The Scottish Highlands, a landscape rich with scenic vistas and natural wonders, is home to the mesmerizing beauty of Corrieshalloch Gorge. This gorge has sparked curiosity and wanderlust in many travellers planning their Scottish road trip. But the question remains: is Corrieshalloch Gorge worth visiting, or is it just another stop on the itinerary?
In this post, I’ll delve into the heart of what makes Corrieshalloch Gorge not just a mere point on the map, but a potential highlight of your Scottish adventure.
Situated near Ullapool and an hour’s drive from Inverness, encompassed within a national nature reserve, the gorge presents a breathtaking mix of geological marvel and verdant beauty. It’s more than just a deep chasm carved by ancient glaciers; it’s a testament to nature’s artistry.
Whether Corrieshalloch Gorge is already a pin on your travel map or a potential addition, I’ll give you a snapshot of what Corrieshalloch Gorge offers – from its Victorian suspension bridge offering awe-inspiring views to the serene paths winding through the reserve.
What to Expect from This Article
This post also aims to provide you with all the necessary practical information, from the various options to get to the gorge, conveniently located parking area to the captivating trails that lead you through its natural splendour. I have also included some questions travellers frequently ask to give you a broader perspective. With this helpful information, you can decide whether uncovering this gorge, with its dramatic depths and lush surroundings, truly enriches your journey through Scotland.
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Overview of Corrieshalloch Gorge
Corrieshalloch in English translates to “Ugly Hollow” or “Ugly Glen.” Despite its name, the gorge is anything but ugly, offering breathtaking natural beauty.
Corrieshalloch Gorge, a natural marvel within the Scottish Highlands, stands as a testament to the raw power and beauty of nature. This awe-inspiring gorge, known for being one of the deepest in the UK, plunges dramatically over 60 meters down, shaped over millennia by the relentless forces of glaciation and river erosion. Experiencing the thunderous roar itself makes a visit to Corrieshalloch Gorge worthwhile, and everything else becomes secondary.
The gorge, residing within the expanse of the Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, boasts a unique ecosystem. The damp, cool environment of its depths nurtures an array of rare mosses, ferns, and lichens, creating a lush, green world that contrasts starkly with the rocky crags.
Positioned strategically, Corrieshalloch Gorge not only stands out as a destination in its own right but also acts as a perfect starting point for exploring some of the most enchanting natural attractions in the vicinity. The lush Inverewe Gardens, a horticultural paradise, and the captivating Rogie Falls, each offering, in their own unique blend of natural beauty and tranquility.
Accessibility and Travel Information for Corrieshalloch Gorge
For travellers journeying through Scotland, this magnificent gorge isn’t merely a point to reach; it’s an integral piece of the entire North Coast 500 road trip experience. It embodies the true spirit of a Highland adventure, where every mile travelled brings its own set of wonders and discoveries
Planning a visit to Corrieshalloch Gorge is straightforward, thanks to its accessibility and the range of facilities available, underscoring why Corrieshalloch Gorge is worth visiting for an enriching experience in the Scottish Highlands.
The nearest village to Corrieshalloch Gorge is Ullapool, which makes it a perfect destination for an overnight stay. Ullapool lies just about 20 kilometers (roughly 12.43 miles) from Corrieshalloch Gorge, making the 20-minute or so drive between these two points quite manageable.
Getting to Corrieshalloch Gorge By Car
If you’re using GPS, the postcode for Corrieshalloch Gorge is IV23 2PJ. This is your key to unlocking a straightforward and scenic drive through some of Scotland’s most picturesque landscapes from Ullapool.
With an expected driving duration of approximately 20 minutes, given the usual speeds on rural roads, this journey is both short and convenient. It’s an easy and quick addition to any road trip plan, seamlessly fitting into a day’s itinerary without requiring a significant time commitment.
The roads offer stunning views and the freedom to stop, explore, and absorb the landscapes at your leisure. Whether you’re a solo adventurer in a rented car or part of a guided tour group, the drive to Corrieshalloch Gorge promises to be as memorable as the gorge itself.
