Corrieshalloch Gorge
Corrieshalloch Gorge
A spectacular mile-long gorge, 200 ft (61m) deep. A lovely walk through woodland brings you to a suspension bridge spanning the gorge above the Falls of Measach, fed by the River Droma as it travels north to Loch Broom and the sea. A longer walk brings you to a viewing platform jutting out over the gorge for wonderful views of the waterfall.
I've visited the gorge twice, and each time I was struck by the sheer grandeur of the location. There is a small parking area just off the A832, just past its junction with the A835. From the parking area a trail winds back and forth across the hillside, offering tantalising glimpses of the gorge. Then you emerge at the suspension bridge above the falls, with wonderful views down the gorge. The suspension bridge was designed by Vioctorian engineer Sir John Fowler, who also worked on the Forth Bridge.

You can't see the striking scale of the falls, however, unless you continue across the briidge to the far side and follow the rail along the far bank to a steel viewing platform which juts out over the floor of the gorge. This gives you wonderful views back to the Falls of Measach. The viewing platform is perfectly safe, but it does help if you aren't bothered by heights!

Its quite incongruous to realise that Corrieshalloch means 'ugly hollow' in Gaelic, for as the National Trust for Scotland points out in the publicity for the Gorge, there's nothing ugly about Corrieshalloch or the woodlands that surround it. The gorge was created some 2.6 million years ago by melting water from retreating glaciers. The result is a narrow 'slot-gorge', known in North America as a box-canyon. The River Droma runs through the narrow gorge before dropping 100 metres over the course of 1.25 kilometres. Some 46 metres of that drop is the precipitous Falls of Measach.

The best time to view the Falls is after a heavy rain, when the volume of water over the Falls is at its greatest, but in truth anytime is a good time to visit Corrieshalloch, which must rank as one of the most dramatic and satisfying natural environments in the northern Highlands, with golden eagles sometimes spotted high above, and red deer roaming in the surrounding woodlands.

The Victorian suspension bridge
The Victorian suspension bridge
The Falls of Measach
The Falls of Measach