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  • Writer's pictureBrooke McKinnell

The Emerald Cavern with a Blood Red River

Updated: Apr 5, 2023



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Finnich Glen in SterlingShire.

I packed my little waterproof bag. Put on my wet suit, pack up my scones and my flask of tea, and head for the pulpit. As I am quite a thrill seeker, This is one of my favorite places to visit in Scotland. I visit here often and spend many an hour in the cold water swimming. For me, this is an annual visit. The peace and Serenity I feel when I visit here are just incredible. It is otherworldly. This Whole area looks like something out of a fairy tale, and plenty of folklore surrounds it.

The Devil's Pulpit is a famous natural landmark in Finnich Glen, near Loch Lomond in Scotland. It is a deep gorge with a small river running through it, and its unusual red coloring has led to it being nicknamed the "Devil's Pulpit."
The Devil's Pulpit is accessed by a narrow, steep path that winds down the gorge. At the bottom, visitors are rewarded with stunning views of the river and the surrounding cliffs and the opportunity to explore the gorge.
The Devil's Pulpit has become a popular destination for adventure seekers and photographers thanks to its unique beauty and dramatic setting. However, it is essential to exercise caution when visiting, as the path down to the gorge can be slippery and dangerous, particularly in wet weather.


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The Devil's Pulpit is also steeped in mythology and folklore, with local legends suggesting that it was once used as a meeting place for witches and that the river running through it has healing properties. The local lore also suggests that this was a meeting place for ancient Druids and that Satan once preached to too many monks and followers down here. He would stand upon the bulbous rock, the Devil's Pulpit, a mushroom-shaped rock. The Red sandstone adds to the mystical aura of the Gorge. It is only when the sandstone becomes wet that the river looks red. While these stories are unlikely to be accurate, they add to the mystique and allure of this stunning natural landmark.


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Please, when heading to the Devil's pulpit, do not walk over the field from the little car park. It is easy to get lost and fall down the gorge. Over the bridge on the left-hand side, you will see a hole in the wall. Please enter the pulpit this way. Follow the path that winds to the right up a little hill and walk straight forward until you see a little entrance leading down into the gorge with some stairs. These stairs are not the safest. They can be slippery when wet. Sometimes when I visit, their ropes to hold on to, to help me get down into the pulpit, and other times there are not. I do not know what happens to these ropes.


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The first red X marked on the map is the car park people keep parking in. You will likely get a parking ticket here because the council restricted this. I don't recommend people take the second big red X. I find it's a far more dangerous route than the Entrance through the wall. We have marked them with a long red line where the hole in the wall is located. This is a far safer entrance.


I am a strong and confident swimmer and have experience in gorge walking. I wore my 5MM wet suits and waded through the pulpit. I have taken plenty of pictures to show you, as it is rare to see such images of the pulpit. I wouldn't advise anyone without experience to do the same, as it can be dangerous. However, I know groups with gorge walking day experiences where you can do it on a 100-foot abseil. For more booking information. please see https://www.scotland.org.uk/activities/activity/gorge-walking-the-devils-pulpit


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PROPOSAL

I took my best friend and her partner on tour here. My best friend's partner asked me if I could recommend any good places he could propose to my best friend. And I knew just the perfect spot.
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Further up the gorge, we come to an area that seems to widen. It was here that I recommended that he propose to her. She said yes, and some tears were shed. Might I also add that my best friend faced her fears of the water this same day! I was so incredibly proud of her. Congratulations, Margaret and Daniel.


Film and tv

The Devil's Pulpit in Finnich Glen, Scotland, has been used as a filming location for various movies and TV shows. Some notable examples include:

Outlander: The popular TV series Outlander, set in Scotland, used the Devil's Pulpit as a filming location in Season 1. The location depicts a scene where the lead characters, Jamie and Claire, explore the Scottish countryside.

The Eagle: The 2011 historical epic, The Eagle, starring Channing Tatum, was filmed at the Devil's Pulpit. The location depicts a scene where the main character, a Roman soldier, explores the Scottish wilderness.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: The Devil's Pulpit was also used as a filming location for the 2017 fantasy epic, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The location was used to depict a mystical underworld known as the Darklands.

The Devil's Pulpit's unique and dramatic landscape makes it a popular choice for filmmakers looking for an atmospheric and visually stunning location. However, it is essential to note that the area is protected, and access may be restricted at certain times to protect the environment and ensure the safety of visitors.
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Parking

The Stirling Council has issued double yellow lines on the 2.2-mile stretch around the A 809 from Duat to the boundary of Dalnair. They have done this due to reckless parking. Here there are no waiting restrictions. Many visitors still choose to park here or park on a layby nearby. Unfortunately, most likely, you will be issued a parking ticket. As far as I'm aware, the reckless parking has made things difficult for the locals. Also, cars have blocked entrances, preventing rescue services from getting nearby. It is also sad that Darcy's over 70,000 tourists per year. This is rather evident regarding the land Erosion around the area.


Places to stay

You can stay locally at Drymen or Killearn, where several b&bs and restaurants exist. The walk from Killearn to the Devil's pulpit is 42 minutes but 12 minutes if you cycle from Drymen. It is a one-hour walk on a 31-minute cycle. If you are stuck, you can order a taxi from Finish, Glen. Unfortunately, there is no public transport that takes you near.

It has saddened me over the years to see the amount of litter left strewn all over the pulpit, the entrance to the pulpit, and even In what once was the car park. Please take only memories, leave only footprints, and take your litter away.

Please leave only footprints and take only memories
-Chief Seattle

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Caution!

Following the storms in Scotland in 2021, there has been some significant damage to the area. At the bottom of the waterfalls, we can see an abundance of trees that have fallen from the top of the gorge. That's not to say this will still be there when you visit, as the waters can become quite intense and wash away the debris. It has often been listed on the Internet as easy to access. However, I cannot agree, and I must heed caution. This 70-foot steep Glen has vertical drops that go straight into the gorge. There have been many tourists injured over the years. To visit this, I highly recommend that you wear suitable footwear. Footwear with plenty of grips or perhaps some waterproofs.


©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot


©2023 Wanderscot

©2023 Wanderscot

I hope you will enjoy this place as much as I do.



©2023 All content on this page is copyrighted/ owned by Brooke the wandering scot @wanderscot

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