TIP: If you’re driving from Ullapool, take the A835 southward. When you reach Braemore Junction, make a right turn onto the A832 Dundonnell road. You’ll find the car park just off the A832, about a half-mile from the junction. Additionally, roadside parking is available about ½ mile from the turn-off, offering convenient access to the gorge.
Getting to Corrieshalloch Gorge By Train or Bus
While the romance of train travel or the convenience of buses is undeniable, reaching Corrieshalloch Gorge solely by these means can be challenging. The nearest train stations are located in Garve or Dingwall, and from there, you would need to catch a bus or taxi to the gorge.
The closest bus stop is located at Braemore Junction, approximately a half-mile from the gorge. This stop is serviced by buses coming from Ullapool and Gairloch, making Corrieshalloch Gorge accessible even for those without a car.
Bus #961 towards Inverness by Scottish Citylink runs a service to Corrieshalloch Gorge. Check Scottish Citylink schedules here.
However, public transportation may not provide the same level of accessibility or flexibility as driving, especially for those looking to experience the gorge as part of a broader road trip.
Parking and Entry Fees
Parking: There is a dedicated car park at Corrieshalloch Gorge, conveniently situated near the main entrance. Spaces for parking are generally hassle-free, but it can get busy during peak tourist seasons. So, plan your road trip ahead of time to reach here either first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Entry Fees: One of the great appeals of Corrieshalloch Gorge is that there is no entry fee. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the gorge, flora and fauna and the lush surroundings free of charge.
Best Times to Visit
Visiting during the late spring through early autumn offers the best experience, with longer daylight hours and milder weather. The gorge’s beauty is at its peak during these months, with lush greenery and flowing waterfalls.
Early mornings or late afternoons are typically less crowded, providing a more tranquil experience.
Visiting after a heavy downpour is one of the best times to experience the Falls as the volume of water gushing over the Falls is at the optimum.
The site is equipped with essential facilities to ensure a comfortable visit. Restrooms are available near the parking area.
While there are no formal picnic areas, visitors often find spots around the car park or along the walking paths to enjoy a meal amidst nature.
The Visitor Center managed by the National Trust for Scotland, opened recently in 2023, offers insightful displays about the gorge’s history and ecology, enhancing the educational aspect of your visit.
The journey to and experience of Corrieshalloch Gorge is as remarkable as the destination itself which makes it worth visiting. With easy access, no entry fees, and adequate facilities, it is an unmissable stop on any Scottish road trip, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, geological wonder, and serene outdoor enjoyment.
Visiting and Exploring Things that are Worth Doing at Corrieshalloch Gorge
Corrieshalloch Gorge offers a variety of activities that cater to both nature enthusiasts and casual visitors. This underscores why Corrieshalloch Gorge is worth visiting, as it provides an array of experiences that enrich any Scottish road trip. Here’s an overview of what to experience when you visit Corrieshalloch Gorge:
- The Falls of Measach thundering down 45 meters into the gorge.
- Marvel at how glacial meltwater shapes deep gorges, making it one of Britain’s most extraordinary natural formations.
- Walk across the Victorian suspension bridge that spans the gorge.
- Embark on the Corrieshalloch Gorge walk which is a must-do.
- Discover red squirrels, ferns and vegetation that are unique to this National Nature Reserve.
The Falls of Measach at Corrieshalloch Gorge is Absolutely Worth Visiting
The Falls of Measach thundering down 45 meters into the gorge, add a sense of drama and spectacle, creating a natural symphony that resonates through the air.
Measach Falls, a remarkable feature of Corrieshalloch Gorge, epitomizes the untamed beauty and power of nature. These falls, where the River Droma dramatically plunges 45 meters (about 150 feet) into the gorge, create an awe-inspiring spectacle of sight and sound.
The resonant roar of the water as it cascades down and the mist that rises from where the falls meet the gorge add an ethereal quality to the experience. Viewable from the gorge’s suspension bridge or a nearby viewing platform, Measach Falls offer visitors a chance to witness this magnificent natural phenomenon from various angles.
