As you probably already know, most of Scotland’s best and biggest waterfalls are in the north of the nation… so because Inverness is Scotland’s most northern city, it’s (logically) the best spot for visiting the nation’s best falls.
And in this guide to the 21 best waterfalls near Inverness, I’ve covered them all.
Expect a combo of close-to-civilization spots, faraway remote falls, adventure-packed oddities… and the two biggest waterfalls in Scotland.
Note: none of these falls are more than a 2-hour drive from Inverness. I’ve listed them in order, from closest-to-Inverness to furthest-from-Inverness. Convenient, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Anyway, let’s get on with it: here are the 21 best waterfalls near Inverness…!
1. Fairy Glen Falls
This place flies under the radar a bit.
Yeah, there are better waterfalls further afield, but Fairy Glen Falls is great. It’s not a swimming spot, but the woodland streamside wander from the car park to the falls (around 2 miles/3.2 km for the round trip) is easy and scenic.
(Make sure you head to the second set of falls after you hit the first).
When you’re done, explore the coastal settlements of Rosemarkie and Fortrose… and wander to the marine-life hotspot headland of Chanonry Point.
How to get to Fairy Glen Falls from Inverness: by car, follow the A9 northwest, then the B9161 northeast, then turn onto the A832 after Munlochy. Or you can instead take the 26 or 26A bus from Inverness—it goes right to the falls’ car park.
2. Falls of Divach
One of the smallest and least impressive waterfalls on our list… but it’s close to Inverness, so it’s an okay option if you can’t be bothered to venture very far.
And if you’re exploring the northwestern shore of Loch Ness (which basically everyone does when they’re in Inverness), adding this to your itinerary is a decent little detour—it’s only a 5-minute drive from Drumnadrochit.
The woodland walk to reach the falls is short and family-friendly, it’s a nice outdoor picnic spot, and (when the water is in full flow), it’s a decent place for a wild swim.
Not amazing, but certainly not bad.
How to get to Falls of Divach from Inverness: if you’re driving, follow the A82 southwest—then after you reach Drumnadrochit, turn off onto Balmacaan Road. If you’re using public transport, you can take the 17 bus to Drumnadrochit, then walk from there.
3. Falls of Foyers
Sitting on the southeastern shores of Loch Ness (the best part of Loch Ness), the Falls of Foyers is a good choice for some family-friendly fun. It’s safe, it’s close to The Camerons Tea Rooms & Farm Shop, and it’s easy to reach.
That said, it’s all a bit sanitized (think metal handrails, and a viewing platform, and all that other stuff). So if you’re looking for an adventure, this isn’t the place for you.
As part of this trip, I recommend driving around the entire perimeter of Loch Ness. It’s not the best loch in Scotland (soz to dampen all the hype, but it’s the truth), but a perimeter drive is obviously the best way to see all of it.
How to get to the Falls of Foyers from Inverness: by car, follow the B862 and B852 southwest, along the southeastern shores of Loch Ness. If you’re using public transport, take the 302 bus to Foyers… then walk from there.
4. Falls of Orrin
As I feel like I keep saying so far, there’s nothing massively special about this one (especially considering how good some of our soon-to-come entries are).
So it’s not really one of the best waterfalls near Inverness…
… but it’s a good choice if you want to get relatively remote without a long drive. Not many people come here, and not many people explore this part of Scotland.
The ‘waterfall’ here is more like a mini drop in a turbulent part of the river. But if you want a riverside wander, a nice picnic, or a mini adventure from the underrated town of Muir of Ord, this place is an okay option. It’s not adventurous, but it’s definitely pretty.
How to get to the Falls of Orrin from Inverness: if you’re driving, head west to Muir of Ord, then follow the road that continues west past the Singleton Distillery. Surprisingly, there’s no decent public transport option.
5. Rogie Falls
If you’re on the hunt for something a bit different, you’ll think this is one of the best waterfalls near Inverness—head here in late summer, and you might see some salmon trying to leap up the falls.
The place is home to a man-made salmon ladder—which helps the finny critters to reach their upstream destination… and helps you to watch them do it.
There’s a suspension bridge at the falls, with some lovely views of the falls and their fish. It’s currently closed cos things were looking a bit precarious, but it’ll open up again one day in the future.
As you’ve probably worked out, you can’t swim here… but you can have a short wander. It’s not an action-packed place, but it’s an interesting one.
How to get to Rogie Falls from Inverness: by car, follow the A9 and A835 northwest. There’s no public transport option.
