The Waterfall of the Bent Arrow


This story starts off with a very inaccurate weather forecast for a walk up Glas Bheinn, which we abandoned due to low cloud as thick as cotton wool. We like to see the view.

Instead, we went around to Inchnadamph and resolved to walk up to the “Aeroplane Flats” as far as we got until cloud met land. After a damp coffee stop, we walked back down the path with time in hand.

I noticed the burn running fairly energetically just below, and commented that it must disappear underground in limestone somewhere as the waterfall had looked “dry”. So I resolved to find the sink hole, and dropped down to the waterside to walk downstream. Underfoot was reasonable, as the deer often follow these routes and leave vague paths.

Revelation! The falls weren’t dry at all! Quite the contrary, they were amazing! A quirk of geography meant they are just tucked into a corner, so from a distance, you can’t see anything. And they’re not even small!

The same quirk meant that it was virtually impossible to get a decent photo from the west bank, and it was a bit of a tramp around to the other side, so I’d have to come back another day.

Checking the map, it appeared that the falls faced south west, so mid afternoon would get direct light. I got there a bit late actually. Even later when I took a compass bearing on site, to find that the aspect is only just off southerly at 205 degrees. It was already about half past three as I stumbled over the rough ground to see it.

Although these falls aren’t far from two nearby paths, the approach is very rough and wet in places. On site, the wet rocks are very slippery; there are holes dropping into small burns, and the falls are difficult to approach closely with sheer or overhanging rocks.

Yes, that is a Health and Safety warning; take note.

And then there’s a stubborn ribbon of dark clouds behind me. Relentless, it is.  Further north about a mile away was continuous sunshine, and I got this murk. But, I tell myself, its just a reconnaissance trip, so stop moaning! The cloud-fairy must’ve been listening, as I got a couple of brief opportunities for photos, and they came out quite well, I think.


“Eas na Saighe Calme” it says on the map, and my internet-aided translation came out as “The Fall of the Calm Arrow”, which didn’t really sound right. Local knowledge (thanks Dave!) adjusted this to “The Fall of the Bent Arrow”, which fits much better.

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