By Craig Neil
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Table of Contents
- Tourist information
- Tourist map of Scotland
- Things to do nearby
- Frequently asked questions
The Falls of Dochart are a series of waterfalls in the village of Killin in Perthshire, around 3/4 mile south of Loch Tay.
The falls are one of Scotland’s smaller, yet most impressive attractions due to the foaming torrents of water that cascade over the jagged bedrock of the River Dochart.
Discover everything you need to know about visiting the Falls of Dochart with this visitor guide which includes a 360° virtual tour, an overview, and handy visiting tips.
|Parking:||Free parking spaces on the side of the road.|
|Facilities:||Facilities in Killin village (shop, cafe, restaurant with toilets).|
1: After heavy rainfall, the Falls of Dochart are nothing short of spectacular. The water absolutely thunders over the rocks and you won’t believe how loud a river can be when you hear it in full flow.
On the other hand, during a dry spell the water retreats to little more than a trickle which is a great time to clamber around on the rocks to get some photos from the middle of the river.
2: There isn’t much to do in Killin but it’s a good place to use as a base to explore the surrounding area.
Perhaps the best option is to hop on a bike and follow the trail that cuts through a forest to Glen Ogle where you’ll find drop-dead gorgeous views of Perthshire’s rolling hills.
You’ll find an in-depth guide to the glen in this article: Glen Ogle.
3: Another must-do attraction for anyone visiting the Falls of Dochart is Ben Lawers which is one of Scotland’s easiest mountain summits thanks to the car park midway up it.
There’s more information about Ben Lawers in this article: Ben Lawers.
1: For such a small village, the number of car parking spaces in Killin is pretty good. The nearest spaces for the falls are found on the side of the A827 (Dochart Road) but there are another 40 spaces located 400 feet from the Bridge of Dochart.
This larger parking area also has an electric car charging point. An alternative is the car park at the Falls of Dochart Inn, but please note this is for customers only.
2: As Killin is a popular place for tourists there are loads of places to eat. The best option for food near the falls is the Falls of Dochart Inn which has outdoor seating overlooking the river.
3: It won’t take long to see the Falls of Dochart so if you want to spend longer in the area you might consider giving Loch Tay a look.
There are umpteen lochside walks on either side of the loch but the path around the western end near Finlarig Castle is recommended.
Follow Pier Road from the castle then take the track that cuts along the end of the loch, along the River Lochy, and back up through some fields to the castle. The total walk length is roughly 2 miles.
The Trossachs National Park is one of Scotland’s most scenic areas, where dense forests of mixed woodland surround some of the country’s most attractive lochs, including the ever-popular Loch Lomond and the prettier and less-visited Loch Katrine.
The centre of the Trossachs is undeniably attractive, but the northwest corner is equally picturesque and has a number of attractions that should be included in every sightseer’s itinerary.
It’s in this region where you’ll find Loch Earn and Glen Ogle which are joined together by the superb Sustrans route #7, followed by the historic village of Killin at the foot of Loch Tay.
Killin is a popular detour for tourists travelling from Edinburgh into the Highlands as there are several pubs and inns to grab a bite to eat, and there are also the white water rapids of the Falls of Dochart to look at before clambering back on board the tour bus.
The Falls of Dochart are located at the southern end of Killin just a stone’s throw from the Bridge of Dochart, where the river has to traverse a jagged, multi-layered bedrock which causes the water to thunder over a series of mini waterfalls.
During a dry spell the River Dochart isn’t much to write home about, but after a rainfall it transforms into crashing torrents of white water that pour into Loch Tay.
There are several spots to take photos of the falls, but perhaps the best vantage point is the top of the bridge.
Please note though, that the Bridge of Dochart is single-lane and there isn’t much room to get out of the way of passing cars, so before venturing onto it have a quick look up the road to check it’s clear.
The last time I saw the falls was during a cycle ride from Loch Earn to Loch Tay where I made use of the Falls of Dochart Inn for food and drinks before making an about-turn back to Lochearnhead.
Having seen the waters on several occasions I’d place the water level at ‘middling’ when I was there – as you can see from the photos on this page.
When the water is high it pretty much covers the rocks you can see in the photos, and when the water is low it’s barely a trickle, so it’s rather hit-or-miss whether you’ll see the full effect of the falls during an impromptu stop.
Regardless of the water’s depth, there are parking spaces on the side of the road which makes it easy to hop out of the car and sit on the wall to enjoy the view, but these spaces fill quickly in summer (especially at the weekend).
If you arrive and find nowhere to park I suggest crossing the bridge and driving up A827 a short distance where you’ll find a much larger car park.