6. Black Water Falls
Another good family-friendly option—these falls are close to Inverness, they sit right off a main road, and their car park is very close-by.
You get a nice short walk, a pretty photogenic bridge, and a few short falls that roll into the river beneath them. The paths are well-maintained, and you’ll always see plenty of people here.
When you’re done, you’re close to plenty of little towns to eat and drink. Though it’s not the closest, I recommend heading to lovely lovely Beauly, with its quaint charm, and its Corner on the Square Cafe.
How to get to Black Water Falls from Inverness: if you’re driving, follow the A9 and the A835 northwest. There’s no public transport option.
7. Dog Falls
A little past Black Water Falls (so you could visit them both in one easy half-day), Dog Falls is one of the least impressive waterfalls we’ve brought you so far.
But bear with me: it sits at the eastern end of Glen Affric, one of the most beautiful outdoor areas close to Inverness. I always recommend visiting here when you’re in the area…
… and this is a good access point for reaching some of the most exciting parts of the glen. Park up at the falls, have a swim and a wander, then push west towards the peaks, valleys, little lochs, and hiking trails. For a shorter adventure, here’s the Dog-Falls-featuring walk I recommend. For something bigger, you have endless options.
How to get to Dog Falls from Inverness: if you’re driving, head southwest along the A82—and when you get to Drumnadrochit, turn onto the A831, and continue just beyond Fasnakyle. There’s no public transport option.
8. Plodda Falls
For remote and rural, this is one of the best waterfalls near Inverness. Sitting in another part of Glen Affric, it’s (again) surrounded by a bunch of great walks, and loads of other wilderness.
The waterfall measures in at a hefty 46 meters (151 feet), and it’s home to viewing platforms, surrounding fir trees, and even some swimming spots (if you head down to the bottom section).
Beware: the last couple miles (3.5 km) of the driving route to the car park is pretty pothole-y. You might not want to bother with it if you’re precious about your car.
Plodda Falls sits around 25 minutes beyond Dog Falls—so I recommend visiting them both on the same trip.
How to get to Plodda Falls from Inverness: if you’re driving, head southwest on the A82, until you reach Drumnadrochit—then turn west on the A831… and after Fasnakyle, turn onto the signposted rural road. There’s no public transport option.
9. Falls of Shin
One of the most unusual waterfalls near Inverness, the Falls of Shin are (another!) well-known salmon-watching spot.
But while Rogie Falls are relatively untouched, Falls of Shin are dedicated to proudly celebrating their annual fishy visitors. The place is home to a cafe, a visitor center, and a viewing platform.
Every summer, salmon leave the ocean, swimming upstream to reach the furthest stretches of the River Shin. It’s a pretty challenging journey (cos they’re battling against the flow of the water). But this waterfall-centric stretch is particularly challenging.
At the visitor center here, you can watch them attempt that exact challenge. Come between late spring and late summer, stand on the lookout, and see if you get lucky.
Oh, and as a nice bonus, the cafe’s homemade food is outrageously tasty.
How to get to the Falls of Shin from Inverness: by car, head north on the A9—then just before Alness, head north onto the B9176, then the A836. The route is possible by public transport, but it’s an illogical and lengthy journey… so don’t bother.
10. Falls of Measach
One of the biggest and most impressive waterfalls near Inverness.
It measures in at a big ol’ 46 meters (151 feet). You can’t swim in it, or get too close to it—the best view is from a rickety suspension bridge, which runs over the fall.
There’s a short walk from the car park to the falls, and some short walks in and around the gorge the waterfall sits in.
In short, if you’re looking for some big adventure, this isn’t the place for you. But if you just want to look at a massive (and massively impressive) waterfall, you might just love the place.
How to get to Falls Of Measach from Inverness: by car, drive northwest on the A9 and A835. The car park is shortly after Loch Glascarnoch. If you’re using public transport, the 961 bus goes right past the car park. Convenient!
11. Achness Falls
Not necessarily one of the best waterfalls near Inverness (it’s a bit tame and a bit small), but it’s definitely worth looking at if you’re in the nearby area.
And because it’s in a very-underexplored part of Scotland, it’s nice for picking out some nearby under-the-radar adventures.
Some of my in-the-area recommendations include the mountain biking trails at Balblair, sitting on the quiet shores of Loch Ailish, endless adventures around Loch Shin, and an ascent up Ben More.
… and, of course, you’re also pretty close to the Falls of Shin, which I mentioned just a couple of entries ago.
