Updated May 2023

This post is about Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit.

The Devil's Pulpit

The Devil’s Pulpit or Finnich Glen (both names are used interchangeably) is a 70ft gorge near Loch Lomond in Scotland. It's a popular tourist attraction with lush green trees and the beautiful Carning burn running over the red sandstone rock below.

The location of the gorge means that it's easily accessible from Loch Lomond, Glasgow and Stirling. If you're travelling through from Edinburgh or further afield, it is a bit of a longer journey but worth it none-the-less.

I visited the Devil's Pulpit in July 2021 after an overnight stay at Loch Lomond. On my visit, I took note of the parking situation and how to get to the Devil's Pulpit so I could share it with you in this blog. So, here's all the information you could possibly need to help you visit the Devil's Pulpit.

This post is an ultimate guide to visiting Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit.

This blog post will cover:

Why is it called the Devil's Pulpit?

You'll hear this gorge being referred to as both the Finnich Glen or the Devil's Pulpit. The names are used interchangeably.

Finnich Glen is the actual name of the gorge or the valley. Whereas, 'the Devil’s Pulpit’ was used to only refer to the large stone poking out of the Carning Burn (as seen in the picture below). However, 'the Devil’s Pulpit' is now often used to refer to the whole Finnich Glen gorge, rather than just the rock.

The Devil's Pulpit rock is said to be where the devil would stand and address his followers, hence the name. This old folklore is even more convincing as the surrounding water appears to flow red over the sandstone rock below.

The Devil's Pulpit
The Devil's Pulpit

Where is the Devil's Pulpit?

The Devil's Pulpit is located just south of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Stirlingshire, only 30-40 minutes from both Glasgow and Stirling. If you are coming through from Edinburgh, it'll take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the Devil's Pulpit.

The Devil's Pulpit
The Devil's Pulpit

Devil's Pulpit Parking

The easiest way to get to Devil’s pulpit is to drive. However, parking is extremely limited. There is plans to upgrade the parking situation but nothing has materialised yet. Alternative ways to get to the Devil’s Pulpit include cycling or taking a taxi.

There are two places where you can park at the Devil's Pulpit:

  • Car Park 1: This is the bigger car park and has enough space for up to 10 cars. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the entrance to the Devil’s Pulpit along the main road (A809). There is no pavement to walk on so just be careful and walk on the glassy verge beside the road. To find Car Park 1, input “Finnich Glen” into Google maps and it should take you right to this car park.
  • Car Park 2: This is a very small car park with space for only around 2-3 cars, but it is slightly more convenient being across the road from the entrance to the Devil’s Pulpit.

Please note, you CANNOT park on the A809 main road. There are clear double lines and fines will be issued if people park here.

Devil's Pulpit Parking
Devil's Pulpit Parking

How to get to the Devil's Pulpit?

The easiest cities to get to the Devil's Pulpit from are Glasgow and Stirling. From Glasgow City Centre, it will take about 35-40 minutes by following the A809 road. From Stirling, it takes around 30-35 minutes by following the A811 road.

As mentioned above, the fastest way to get to the Devil's Pulpit is by car. You could cycle or take a taxi. There are also public transport links from Glasgow and Stirling but they take over 2 hours to get close to the Devil's Pulpit.

Once you have reached the Devil's Pulpit, you will then need to walk to the Devil's Pulpit entrance as seen in the map below (marked with a dotted box).

How to get to the Devil's Pulpit
How to get to the Devil's Pulpit

From the Devil's Pulpit entrance, you will need to walk around 10 minutes to find the stairs down to the gorge. The stairs can be quite difficult to spot as they aren't well signposted. Follow the steps below to help you find them when you visit:

  1. Across from car park 2, there is the gated entrance to the Devil’s Pulpit.
  2. You will reach a sign that has the title 'Exploring Finnich Glen (The Devil's Pulpit)'. At this sign, follow the footpath left.
  3. You will then get to a spot where the footpath divides into 5 different paths. Follow the one on the right and it will take you up to a wider footpath next to a field on your right. If you take any of the other paths, it will take you very close to the gorge and it’s quite a big drop so stay away for the edge and please be careful.
  4. Follow the path next to the field for 5-10 minutes and then, again you will find that the footpath will come to an intersection of paths. It’s quite hard to spot but at this section, there is the steps down to the devil’s pulpit on your left. The steps are directly across from a signpost.

If you still can't find them, the stairs down to the gorge can be found on Google maps. Currently, they are named 'Zaine's Ladder' but the name of the stairs does change for some reason or other. Previously, they were known as 'Jacob's Ladder'.

The stairs down to the Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit are very steep and can be quite dangerous, especially if it has been raining the night before. If you struggle with mobility, I really wouldn't recommend going down them.

How to get to the Devil's Pulpit
How to get to the Devil's Pulpit

What to do at the Devil's Pulpit?

  • Go paddling or wild swimming. The water up until the "Devil's Pulpit" rock is shallow, so you could take your shoes off and go paddling. Past the rock, the water gets a bit deeper, so you could do a spot of wild swimming. Only do this if you are confident in water.
  • Take a picnic with you and enjoy it by the water, ideal for taking in the views. Just remember to take your rubbish home with you.
  • Instead of going down the stairs to the Devil's Pulpit, you could continue walking on the path. Just be careful you don't get too close to the gorge's edge.
  • If you want to be a bit more adventurous then Outdoor Pursuits Scotland runs a canoying and gorge walking tour at the Devil's Pulpit. It is a 3-hour tour and costs £35 per person but includes all the specialist equipment. It makes for a unique way to explore the gorge!
  • Make a day off it - once you're done exploring the Devil's Pulpit. Head up to Balmaha to watch the sunset over Loch Lomond, grab a bite to eat or you could even climb Conic Hill.
Finnich Glen
Finnich Glen

Tips for visiting the Devil's Pulpit

1. Wear shoes with really good grip as the stairs down to the Devil's Pulpit are not in the best condition and are really steep. Don't visit after heavy rain as the stairs become extra slippery.

2. If you are wanting to go swimming at the Devil's Pulpit, wear your swimsuit as there are no facilities for you to change. Bear in mind, the water can be very cold so bring a towel and additional clothes to heat you up after.

3. The Devil's Pulpit has gained a lot of popularity over the years as it was featured in the TV show, Outlander and the Detective Pikachu movie. So, try and get to the Devil's Pulpit really early and during off-peak times if possible. It can get very busy and the parking is extremely limited.

4. To find the most photographic part of Devil's Pulpit, go left at the bottom of the stairs to the gorge and wade through the shallow water. You will then find mini waterfalls and the famous 'Devil's Pulpit' rock, which was in Detective Pikachu. This is where most of the typical pictures of the Devil’s Pulpit are taken.

Finnich Glen
Finnich Glen

5. It's worth nothing that there are no on-site litter facilities. When I visited, there was rubbish scattered everywhere. Please be respectful of this amazing natural site and take your rubbish home.

Finnich Glen
Finnich Glen

This post is an ultimate guide to visiting Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit.

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Kirsty x

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