Devil's Pulpit – Craighat, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Devil's Pulpit

Craighat, Scotland

A strange rock with a sinister reputation lurks within the crimson waters of this Scottish glen. 


Blood-red water courses through Finnich Glen, a majestic sliver of Scotland, and surges around a strange rock with a sinister reputation.

The name “the Devil’s Pulpit” originally referred to the mushroom-shaped rock that sometimes pokes above the rushing stream. Some say the rock is where the Devil stood to address his followers, the crimson current swirling at his feet. Others say Druids held secret meetings there, hidden from sight within the shadows of the gorge’s looming walls. Still more tell tales of witches using the rock as an execution block.

However, over time, many people began referring to all of Finnich Gorge as “the Devil’s Pulpit.” It’s still a fitting name, as the red water certainly gives the whole place an eerie, almost sinister aura, though its color actually isn’t the work of the Devil at all. It’s merely a result of the underlying red sandstone.

But this doesn’t make the gorge feel any less otherwordly. Climbing down the slippery steps—of course referred to at the Devil’s Steps—and entering this realm of verdant moss-covered rocks and ruby-toned water reveals an enchanting world, where thin beams of sunlight shine spotlights the gurgling stream.

The gorge also had a small role in the series Outlander as the site of Liar’s Spring.

Know Before You Go

The descent can be slippery and dangerous, so enter the gorge at your own risk. Don't go through the gate in the parking area and instead cross the road and find a way into the trees. Continue inward and keep following the gorge. At one point you will probably hear people speaking, which will mean you're going the right way. Keep going and you will find a downward slope with a rope attached. That's the way down. Be careful how you go down as it is slippery.

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