It is a little known fact that one of Scotland’s most dynamic of waterfalls is tucked neatly away from enquiring eyes and the masses of tourists who travel along the western shores of Loch Ness each and every year.
The well-known A82 runs north to south and is the carriage way used by most tourists and visitors. However, across the loch runs the picturesque B852 road that hides many treasures for the visitor to explorer and discover, and one of these lies a little south of the village of Foyers; the Falls of Foyer. The Scottish Gaelic name for the Falls is: Eas na Smùide – which translated means the ‘smoking falls’ and it does live up to its name.
The stop has a small carpark with a local post office, a charming café, and a well-stocked residents’ shop – which also caters for visitors who have forgotten their packed lunch – all offering great local produce and a welcoming smile.
The route takes walker down a steep path, which is surprisingly well fenced, to the upper viewing gallery that quickly provides a spectacular grandstand view of the falls. The path then continues along the gorge to other viewing sites perfectly placed to take advantage of the beauty of this natural wonder.
It is a photographer’s paradise, with spectacular views of Loch Ness that are not regularly seen in the standard literature of the region. It is also popular with birdwatchers – ‘twitchers’ – who find the wide variety of birdlife a magnet for their cameras.
The walker can, if they wish, continue all the way along the path to the loch, although be warned it is very steep in places and the return journey needs careful time planning. Still, with so much beautiful hidden scenery and breath taking views the walk is very rewarding. Put simply, it is a stunning location full of natural beauty that shouldn’t be missed.
A few points of caution – the walk is not recommended for those with mobility issues and for those with very young children as it is a challenge given the uneven footpaths and step drops.
One item for the Scottish heritage seeker is that along the route there are many Robbie Burns lines carved out onto rocks on the walk down to the falls. In 1787 Robert (Robbie) Burns wrote a poem about the Falls of Foyers:
“Among the heathy hills and ragged woodsThe roaring Foyers pours his mossy floods;Till full he dashes on the rocky mounds,Where, through a shapeless breach, his stream resounds,As high in air the bursting torrents flow,As deep-recoiling surges foam below,Prone down the rock the whitening sheet descends,And viewless Echo’s ear, astonish’d rends.Dim seen, through rising mists and ceaseless showers,The hoary cavern, wide-surrounding, lowers.Still, through the gap the struggling river toils,And still, below, the horrid cauldron boils.”
The Foyer Falls are an incredible delight and often forgotten amongst the beautiful landscape of Loch Ness, a hidden sparkling Gem of the Scottish Highlands.
Loch Ness Shores
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Monument Park, Lower Foyers
Inverness, Scotland, IV26YH
+44 (0)1456 486 333
- Address: B852, Foyers Heathmount, Iverness, Iverness-Shire, Scotland, UK, IV2 6XX
- GPS: 57.24881389,-4.491391667
- Part of UK: Scotland
- Sat Nav Postcode: IV2 6XX
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: Poor: Steep dirt & gravel path / slippery when wet
- Visibility from Road: None
- Image Credits: header Images: Ute Osborne & David Johnston