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 has been one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets and is definitely a waterfall on the North Coast 500 to add to your bucket list.

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Destination North Coast Map

Make sure you have all the resources you need to make the most of your trip to the North Coast of Scotland. Our Destination North Coast Map is the perfect addition to any traveller’s toolkit. With detailed information on all the best spots, along the NC500, this map is your ultimate guide to exploring the rugged beauty of Scotland’s north coast.

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

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Your trip to Scotland will be a lot more comfortable with a midge net and midge spray. These little biting bugs can be enough to ruin a trip if you don’t have the equipment to protect yourself from them. A repelling candle can also be helpful if you are sitting oustide.

Check out the prices of them here.

Where to Stay Near the Wailing Widow Falls?

Newton Lodge – Newton Lodge is a beautiful accommodation with stunning views located near Wailing Widow Falls.

Read more and book your stay at Newton Lodge here.

Kylesku B&B – Kylesku B&B has incredible views over the loch and is situated not far from Wailing Widow Falls.

Read more and book your stay at Kylesku B&B here.

What is the Wailing Widow Falls?

The Wailing Widow Falls, also known as the Assynt Waterfall or Loch na Gainmhich Waterfall, is one of Scotland’s most impressive waterfalls, located on the NC500 road trip. 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.

There is an old folklore story of how the Wailing Widow Falls got its name. Some say there was a man out hunting dear in poor weather and didn’t see the gorge ahead, unfortunately not surviving the fall. The story goes that when his mother, who was a widow, found him, she also threw herself over the edge out of grief. 

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.

If you are looking for a good bag for your time exploring, we can highly recommend the Wandrd Bag PRVKE 41L if you are carrying camera equipment around. If you are looking for a smaller backpack, The Nest by Tropicfeel is one of the most comfortable bags I have ever owned and perfect for adventures.

How to get to the Wailing Widow Falls?

If you are travelling along the A894 from the Quinang, you will approach the top Loch na Gainmhich waterfall car park first. Look out for a loch on your right hand side 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 of Kylesku Bridge, you will first come across a small car parking area for the Wailing Widow Falls on the left before you drive 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. Alternatively, the Wailing Widow Falls Postcode can be found at A894, Lairg IV27 4HW.

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, around 15 minutes to the stunning Wailing Widow 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?

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 recommend hiring through Spaceships

Browse the full range of vehicles on offer at Spaceships over here.

Where to Stay on the NC500

There is a wide range of accommodations around the NC500 route, so you will not be short on options. Depending on how long you are spending in each area will depend on how long you spend in that location. It is worth bearing in mind that some accommodations will require you to stay a minimum number of nights so it is worth researching this when you are planning your North Coast 500 itinerary.

Our new book North Coast 500 Where to Eat and Stay shares the best places to eat and stay around the NC500 and includes whether places are dog friendly, accessible, have wifi and EVC ad whether they cater to dietry requirements.

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.

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.

achmelvich beach

What Should I Pack?

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland 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 5-day Heart 200 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.

It is also important to stay hydrated, especially if you are out exploring in the marvellous landscape of Scotland. We use Water to Go water bottles to fill up with water from running streams when we are hiking.

We would also recommend taking our NC500 guidebooks with you on your journey. This will help you plan your itinerary and ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the best places to go on the NC500. Our Destination NC500 guidebook is well paired with NC500 Where to Eat and Stay and you can buy the combo here.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

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.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

What is the Best Travel Insurance for the North Coast 500

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.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

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.

As always, sharing is caring so make sure to share this photo guide with your family and friends and inspire them to head off on their own North Coast 500 adventure. If you are planning the trip for yourself, make sure you have a look at the rest of our Scotland content for more inspiration to our beautiful home country.

When you set off on your own adventure, be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and we will share them with the rest of our community. In the meantime, why not follow us over there to see what we are currently up to and keep up with us on our Instagram Stories.

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