Finnich Glen (Devil's Pulpit)
|[Once safely at the bottom, wellies or waders are required to explore the canyon fully]|
Driving south from quiet Croftamie, follow the busy A809 as it descends slightly and crosses a small bridge in woodland just beyond the junction with the B834. You've just crossed the Scottish Grand Canyon! Okay, whoever coined Finnich Glen's nickname was being a bit optimistic, but only slightly. For here, the Carnock Burn suddenly leaves gentle farmland and enters an unexpected 80-foot gorge. Despite all its drama, Finnich Glen was little-known until recently, but the crowds now seem to have cottoned on and parking may be tricky at busy times. Following a narrow path northeast from the road on the bridge's south side, you can wend your way along the canyon edge, with several restricted views of little cascades, potholes and centuries of fallen debris at the bottom of the abyss. Eventually a side-canyon is reached where crumbling steps lead haphazardly to the water level. Verdict: get here soon before they crumble any more, and before it gets any busier.
|[This tree has partially destroyed the steps just out of shot. Expect to use hands here, on muddy rock walls / surfaces which never dry out]|
Name: Finnich Glen (Devil's Pulpit) ★★★★☆
Location: Off the A809 just south of the B834 junction near Croftamie, G.R.: NS 494848 ///foal.adventure.crawled
Anything else? The informal layby only has space for a few cars (gets full) and is situated by a blind summit. Approach from the south to avoid crossing oncoming traffic. Narrow path leads from north side of road opposite parking area. along the gorge edge. The path is occasionally boggy and involves climbing a couple of fences as the original access gate is locked. Descent to gorge base is after about 300 metres by steep, slippery steps, some damaged by a fallen tree. A fixed rope used to facilitate ascent / descent here, but 2018 reports suggest it's been removed.
|[The burn on the south (upstream) side of the road is a pleasant spot, giving away none of the drama downstream unless you turn 180 degrees and look through the road bridge]|