Set against the rugged backdrop of the Scottish Highlands and fed by the flowing waters of the River Droma, the Falls of Measach are more than a visual marvel; they are a vital part of Corrieshalloch Gorge’s unique ecosystem. Their majestic presence and the surrounding natural beauty make Corrieshalloch Gorge a destination of choice worth visiting for nature lovers and photographers.
Viewpoints at Corrieshalloch Gorge
During your walk within Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, you’ll encounter two main designated viewpoints, along with several other informal ones, offering different perspectives of the gorge’s grandeur.
The Victorian Suspension Bridge Viewpoint
For a safer, yet equally captivating view, head to the first viewing platform, the Victorian suspension bridge. Extending out over the gorge, providing a spectacular perspective of the area’s natural beauty, this Victorian suspension bridge is a historical marvel in itself. The bridge, a feat of engineering by Sir John Fowler (notably the chief engineer of the Forth Bridge and London ’s first underground railway), dates back to 1874.
The first glimpse of the awe-inspiring Corrieshalloch Gorge and the plummeting Falls of Measach is sure to leave you breathless, with its dizzying depths and natural beauty. Walking across this suspension bridge can be a little scary but if you can do it, it’ll be great.
From this bridge, you can peer down into the abyss or watch the mesmerizing cascade of the Falls of Measach, making it a key spot for both thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts. This vantage point alone makes Corrieshalloch Gorge worth visiting, offering a perspective that is as exhilarating as it is humbling.
NB: Only 6 people are allowed at any one point to cross the bridge.
The second viewpoint, is a good alternative that is also safe if you’re weary about heights. Located on the south side of the gorge, this viewpoint comes complete with informative boards. This viewpoint is marked by a metal platform that juts out to the floor of the gorge. From this viewing platform, you get incredible views of the suspension bridge ahead, Measach Falls, and the depth of the gorge.
Corrieshalloch Gorge stands as a remarkable example of how glacial meltwater shapes deep gorges, making it one of Britain’s most extraordinary natural formations.
The highlight of the visit is the Victorian-era suspension bridge that arches over the 200-foot-deep chasm, providing a unique perspective of the waterfall’s powerful descent.
Hiking the Corrieshalloch Gorge Trail
The Corrieshalloch Gorge walk is a must-do. This well-maintained trail leads you through a serene path amidst stunning landscapes of the Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, offering breathtaking views of the gorge and the surrounding Highlands.
It leads to various viewpoints where the expansive vistas of Loch Maree and the distant Highlands unfold before you. This walk is more than a simple trail; it’s a journey through a landscape that encapsulates the rugged, untamed spirit of Scotland.
Corrieshalloch Gorge Walk
Begin at the Fern-Filled Car Park: You can begin your journey at the Corrieshalloch Gorge car park, located along the A832 Dundonnell road, just west of Braemore Junction.
Follow the well-marked path leading to the suspension bridge. The walk to the historic bridge is short, but the reward is immense, with the bridge offering unparalleled views of the dramatic Falls of Measach.
As you stroll, make time to observe at the gorge’s lush vegetation, including a variety of mosses, liverworts, and notably Britain’s smallest fern – Wilson’s filmy fern. Keep your ears open for the echoing calls of ravens nesting above the cascading falls.
Cross the historic bridge. After crossing, take a left to even more spectacular views of the gorge’s depths.
Trail Through the Pines: Retrace your steps across the bridge and take a right, following a path that runs along the edge of the gorge – a spot where extra care is needed. This part of the walk is a haven for red squirrels, so keep an eye out as you wander through the pine trees, and then descend to an area with informative signs and another viewpoint.
Panoramic Broom Views: Continue following the path as it ascends into open countryside. To your right, the expansive sea loch, Loch Broom, stretches out. This final level stretch concludes the 1.25-mile walk, offering a fulfilling experience of the Highland’s natural beauty.
NOTE: It is always a good idea to check the Corrieshalloch Gorge National Trust for Scotland website for any potential closures. At the Visitor Center, ask for information or pick up a detailed walking route and map of Corrieshalloch Gorge.
