Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil’s Pulpit, Scotland

Updated July 19, 2017

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

“Down in the channel is the Devil’s Pulpit… a long flight of stairs leads to the channel, and when you are there you feel remote from the world. Only the moon is required to produce the most weird and awesome effect.” – The Campsies and the Land of Lennox, Iain C Lees, 1933.

Visiting Scotland and looking for some hidden gems or secret places? Well, I have an awesome one for you! Thanks to the Devil’s Pulpit and Finnich Glen being an Outlander filming location, it may not be as hidden as it once was, but it’s still a great place to visit on any Scotland trip…But what exactly am I talking about?

Devils Pulpit Finnich Glen Scotland-101

What is the Devils Pulpit and Finnich Glen?

Finnich Glen is a steep glen near Drymen, and the Devils Pulpit is a particular stone within the glen, although sometimes you’ll see the whole thing called the Devils Pulpit. Confused yet? I’m going to call it by both names interchangeably since people seem to use either, even Glen Finnich!

Whatever it’s called, Finnich Glen and the Devils Pulpit is a stunning place to explore in Scotland. You’ll need to have a car to get there and it’s a bit of a mission to find, and get down to, but well worth it.

With no signposts or public paths, and a perilously steep stone step entrance, the Devil’s Pulpit is one of Scotland’s best not-so-secret secrets. Finding Finnich Glen without any of the usual methods makes you feel like an adventurer of old or a kid in the Famous Five at least. Can you see yet why this beautiful natural spot is considered by some to be a hidden gem of Scotland?

However, the Devil’s Pulpit definitely isn’t the “secret” it used to be. It’s likely you’ll meet other adventurous souls on your journey there unless you visit on a weekday when the weather isn’t so good. Although then you can feel like you’re all part of a secret club, capable of finding the hidden Finnich Glen!

The best time to visit Finnich Glen is in the sunshine of course, but knowing Scotland, it’s likely it’ll be cloudy when you go. It can be a very slippery descent (more on that later) so either avoid it after heavy rain or wear hiking boots and be VERY careful.

Finnich Glen has long evoked awe and more than a little wariness. The steep moss covered 100 ft walls on their side and water the colour of rust made the locals of old think of the Devil, hence the Devil’s Pulpit. Legend has it that at one time druids met here, and Satan himself may have even preached here. Hmmm.

Some of the reason for the increased popularity of the Devil’s Pulpit is because it was used as a film location in the Outlander TV Series. In episode 6 of season 1, the glen is used as the location of the truth forcing spring, where Claire drinks the water. I have to say I’m not sure I would! Although the colour is due to the water running through peat, not because it’s dirty.

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

What to pack for the Devil’s Pulpit walk

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

How to get to the Devil’s Pulpit and Finnich Glen, Scotland

Finnich Glen, Scotland Map Coordinates: 56°02’01.6”N 4°25’51.4”W

You won’t normally find a Finnich Glen map, so the best thing is to use those coordinates if you have a GPS. The Devil’s Pulpit is just 30 minutes from Glasgow or 1 hour 35 from Edinburgh by car.

There’s a small section where cars can park but it doesn’t fit too many. If you’re lucky you may be able to park by the bridge on the A809 but only about 2-3 cars can fit there. There are no secret signs or anything, you just have to know where to find it, and Finnich Glen is much more popular now after being used as an Outlander location.

Park at the intersection between Croftamie and Craighat, at the small space next to the intersection.There is some room to park nearer to the entrance at the bridge but it can be muddy, or possibly full. This is a main road so please park responsibly and carefully, and watch for cars when you’re walking.

You need to follow the main road on foot from the intersection along to the bridge. There is a well-worn path off the road so follow that and be aware of cars travelling fast along the road. Please don’t mill around the intersection or along the road! Finding Finnich Glen is an adventure but you need to stay safe! 

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

From Glasgow

Follow the A809 road out past Queens View until you reach the intersection with B834 (on the right).

