The Falls of Shin and the Salmon Leap

At The Falls of Shin, You Can Watch Salmon Leap Upstream to Spawn in Loch Shin:

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Falls of Shin, Sutherland © Travel Signposts..

In more pleasant weather and at the right season, the Falls of Shin would have been an enjoyable place to visit, but we unfortunately arrived here on a cold and wet morning.

One of the main attractions at the Falls of Shin is watching the salmon battling their way upstream to spawn in Loch Shin, which is their own place of birth. The River Shin is one of the great salmon rivers in Scotland, but alas, it was too early in the season for the salmon leap.

From the Visitor Centre, we walked down a path and some steps to get to the waterfall. The water gushing down looked brown because of the natural peat in the riverbed.

The landscape is pretty, but as we’ve seen much more dramatic waterfalls during our travels, this one wasn’t as spectacular by comparison.

It was our morning coffee stop and many of our fellow travellers were happy to stay in the warmth of the restaurant at the Visitor Centre. When you walk into the Centre, a life-size wax statue of Mohamed Al Fayed, dressed in kilt, reminds visitors of who owns the Falls of Shin. The wax statue is from Madame Tussauds and is a very good likeness of him.

For the shopaholics, the Gift Shop presented an opportunity to shop at Harrods. Yes, as the Falls of Shin and the estate belongs to Mohamed Al Fayed, he’s made the Gift Shop into a little piece of Harrods in the Highlands of Scotland. But as he has since sold Harrods to the Qatari government, the Gift Shop had up to October to clear all the Harrods merchandise. So we and other shoppers had the opportunity to buy Harrods shopping bags, mugs, teddy bears, etc. all at reduced prices.  The Gift Shop has more than just Harrods souvenirs – you can buy Scottish products like jumpers, kilts, hats, knitwear, biscuits and sweets, etc.

Those who have more time at the Falls of Shin can enjoy a number of the forest walks. There is also an “Adventure Trail” for children and the playground has a range of activities to keep children occupied.

The Falls of Shin Visitor Centre is in Sutherland, an hour’s drive north of Inverness off the B864 via A836 between Bonar Bridge and Lairg.

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