It is no secret that Scotland is a country blessed with rainy weather. But you know what they say, ‘today’s rain is tomorrow’s whisky’! Although it would easily be possible to lose hours (literally) discussing the country’s best whisky, the rain up here has other uses too. In fact, it helps to showcase some of Scotland’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Rain might be annoying but seeing a waterfall just after a downpour is undoubtedly the best time to enjoy it. The falls are fuller and the scenery is way more dramatic. In this post, I’ll share some of the best Scottish waterfalls that you have to see on your next trip!
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6 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Scotland
1. Steall Waterfall, Glen Nevis
Nestled between Glencoe and Fort William, and easily accessible by car, Steall Waterfall is Scotland’s second-highest waterfall. From the car park, it takes less than one hour, traversing over a rocky path and through the lush Glen Nevis.
If it’s raining, like it was the day I hiked to Steall Falls, the rocky path stays smooth and slip-free. There are a few spots where your feet may get wet, from tiptoeing over streams. The only downside to this hike is that the Scottish midges are inevitable. On rainy days, you’ll be ok. But otherwise, I’d suggest a midge net for ample protection!
Harry Potter fans may remember quick glimpses of Steall Falls, from the Goblet of Fire, when Harry is fighting off the Hungarian Horntail dragon. You can’t miss the single-tiered 120 meter (390 foot) drop of the waterfall, as both wizard and dragon fly through. For those following a Harry Potter itinerary, it’s less than an hour away from the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the famous Jacobite steam train!
If you want to get to the base of the waterfall, there is a three-wired bridge to cross. I didn’t manage it due to the weather but it’s doable. Otherwise, stay along the banks of the Water of Nevis and enjoy a hiking lunch with a view.
Contributed by Lannie of Lannie’s Food & Travel Adventures.
2. Mealt Falls, Isle of Skye
Mealt Falls is perhaps the most impressive and one of the most unique waterfalls in Scotland. Located on the east coast of the Isle of Skye, this mighty falls spills over sheer basalt columns at Kilt Rock, crashing down into the sea below. Watching the water plunge 55m over the cliff down into the ocean gives a sense of being at the end of the Earth and provides one of the best Isle of Skye photography locations.
Just a short drive from the Old Man of Storr, Mealt Falls is a must-see location while in Scotland. To reach Mealt Falls you will either need to take a tour or drive. Parking is plentiful and free at the car park. There is no hike required to the falls viewpoint making it a great accessible option for most people.
Contributed by Sophie of We Dream of Travel.
3. Black Linn Falls, The Hermitage, Dunkeld
Nature lovers won’t regret a trip to ‘Big Tree Country’ otherwise known as Perth. Although the whole of the county is dripping with natural beauty, perhaps one of the best places to see it in all its glory is The Hermitage at Dunkeld.
This idyllic woodland escape is home to one of Scotland’s best waterfalls, Black Linn Falls. This stunning waterfall branches into three tumbling cascades before plunging into the foaming pool below. It is surrounded by Perth’s characteristic big beautiful trees and has a way of making you feel very small!
As you head to The Hermitage from Dunkeld, follow the directions to the car park. From here, it is a short walk to Black Linn Falls. Look out for the signs for Ossian’s Hall.
4. Brides Veil Falls, Isle of Skye
Although this waterfall is not hugely impressive in terms of its size, the location makes it a definite contender for one of the best waterfalls in Scotland. Located on the Trotternish Loop, around a 10-minute drive from Portree, Brides Veil Waterfall is a relatively under-visited attraction on Skye.
There is a small lay-by off the road which allows you to park. The falls can be seen from here but it is worth crossing the small burn and hiking to the top of the hill. Be warned, it can get a little boggy so it is best to wear waterproof hiking boots if you have them. The hike is not long and should be easily accomplishable for most people.
Once you make it up the hill, you can get a great photo of the falls with the iconic Old Man of Storr in the background. Don’t forget your tripod!
5. Upper Falls in Aros Park, Isle of Mull
The beautiful Upper Falls in Aros Park on the Isle of Mull is definitely worth taking the time to visit. This park used to be home to Aros hall, which has since been demolished, but what remains is an area of beautiful parkland. In the heart of this, lies both the Upper and Lower falls. If you have some time, it is worth parking in the car park and taking the hike – firstly up towards the Upper Falls, and then back down towards the Lower Falls.
The Upper falls provide all the drama you could want from a waterfall, roaring over the edge and down through the forest. The Lower Falls are slightly more serene, but they finish by folding into the sea, providing a really peaceful scene.
To get to Aros Park, from Tobermory, head south towards Aros Park, which is located about half a mile from the centre of town. If you are a little short on time, you can see the Upper Falls from a viewing platform which is just a five-minute walk from the road.
Contributed by Charlie of Where Charlie Wanders.
6. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
Of course, it is not even possible to talk about beautiful waterfalls in Scotland without mentioning the whimsical Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye. Nestled just in front of the intimidating Black Cuillin Mountain Range, these falls are not particularly high but offer some of the most aesthetically inviting water anywhere.
The clear turquoise pools make this a favourite area with wild swimmers but be very careful not to swim under the falls. The water has a strong pull and swimmers can easily get into difficulty. It is also advisable to bring a wetsuit no matter what time of year you fancy taking a dip – the Fairy Pools are always bracingly cold!
There is a car park close to the pools which come with a charge. From the car park, cross the road and follow the trail up to the pools. The scenery in this area definitely earns this short trek a place on the best hikes on the Isle of Skye list. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes (ideally waterproof) as the first part of the path can be boggy in the wet! If there has been heavy rainfall, you will need to cross a small river crossing. This is easy enough but you’ll want to make sure you’ve got some water-resistant footwear on!