From Edinburgh

Follow A90 and Maybury Rd/A902 to Glasgow Rd/A8 then get on the M9. Take A811 to A81 in Stirling and continue to the B834 intersection.

Finding the entrance to Finnich Glen and the Devil’s Pulpit

The path to the Devil’s Pulpit starts with a locked gate. But there is a gap in the stone wall at the end of the bridge if you walk across. You can also climb the fence just before the bridge and jump down. It’s easy to miss the gap but check the video to see what it looks like! There are several paths leading from the gap in the fence to the entrance to Finnich Glen. We wandered closer to the edge of the glen itself, following the sound of the water, but you can also make your way more directly there along the widest path.

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

There are several paths leading from the gap in the fence to the entrance to Finnich Glen. We wandered closer to the edge of the glen itself, following the sound of the water, but you can also make your way more directly there along the widest path from the entrance next to the bridge.

The entrance to Finnich Glen and the Devil’s Pulpit is easy to miss if you’re not looking, so keep an eye out for stone steps on your left. It’s right across from a fence that overlooks a field on your right.

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

The 150-year-old steps down are called Jacobs Ladder, and I hate to think what they would have been like before helpful people (thank you local climbers!) left ropes tied to trees to hold onto on the way down. The ropes will likely be muddy though, so expect to get a little dirty if you plan on finding and exploring Finnich Glen! I HIGHLY recommend you wear proper hiking boots when visiting Finnich Glen.

Finding Finnich Glen, Scotland Hidden Gem

At the bottom of the stairs to the Devil’s Pulpit, there’s a small railed balcony which grants you a beautiful first view of the glen. Because we went on a fairly fine Saturday in June there were quite a few people there, some swimming, and even some people who were having a BBQ (personally not recommended, the smoke travelled down the glen rather than up made it really smokey. And caused hazy photos, making for a grumpy photographer).

Part of the charm is visiting Finnich Glen is having to find your way without much help, but hopefully, with this little guide, you can enjoy the awe-inspiring Devil’s Pulpit and Finnich Glen for yourself!

Sonja x

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Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem Finding Finnich Glen + The Devil's Pulpit, Scotland's Hidden Gem

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38 Comments

  • Reply Lisa July 19, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve been to Scotland but never heard of either of these places. There’s been many people talking about this TV show Outlander, but I’ve also never heard of it! Still, these both look like really nice places to visit, and still a bit of a secret secret!

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

      It’s definitely a great place to visit! I’d recommend giving the Outlander books a go, or at least the first one, and checking out the TV show too. It shows some beautiful parts of Scotland!

  • Reply Mariella July 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Exploring hidden gems is my absolutely favorite! I’ve never heard of the Devil’s Pulpit’s before. I’m definitely saving this post for when I visit Scotland. “Part of the charm is visiting Finnish Glen is having to find your way without much help” – I couldn’t agree more with this statement! Nothing quite like exploring on your own until you find what your looking for. Thank you for sharing! Safe travels. – Mariella

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 20, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Thanks! I hope you do get to go when you visit :). It is exciting trying to find places that aren’t signposted at all!

  • Reply Jennifer July 19, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    OMG, this place is so magical! I want to be there right now. It’s treasures like this that keep me hiking. Nature is so beautiful, it never ceases to amaze me.

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 20, 2017 at 10:05 am

      It was really beautiful! I want to go back again soon 🙂

  • Reply Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women July 20, 2017 at 1:28 am

    This looks like such an awesome place to see. I love the whole atmosphere of this little hideaway location. What an adventure to get there but really looks to be worth it. Great video as well by the way. I’d love to visit this when I get to Scotland.

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

      It is a really great place, and I have to say the adventure of getting there was half the fun!

  • Reply Rachelle July 20, 2017 at 5:54 am

    What a fun gem to find! Looks like someone was really thoughtful to set up a rope to assist adventurers in getting into the Glen. Cool video too! I’ve never been to Scotland, but would love to go and see if I could find this place!

