Clashnessie Waterfall

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

About Clashnessie Waterfall


Hiking Distance: 1 mile round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

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

Waterfall Latitude: 58.21707
Waterfall Longitude: -5.31409

Waterfaller Newsletter

Get over the hump of the mid-week blues! Subscribe and get exclusive curated content delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

The Clashnessie Waterfall was our waterfalling reason to take the deceptively long (and dangerous) out-and-back detour from the Loch Assynt vicinity towards the tranquil town and bay of Clashnessie (Clais an Easaidh in Gaelic).

The waterfall itself was said to be a modest 15m tall, but when we saw it in person, it had a very full flow and bulbous appearance.

Clashnessie_074_08252014 - The Clashnessie Waterfall or Clashnessie Falls
The Clashnessie Waterfall or Clashnessie Falls

This stood out behind the handful of homes and pastures that made up the community of Clashnessie.

On the opposite side of the hamlet in the direction of the Clashnessie Bay was a scenic soft-sanded beach, which our daughter thoroughly enjoyed since the hike to falls was a bit on the rough side.

A Sanctioned Hiking Path to the Clashnessie Waterfall

Speaking of the hike, the signs in the area actually pointed out that there were two paths reaching the Clashnessie Waterfall from the car park by the beach.

The sanctioned path actually required me to walk along the mostly single-track B869 road towards the western end of the hamlet before another sign pointed me inland.

Clashnessie_028_08252014 - Looking towards the crossing of the Clashnessie River on the sanctioned trail, but with the water as high as it was during my visit, this wasn't an attractive option
Looking towards the crossing of the Clashnessie River on the sanctioned trail, but with the water as high as it was during my visit, this wasn’t an attractive option

This approach made me weave in between some private property before going onto a rough 4×4 track leading towards what seemed to be yet another property where I wasn’t sure if it was occupied or not.

Just before the trail disappeared into that property, there were more signs pointing to my left telling me that further progress required crossing the Abhainn Clais an Eas (Clashnessie River) across some stepping stones.

Because the river was running a bit high, I wasn’t willing to risk a mishap slipping and falling and possibly dousing my camera (and other things) with water.

Perhaps with trekking poles (which I didn’t have as I was trying to travel light) I might have been able to traverse these stepping stones without water getting into the Gore-tex boots.

Clashnessie_034_08252014 - Direct look at the Clashnessie Waterfall from a distance on the sanctioned trail
Direct look at the Clashnessie Waterfall from a distance on the sanctioned trail

But as it was, I had to turn back and give the non-sanctioned route a try.

At least I did spend some time taking a few photos of the front of Clashnessie Waterfall from a distance, but it did leave me wanting to get a closer look.

So after about 45 minutes or so of this futile out-and-back pursuit, I returned to the car park where I then started going the other route.

Alternate Path to the Clashnessie Waterfall

The non-sanctioned route started adjacent to the public car park near the Clashnessie Beach.

Clashnessie_012_08252014 - Looking towards the Clashnessie Beach before taking the path to Clashnessie Falls without crossing the river
Looking towards the Clashnessie Beach before taking the path to Clashnessie Falls without crossing the river

This route was the direct walking path at the base of the adjacent hills and cliffs leading past a private property or two before getting to the other side of the stepping stones that turned me back from the sanctioned route.

Beyond the stepping stones, then I’d finally reach the base of the impressive Clashnessie Waterfall.

It turned out that because this path passed by (and possibly through) some private property, it might have caused issues with the landowner(s).

This was especially apparent on the way back from the falls because regaining the trail past the stepping stones wasn’t obvious.

Clashnessie_060_08252014 - Following along the Clashnessie River without needing to cross it on the alternate path to the Clashnessie Falls
Following along the Clashnessie River without needing to cross it on the alternate path to the Clashnessie Falls

In fact, the trail skirting the private property was ill-defined as well as rocky and very muddy for most of the way.

Thus, I can easily see how confused hikers would inadvertently stumble into the fields of the private property thereby causing tension with the landowners.

In any case, the overall time I spent away from the car to do this hike was about 90 minutes.

