Finnich Glen (Devil's Pulpit)

Stirling | Croftamie | Gorge | ★★★

[Finnich Glen]

Leaving Croftamie at its south end, the A809 descends to cross a small bridge in woodland just beyond the junction with the B834. You've just crossed Scotland's answer to the Grand Canyon! OK, we might be guilty of a little hyperbole here, but this sudden, 80 foot-deep gorge carved by the otherwise unexceptional Carnock Burn is admittedly impressive. Or - it used to be. Sadly, this is one of the most extreme examples we've come across where a location's natural beauty has been marred by overtourism. Despite all its drama, Finnich Glen was little known until recently, but its appearance in various films and TV series has resulted in a popularity explosion; it's now a major tourist destination but lacking any of the necessary tourist infrastructure. If you live in Scotland or visit Scotland regularly, we strongly recommend giving this spot a miss for a while - plans are afoot to rectify the situation, with a new car park and facilities in the pipeline. If you do decide to visit, and manage to park legally and safely (see below), here's what to expect. Rough paths wend their way along the canyon edge, with restricted views of little cascades, potholes and centuries of fallen debris at the bottom of the abyss... and litter - lots of it. A little way along, a notch is reached where crumbling steps descend haphazardly to water level. Great care is required to explore beyond the top of the steps, and wellies / waders are necessary to venture beyond the bottom of them - which also carries significant risk.

[Steps into the gorge are narrow and damaged in places - perhaps more so than when this photo was taken in 2015]

Location & info

📌 Finnich Glen (Devil's Pulpit) ★★★
Off the A809 just south of the B834 junction, 2 mi southeast of Croftamie, G.R.: NS 494848 ///foal.adventure.crawled
Always open | Free

💬 Parking on the verge is now prohibited. There is a small car park (gets full - don't block access) at the A809 / B834 road junction at G.R.: NS 493850 ///hobby.dolphins.refer - if access to this changes, please let us know in the comments below. Walk south along the A809 (busy road with no pavement - extreme care needed) for 300 m until the road crosses the burn. From here, a narrow, path leads from the left (east) side of the road along the south rim of the gorge - a couple of fences must be climbed and there are some boggy areas. After a further 300 m, steep "steps" lead down to the base of the gorge. Hands may be required as some steps are damaged by fallen trees and erosion, though there is sometimes a rope to facilitate ascent / descent.

[The burn upstream from the road gives away none of the drama downstream unless you turn 180°]


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