Plan your trip to the northern coast of Scotland and enjoy a road trip around the most scenic landscape in the world with this relatable and reliable guidebook, detailing not only the best and most popular sights along the route but also the hidden gems that most overlook.
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The Wailing Widow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Scotland. Located on the west coast near Kylesku Bridge, this 50ft waterfall falls from Loch na Gainmhich and is accessible to view from both the top and bottom of the falls.
This incredible waterfall is definitely one of Scotland’s best kept secrets and one to add to your bucket list.
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Wailing Widow Falls - Scotland's Most Spectacular Waterfall
The Wailing Widow Falls is a highlight on the NC500 road trip and a sight that must be added to your North Coast 500 itinerary. In this guide, we will discuss the best time to go to the Wailing Widow Falls as well as the following
- What is the Wailing Widow Falls?
- Where is the Wailing Widow Falls?
- Why Should I go to the Wailing Widow Falls?
- When Should I go to the Wailing Widow Falls?
- Preparing for your trip to the NC500
What is the Wailing Widow Falls?
The Wailing Widow Falls is one of Scotland’s most impressive waterfalls. The 50ft waterfall drops from Loch na Gainmhich, which is surrounded by nearby mountains in the middle of Scotland’s remote west coast. The Wailing Widow Falls can be viewed from the top and the bottom of the waterfall, depending on the angle you prefer. If you have a drone, we believe that this is the best angle to capture the waterfall spilling out of the loch.
Where is the Wailing Widow Falls?
The Wailing Widow Falls can be found on the north west coast of Scotland, near Kylesku Bridge. They are relatively hidden so if you don’t know what you are looking for, then you could easily miss them. Due to how far north the waterfall is, we would recommend wearing warm clothes and waterproof shoes as if there has been heavy rainfall then the ground underfoot may be boggy.
Due to the nature of the Wailing Widow Falls not being an official tourist spot, it is very inaccessible for those with mobility needs and wouldn’t be suitable for taking a pram.
How to get to the Wailing Widow Falls?
If you are travelling along the A894 from the Quinang, you will approach the top car park first. Look out for a loch on your right handside before a sharp bend turning left and you will see a small parking area off the side of the road. This is not official parking so you won’t see any signposts for the waterfall or car park.
If you are travelling from the direction from Kylesku Bridge, you will first come across a small parking area on the left before you wind uphill. You will see the Wailing Widow Falls on your left as well and it is only a short walk up to it.
Searching for Wailing Widow Falls or Loch na Gainmhich on your digital maps will take you to the falls.
Why Should I go to the Wailing Widow Falls?
The Wailing Widow Falls is one of the best things to do on the North Coast 500. It is a sight that won’t take you too long to visit either as it is only a short walk to the falls from both of the car parks.
There are many incredible waterfalls on the NC500, however if you can only choose one then we would recommend the Wailing Widow Falls being the one that you choose to visit.
When Should I go to the Wailing Widow Falls?
The Wailing Widow Falls is a free sight that is open all year round with no opening times. We would suggest visiting during spring or autumn. There is no path along to the waterfall from the bottom so you will find yourself walking along stones and mud. If it has been raining then this can be very slippery and boggy.
However, being a waterfall, it is obviously incredible to visit after a heavy rainfall as this is when the waterfall will be at its fullest.
To avoid visiting at the same time as others, we would advise visiting early in the morning or later on in the evening.
Is is important to note that there is no safety barrier at the top of the waterfall and this is a very sudden drop. It may not be suitable to bring young children to the top of the falls for this reason.
Before You Leave on the North Coast 500
Before you head off on your trip around the NC500, there are certain things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth trip. These include how to get around the route, including being aware of single track roads, etc., what to pack for Scotland, where to stay along the route and what travel insurance to book.
How Do I Get Around the NC500?
Given the remote location of the NC500 and the majority of the sights along the route, the best way to get around this road trip is by driving. There are of course other methods that are still popular, such as cycling and hiking, however, if you have a short amount of time on the route, neither of these are very suitable.
As for public transport, the use around the NC500 is understandably difficult due to how remote each location is, however, with the increasing problem of congestion along the route, this is a good option to research if you have time. If it is something that interests you, you can read a public formed itinerary of how to get around the NC500 by public transport over here.
If you are looking to rent a cosy, reliable and luxurious campervan for your trip along the NC500, we highly recommend hiring through Bunk Campers. We toured with these guys around the up-and-coming Heart 200 road trip in Scotland’s central highlands and could not believe the comfort and customer service we experienced with their vans.
What Should I Pack for the NC500?
When it comes to packing for a trip along the NC500 there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your 7-day NC500 road trip you will probably experience at least a drizzle of rain. Due to this, the number one item on any Scotland packing list is a good waterproof jacket.
As for the rest of the year, the temperature in Scotland and the central heartlands is reasonably mild for most of the year. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. For your reference, the average temperatures in Scotland are listed below during each season.
Spring (March, April, May) – 5-10 degrees C
Summer (June, July, August) – 15 degrees C
Autumn (September, October, November) – 5-10 degrees C
Winter (December, January, February) – 0-5 degrees C
As you can see, the weather never really gets above the teens, with anything over 25 degrees C considered a heatwave. The best way to pack for your trip to the highlands is with layers that can be added and removed as you need them. You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the colder months and will most likely need sunscreen to protect you on the long days in the open.
Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around Scotland, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.
Where Should I Stay on the NC500?
The remoteness in the highlands of Scotland will leave you with little choice of accommodation in each location along the NC500, however, there are still enough options to choose from to ensure a comfortable trip. These are mostly in the shape of B&Bs, Airbnbs, converted cottages and other quirky accommodations.
Depending on how adventurous you are, there may be more accommodation choices than just the above, often with an even better view. Caravan and camping sites are abundant along the NC500, drawing camping enthusiasts from all over the world. For some of the most spectacular bedside scenery along the North Coast 500, we recommend packing a tent and getting in touch with nature for the week.
As we travelled along the North Coast 500, camped in our trusty Vango tent on a mixture of campsites and wild sites. Wild camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of the highlands, however, it must be done respectfully. Read our full guide to Wild Camping if you wish to give it a go so you know everything you need to for a comfortable and sustainable trip.
What is the Best Travel Insurance?
I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.
To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.
So there you have it, a complete guide to visiting the Wailing Widow Falls. If you have visited the NC500 recently, let us know if you stopped here, or if you have any suggestions let us know in the comments below.
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