What Is Black Rock Gorge?
Black Rock Gorge is a narrow, 36 metres deep and 1.5km long gorge that the Allt Graad flows through. It is located in the small Scottish town of Evanton. The gorge is subject to local myths and legends, but recently became most famous and a popular tourist spot for featuring briefly in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. It appears in the Triwizard tournament where the Hungarian horntail dragon chases Harry and Harry is hiding from the dragon.
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, then a trip to Black Rock Gorge is a must on your Scotland road trip itinerary!
Does Black Rock Gorge Have a Historic Backstory?
As mentioned above, Black Rock Gorge does have a historic backstory as being the subject of a local myth in which a local woman, the Lady of Balconie, is said to have been lured into the gorge by a mysterious man wearing green, who is said to have been the devil in disguise, and the lady fell deep down into the gorge to her death.
It is said that as she fell, she dropped her house keys which left an impression on the rock face which apparently you are still able to see if you visit now.
There are other myths relating to the gorge, if you visit there is a visitor board by the bridge to the gorge with lots of interesting information on it.
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Where Is Black Rock Gorge Located?
Black Rock Gorge postcode is Evanton, Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland, IV16 9UN.
The Black Rock Gorge is located in quite a hidden and random location, possibly not somewhere you would really think to visit or stop off at if you were travelling in Scotland or on the NC500.
It is located in the village of Evanton’s community woods which is located around 18 miles north of Inverness.
How To Get to Black Rock Gorge?
The easiest way to get to Evanton which is the village where the Black Rock Gorge is located would be to drive. We travelled in our motorhome and parked at in the village of Evanton, in a car park over the road from the Cornerstone Cafe, which was around a 30 – 45-minute walk to the gorge.
- Park in the village of Evanton right by the Cornerstone Cafe
- Walk up towards Chapel Road where you’ll see a sign that says Black Rock Gorge pointing you towards the Evanton Community Woods
- Continue walking until you reach the playpark in the woods, and you will see a handmade sign to the right on a tree, pointing you towards the gorge
- Keep walking in the woods and you’ll reach a small footbridge over a stream where there is also a wooden bench with cute hedgehog carvings
- Keep on walking and you will reach a sign that says ‘gorge bridges’, pointing you towards the gorge
- After a bit more walking you will reach the Black Rock Gorge!
- Don’t forget not to stop at the first bridge but to carry on round to the second bridge!
Once you reach the gorge you will be looking down into it from 2-footbridges. Don’t stop at the first bridge that you come to, if you carry on walking for a couple of minutes through the woods you will come to a second bridge which is higher and, in our opinion, gives better views of the gorge.
The bridges are there for a reason and this is the safe way to see the gorge. As mentioned, the gorge is very deep and so it is important to stick to the footpaths and the bridges and not to try and go off the path or take a different route to see the gorge as this could be dangerous.
Is There Accessible Parking Available When Visiting Black Rock Gorge?
We believe that there was accessible parking available in the car park that we used in Evanton Village by the Cornerstone Cafe.
Do You Have to Hike to Reach Black Rock Gorge?
Yes, you do have to be prepared to hike for around 1 – 2 hours to the gorge and back to the car park, depending on how fast you walk and also how much time you spend at the gorge and also stopping along the way to take photos etc.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit the Black Rock Gorge?
We would say that the best time of year to visit would be in the spring/summer as there is some walking involved and this would be better in the warmer weather, although saying that, this is never promised at any point of the year in Scotland! The woodland that you walk through to get to the gorge can be muddy and slippery in some places if it has been raining so it is best to be prepared for this.
What Should I Pack If I Plan on Visiting Black Rock Gorge?
As you are going to be walking through woodland for a couple of hours to get to the gorge, we would definitely recommend walking boots or sensible footwear. It rains a lot in Scotland so waterproof clothing may also be required. You may also want to take water and snacks for the hike, and of course, a camera to capture lots of photos.
How To Incorporate Black Rock Gorge into Your North Coast 500 Route?
The North Coast 500 route starts and ends in Inverness. The Black Rock Gorge is only a short drive (around 30 minutes) north of Inverness and so makes a great stop as you head up onto the NC500, so it is very easy to incorporate into your travel plans as you do not have to go out of your way to get there at all.
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If you are a fan of Harry Potter then the Black Rock Gorge is definitely for you, but not just for its link to Harry Potter but also because of the fascinating myths surrounding this mystical gorge.
It is also a really enjoyable woodland walk to reach it, and with it being one of the lesser-known attractions on the NC500, you might be lucky enough to get the whole place to yourselves as we did! We definitely recommend incorporating this spot into your NC500 road trip if you get the chance!
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I love everything about travel, from seeing new places, learning about new cultures and trying new foods! I believe that travel is one of the best forms of education you can get, I have learnt so much about myself and about the world from travelling all over. Travel is something I feel so passionately about, and I love the fact that we are now lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what we love as much as we can, it’s a dream come true.
Before we started travelling, I worked in local government in administration. I had been in this job for several years and had reached a complete brick wall where I was so fed up, but didn’t know what else to do. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do was to travel, and had wanted to do that for many years.
There were hundreds and hundreds of places on my wishlist that I wanted to go to, and I knew that going on a weeks holiday maybe twice a year if we were lucky wasn’t going to cut it.
After being in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, and working from home staring at the same 4 walls every day, 2021 seemed like the perfect time for us to take the risk to finally do what we had dreamed of for so long.
It was a hard decision to completely change our lives, but so far it has been the best decision we have ever made!