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

      I don’t know what I would have done without those ropes! Probably slid down haha. I have no idea who puts them there I think it’s just kind strangers :). And thanks!

      • Reply Allan August 6, 2017 at 6:26 pm

        Hi, the ropes have been left by local mountain rescuers due to an increase in accidents in this area. It’s a beautiful place but care needs to be taken and appropriate footwear worn.

        • Reply Migrating Miss August 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm

          I agree! I wouldn’t have done it without my hiking boots, and was surprised other people attempted it. It was a dry and sunny day and the ground was still pretty wet and slippery.

  • Reply yukti July 20, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Wow it is so green and this really looks like my place as I love to be at natural places. It is great you stated that we should go during sunshine, as it is always very cloudy. Will keep note of it. Water looks so clear and transparent away from pollution. Nice place to de-stress.

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

      I love natural places too! It’s funny the water is actually quite clean although it looks dirty from the peat. You can tell in the shallows since you can see the bottom!

  • Reply Katie July 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    This place looks awesome and your pics are stunning! It looks so beautiful and untouched – would love to visit! I really do need to head up to Scotland! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks so much! It really is a beautiful natural space.

  • Reply Christy July 20, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Definitely need to find this next time I’m down that way!

  • Reply Jasmin July 22, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve wanted to go here for ages but it’s quite ride from where I live in Scotland so I’ve been postponing the trip. It looks so beautiful in there, definitely need to make to visit this place later this year!

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      I only recently got a car so the trip became doable! Maybe you can add it into a further trip somewhere 🙂

  • Reply Ania | Snow to Seas July 22, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    This glen looks like one stunning location! If I ever happen to be in Scotland during the summer, I will definitely pay it a visit. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Reply Kathi July 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    After doing an Outlander tour earlier this month, I’m totally hooked on visiting more of their film locations! This looks so pretty – I wonder how cold the water is???

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 10:35 am

      I would love to seek out more too! Well, I did walk through it and it was pretty cold, even though it was one of the warmest days we had earlier this year! I’d like to go back and walk further up the stream each way though!

  • Reply Stephanie July 22, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    I love finding and exploring hidden natural wonders like this! While I’ve never heard of it, it truly looks magical, like an enchanted world!

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Me too! Now I’m determined to seek even more out 😀

  • Reply Hooma Roy Choudhury July 22, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Place looks amazing!

  • Reply Desiree Chance July 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    How charming and magical! I didn’t know Scotland could look so ethereal… truly like something out of Lord of the Rings! I love finding beautiful outdoor activities when I travel to new locations, definitely adding this to my bucket list!

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 10:33 am

      It does look like it could have been in Lord of the Rings! I always think that Scotland and New Zealand are quite similar actually.

  • Reply Rosalie July 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    This is so cool! I’m such an Outlander geek, I can’t believe I haven’t been here yet. Scotland is full of all sorts of gems.

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

      I remember seeing pictures of it before Outlander and I always wondered where it was, then when I saw it in the series years ago I knew I had to go! So happy to have finally been!

  • Reply Eniko July 23, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I can’t wait to find these hidden gems myself next week, when we go on a 2 week road trip to Scotland! After reading this I’m even more excited! 🙂

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Hope you have an amazing roadtrip! There are so many great little things to see in Scotland it’ll be hard to choose!

  • Reply Archana Singh July 23, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Looks like a great place for hikers and nature lovers. I would definitely love to visit it. Frankly speaking, I had no clue that Finnich Glen is a steep glen near Drymen, and the Devils Pulpit is a particular stone within the glen

    • Reply Migrating Miss July 24, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Thanks! It is a great place to visit for anyone who loves nature and wants a bit of adventure 🙂

  • Reply Jamie October 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    What a wonderful insight you give here, many thanks for sharing. Having booked a trip to Balloch/Loch Lomond next year, this place is now on my bucket list, again, thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Migrating Miss October 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks very much! Just remember to take good shoes and watch out for the parking spots :D. Hope you have fun!

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