A visit Plodda Falls, a 46 metre high waterfall

Written by Chris Thornton | 8th of May 2023
Plodda Falls, an impressive waterfall near Drumnadrochit.

Back on the road again after a relaxing stay at the Tomich Hotel, our next destination was the nearby Plodda Falls, roughly a 10-minute drive to the southwest. Waterfalls seemed to be the theme of my 40th birthday trip around central Scotland after visiting Pattack Falls and Steall Falls the previous day.

The staff at the Tomich Hotel had highly recommended a visit to the falls and gave us some rough directions. As we left the hotel, we passed the golden retriever statue; the ancestral home of the dog breed was nearby at the ruin of Guisachan House.

The road to Plodda Falls wasn't great; at times, we thought we might have taken a wrong turn. Some sections of the road were just gravel roads and dirt tracks. An occasional Plodda Falls sign kept us going, and we finally arrived at the dedicated car park.

Main signage when arriving at the Plodda Falls car park. No main road here.
Arriving at the Plodda Falls car park.

Free Parking at Plodda Falls Car Park

Staying at Tomich Hotel was a major benefit to us as we were the first to arrive at the Plodda Falls car park. This is a fairly substantial and well-kept car park and made me think this was a popular site; there was space for about 15 to 20 cars.

A good sized car park is available at Plodda Falls.
A spacious car park is available.

A large information board beckons you closer and gives full information on directions to the waterfall and nearby walking trails. We decided to head directly to the falls and then follow the circular walk back to the car park. Be sure to head to the information board and then past it, do not walk back out of the car park along the Forestry Commission track.

Information board and beginning of the trail.
The information board at the car park, and start of the hiking trail to the right.
Plodda Falls information board. Tweedmouth walk.
Detail of the Plodda Falls information board.

Picnic tables are also available for use in the car park.

Following the Plodda Falls Trail

Two trails are available signposted with green and white markers:

  • Plodda Falls Trail - only 1/2 mile long, taking in the waterfalls and a short forest walk. Duration: 30 minutes.

  • Tweedmouth Trail - includes the waterfalls, but a longer riverside walk past enormous trees - 1 1/2 miles long. Duration: 1 hour; also has the option to visit Guisachan House ruin.

The trails are a mixture of gravel/mud/grass, some stone steps and many exposed tree routes that can be a trip hazard.

Start of the hiking trail.
The start of the trail.
Path to the upper falls near the main Plodda waterfall.
Following the path to the upper falls.

Allt na Bodachan Upper Falls

Plodda Falls trail is stunningly beautiful. Well-trodden tracks meander through the forest and initially take you to the beautiful upper falls, gorgeous in their own right. I had seen pictures online before visiting Plodda, so I knew this wasn't the main waterfall, but I wouldn't have been disappointed if it had been.

The upper falls.
Side view of the upper falls.
Plodda upper falls detail.
A beautiful start to the walk with the first cascading waterfall.

Plodda Falls Viewing Platform

Continuing, we arrived at a wooden platform (built-in 2009) jutting over the cliffside. Gingerly we made our way to the platform's edge; my legs felt wobbly! If I were scared of heights, I wouldn't attempt this viewing platform and follow the path to view the waterfall from below.

Leading up to the wooden viewing platform.
The path leading up to the viewing platform.
The viewing platform at Plodda Falls.
Are you brave enough to walk over the precipice?
Waterfall from the viewing platform.
Looking down on the waterfall from above it! It made me a bit dizzy.

The viewing platform gives a unique perspective on this very tall waterfall. Peering over the edge, you can look directly down the waterfall from the top of the falls, the water falling far below into the deep gorge. I don't think the following pictures give a true feeling of the height of this platform.

It's kind of a shame this platform was built in such a beautiful spot, but at the same time, I've never experienced this point of view at any other waterfall in Scotland... so if you want to see what the top of a high waterfall looks like, Plodda is the place!

