Our obsession with waterfalls combined with our love for Scotland can be fully expressed by visiting the tallest waterfall in the UK, Eas a’ Chual Aluinn. In Scottish Gaelic, ‘Eas a’ Chual Alainn’ means “waterfall of the beautiful tresses”, so the ancient people believed it resembled a woman’s long hair. The majestic body of water is believed to be the tallest waterfall in Great Britain above surface level, reaching around 200 meters in height (658 feet).
Eas a’ Chual Aluinn is located about a five hour’s drive away from Glasgow in the parish of Assynt, Sutherland, Highland. When in full blast, the waterfall can be three times taller than Niagara Falls!
Visiting Eas a’ Chual Aluinn
Visitors can get a stunning view of the waterfall in two ways: by taking a less intimate and easier boat tour, or by embarking on a more challenging adventure on foot.
Hiking on foot
According to Walking Highlands, the trail is almost 10km long and takes up to five and a half hours to complete. Visitors are advised of rocky and uneven terrain as well as to take extra care when near the falls as the stretch can be very dangerous. The hiking trail is considered difficult and is only recommended for experienced hikers.
The path starts from the car park at the area on the bend of A894, in-between Kylesku and Lochinver junction. From the parking area, just walk on what used to be an old road and then follow an unobvious (usually very muddy) path towards the North end of the Loch.
Once you reach the top, instead of descending to the waterfall, hikers are advised to go down a short, clumsy path to the end of the cliff, where you can see some majestic views of Eas a’ Chual Aluinn and Loch Glencoul. Moreover, be sure to screenshot the full directions from the Walking Highlands website, just in case.
A number of boat tours are available from Kylesku, however, guests will get a less intimate view of the falls and binoculars are recommended. On the boat tour, expect to witness plenty of wildlife, such as seals hanging out on the rocks, otters swimming in the water and plenty of mussels sticking to the edges of the lochs Glencoul and Glendhu.
Kylesku Boat Tours seem to be the most popular and take one hour 15 minutes, departing three times a day. The trips are guided by Stephen, who has over 35 years of experience and take both adults and children, with little ones under 3 years allowed to go free.