When heading back to the falls, keep your eyes open for an old water mill that was formerly a folklore museum but is now an arts and crafts shop.
It’s an interesting wee place that will add another 20-minutes to your visit, after which you have to cross over the Bridge of Dochart to get the best view of the falls.
While crossing, take note of the middle of the bridge which has a gated set of steps that lead down onto Innis Bhuidhe island which is a historic site that’s home to the Clan MacNab burial grounds.
The island is home to nine graves of the chiefs of Clan MacNab so if you like history it might be worth taking a look, but the entrance gate is usually locked so you’ll have to get the key to unlock it.
There’s a sign on the gate that explains where to get it from.
Once on the other side of the bridge you’ll find a gap in the wall where you can get down onto the bedrock of the river which is quite a sight when it’s in full flow.
It’s amazing how loud the roar of the water gets but it’s also a wee bit dangerous as the rocks are very slippery.
Personally, I’d stand well back and most definitely would not allow children at the water’s edge, especially with the number of submerged rocks under the bridge.
If you like snapping away with a camera this would be one instance where a zoom lens will come in very handy.
There isn’t much else to mention about the falls but a final suggestion to lengthen your visit is to head into Killin and take the turning onto Lyon Road where you can then follow a footpath that crosses the River Lochay.
At this point, the rivers Lochay and Dochart merge into the southernmost point of Loch Tay which is worth exploring on the footpaths that run along either side of it.
If that doesn’t interest you, there are even more scenic views a 20-minute drive away at Ben Lawers Dam.
Tourist map of Scotland
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Explore this area with a detailed paper map from Ordnance Survey:
The Trossachs – Callander, Aberfoyle & Lochearnhead – OL46 Explorer.
Loch Tay & Glen Dochart – 51 Landranger.
OS Explorer Maps: Best for walking, mountain biking, and finding footpaths. 1:25,000 scale (4cm = 1km in real world). Buy OS Explorer maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
OS Landranger Maps: Best for road cycling, touring by car, and finding attractions. 1:50 000 scale (2 cm = 1 km in real world). Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
Things to do nearby
Loch Earn. Lochearnhead, Perthshire, FK19 8PN. 21-minute drive. A freshwater loch in Perthshire situated 10 miles (16 km) west of Crieff.
Loch Earn is surrounded by hills and there are a number of mountains in the immediate area including Ben Vorlich, Ben More, and Ben Lawers, making the loch an ideal destination for walkers, climbers, and water sports enthusiasts.
Moirlanich Longhouse. Glen Lochay, Killin FK21 8UA. 8-minute drive. A conserved cottage managed by the National Trust for Scotland that features an interior decor that’s unchanged since the 19th century.
The traditional dwelling was once part of a dairy farm and is a fascinating glimpse into the everyday homes that rural Scottish people once lived in.
Loch Tay. (Marina) Milton Morenish Estate, Killin, FK21 8TY. 15-minute drive. Loch Tay is the sixth-largest freshwater loch in the Central Highlands.
The loch is 15 miles (24 km) long and 508 feet deep. There are a number of watersports centres on the loch as well as a marina and several campsites.
Finlarig Castle. Killin, FK21 8TU. 4-minute drive. An ancient castle set inside a small woodland located within walking distance of the Falls of Dochart. A footpath joins the ruined castle which leads onto the River Lochay and Loch Tay.
Ben Lawers Dam. Aberfeldy, FK21 8TX. 17-minute drive. Ben Lawers Dam offers hill walkers stunning views of Ben Lawers mountain and the surrounding landscape. There is a car park 1 mile (1.61 km) to the south which is accessed via a spur road from the A827.
Frequently asked questions
What are the falls at Killin?
The Falls of Killin are a series of waterfalls on the River Dochart in the village of Killin. The falls are famous for the foaming cascades of water that tumble over jagged bedrocks near the Bridge of Dochart.
Is Killin in the Trossachs?
Killin is situated on the edge of the Trossachs national park at the southwest end of Loch Tay. The village is the main settlement of the historic region of Breadalbane.
What’s the best way to see the Falls of Dochart?
The best way to see the falls of Dochart is to drive to it by car as public transport links at Killin are limited. Alternatively, there’s a cycle route (Sustrans #7) through Glen Ogle that finishes at Killin.
Where do you park for the Falls of Dochart?
There is a car park in Killin located 400 feet north of the Bridge of Dochart. The car park is next to a bus stop and has bicycle railings, an electric car charge point, disabled parking, and space for around 40 cars.