Wailing Widow Falls
Wailing Widow Falls

Loch na Gainmhich is a small loch just south of Unapool, beside the A894, in the wild beauty of Assynt. Allt Crananaidh spills out the northern tip of the loch in a spectacular waterfall known as Wailing Widow Falls. The burn then runs through a steep-sided gorge to join Unapool Burn and empty into Loch Glencoul a few miles to the north.

Wailing Widow Falls (sometimes known as Hanged Man Falls) is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit in Sutherland, lying a very short stroll from a car park on the A894. From the car park, simply head east, following the rough track, until you reach the top of the falls. The waterfall is no more than 300 yards from the car park.

The falls drop roughly 100 feet (30m) from the outflow of Loch na Gainmhich.

The waterfall from above
The waterfall from above

For an even better view, follow the edge of the gorge north. The gorge gradually disappears and you can follow a trail down to Allt Crananaidh, then turn back south towards the waterfall. This view from below is one of the finest in the Scottish Highlands. Please take care; the path to the falls is uneven and very rough in places.

You can combine a visit to see Wailing Widow Falls with a hike to Eas a' Chual Aluinn, the waterfall with the highest drop in Britain. Both walks start at the same car park on the A894. A walk to Eas a' Chual Aluinn will take roughly 5 hours. Please don't think you can get away without an OS map like I did! I spent hours meandering through bogs before finding the trail. Thankfully, there is no such risk of missing the Wailing Widow Falls; it is incredibly easy to visit.

Wailing Widow Falls appears in our list of 22 Beautiful Scottish Waterfalls.

The falls from below
The falls from below

Getting There

The main car park is on a sharp bend of the A894 at the northern end of Loch na Gainmhich, roughly 4km (2.4 miles) south of Unapool. If the main car park is full, there is a rough layby to the south (i.e. towards the Lochinver junction). There is no public transportation.

I was fortunate enough to spend a week at a self-catering cottage in Unapool, and visited the Wailing Widow Waterfall several times. When the water flow is high, this is one of the most strikingly beautiful waterfalls in Scotland. The fact that it is so close to the main road makes it a 'must-see'.

About Wailing Widow Falls
Address: A894, Unapool, Assynt, Sutherland, Scotland
Attraction Type: Countryside
Location: Off the A894 at the northern end of Loch na Gainmhich, 4km (2.4 miles) south of Unapool. The car park is at NC240292 (the nearest postcode is IV27 4HW).
Location map
OS: NC242293
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

North West Highlands Geo Park - 1.7 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Eas a Chual Aluinn Waterfall - 2.5 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Ardvreck Castle - 3.5 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating

Little Assynt (Leitir Easaidh) - 4.5 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Bone Caves - 7.8 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Culag Woods - 10.4 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Falls of Kirkaig - 10.8 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve - 12.8 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Nearest Holiday Cottages to Wailing Widow Falls:

Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Wailing Widow Falls. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.

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