Deep gorge at Plodda Falls.
Looking down into the deep gorge.
Treetops at Plodda Falls.
The treetops hide the valley below.
Waterfall at the opposite side of the valley.
Another waterfall across from the main falls.
Continuing down to Plodda Falls.
Making our way down to the main waterfall viewing position.

Spectacular waterfall

Walking back off the viewing platform with jelly legs, we continued along the hiking trail toward the lower viewing area for the falls.

Path example at Plodda Falls.
Some stone steps leading down to the waterfall.

There is a fence here stopping you from progressing any closer to the falls, but it's the perfect spot for viewing the falls in their entirety.

The lower viewing platform.
Fencing blocking further access, but a fantastic spot to view the falls.
The main view of Plodda Falls.  A spectacular waterfall.
The main view of the falls and the best place to view it.
Water crashing at the foot of Plodda Falls.
Water crashing at the base of the falls.
Viewing platform from the lower viewpoint.
The viewing platform as seen from the lower view point.
Raging torrent of water at Plodda Falls.
A raging torrent of water flows at the bottom of the falls.

Plodda Falls is an extremely impressive waterfall; the sheer height of the continuous drop makes it stand out from other waterfalls I have visited recently. Because we arrived early in the morning, we were lucky enough to spend a good bit of time here taking in the scenery before any hordes of tourists arrived.

This is the best view of the falls available, maybe mildly spoiled by the horrific man-made monstrosity poking out, but wow, definitely a special place worthy of your time to visit.

We walked further downstream to see if we could find another viewing point for the falls, but we couldn't find one; large rocks obstructed the views.

Janette exploring at Plodda Falls.
Janette exploring alternative viewpoints for the falls.

Circular Walk

We decided to undertake the whole circular hiking trail (Tweedmouth Trail) available to us, and I'm glad we did. After the waterfall, the path follows the Abhainn Deabhag river over a good part of the walk. This river is picturesque in its own right, widening and narrowing in different sections, eventually joining the River Affric.

Towering trees line the paths of the walk; Lord Tweedmouth intentionally planted these Douglas Fir trees as part of the Guisachan Estate. Legend has it that masts were made from these trees for Captain Scott's ship - Discovery.

The wildlife common to this area is red deer, mountain hares and golden eagles.

Path lined with trees.
Lovely paths lined with large trees on the Plodda hiking trail.
Wide shallows at the river downstream.
Wider section of the river downstream from the falls.
Janette counting tree rings.
Janette counting the rings of a fallen tree, cut into sections.
Tall Trees on the hiking trail.
Tall trees!
Beautiful cottage.
A very picturesque cottage in the middle of nowhere on the hiking trail.

After a long straight, there is a fork in the road. One path directly ahead leads to the ruin of Guisachan House; the right turn, almost turning back on yourself and going uphill, leads you back to the car park - for some reason, this is not signposted.

Guisachan House

Janette and I decided to go to Guisachan House; I will write about this in a future article, but please see a sneak peek of this fascinating ruin below.

Guisachan House. Land Scotland. Further information coming soon!
Guisachan House ruin

After checking out the ruin, we backtracked to the main hiking path and returned to the car park.

Returning to the Plodda Falls car park. Glen Urquhart.
The end of the walk and returning to the car park.

Plodda Falls FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Plodda Falls.

How high is Plodda Falls?

The waterfall is 46 metres high, flowing from the Allt na Bodachan upper falls, and joins Abhainn Deabhag River and then eventually the River Affric and River Glass.

How long is the Plodda Falls hiking trail?

It's a short walk to the falls, and you can then retrace your steps to the car park, but if you fancy the entire circular trail, it is 1 1/2 miles long but very beautiful and worthwhile.

How fit do you have to be to walk at Plodda Falls?

Reasonable fitness is needed, but it's not too strenuous. I have a desk job, and I'm generally unfit (and a little overweight), and I was able to complete the walk.

Is Plodda Falls suitable for the disabled?

