, Dumfries & Galloway

The Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall plunges down a steep green hillside, on a sunny day.

It’s not difficult to see how this spectacular white waterfall earned the name Grey Mare’s Tail. You’ll most definitely be impressed with the breathtaking views of mountain water plunging down the slopes into the Moffat Water Valley. Continue the climb up to Loch Skeen, the waterfall’s source, to fully appreciate the stunning views and take in the tranquil splendour. The climb is definitely tough but the results are worth it – that’s a promise! The waterfall is located in a nature reserve bursting with wildlife, and you may spot ospreys, ring ouzels and feral goats, as well as watch peregrine falcons via the National Trust for Scotland’s live nest camera. 

2. Dollar Glen, Clackmannanshire

The Dollar Glen waterfall tumbles down a mossy glen. A large fallen tree branch lies across the river in the foreground.

The perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Dollar Glen can be found just east of Stirling, set against the backdrop of the Ochil Hills. Unspoiled nature is everywhere for visitors to enjoy, whether it’s carpets of bluebells or the twisting burns just visible through leafy, green trees. As you walk along the narrow paths, enjoy views of the double waterfall tumbling down the glen. Fancy a challenge? See how many different types of lichen you can find. Scientists have declared the glen a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its diverse habitats and geology.

3. Linn of Tummel, Perthshire

The wide river flows down a series of short waterfalls.

Serene woodland surrounds the place where the rivers Garry and Tummel meet. As the rivers combine, they tumble into Loch Faskally over a series of falls. A circular path means you can make the most of the views. An animal lover’s paradise, Linn of Tummel is home to red squirrels, otters, kingfishers and even pine martens. Near Pitlochry, this is Perthshire at its finest and a prime example of why this region is renowned for its gorgeous landscapes. It’s also not far from the National Trust for Scotland property at Killiecrankie, where nature and heritage combine – learn about the 17th-century battle of Killiecrankie, one of the goriest events in Scottish history.

4. The Hermitage, Perthshire

The Black Linn Falls crash down the river, which is surrounded by autumnal trees.

Just an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow, you can really discover Scotland’s wild landscapes. This patch of Perthshire forest once belonged to the 18th-century Dukes of Atholl. One of the slightly easier suggestions on this list, the Hermitage is a woodland paradise and perfect for a summer stroll to reinvigorate yourself. Red squirrels, salmon leaping out of the water, maybe even beavers if you’re lucky … the opportunities to discover Scottish wildlife are endless. Tucked deep in the forest is the picturesque folly known as Ossian’s Hall – this is a great spot to admire the roaring Black Linn waterfall.

5. Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, Ross-shire

The Falls of Measach tumble down a tall, narrow woodland gorge.

Near Ullapool, this is the perfect place for a family summer day out. It can be reached by a short steep walk from the car park (which is accessible for wheelchair users), leading to a Victorian suspension bridge that overlooks a series of waterfalls emerging from the woodland. The viewpoint further down from the bridge doesn’t take long to reach and gives you the perfect view of the crashing Falls of Measach. Complete the full circuit to get the best views of the whole gorge.

6. Falls of Glomach, Ross-shire

The Falls of Glomach crash down a remote hill gorge

This waterfall is truly for the thrill-seekers among you, with a 6-hour hike being the only way to reach the 113m thundering falls. The trek offers the perfect opportunity to take in the gorgeous landscapes and immerse yourself in nature. One of the highest and most isolated waterfalls in Britain, adventurers will relish the chance to appreciate the Highland views – make sure to bring a picnic and stop to enjoy lunch in this most spectacular setting. Reaching this waterfall is definitely strenuous but the results are unbelievably rewarding.

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