Helpful Information about Hiking the Corrieshalloch Gorge
Trail Length and Duration: The main trail at Corrieshalloch Gorge is approximately 1.5 kilometers (about 1 mile) round trip.
Time: It typically takes visitors around 30 to 45 minutes to complete, depending on how much time is spent enjoying the views.
Terrain and Difficulty: The path is well-maintained and mostly flat, making it accessible for hikers of all skill levels, including families with children. There are a few gentle slopes, but nothing too strenuous.
Highlights: This trail offers stunning views of the gorge itself and the Falls of Measach. The highlight for many is the Victorian suspension bridge, which provides a thrilling vantage point over the gorge. There is also a viewing platform that extends out over the gorge, offering a safe and spectacular view.
Recommendation: The Corrieshalloch Gorge Trail is highly recommended for its accessibility and the stunning views it offers. It’s a perfect blend of natural beauty and ease, suitable for a wide range of visitors.
Loch Maree: A short drive from the gorge, Loch Maree is an idyllic spot known for its stunning scenery and tranquility.
Inverewe Gardens: Explore the lush, fascinating Inverewe Gardens, a botanical marvel in the Scottish Highlands.
Rogie Falls: A visit to the nearby Rogie Falls is a great way to complement your trip to the gorge.
Gateway to Nature Garve: The Corrieshalloch Gorge is part of the larger ‘Gateway to Nature’ in Garve, an initiative that highlights the importance of preserving and enjoying natural spaces.
For those interested in learning more about the gorge’s history, flora, and fauna, guided tours are available. These tours provide in-depth information about the gorge’s geological significance and its status as one of the deepest gorges in the UK.
Whether you’re interested in a leisurely walk, an educational tour, or just soaking in the spectacular views, Corrieshalloch Gorge and its surrounding area offer a variety of activities that make it a memorable and worthwhile stop on any Scottish journey.
Personal Experience and Recommendations at Corrieshalloch Gorge
My visit to Corrieshalloch Gorge, from Ullapool was nothing short of a rewarding experience. This gorge, undoubtedly worth visiting on any Scottish road trip, offers an experience that beautifully blends awe-inspiring natural beauty with a sense of serene isolation.
Tips and Recommendations:
Best Viewpoints: The Victorian suspension bridge is a must-visit spot. Standing on this bridge, I felt a thrilling connection to the landscape, with the Falls of Measach roaring below. For a less vertigo-inducing view, the viewing platform provides a broader perspective of the gorge’s depth and the surrounding Highlands.
Ideal Duration of Visit: I spent about 1-2 hours at the gorge, which was ample time to enjoy the main walk and take in the views. If you’re a photography enthusiast or a nature lover, you might want to allocate more time to soak in the ambiance and capture those perfect shots.
Walking Paths: The Corrieshalloch Gorge walk is accessible and well-maintained, suitable for most visitors. The path, surrounded by diverse flora and fauna, is a gentle reminder of the gorge’s ecological significance.
Is Corrieshalloch Gorge dog friendly? Yes, Corrieshalloch Gorge is dog friendly. Dogs are welcome but should be kept on a leash, especially near the suspension bridge and viewing platform, for their safety and the safety of other visitors.
Pros and Cons of Visiting Corrieshalloch Gorge
Visiting Corrieshalloch Gorge, a highlight in the Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, is a decision many travellers grapple with when planning their Scottish road trip. Based on my experiences and observations, here are the key pros and cons to consider:
Unparalleled Natural Beauty: The gorge, known as one of the deepest in the UK, showcases the sheer power of natural forces with its dramatic depth and the majestic Falls of Measach. Its stunning vistas are a treat for the eyes and the soul, making Corrieshalloch Gorge worth visiting for anyone seeking natural beauty.
Accessibility and Convenience: Situated near Ullapool, the gorge is easily accessible by car, making it a convenient addition to any road trip. The well-maintained parking area and walking paths make the visit smooth and enjoyable.
Educational Experience: The visitor center at the gorge provides insightful information about its geology and ecology. It’s not only a visual treat but also an opportunity to learn about the natural history of the Scottish Highlands.
