Repairs to Potter waterfall to give it back its charm


A HGHLAND beauty spot that featured in the Harry Potter movies needs £120,000-worth of repairs because it is so popular with walkers.

The pathway to Steall Falls, near Fort William,  is so badly eroded it needs 100 tonnes of rock – dumped by helicopter – to repair the surface.

The idyllic viewpoint, whose Gaelic name means ‘The White Spout’, was used as a location in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.

The famous wizarding waterfall (pic: James Gibb)


Millions of cinema-goers saw the young wizard fleeing on his Firebolt broomstick from the vicious Hungarian Horntail dragon during the first task of the Triwizard Cup.

Every year, some 40,000 climbers make their way up the path to the “glorious” 393ft (120m) falls, the second-biggest in the UK.

The John Muir Trust is paying for the work, half of which comes from donations from the public.

Chris Goodman, the trust’s footpath officer, said: “This work has been made possible by the generosity of the public.

“The magnificent response to our appeal for funds shows how clearly people value this glorious trail which winds its way through the natural woodland above the Water of Nevis to the beautiful Steall Meadow and the dramatic An Steall Bàn waterfall.

“The path is justifiably popular – the trail is suitable for young families on a day out and elderly people who may find it too difficult to reach a high summit.”

The helicopter used during the repair works will ferry in stone taken from a nearby boulder field.

It was agreed that the airlifting technique was more useful as it was easier to drop the materials in place rather than try and cross the rough and steep terrain with road vehicles.

This means the path and the road through Glen Nevis will be closed during the aerial section of the work.

Mr Goodman added: “The charm of the Steall Gorge path is that it feels like a natural part of the landscape – the last thing we want to do is turn the trail into a bland urban-style footpath.

“The trail retains that feel of wildness that people of all ages love.”

Six of the ten highest waterfalls in the UK are in Scotland.

The tallest is the 658ft (200m) high Eas a’ Chual Aluinn in Sutherland that in full flow can be about four times higher than the 167ft (51m) Niagara Falls in Canada.

The third tallest is the Falls of Glomach in Ross-shire that stands at 371ft (113m) that requires an 8km trek through the barren Scottish wilderness just to reach its lofty peak.