Plodda Falls – Gorgeous Circular Drive & Circular WalkFollow my blog with Bloglovin
Despite having lived in the Highlands for around 15 years and being a real fan of waterfalls I had never realised Plodda Falls was so nearby.
Of course I had explored the lovely Glen Affric area before, and had poked around of the Loch Ness area. I am also well acquainted with the Forestry Commission Scotland website which gives places to visits – but somehow I had still missed it!
Having seen a picture of the falls on Instagram I decided to head out and take a look for ourselves.
Route to Plodda Falls
We took a circular driving route to Plodda Falls as I am a big fan on a circular trip when going out on a drive!
For the first leg of the journey we pased through Beauly heading towards Inverness on the A862 and we turned right onto the A831. This road heads to Cannich and it is a two lane road for the most part.
The views are lovely as it follows alongside the River Beauly which is on the left hand side. We continued on past the gorgeous Aigas Centre. Over the road we saw ropes which I guess are for squirrels to safely cross over the road.
Eventually we came into the busy village that is Cannich. We continued straight on, passing a cemetery on our right hand side. The road follows alongside the River Glass on the right and there it bears round to the left. After crossing the river there is a right turn and it is signed for Plodda Falls.
The road takes you through the pretty little village of Tomich. The hotel is the on the right, with a little cafe on the left.
You continue along this road until your reach another sign for Plodda Falls and this is where the road becomes more of a track. It is quite a wide track and it was also quite busy. It is about 3 miles along this road to reach Plodda Falls car park.
When we visited the car park was busy and there were a few light showers of rain.
Walking To Plodda Falls
We decided to follow the WalkHighlands information so set off following the Tweedmouth route. This is the path that is straight on when leaving the car park, rather than the path to the left which leads directly to the falls. We took this route because we thought we would get the best view of the falls.
The route goes downhill for quite a way and then there is a left turn through the woods. This is a bit muddier as it is a narrow path rather than a track. Then there is a right turn through the woods. The trees here are amazing and absolutely massive. They are Douglas firs and three of them from this very wood replaced the masts on Captain Cooks ship Discovery.
It can be quite tricky to keep your eyes on the path with such beauty around. There are a few sets of stone steps and a few muddy patches to get through.
Eventually after winding down through the woods you come to another wide track. To the right is a lovely view of Plodda Cottage, a somewhat fairytale Dingly Dell type looking place. We turned left and walked past some more amazing trees. We then came to the river and stopped to take some photos. The water was brown and it was a beautiful spot.
There is a picnic bench and to continue walking to the falls you take the path that is before the picnic table as you approach it. It is the steeper path.
The path rises quickly. There is a viewing deck along the way which gave a welcome breather and a look over the trees. There are then steps and another steep section before you reach a junction.
To the right is what appears to be a very steep and narrow path. This leads down to a wonderful view of the falls. Don’t be put off as it is only a few minutes from the junction to the view of the waterfalls and it is spectacular. There is only a small space to view the falls because you are squeezed in beside a tree. It is difficult to get the full height of the falls into a photo because you are so close, and that’s the wonderful thing. The noise is powerful and there was also a bit of spray when we were there too.
It really is impressive and worth the walk down. There are stone steps down and a handrail in places but there is also an open section. It was a bit slippy due to the weather conditions and the viewing area was also slippy due to the spray but nothing to worry about if you used your common sense.
Returning back to the junction from this viewing area you take a short and steep section up to the viewing platform at the top of the falls. Again there are stone steps and a bit of handrail for this section.
The viewing platform is somewhat terrifying if, like me, you are scared of heights. You can see through the slats so I wouldn’t advise looking down. The platform actually extends right out over the crest of the falls and whilst it is a spectacular view it can be a bit nerve wracking.
The end of the viewing platform is very narrow so only 2 people can really stand right at the peak.
From the viewing platform there is around a 20 minute walk back to the car park.
Along the way is another beautiful waterfall where the river falls over a series of rocks. It is beautiful in a very different way to Plodda.
There are no toilet facilities at Plodda. The nearest would be at Tomich.
It was quite muddy when we visited so good walking shoes are recommended. We saw a guy walking in white trainers which was quite a bold move!
There were a number of midgies, particularly around the car park area, so be prepared for them. They can be really annoying.
The walk we took involved a lot of steps and also tree roots and other obstacles. Some people that had taken smaller children had to carry them as it was too tricky for them to manage.
We thought that we had to follow the route we did to get the best view of the falls. Whilst the walk was lovely you could just follow the sign for Plodda Falls from the car park and take the right turn down the hill until you get to a crossroads, and the turn left to get the lower view of the falls. This would have taken about half the time we spent walking through the woods. We will probably do that next time
On the return from Plodda Falls we saw a sign for Sue’s Cake Shed. This is just as you get to the end of the Forestry Commission track and are about to return onto the tarmac road. It’s well worth a little diversion.
Take a left turn instead of going back to Tomich. A few hundred yards on the left you will see a tiny shed. Inside are a selection of cakes in boxes with prices on the box and an honesty box.
The price is per packet of cakes, not each individual cake. We enjoyed lovely Ginger cake, scones and brownies. I would recommend turning round using the bottom of Sue’s drive way otherwise it is a long drive down a fairly pot holed track to find a turning point.
Tomich is a very small village set in Glen Affric. For a real get away in the Scottish Highlands this is a lovely spot. It would be an ideal place to stay and enjoy a nice walk to Plodda Falls.
Want to Stay in Tomich?
On the way back to Tomich take a moment to stop for a look at the Tweedmouth fountain. It was built to remember the Earl and Countess of Tweedmouth who are depicted either side of the fountain. However, I really liked the dog’s heads on the water pipes. How lovely the fountain must has looked when it was all working.
Just next door to the fountain is a lovely statue of a dog. It’s a Golden Retriever which was first bred on the Guisachan estate.
Just across from statue is a cute little free lending library. Unfortunately, it was shut due to Covid19 but the next time I return I will take a book with me and hopefully do a swop.
The cafe was closed by the time we got back – it’s open from 10am to 3pm. There was a nice table outside that I had my eye on – again another reason to go back!
When we got back to the junction by the bridge instead of turning left and following our route back through Cannich we went straight on. This took us towards Drumnadrochit. Just before Drumnadrochit we turned left, signed for Beauly and went over the hill. This is a lovely scenic route and we saw Belted Galloway cattle in the fields and the heather look particularly lovely.
This road brings you back past the Belladrum Estate on the right hand side and eventually back to a T junction with the A862. We turned left to go back to Beauly.
Looking for another circular drive route? Check out this one or two day route to Gairloch which has gorgeous scenery as well.