Victoria Falls is a beautiful waterfall in Wester Ross. It sits on the banks of uber-picturesque Loch Maree in Scotland and, fantastically, is just a short walk from the Victoria Falls Car Park to reach, making it the ideal quick stop along the NC500 (North Coast 500).
In this guide, we’ll tell you a little about Victoria Falls in Scotland, where to find it and what to expect on the short walk. We’ll provide information about accommodation as well as suggest other cracking things to do in the area.
To see footage of the Loch Maree area around Victoria Falls in Scotland, please watch our NC500 Hikes YouTube production.
For more incredible attractions along the NC500, be sure to check out our Beinn Alligin, Suilven and The Bone Caves hiking guides. Otherwise, read our Complete Guide to Hikes Along the NC500 post, where we talk about 18 excellent NC500 hikes.
Table of Contents
About Victoria Falls in Scotland
Victoria Falls is a beautiful two-tiered waterfall cascading down the mountainside of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. Fed by Loch Garbhaig, the Abhainn Garbhaig river flows dramatically towards Loch Maree, with Victoria Falls in Scotland being the resultant spectacle.
Victoria Falls is, in fact, named after Queen Victoria, who visited Loch Maree in Wester Ross in 1887.
Victoria Falls in Scotland can be found in the Slattadale Forest. The forest is located on the northern shores of Loch Maree, with ancient woodlands and wildlife all part of its relaxing appeal, along with that of Victoria Falls of course. Additionally, there’s a popular little hiking trail between Tollie and Slattadale.
Wester Ross Scotland
Victoria Falls sits within the wider Wester Ross area of Scotland. It’s, undoubtedly, one of the most breathtakingly scenic parts of the Scottish Highlands. In fact, there are 40 parts of Wester Ross that have been designated as a National Scenic Area. Other examples include Corrieshalloc Gorge and Bealach Na Ba. But of course, one of the most exceptional National Scenic Areas to visit in Wester Ross is Loch Maree, where you’ll find the splendid Victoria Falls.
Wester Ross was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, one of seven in the UK, and is an incredible place to learn more about this wild and remote landscape.
Where is Victoria Falls?
Victoria Falls is located on the western banks and toward the northern end of one of the prettiest lochs in Scotland – Loch Maree. The waterfall is just over a 20 minute drive from Kinlochewe, which sits on the southern end of Loch Maree. Heading north along the A832, you’ll reach the left-hand turn into the car park a short distance after passing the Loch Maree Hotel. Otherwise, if heading south to Victoria Falls from Gairloch, the drive is 20 minutes and found at the Slattadale Forest on Loch Maree.
At a turn-off along the A832 is a small car park from where you can take a short walk to view the waterfall. In addition, the car park is free and the viewing platform is both wheelchair and pram friendly.
FYI, the address for the car park is Achnasheen, IV22 2HW.
Visiting Victoria Falls is a great stop along the NC500 road trip in Scotland. This drive, of course, is easiest to do with your own vehicle. But, if you don’t have access to your own set of wheels, then we recommend hiring something. When hiring a car, we always get the ball rolling with a search on RentalCars.com. Booking a car with Rentalcars.com is easy and stress-free, plus they offer an unbeatable free cancellation policy too.
If accessing Victoria Falls in Wester Ross via public transport, you can certainly take a bus from Kinlochewe and Gairloch.
From both Kinlochewe and Gairloch, pick up bus 700A. The bus will stop at the entrance to Victoria Falls car park alongside Loch Maree, if you ask. You can check the timetable here.
Victoria Falls, Scotland Walk
From the car park, it’s just a 150 metre walk to reach a great viewing platform for Scotland’s Victoria Falls. The trail is easy to tread. Plus, it’s generally dry and of course, is nice and short. At the viewing platform, you’ll see the waterfall face on. In full force is the Abhainn Garbhaig River tumbling down the side of the Beinn Eighe NNR mountainside.
During our August visit, the views from the platform were a little obscured by the flora in full bloom. If you continue the trail up and towards the head of the waterfall, you’ll get some fantastic views of Victoria Falls side on, and up close.
The Victoria Falls walk is a beautiful and somewhat quiet place to stop along the edges of Loch Maree in Scotland. Certainly, the views of the surrounding landscape are superb and this really is a cracking waterfall. One of the best along the NC500, for sure. Especially given how easy it is to view.
After you’ve had your fill of Victoria Falls, simply continue the walk along the trail to complete the short loop back to the car park. The Victoria Falls walk in Scotland should take no more than 20 minutes.
Can You Swim at Victoria Falls in Scotland?
I’m unsure as to how ‘official’ swimming at the falls is, but by all accounts, the pools at the top of the falls (away from the drop), can be accessed for a quick dip. Remember, swimming is at your own risk.
Other Things to Do Near Victoria Falls Scotland
The Wester Ross area surrounding Victoria Falls is full of outstanding natural landscapes. With that in mind, here are a few other excellent hiking routes and walks to take around Victoria Falls and Loch Maree along the NC500 in Scotland.
Beinn Eighe Woodland Trail
The Woodland Trail at Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve is a fantastic short walk. The Woodland Trail begins at Coille Na Glas Letire Trails Car Park, a little south of Victoria Falls, and soon ascends into the enchanting Scots Pines forest found in this part of Scotland. The 1.5km loop walk provides outstanding views of Loch Maree and the Wester Ross wilderness.
