Pause for thought at Plodda Falls
Plodda Falls soak the forest at their base in a fine mist as they plunge over drop of 151 feet (46 metres). They’re one of the most thrilling waterfalls in Scotland, but Plodda is also remarkable for its trees.
In other places in Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, we’re working hard to remove non-native trees. However, Here at Plodda, non-native trees are the glory of the forest: magnificent Douglas firs that soar up like the pillars of a cathedral. Crush their needles and you might be reminded of Christmas: they have an amazing scent of tangerines.
Our guide to Glen Affric will help you explore this magical place.
Getting to Plodda is quite an adventure: it’s 5 miles (8 km) beyond the tiny village of Tomich, along narrow road and forest track. Drive slowly, and pull over to let other cars pass at the passing places.
Be warned that there is no mobile phone reception in the glen, so you won’t be able to use electronic maps that rely on a network connection.
There’s an inn in Tomich, and places to eat and a shop in Cannich. There are no cafés or shops in Glen Affric itself.
Plodda Falls Trail
Visit an amazing vertical cascade dropping beneath the Douglas firs into the Abhainn Deabhag with an almighty roar.
Mostly firm gravel surface, with uneven section that may be narrow, grassy or muddy. Steep slopes with some stone steps. Includes some exposed tree roots.
½ miles / 1.0 km Allow ½ hour
This short walk will take you to a heart-stopping view right over the top of the Falls! The story goes that Lord Tweedmouth, who owned the estate in the 1800s, had the course of the river changed to make the falls even more impressive.
Uneven gravel and earth paths with narrow and rocky sections. Several steep slopes and sets of stone steps. Includes some potentially muddy sections and exposed tree roots.
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km Allow 1 hour
This circuit follows the river back to the bottom of the falls, so you can hear the thunder of the water as it hits the rocks, as well as experience the giddy heights of the view from the top.
Mountain biking trails
Trees for the laird
Douglas firs were first planted here by Lord Tweedmouth, who owned the estate in the late 1800s. The trees he knew as saplings are now giants and can be very valuable as timber. Their long, straight trunks are ideal for ships’ masts, or as structural timbers in large buildings. Underneath the mature trees, hundreds of seedlings are growing. We protect them so the unique character of this forest will continue into the future.
Poet Rody Gorman, who works in Scottish and Irish Gaelic as well as English, wrote a series of short poems inspired by Glen Affric. The English version plays with the multiple meanings of some Gaelic words. The poem for Plodda is inspired by Giùthsachan (pronounced ‘Hoos-achan’ – the place of the pines), an abandoned mansion house between Plodda and Tomich.
Giùthsachan – the place of the pines
An taigh-mòr a thog an t-uachdaran na làraich fo chèo
‘S an crann mòr Douglas a chuir e gu h-àrd ag èirigh bhon talamh na bheò
the bigmansionhouse the landlordsuperior carryawayrousebuilt a habitationruinsite in milkfog
and the big Douglas ploughmasttree he sowsnowfallput up rising from the countrysoilland cattlequickalive
How to get here
From Inverness or Fort William, follow the A82 along Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit. Turn onto the A831, signposted for Canaich (Cannich). After about 10 miles (16 km), at a sharp right-hand bend before you reach Cannich village, turn left onto a minor road signposted for Tomich. Follow this road for about 6¼ miles (10 km), going through Tomich village. It's a narrow road - and after Tommich just a forest track – but keep going and you’ll reach the car park at grid reference NH 279 238.
IV4 7LY is a postcode on the road leading to Plodda. Keep going for another 1¾ mile (2.8 km) to reach the car park.
Buses run from Inverness to Tomich and Cannich throughout the year. For details visit Traveline Scotland.
Plodda is just one of four places to explore in Glen Affric. There are wonderful trails through the forest at Dog Falls, and peaceful picnic places by Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain. At River Affric there’s a superb viewpoint and trail beside the dramatic river.
Share your experience
For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.