Walking on the NC500 – Inverkirkaig Falls
The NC500 has an abundance of wonderful walks and this one is up there with the best.
In our recent hillwalking in Assynt blog, we discussed the trials and tribulations of climbing Quinag as a first-time hill climber. Recently I walked a trail that is much more suitable for a ‘newbie’, whilst still having a rewarding finale to rival the view from the top of Quinag, Suilven, Canisp or Stac Pollaidh.
If you wanted to make a day of it you could walk from our pods in Achmelvich, to the start of the trial. That said, it’s much more civilised to make the most of the luxury accommodation, sleep for a little longer, then drive to the starting point, which is a free car park near Achins bookshop, just a short distance outside of Lochinver.
From there, a well-trodden path leads you into the Assynt wilderness. The path is the usual mix of ancient rocks, peaty bogs & mud. It is fairly easy walking with only a few gentle climbs over stable ground. The path follows the gentle river Kirkcaig towards its source and there are some less familiar views of the famous Assynt hills, Stac Pollaidh & Cul Mor along the way.
After about 45 minutes, the path suddenly descends and you begin to hear the roar of the Falls. There had been a lot of rain in the days leading up to our walk and the falls were raging. It’s hard to gauge the volume of water crashing down every second, but it’s safe to safe that it was enough to make a bit of a racket and create enough spray to give both camera lenses and spectacle wearers something to think about.
The Journey Home
After walking the same route back to the car, there was still plenty of time for a pint or two and a spot of lunch in one of Lochinver’s great restaurants.
We all hope for ‘beach days’ when in Achmelvich, but when the weather just isn’t playing ball, the walk to Inverkirkaig falls is a great alternative.