Beinn Eighe (Western Summits)
The Beinn Eighe Western Summits walk is one of the best hikes you can do in the area. Along with Liathach and Beinn Alligin, it makes up one of the ‘Torridon Big Three’. A group of spectacular mountains with adventurous trails to boot. The hike up Beinn Eighe’s western ridge passes through both of its Munros – Spidean Coire nan Clach and Ruadh-stac Mhòr. In comparison to the very tame Victoria Falls walk, this roughly 18km trail is a great place for a bigger hiking challenge in Scotland.
Creag Dhuhb and Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe
From the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve Visitor Centre, it’s possible to hike to the small peaks of Creag Dhuhb and Sgurr nan Fhir Duibhe. The trail is around 12km long and again, offers stellar views of the surrounding Wester Ross. In particular, that of the Beinn Alligin and the Alligin Horns. The visitor centre can be found south of Victoria Falls close to Kinlochewe, Scotland.
This exhilarating 20km walk provides some truly exceptional views of Loch Maree and the mountainside that hides Victoria Falls, Scotland. The hike to Slioch starts in Kinlochewe, with the views from the top over the Fisherfields to the north and Torridon to the west outstanding.
Other NC500 Waterfalls
If you love waterfalls, you’ll be pleased to know Victoria Falls isn’t the only waterfall along the NC500 in Scotland. Indeed, there are actually plenty of waterfall options as you travel along the NC500. Here’s our pick of some of the best.
- Falls of Measach: a cascade of water dropping into a narrow box gorge is surely one of the most picturesque places to view a waterfall. And just like Victoria Falls, there isn’t a long walk to this attraction on the NC500.
- Rogie Falls: watch Atlantic Salmon jumping upstream at this rugged waterfall close to Inverness.
- Wailing Widow Falls: possibly the most spectacular waterfall along the NC500 in Scotland (sorry Victoria Falls!)
- Falls of Kirkaig: this waterfall is fantastic and the hike is adventurous, but my word those views of Suilven from the trail!
- Eas a’ Chual Aluinn: Britain’s highest waterfall surely needs to be seen if you’re passing by anyway.
Nearby Accommodation For Victoria Falls, Scotland
Below are some camping and hotel options around Loch Maree for visiting Victoria Falls along the NC500 in Scotland.
- Beinn Eighe Campsite: close to the Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre, at Taagan, this is a free campsite. It’s run by Scotland’s National Nature Reserve (NNR). The ground can be a little spongy, but it’s fine for a tent. Additionally, there’s even a toilet!
- Kinlochewe Club Campsite: the Kinlochewe Club Campsite is a great base for either the Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail or the Beinn Eighe Western Summits trail. It’s also just a short drive along the NC500 to Victoria Falls. The site has fantastic facilities. In addition, it’s in close proximity to Kinlochewe village centre for more amenities, including a petrol station.
Wild Camping Victoria Falls, Wester Ross
As with most of Wester Ross and Scotland in general, wild camping is permitted, including at Victoria Falls. However, campers need to follow a standard set of guidelines. These rules revolve around respecting the countryside and staying safe.
Nearby Loch Maree Hotels
- Budget – Poolewe Hotel: at the very northern tip of Loch Maree you’ll find the Poolewe Hotel. Sat along the banks of the River Ewe, this hotel is therefore in an excellent location for exploring the surrounding Loch Maree and Victoria Falls area in Scotland. Guests love the hearty breakfast and the mountain or sea views from the private rooms.
- Mid-range – Loch Maree Hotel: the beautifully situated Loch Maree Hotel has welcomed some very notable guests in the past, such as Queen Victoria. It was during her stay at this Wester Ross hotel that Victoria Falls was named after her. The hotel features a restaurant, a loch front location and a laid-back vibe. The perfect accompaniment to Victoria Falls and Loch Maree.
- Luxury – Shieldaig Lodge Hotel: the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel is the perfect place to unwind after hiking around Wester Ross, Loch Maree and Victoria Falls in Scotland. Additionally, the hotel has private parking and the full Scottish breakfast is a big hit with guests. Its location also makes it perfect for exploring the Torridon area too.
Five Hiking Essentials For Victoria Falls on the NC500
These are our five hiking gear essentials for Victoria Falls In Wester Ross, on Scotland’s NC500! Of course, for a more extensive hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Alternatively, for a general summary of everything you’d need for a trip to Scotland and the North Coast 500, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
You should also consider packing lunch if you’re looking for a relaxing spot to have a picnic.
Victoria Falls & Loch Maree Bonus Tips
- Loch Maree fishing: Loch Maree is the fourth-largest freshwater loch in Scotland and is perfect for a spot of fishing.
- Loch Maree Islands: more than 40 islands scatter the northern end of Loch Maree. They are exquisitely covered by original Caledonian Pine Forest. The largest island, Eilean Sùbhainn, contains a loch that itself contains an island. Woah. This incredible phenomenon occurs nowhere else in the UK. Kayaking is an excellent way to explore the islands after the short Victoria Falls walk.
- Tourism responsibility: please, as always, remember to leave no trace. Whatever goes up the mountain with you, must therefore come back down with you. Let’s keep our trails and countryside as pristine as possible.
If you love the hikes and attractions along the NC500, then of course make sure to visit the West Highlands of Scotland too!