The Falls of Shin Waterfall and Salmon Leaping

Written by Chris Thornton | 25th of February 2021
Falls of Shin

The Falls of Shin is a beautiful waterfall on the River Shin in north Scotland, not far from Bonar Bridge. It is a fantastic place to view the majestic Atlantic Salmon leap up the waterfall on their journey upstream to their spawning areas. Visitor attractions also include a dedicated visitor centre with restaurant and gift shop, playparks, mini golf and forest walks.

Salmon Leaping

There is a dedicated viewing platform right next to the Falls of Shin where you can get the perfect angle for a photo of the leaping Salmon. The Salmon aren't always successful on their first attempt and will keep trying until they reach the upper level of the falls. The falls are a raging torrent of water, it's surprising that any of them make it!

Plan your visit between May and September for the best chance to see the salmon leap.

Salmon Leaping

Falls of Shin Visitor Centre

The Falls of Shin Visitor Centre is well worth a visit on your trip to Falls of Shin. As you make your way up to the centre there are various information boards describing the history of the area and of course about the Salmon leaping up the falls.  There is free admission to all areas including the falls.

Inside there is a restaurant and a small gift shop. The food at the restaurant is fantastic and showcases the best Scotland has to offer, operated by Mac and Wild, the meat is sourced locally from Ardgay Game. You can really taste the difference in food quality, it might be a tad more expensive than a standard cafe but it's worth it!

The gift shop has many lovely high-end items for purchase, again expensive but quality items.

Outside is a great mini golf course and large play area, kids will love it here!

The large car park is free and there are no time restrictions, there are some EV car charging stations. There is no overnight parking.

2013 Fire

Originally the centre was owned by Harrods boss Mohamed Al-Fayed but was destroyed in 2013 by a fire. The first Falls of Shin visitor attraction was much bigger but the new centre is very nice too if smaller. The new centre was developed by the community group Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, who replaced the centre in 2017 and created new job opportunities.

Falls of Shin main waterfall | Shin Falls

Woodland Walks at Falls of Shin

As a Falls of Shin visitor, you must try the great forest walking trails through the pine forest near the visitor attraction developed by the Forestry Commission. The woodland walks are fairly short and the paths well trodden.

How do I get to the Falls of Shin visitor centre?

Depending on where you are coming from either head south 4.6 miles from Lairg along the B864, or 5.9 miles north from Bonar Bridge on the A836. From Dornoch travel along the A9 until you reach the A949 and then on to Bonar Bridge. You can use IV27 4EE for your sat nav but this is some distance north of the centre.

Follow the single track road through Achany Glen which follows the River Shin. You will eventually see the visitor attraction and shin car park.

All in all the Falls of Shin is a fantastic visitor attraction and well worth your time if you are staying locally at Lairg, Tain, Dornoch and Golspie.

Another great waterfall is further south, closer to Inverness called Rogie Falls.

Map of Falls of Shin location


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