The Devil's Pulpit

a first visit

I first saw the Devil's Pulpit in The Eagle. This movie lead me to think of it as being somewhere deep in the Highlands, not half an hours drive from home in Glasgow.

Later I read about it as the location of an artistic happening and saw some lovely photos on Flickr. It was in the back of my head as a place to visit.

I had planned for a day in the hills but the mist had come down and it looked like being a filthy day. I came back home and settled in for a day indoors.

By early afternoon I was getting a little stir crazy and when out for a quick walk round the Whangie. Getting to the Queen's view car park it looked a bit too busy so I decided to visit the Devil's Pulpit.

Further along the road past the Queen's View there is a lay by. The wall on the other side of the road has a locked and barred iron door. Fortunately there is a break in the wall near by. A rough path crosses a barbed wire fence and leads to the first view of the ravine and burn below.

The surrounding countryside gave no hint of the drastic turn the burn had taken here. It cut through what must be an extremely soft bit of sandstone. I followed the rim of the chasm trying to get a better look. The trees and frosty conditions didn't make this easy.

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After a short walk I found the old steps down to the burn. These were, I guess, Victorian and in a sorry state.

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I took my time getting down the steps mostly clinging to the greasy rope that some kind soul had left. The bottom was worth the worry, the mist adding some special effects to the limpid burn, wrecked trees and soft red cliff.

The poor light, cramped conditions and my lack of photography skills mean that these photos are no where near as powerful as they could be.

I pulled myself up the steps and walked further down the river.

Shortly I reached the end of the ravine where the burn emerged into some fields. This allowed me to scramble down to the burn and work my way back up for a short distance.

Again my photos do not do the place justice. I plan to return in warmer weather when you could have a chilly wade further up the chasm.

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It is hard to get a sense of the scale of the place. It looked bigger in the Eagle, but my photos make it look smaller. This next one gives a sense of scale as you can see the body of a roe.

I will be revisiting the Devil's Pulpit, and am thinking about how to take better pictures when I do.