In short, the waterfall itself here isn’t particularly inspiring—but the remote area around it really really is.
How to get to Achness Falls from Inverness: head north along the A9, the B9176 and the A873, until you reach tiny tiny Invercassley. There’s no public transport option.
12. Golspie Burn Waterfall
Want to combine your waterfall-chasing adventures with a side serving of seaside fun? If the answer to that question is a big fat yes, you’ll think this is one of the best waterfalls near Inverness.
Close-by, you have loads of great beaches. Top spots include Brora Beach (sitting in an endlessly-charming village), Golspie Beach (very close-by), and Embo Beach (one of the best beaches on the east coast of Scotland).
You might also want to visit Dunrobin Castle and Gardens. I’m not really into all that sort of stuff… but people who are, they love the place.
The waterfall itself is quite small, but it’s wooded, pretty, and family-friendly, and the area has some cute bridges (great for nabbing photos).
How to get to Golspie Burn Waterfall from Inverness: if you’re driving, follow the A9 northeast—then just past Golspie, turn left onto the signposted road. If you’re using public transport, you can ride the direct train from Inverness to Dunrobin Castle… but the one-way journey takes 2.5 hours.
13. Linn Falls
Sitting south of Lossiemouth (one of the most underrated coastal towns in Scotland, and definitely a place you should visit), Linn Falls is a pretty good place for a swim.
So if you’re looking for a family-friendly dip without venturing too far from Inverness, this is one of the best options on our list. It’s not far removed from civilization, and it’s not surrounded by any impressive walks or wanders.
But it’s a perfect place to waste a few hours. Bring some food or a barbecue, stick some tunes on, sit with your family or friends, have a sporadic dip, and enjoy a lazy day.
How to get to Linn Falls from Inverness: by driving, you have two options—either drive along the coast, or ride through the northern part of Cairngorms National Park. I recommend the second option. If you want to take public transport, hop on a train from Inverness to Elgin, then take the 36 bus from Elgin—it stops close to the distillery.
14. Ardessie Falls
Not too far beyond the Falls of Measach (a couple of entries above, I hope you remember them), you combine a trip to both places in one big bumper day of fall-y fun.
One of the best waterfalls near Inverness for anyone fancying a swim, this place has a few different plunge pools.
From the road, you can only see one fall. But venture out on your feet, and you’ll see plenty more. This place is good for families with kids, it’s good for romantic strolls, and it’s good for dog-walkers. When you’re done, head to very-nearby Little Loch Broom.
How to get to Ardessie Falls from Inverness: by car, follow both the A835 and the A832 northwest, then continue along the southern shores of Little Loch Broom. Or take the 700 bus, then get off at the bus stop just a 5-minute walk east of the falls.
15. Victoria Falls
Not related to that massive mega-famous waterfall sitting in Zambia (obviously). But, regardless, still one of the best waterfalls near Inverness.
One of the most remote entries on our list, this one sits northwest of Kinlochewe, and beside Loch Maree, one of the best lochs in Scotland.
You can’t swim here, but there’s a viewing platform, and a couple of short trails. Take the longer one, cos it has much better views. The bigger loop will take no more than 30 minutes, so it’s a good short stop if you’re exploring the area.
How to get to Victoria Falls from Inverness: by car, head northwest along the A9 and the A835… then after Gorstan, hop onto the A832—all the way past Kinlochewe, and to the shores of Loch Maree. By public transport, you can get the 700A bus—it pretty much goes right to the car park.
16. Falls of Glomach
If you do, you’ll think this is one of the best waterfalls near Inverness.
That’s cos you can only reach the place by tackling an 11-mile hike (or even longer, with a different route). These are some of the most impressive waterfalls in the UK… and the walk to reach them is almost as good. And it’s always good to have to work for your reward innit.
Because they’re so remote, these beefy boys are obviously a good option if you’re looking for a serene spot—you’ll probably see nobody else here.
How to get to the Falls of Glomach from Inverness: you have various options, but they all include hiking. The easiest and most logical route (both in terms of hiking time and driving time) is to follow the A82, A887 and A87 to Morvich. From here, you’ll tackle an 11-mile (17.5 km) walk. It’s also possible to take the 917 bus from Inverness to Morvich.
17. Steall Waterfall
Not just one of the best waterfalls near Inverness… but also the second-biggest waterfall in the UK.
