BLOOD RIVER/THE DEVIL’S PULPIT: SCOTLAND

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Deep within the primordial bowels of Finnich Glen, lies The Devils Pulpit. An ethereal grotto, gurgling with red tinged water, 70 feet below the Earth’s surface in Killearn, Scotland. The “River of Blood” calls to you from the bottom of a decrepit stairway.

Why Called Devil’s Pulpit

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. Blessed with this natural forming crimson waters and amazing lighting to boot, it’s no wonder the Devil’s Pulpit may have caught the attention of mainstream media as well. Fans of the series Outlander would find this location looking oddly familiar. That’s because the gorge was used as the site for the Liar’s Springs, as seen on the series.

Why Red Colour Water

Water is the color of blood, and you’ll understand the sinister-looking scene that’s behind the name “the Devil’s Pulpit.” But, as enduring as the legend is, and no matter how much it’s pushed by locals to the tourists, the Devil’s toes did not turn the water to blood, in fact, it is caused by red sandstone found in the streambed. The red waters have become a popular spot for photographers, who say the stream is at its most colorful after good rain. The redness of the water comes from the red sandstone underneath. So, it’s not actually the water that’s red but what lies beneath it that gives it a blood-red colour.

Want To Know Before Go

The overall view of the Devil’s Pulpit is extremely breathtaking despite its eerie vibe. The descent down into the gorge is pretty tricky and slippery so do practice caution if you’re up for a visit to see the sinister crimson waters yourself. As you make your way following the gorge, you’ll easily be able to find your way down to the Devil’s Pulpit once you come across a downward slope fitted with a rope, ready for you to make your descent.  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.

Can You Swim

Now, you have a choice. You can either stay where you are and get a few pictures from the entrance point. … Many people were taking their shoes off, swimming and walking either in the river or over the rocks to access the waterfalls.

Is It dangerous?

No, if you use caution. The Devil’s Pulpit is a 60 feet deep gorge in the middle of a forest. In summer, when everything is in full bloom, it’s easy to lose sight of the cavern that’s buried within trees and bushes growing nearby. When trying to approach the Finnich Glen, always keep an eye out and stand way clear of the gorge.  It’s a massive drop and, in the past, many tourists have fallen by not paying attention. Which results in expensive and risky rescue missions. It’s also good to note that this trek is not the easiest one. To access the gorge you have to climb down a wet, stony staircase that starts off as a staircase and ends up halfway being a rock slide. If it’s heavily raining when you visit, please consider that this staircase will be slippy and freak floods are no joke.

When To Visit

if you would like to visit with fewer people for photography or just for some peace, I would recommend visiting early morning or late afternoon. In the summers in Scotland, the day can last until 10pm at night. It’s also sunnier, drier and therefore safer to walk down. Not visiting too late though as it’s not the sort of place you want to be stuck or climbing down in the dark!

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