Tranquil Escape: Despite its popularity, the gorge offers moments of tranquility, especially during off-peak hours. It’s a perfect place to reconnect with nature and find peace away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Weather Dependence: The experience at Corrieshalloch Gorge can be significantly influenced by weather conditions. Rain can make the paths slippery, and mist may obscure the views. It’s wise to be prepared with appropriate clothing and check the weather forecast before your visit.
Potential Crowding: In peak tourist seasons, the gorge can become quite crowded, which might detract from the experience for those seeking solitude. Planning your visit during early mornings or late afternoons can help avoid the busiest times.
Limited Facilities: While basic facilities like restrooms are available, dining and extensive visitor services are limited. Visitors should plan accordingly, perhaps packing a picnic or planning meals before or after the visit.
In essence, while there are a few considerations to keep in mind, the pros of visiting Corrieshalloch Gorge far outweigh the cons. Its natural beauty, accessibility, and the serenity it offers make it a must-visit location for anyone travelling through the North Coast 500 and the Scottish Highlands.
People Also Ask
What is the best time to visit Corrieshalloch Gorge?
The ideal time to visit is during the late spring through early autumn for milder weather and better trail conditions. Early morning or late afternoon visits can help avoid crowds.
Are there any entry fees for Corrieshalloch Gorge?
There are no entry fees to visit the gorge. However, there may be a small parking fee at the site.
How long is the walk at Corrieshalloch Gorge, and is it difficult?
Walking the main path at Corrieshalloch Gorge, including a visit to the suspension bridge and viewing platform, typically takes about 1 to 2 hours. It’s a relatively easy and short walk, suitable for most visitors.
Is Corrieshalloch Gorge accessible for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility?
The main paths are generally accessible, but some areas, like the suspension bridge, may pose challenges due to steep or uneven terrain.
Are there any facilities available at Corrieshalloch Gorge?
Basic facilities like restrooms are available near the parking area. However, there are limited dining and other visitor services, so it’s advisable to plan accordingly.
Corrieshalloch Gorge is approximately 61 meters (200 feet) deep. It’s known for its impressive depth and the stunning Falls of Measach, which drop 45 meters (150 feet) into the gorge.
The largest and deepest gorge in Scotland is generally considered to be Corrieshalloch Gorge. Its impressive depth and size, coupled with the scenic beauty, make it one of Scotland’s most notable geological features.
No, Loch Maree is not a sea loch; it is a freshwater loch. It’s one of Scotland’s largest and most beautiful freshwater lochs, known for its scenic islands and surrounding woodlands.
Additional Helpful Resources
For more detailed information and to help plan your visit, here are some useful resources:
- Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve
- Visit Scotland – Corrieshalloch Gorge
- Walk Highlands – Corrieshalloch Gorge Walk
- Where to Stay in Ullapool OR Nearby.
- Hire the Perfect Car for Your Road Trip.
- Private Tour: Hire a Car and a Driver for the Day
- Tours from Edinburgh.
- Find Train Journeys.
Address: Address: Corrieshalloch Gorge Braemore Junction, Loch Broom, Garve, Ross-shire, IV23 2AB
Ordnance Survey Reference: NH208776
…as the deliberate escapist and mindful wanderer…
I hope you are convinced that Corrieshalloch Gorge is worth visiting. This journey through Corrieshalloch Gorge, its spectacular geological wonders, enriching activities, and the valuable insights for visitors stand out. The experience of traversing its verdant trails, marveling at the views from the Victorian suspension bridge, and discovering nearby attractions underscores its charm.
Corrieshalloch Gorge is more than a destination; it’s a gateway to the extraordinary beauty and serenity of the Scottish Highlands, making it a compelling addition to any Scottish road trip itinerary. Its appeal transcends to all – nature lovers, photographers, families and those seeking tranquility – proving unequivocally that Corrieshalloch Gorge is indeed a place worth visiting.
For more captivating stories, guides, and tips on exploring Scotland and embarking on memorable road trips, I encourage you to explore more of our content. Discover the hidden gems, the cultural highlights, and the scenic routes that make Scotland an unforgettable destination.