However, we have to keep in mind that I did the trail both ways.

Clashnessie_079_08252014 - Looking back at the scrambling path leading close to the Clashnessie Waterfall
Looking back at the scrambling path leading close to the Clashnessie Waterfall

So it’s probably more reasonable to expect that this trail should take no more than 45 minutes to an hour depending on your pace and how long you want to linger at the falls.

Authorities

The Clashnessie Waterfall resides in the hamlet of Clashnessie near Stoer 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.

Clashnessie_011_08252014 - Looking across the Clashnessie Beach from the public car park at the entrance to the town of Clashnessie
Clashnessie_016_08252014 - Looking towards the Clashnessie Waterfall in the distance as I was pursuing the sanctioned trail to get closer to it
Clashnessie_018_08252014 - Near this old-school phone booth, that was when I then went inland towards the Clashnessie Waterfall
Clashnessie_022_08252014 - Looking straight ahead at the Clashnessie Waterfall in the distance as I had to weave my way amongst the private property to get there
Clashnessie_023_08252014 - Getting closer to the Clashnessie Waterfall from the sanctioned trail
Clashnessie_024_08252014 - This shot tries to show you the type of terrain I had to deal with when hiking the sanctioned trail, which weaved between private properties en route to the Clashnessie Waterfall
Clashnessie_033_08252014 - View of the Clashnessie Waterfall from the sanctioned trail but before the stepping stones
Clashnessie_051_08252014 - Looking ahead at Tahia and Julie enjoying themselves at Clashnessie Beach while I was trying to find a way to access the Clashnessie Waterfall
Clashnessie_052_08252014 - Back at the public car park for Clashnessie and looking towards the outflow of the Clashnessie River before emptying into the ocean
Clashnessie_054_08252014 - Now I was walking up the unsanctioned trail after my failure to cross the stepping stones en route to the Clashnessie Waterfall
Clashnessie_070_08252014 - This was as close to the Clashnessie Waterfall as I would get

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


Earlier in the writeup, I said that the single-track road B869 to get from Loch Assynt to Clashnessie was dangerous.

The reason why I said this was because that single-track road was full of blind turns and even blind summits.

If you’re not careful, you can easily get into a head-on collision with someone going in the opposite direction!

Even though my GPS was adamant about this 14-mile drive (between the A894 road and Clashnessie) taking less than 20 minutes, the reality was that it’s unlikely you’d be able to go faster than an average speed of 10-15 mph.

Clashnessie_014_08252014 - Looking along the single-lane road leading into Clashnessie from the unmarked parking space where we parked our rental car
Looking along the single-lane road leading into Clashnessie from the unmarked parking space where we parked our rental car

So even though we’re saying it took us 45 minutes to make the drive, I can easily envision it taking an hour or more if you were really deliberate about driving the B869 road.

So with that caveat aside, it would take another 2 hours to drive from Inverness to the B869 turnoff a short distance south of Kylesku.

This B869 turnoff was just under 6 miles north of the Ardvreck Castle and about 2 miles south of Kylesku both along the A894 road.

For directions on getting to Ardvreck Castle, see the directions on its page.

For directions on getting to Kylesku, see the directions on the Eas a’ Chual Aluinn page.

Clashnessie_003_08252014 - An unexpected surprise while driving the single-lane B869 road leading into Clashnessie was sighting these red deer grazing by the road
An unexpected surprise while driving the single-lane B869 road leading into Clashnessie was sighting these red deer grazing by the road

There was also the possibility of taking the A867 road west of Loch Assynt towards Loch Inver, where the other side of the B869 road was.

However, we didn’t go that way so we can’t really say much more about that.

In any case, from Inverness, plan on the drive to get to Clashnessie to take at least 3 hours.

Finally, for some additional context, our base of 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.

Starting off with a distant view of the waterfall in full spate then walking over to the stepping stones that I was supposed to cross (but the stream was running too full)


Left to right sweep of the falls from near its base with the sweep ending further downstream

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: assynt, kylesku, clashnessie, sutherland, scotland, uk, united kingdom, waterfall, highlands



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall


Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls
Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.