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Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.

Falls of Shin

Where we are

Falls of Shin Forest Notices

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.
  • Toilets are open.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

Ancient woodland, Atlantic salmon and thundering falls

Follow the winding road through Achany Glen to a forest clearing where salmon leap and children play. You've reached the Falls of Shin, a wonderful starting point for a range of trails through beautiful mixed woodland and along the rocky banks of the Shin. It's a great place to get out and enjoy the forest whatever your ability – there are natural play areas here and easy trails suitable for all users.

Guide map to forests of the Far North (PDF 6MB)

Walking trails

Walking

Riverside Trail

Wander through native woodlands along the River Shin and look out for the shimmering of the aspen trees.

Firm gravel surface throughout. Some slightly uneven and overgrown grassy sections. Includes a number of short fairly steep slopes and two road crossings.

Moderate
½ miles / 1.0 km

Allow
½ hour

More information

This is one of only 14 places in the UK where the endangered aspen hoverfly survives. It relies on a constant supply of decaying aspen so we try to leave dead wood where it falls.

Walking

Pond and Play Trail

Search for colourful dragonflies and hidden wildlife carvings. Let your imagination run wild in the forest walk play areas.

Uneven gravel and grassy surface throughout. Moderate slopes with some short steeper sections.

Moderate
¾ miles / 1.3 km

Allow
½ hour

Walking

Woodland Trail

Climb up through larch, fir and pine forest for great views across Achany Glen. Look and listen for buzzards and woodpeckers.

Uneven gravel and grassy path. Long moderate slopes for up to 600m with several short steeper sections.

Moderate
1 ¼ miles / 2.0 km

Allow
¾ hour

More information

Lose yourself in towering conifer trees and shady glades where small birds forage for food. There are rugged natural play areas along the way, tremendous fun for children and adults. If you want to explore further by bike or on foot there's access to the forest road network here.

Facilities & access

Toilets
Toilets
Parking
Parking
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Play area
Play area
Picnic area
Picnic area

Cafe

There is a cafe on site run by Mac & Wild. Opening times, menu and more available at their website.

Life's essentials

You'll find public toilets and more places to eat in Bonar Bridge and Lairg.

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Getting here

From Bonar Bridge take the A836 north west for 4 miles (6.4 km), turning left onto the A837 towards Lochinver. After ¾ mile (800 metres) turn right onto the B864; the car park is on your left after 1¼ miles (2 km).

From Lairg follow the A839 south west for ¾ mile (1.2 km) and turn left onto the B864. The Falls of Shin car park is on your right after 4 miles (6.4 km).

The car park is at grid reference NH 576 993.

Using SatNav?

Nearest postcode: IV27 4EE

Public transport

An infrequent bus service between Tain and Lairg stops at the Falls of Shin. See Traveline Scotland for details.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6100 (option 2)
More contact information

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