Skip to main content

We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland's forests. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Enjoy your visit safely:

  • Read our COVID-19 Information in advance of your visit.
  • Most of our forests and facilities are open, but use our website to check before you travel.
  • Do not light campfires or use disposable barbecues.
  • Park considerately, taking care not to park on verges or block gates or roads.
  • Take care on or around open water. Find out more on our Water Safety page.

About

A lochside picnic spot with gentle woodland paths

This secluded car park is set among Scots pine and birch trees, with a lovely view of the loch. It’s a great place for a picnic or just to enjoy the peace and quiet. There are no waymarked trails, but small paths lead through the trees along the loch side. A few hundred yards back down the glen, the steep track by Allt na Imrich (the burn of the flitting) has stunning views.

The loch is as much a part of the National Nature Reserve as the forests, but it’s not quite as natural as it looks. It’s part of an ambitious hydro-electric project, developed in the 1950s. Water is piped from Glen Cannich, just to the north, into Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain. From there it flows to the power station at Fasnakyle, down the glen towards Cannich.

This elaborate system was developed to protect Glen Affric’s landscape and wildlife. It means Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain only had to be enlarged a little, and the dam at the end of the loch is so small you’re hardly aware of it. But the loch’s level does change, depending on how much water the power station needs. That can make life difficult for birds like black-throated divers, which nest around the loch. We provide small floating islands where they can find a fringe of reeds that’s always just above the water level.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area

Visiting Glen Affric

Our guide to Glen Affric will help you explore this magical place. Much of the road through the glen is single track, like many Highland roads. Drive slowly, and pull over to let other cars pass at the passing places.

Glen Affric is a place to leave the bustle of the modern world behind – including its technology! There is no mobile phone reception in the glen, so you won’t be able to use electronic maps that rely on a network connection.

Life’s essentials

The nearest toilets are at Dog Falls. You’ll find places to eat in Cannich or Tomich and a shop in Cannich. There are no cafés or shops in Glen Affric itself.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

From Inverness or FortWilliam, follow the A82 along Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit. Turn onto the A831, signposted for Canaich (Cannich). In Cannich village, turn left onto the minor road signposted for Glen Affric. Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain is about 8 miles (12.8 km) along this road. Please note, the car park is not suitable for coaches

Using SatNav?

IV4 7LN is the postcode for the centre of Cannich village. Follow directions above from there.

Public transport

Buses run from Inverness to Tomich and Cannich throughout the year. For details visit Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Nearby forests

Two young women, one with orange woollen hat, other with blue striped woollen hat, look up from wooden viewing platform to high point of Plodda Falls waterfall as it roars down rockface, Glen Affric

One of Scotland’s most spectacular waterfalls

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain': 1.99 miles
Flowing stream at Dog Falls

Picnic by rushing rapids, with glorious woodland walks

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain': 2.04 miles
Hikers moving through heather and forest on cloudy day

A rushing river, the gateway to Glen Affric

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Loch Beinn a’Mheadhain': 2.46 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6100 (option 1)
More contact information

Find out more

Share your experience

Our website uses cookies.
We use cookies that are essential for the site to work. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our website. Any data collected is anonymised. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies and the options available.