"Ardvreck Castle Waterfall"

Loch Assynt / Kylesku, Scotland, UK (Great Britain)

About “Ardvreck Castle Waterfall”

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2014-08-25
Date last visited: 2014-08-25

Waterfall Latitude: 58.16882
Waterfall Longitude: -4.9909

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The “Ardvreck Castle Waterfall” was what I’m dubbing this unexpected waterfall surprise that we just so happened to notice when we stumbled upon the equally unexpected surprise of the ruins of Ardvreck Castle itself!

Like many visitors who have been here before us, we never knew this place existed.

Ardvreck_Castle_029_08252014 - The Ardvreck Castle Waterfall
The Ardvreck Castle Waterfall

However, the stunning setting of the castle remnants perched atop a peninsula jutting out into the Loch Assynt with tall mountains backing it was simply too much to ignore.

An Accidental Waterfall Sighting

We practically had to stop and take photos while marveling at this seemingly unknown yet sublime spot.

Yet it was because we stopped at the castle that we looked around and suddenly noticed the obscure 20-30ft waterfall from a stream emptying into the Loch Assynt almost right where the castle ruins were located!

From the castle ruins, we saw there were some rough pullouts just a short distance north along the A837 road from the castle parking area (see directions below).

Ardvreck_Castle_001_08252014 - Context of the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall jutting out onto Loch Assynt
Context of the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall jutting out onto Loch Assynt

The pullouts were close enough to the main castle car park that we probably could have walked for a few minutes without moving the car.

Anyways, from the pullout, we crossed the A837 road then scrambled along a makeshift walking path (more like a trail of use by those who happened to have been here before us) before ending up right before this partially tree-shaded waterfall.

The entire duration of the walk only took me around 15 minutes or so including photos.

From what I could tell, the stream responsible for this waterfall may be called Alt a Chalda Beag.

Other than this extrapolation from trying to match up the maps with my field observations, I’m afraid I can’t say much more about the longevity of the falls other than the stream seemed to be small and seasonal.

Ardvreck_Castle_035_08252014 - Looking back at the context of the Ardvreck Castle as seen from the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall
Looking back at the context of the Ardvreck Castle as seen from the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall

So it’s conceivable that we just so happened to notice this falls because our timing was such that it benefitted from a lot of rain in the Highlands of Scotland thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Bertha early in August 2014.

I can envision this waterfall being nothing more than a trickle or not flowing at all without significant rainfall given how thin the stream looked on the map.

Turbulent History of the Ardvreck Castle

As for the castle itself, it was said to be originally the 15th century seat of the MacLeod Clan of Assynt.

Seemingly typical of most castles throughout the United Kingdom, this one had also seen many violent times both from within the MacLeod Clan as well as from external adversaries.

The MacLeod ownership ended in 1672 after a 14-day siege by the MacKenzie Clan from Wester Ross.

Ardvreck_Castle_011_08252014 - Zoomed in look at the remnants of the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall
Zoomed in look at the remnants of the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall

But in 1795, it was said that lightning struck the castle and dealt it the final major blow letting Nature to slowly decay the rest of what’s standing at the castle site to this day.

Underscoring the violence in the history of this place, it was also said that ghosts still haunt Ardvreck Castle.


The “Ardvreck Castle Waterfall” resides near Inchnadamph in Sutherland, Scotland. It may be administered by the Assynt Development Trust. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Ardvreck_Castle_003_08252014 - Looking across part of Loch Assynt towards the Ardvreck Castle
Ardvreck_Castle_012_08252014 - Looking back at the peninsula leading to the tower ruin of Ardvreck Castle
Ardvreck_Castle_014_08252014 - From the Ardvreck Castle, we noticed this obscure cascade in the distance, and that's what prompted us to explore it
Ardvreck_Castle_023_08252014 - Upon closer inspection, we realized that the cascade was actually more significant than we thought, which ultimately prompted us to compose this entry on the website
Ardvreck_Castle_016_08252014 - Direct look at the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall after having scrambled closer to it
Ardvreck_Castle_028_08252014 - Checking out the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall in long exposure
Ardvreck_Castle_040_08252014 - Last look at the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall before continuing further north into the Northwest Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck_Castle_030_08252014 - Looking back at Ardvreck Castle from the base of the waterfall with the A837 road cutting in the foreground

We drove up to the “Ardvreck Castle Waterfall” from the Falls of Measach in the Corrieshalloch Gorge.

For detailed directions on getting to the Falls of Measach, see that page.

Note that the Falls of Measach and the Corrieshalloch Gorge was roughly an hour’s drive northwest of Inverness.

Leaving the Falls of Measach, we then continued north on the A835 road for about 37 miles or so.

Ardvreck_Castle_043_08252014 - The informal parking situation near the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall
The informal parking situation near the Ardvreck Castle Waterfall

This route passed by the town of Ullapool in 12.5 miles along the A835, and the road became the A837 road for the last 7.5 miles.

Overall, this drive took us about an hour (or about 2 hours total from Inverness).

To provide you with some context, Ullapool was 33 miles (about an hour drive) south of Kylesku. Inverness was 57 miles (90 minutes drive) southeast of Ullapool, 155 miles (3.5 hours drive) north of Edinburgh and 169 miles (3.5 hours drive) north of Glasgow.

Find A Place To Stay

Sweep of the waterfall we stumbled upon near the Ardvreck Castle. The movie ends with a view of Ardvreck Castle.

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Tagged with: loch assynt, kylesku, sutherland, scotland, uk, united kingdom, waterfall, ardvreck castle, highlands, unapool, alt a chalda beag, macleod, mackenzie

Visitor Comments:

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Ardvreck April 24, 2016 7:25 pm by Dave McBain - The waterfall at Ardvreck isn't seasonal it's one of those that doesn't seem to very much in flow whatever the weather. The flow out seems to bear no relation to the flow in, on that one. Just below it on the grass is the remains of a millstone - though there's no record of a… ...Read More

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