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How to Find the Devil’s Pulpit in Scotland

Continuing our first day of adventures in Scotland, we headed to Craighat to find a narrow 100ft deep hidden gorge called the Finnich Glen. Finnich Glen, overall, is often referred to as the Devil’s Pulpit but the Devil’s Pulpit is actually a specific rock within Finnich Glen. Multiple directions to Finnich Glen / the Devil’s Pulpit found online weren’t that specific so upon arrival, we decided to follow a group of walkers who looked like they knew where they were going. We figured they were locals who knew the area.

Turns out, they didn’t know either.

So here we are wandering through a field of grazing poopers sheep.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Do not venture into old Macdonald’s farm, next to the car park. It’s the wrong way. We’re getting lost here so you don’t have to.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
The curious stares from the sheeple should have indicated we were going the wrong way.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
The farmland borders on a beautiful bluebell forest.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Finnich Glen from the top. Unless you brought your climbing gear, there isn’t really a way down other than descending Jacob’s Ladder, a hazardous stairway created by the proprietor of the Killearn estate about 150-200 years ago. The problem was trying to find Jacob’s Ladder.

After wandering the sheep field and forest aimlessly, we saw the group of walkers we had originally stalked, had given up and headed back to the car park. Amateurs. Ok, so we’re amateurs as well but we’re persistent ones. We did not give up so easily.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
We headed back onto the road, out from the poop field –I mean, sheep field, and followed the road until we saw what looked like a trail. Getting to the trail required some fence hopping and jumping.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Oh darn, more wandering through beautiful bluebells. Life is so difficult.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
It could have easily been missed but there it is, Jacob’s Ladder.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
A very muddy Jacob’s Ladder.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/

Various ropes are attached to several of the trees to aide in ascending/descending the stairs. The ropes are coated in mud but muddy hands are better than a muddy backside, which husband learned the hard way when we were last in the UK.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
The rock jutting out of the ground (behind, to the left), covered in moss is called the Devil’s Pulpit. It can only be seen when the water levels are low.

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/

In an effort to help prevent you from stepping on sheep poop and ruining your shoes/day (and from trespassing on farm land), here are…
Directions to the Devil’s Pulpit / Finnich Glen / Carnock Burn / Ashdow
Or whatever you want to call this beautiful area with multiple names:

Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/ Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Use the small car park just off the A809 at coordinates: 56.034243,-4.419551 Walk along the road.
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/ Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Continue following the small trail along the road. Follow it for about about .2 miles/.3 km from the parking lot. The Cairnock Burn flows right under this bridge. This river is what carved the red sandstone to form Finnich Glen.
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/ Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Hop over the wall at any point near the bridge. There is a gate entrance but it’s always locked so maneuvering is required.
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/ Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Follow the trail along the wired fenced. When you see this forked tree branch, you are heading in right direction. Continue following the trail through the bluebells. Follow it about .2 miles / .3 km from the road.
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/ Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
Not sure if that muddy/poopy blanket will always be there but that rock indicates the steps of Jacob’s Ladder are nearby. The stairs are easy to miss. Keep your eyes open. Especially since the gorge is right there and it is easy to fall over the edge.
Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/ Directions to Devil's Pulpit Hike in Finnich Glen, Craighat, Scotland - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/directions-devils-pulpit-scotland/
No, husband will not be there to point out the way but note the trail to the stairs leading the way. The stairs are muddy and steep. Use the ropes to guide yourself down if you don’t feel like falling down.

Happy adventures!

Devil’s Pulpit in Finnich Glen, Scotland

  • Car park coordinates: 56.034243,-4.419551
  • Fees: None
  • Difficulty: Easy until you get to the stairs of Jacob’s Ladder
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Length: .4 miles
  • Things to note:
    1. The stairs down Jacob’s Ladder to the gorge are very muddy.
  • Tips:
    1. Pack aqua shoes for further exploring through the gorge.
  • Pets allowed: Sure.
   

How About You?
  • Have you hiked here before?
  • Do you have any tips? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Tags : gorge