Sitting between Fort William and Glencoe, this giant is surrounded by loads of massive mountains… so if you have time, I recommend spending a few days in the area, and tackling loads of hikes.
If you don’t have time, the best way to see Steall Waterfall is this short wander, which walks you through a gorge… and should only take a couple of hours at most. You can’t swim in the falls, but you can paddle about in the river.
(A bigger waterfall is coming soon. For even more, check out our guide to the biggest waterfalls in the UK).
How to get to Steall Waterfall from Inverness: by car, follow the A82 southwest all the way to Fort William—then head southeast along the Glen Nevis road. If you’re planning on using public transport, you’re out of luck.
18. Falls of Kirkaig
Another of the best waterfalls near Inverness if you like hiking.
(But if you don’t like hiking, you’ll probs want to give it a miss).
The round-trip walk to the falls (starting and ending in Achins Bookshop) clocks in at around 5 miles (8 km). It’s not too tough, but it’s your only option. The falls are wooded, peaceful and powerful… and (though I’ve never done it) I reckon the plunge pool would be a good place for a vaguely-brave swim.
While you’re here, you should also hit the Stac Pollaidh hike. It’s one of my favorite Scottish walks, it’s one of the most scenic summits I’ve ever seen, and it’s easier than most people expect.
How to get to the Falls of Kirkaig from Inverness: if you’re driving, head past Ullapool to Drumrunie—at Drumrunie, head left… then at Badnagyle, turn right, and follow the windy road all the way towards Achins Bookshop. Unsurprisingly, there’s no public transport option.
19. Eas A’ Chual Aluinn
This beefy behemoth is the biggest waterfall in Scotland… so if you’re only gonna visit one place on this list (and you have time for a lengthy adventure), it should probably be this one.
To see Eas a’ Chual Aluinn, you need to tackle a hike (this is becoming a bit of a theme isn’t it). As far as I know, you have various options, but this is what I recommend. You’ll be wandering for 6 miles (10 km), you’ll hit the most scenic viewpoint, and the entire walk is super super beautiful.
Fun fact: though it’s not a sheer drop (so arguably not as impressive), Eas a’ Chual Aluinn is three times longer than Niagara Falls when it’s in full flow. Take that, Ontario.
How to get to Eas a’ Chual Aluinn from Inverness: follow the A835 out of Inverness (initially northwest, but then it gets all windy)—then when you hit Ledmore Junction, get yourself on the A837, then (later) on the A894. There’s no option for public transport.
20. Allt Chranaidh Waterfall
Another massive fall, another of the best waterfalls near Inverness.
Considering how big this is (and how close it is to a road), it’s pretty underrated. It cascades out of a loch, it’s good for photos, and it’s even better for swimming. Massively recommended!
This place is also known as ‘Loch na Gainmhich Waterfall’… cos it’s connected to Loch na Gainmhich).
This fall is super close to the access road for Eas a’ Chual Aluinn… so if you’re also heading to Eas a’ Chual Aluinn, it’s super easy to get your eyes around this massive monster.
How to get to Allt Chranaidh Waterfall from Inverness: if you’re driving, follow the A9 and A835 roads northwest—then after Ledmore Junction, turn left onto the A837… before then turning right onto the A894 after Ardvreck Castle. There’s no public transport option.
21. Clashnessie Falls
Alright, for Clashnessie Falls, I’ve broken one of my own rules.
You know how I said that none of these waterfalls were more than a 2-hour drive from Inverness? Well, this one is. Soz about that.
But it really really is one of the best waterfalls near Inverness (depending on your definition of ‘near’)… so it’s absolutely worth the drive.
The best thing about this area is how remote and (relatively) untouched it is. Sitting on the northern part of Scotland’s western coast, this is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. The falls themselves are tall, wide and scenic, and they’re massive after heavy rain.
… and on top of all that, the ride is great. It takes you along some stretches of the North Coast 500.
How to get to Clashnessie Falls from Inverness: if you’re driving, head to Ullapool, before then continuing north on both the A835 and A837—then when you get to Lochinver, turn right onto the B869. With public transport, don’t bother.
Before You Go
And we’re done! They’re the 21 best waterfalls near Inverness.
Since you only have time for a couple, I recommend hitting both Steall Waterfall and Eas a’ Chual Aluinn—they’re the two biggest waterfalls in Scotland. Or if you instead want something a bit closer to Inverness, I recommend Plodda Falls.
Thanks for reading, thanks for visiting Travelness, and thanks for waterfalling with us. See you on the flipside!