Happy Mondays: Week 4 - Waterfalls
Happy Mondays: Week 4 - Exploring Perthshire's Waterfalls
It's been pouring down for 12 hours, it's still raining and the forecast looks miserable for the rest of the day, how do you have an enjoyable microadventure in these conditions? Waterfalls! In spate, they are at their most impressive, and Perthshire has a lot (who knew - not me!) of waterfalls. The idea stemmed from wanting to go the the Falls of Bruar, so I did some research to see what other waterfalls there are in Perthshire, and there are a lot! I knew about the Falls of Braan at the Hermitage, near Dunkeld, but the others I didn't know about. I didn't have time to visit them all, but I visited 5 stunning waterfalls, running up to them all, and they were all up some seriously steep slopes.
The water level in the Braan was high and the waterfall was thundering. It was a churning mass of froth and peat-stained turbid water, cascading down the knick point into the narrow gorge under the amazingly-crafted arch bridge. There are stunning photographs of this waterfall in autumn, however this week was a little early for the stunning autumn colours on the trees that envelop this waterfall, but they are just on the turn, so it won't be long until it's looking at its most beautiful. I've discovered that the Sony Actioncam, in 4K filming mode, struggles in low light conditions and produces a lot of grain in the shot. It is phenomenal in good light conditions. I'll be swapping between HD and UltraHD for the different light conditions in the future.
I wasn't even aware that there was a waterfall in Pitlochry, but the Black Spout is one of the most impressive of the few I visited. It's certainly the longest waterfall. From the viewing platform I couldn't even see the bottom. It's a tall and narrow waterfall and plunges far into the ravine below. Above the waterfall, the burn is narrow and, I imagine, on a normal day wouldn't look particularly spectacular, but when in spate, the water was bouncing from side to side of the narrow gully. It's a short, but steep climb to the viewing point, but it's definitely worth the effort.
The most visited waterfall of the day was the Falls of Bruar, much to do with the House of Bruar at the start of the walk up. There were a good number of people out having a look at the series of waterfalls. At this point in the day, the sun made the briefest of appearances and created amazing light on the lower falls at the lower bridge. The route up and around is fun to run, because on the northern side on the way up, it's mainly natural and steep, but the return journey on the southern bank is manicured and constructed and makes the downhill running much easier. The view from the southern bank of the upper waterfalls is the best, but the wide angle on the Sony Actioncam really doesn't do them justice, so get out and visit them yourselves!
The most surprising, most beautiful and, in my opinion, the best waterfall of the day was the Falls of Acharn on the southern shore of Loch Tay just along the road from the Crannog Centre. To access the viewing platform you have to pass through the Hermit's Cave, which adds to the drama as you walk through the pitch-black tunnel before the view of the waterfall is revealed - truly amazing! I'm sure this must be the least well know, but one I'll be back to when the colours on the leaves are in their autumnal glory.
Deil's Cauldron was the final one, and the longest and most brutal run of the day. The run started in Comrie, went up the eastern side of the river, before crossing the wobbly bridge (it does wobble). I took in a wee detour up Lord Melville's Monument, where there are some amazing views of Comrie and beyond. From the summit I descended the steep slopes, which will make an amazing mountainbiking descent, back to the path to the Cauldron. You don't get a great view of this waterfall from the viewing platform. I imagine it would look great from the air, because part of the view of the waterfall is hidden by the wall of the gorge.
It was a great day exploring places I never even knew existed! I'll be visiting other waterfalls in future Happy Mondays, but as part of days out exploring the wider area in which the waterfall sits.
Any suggestions or offers of adventures in Perthshire greatly appreciated. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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