Loch Tay and Acharn

The road along the south side of Loch Tay is narrower and twistier than the road along the north shore but it does have a few nice surprises in store – not the least of which is the Falls of Acharn. They tumble down the hillside on their way to join the loch a couple miles to the west of Kenmore.

The last time I visited them it was in the autumn and the trees above the falls were quite spectacular. Today, they’re in their less colourful winter attire but the scene is no less impressive.

There are several falls on the Acharn Burn but to view the main cascade we need to pass through the “Hermit’s Cave” – a long, dark tunnel built nearly 250 years ago by the 3rd Earl of Breadalbane. He certainly knew a thing or two about how to maximise the drama of a view, keeping the falls completely hidden until the very last moment when we emerge onto a viewing gallery.

No sooner are your eyes adjusting for the darkness of the dimly lit tunnel than they have to re-adjust to the bright daylight and the white tail of the 100 feet high falls that are now directly in front of you.

What a grand start this made to my drive around Loch Tay today. Seldom can Man improve upon Nature, but this wee grotto is certainly one exception!


Willie Shand