Sadly not, the paths are not suitable for wheelchair users at all. Some sections are quite steep and not ideal if you are unable to walk well. The walk to the falls isn't too far if you have poor fitness.

What species are the huge trees on the Plodda Falls trail?

They are Douglas Firs, an evergreen conifer species in the pine family, Pinaceae. Other trees include larch, grand fir and redwoods.

Are there toilets at Plodda Falls?

No, there are no toilet facilities at all. Please use the bathroom before you arrive, but if you have to pee, go far from the path and water. If you need to poop, please dig a hole, do your business and bury it afterwards!

Can you swim in Plodda Falls?

The water at the foot of the falls doesn't seem deep enough for swimming. You could go under the falls, but it looks treacherous with sharp rocks... and it will be COLD. Due to the remoteness of this site, it's not recommended to take any risks leaving the path.

How to get to Plodda Falls?

It's a bit of an adventure to get to the falls! The best plan is to head from Drumnadrochit or Beauly to the small village of Tomich. Plodda Falls is around 5 miles to the southwest, and is generally well signposted. The single-track road includes many passing places to let oncoming traffic pass. Mobile signal is non-existent here, try and plan your route before you head off.

Some of the roads en route to the falls are not great but keep the faith, and you will arrive at the car park.

Can you drive to Plodda Falls?

Yes, but the roads aren't great to get to the dedicated car park. In poor weather conditions, a 4x4 would be best.

Videos of Plodda Falls

Here are a few short video clips taken at the falls.

Upper falls
Video looks down the waterfall from the viewing platform.
Video of the gorge at Plodda Falls.
The foot of the falls.
Full length video of the falls.
Water crashing at the foot of the falls.

Nearby attractions

Here are some other great places to visit near Plodda Falls:

  • Dog Falls

  • Glen Affric

  • Loch Ness

  • Drumnadrochit

  • Corrimony Chambered Cairn

  • Urquhart Castle

Where's the nearest place to get food from Plodda Falls?

The Coach House Cafe, next to the post office and across the road from Tomich Hotel, is open from 10 am - 5 pm. Tomich Hotel itself also has exceptional food.

Key information on Plodda Falls

  • Plodda Falls is a 46-metre-tall waterfall.

  • The road to Plodda Falls is fairly poor, but the car park is well-maintained.

  • A wooden viewing platform juts over the top of the falls for a better view.

  • The main viewing area is at the bottom of the falls in a fenced-off area.

  • Guisachan House is a short walk from the falls, a ruined house where the Golden Retriever dog breed originated.

  • Tomich Hotel is a great place to stay nearby.

  • Two walking trails are available: Plodda Falls Trail and the Tweedmouth Trail.


If you're looking for spectacular waterfalls in the Scottish Highlands, Plodda Falls should be high on your list. The viewing platform adds something unique to your visit, and the hiking trail is beautiful. Guisachan House is well worth the short detour.

We were hungry after our hike, so we decided first to check out Corrimony Chambered Cairn and then a cafe we were recommended in Drumnadrochit - Cafe Eighty2.  After that we visited yet another waterfall - Divach Falls.

Plodda Falls location map

All information was correct at the time of writing, please check things like entry costs and opening times before you arrive.

Claim Your Free 6 Day Travel Itinerary:

Simply enter your email and we'll send it your way!

Free Scotland travel itinerary

Hi, please leave a comment below, or why not start a discussion on the forum?


Eddie Aitken
21st of September 2023 @ 19:45:23

Nice photos, we visited before we saw your ones here. Awesome experience but more water in the falls when you were there. The Kilt Rock falls on Skye are higher but the viewing angles on this one are so much better.

John Cosgrove
16th of September 2023 @ 16:36:08

My wife and I are thinking of doing the NC500 May or October 2024/2025. Started planning already for the trip and any extra info or leaflets would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Sean Ehret
9th of February 2023 @ 18:09:17

Dear livebreathescotland.com webmaster, Thanks for the well-organized post!