Walk: Roslin Glen - hidden world below a famous chapel
Midlothian | Roslin | Short walk | ★★★★
50 metres below Rosslyn Chapel is a hidden world that mightn't seem out of place in its own Dan Brown novel. Here, the River North Esk meanders through a rugged gorge bursting with caves, cliffs, rapids and wildlife amongst ancient woodland. From the main car park you can head in either direction along the gorge: west (upstream) is easier underfoot, but with less inspiring scenery. Our circuit snakes east, along treacherous paths where a head for heights is usual and decent footwear is essential. Refreshments are available - but only for paying visitors - at Rosslyn Chapel on the higher-level return route, which also takes in the dramatic entrance to Roslin Castle.
|[This eroded path is typical of the optional, most rugged part of the circuit]|
📌 Walk: Roslin Glen - hidden world below a famous chapel ★★★★
▶ 4 km / 2 miles | ▲ 120 metres
Features: Roslin Glen; Rosslyn Chapel; Roslin Castle
Start / finish: Car park for Roslin Glen, B7003 half a mile south of Roslin, G.R.: NT 273629 ///tiger.violinist.settle
Route: Car park - cross River North Esk on footbridge to east - follow north bank east (below Roslin Castle) to path junction at G.R.: NT 280632 - continue to G.R.: NT 284636 (optional) - return to path junction - Rosslyn Chapel - Roslin Castle - start. 1:25000 Ordnance Survey maps show the paths well.
Terrain: Rough, narrow and muddy paths with some fallen trees and steep drops next to the path - the part below Roslin Castle is officially closed. Middle section is only a few inches above river level, with no detour possible if burn is in spate. Optional extension is rougher still, with some scrambling over tree trunks / landslips required (wooden staples have been added to one trunk to aid crossing it). Inadvisable if ground is wet.
Wildlife today: Mallard ducks, grey wagtails, fish splashing, butterflies, bluebells in flower.
Weather today: Mostly sunny with light winds while Storm Hannah battered other parts of the UK.
>> Rosslyn Chapel ★★★★
|[Rosslyn Chapel is visited on the return route]|
Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track
Chronological photo guide
|[River North Esk near the car park]|
|[View from the footbridge]|
|[Boulders in the burn]|
|[Passing below Roslin Castle]|
|[River North Esk below Roslin Castle]|
|[Wallace's Cave on the opposite bank]|
|[River North Esk]|
|[Cave on the north bank]|
|[The path threads a route between the burn and the gorge side]|
|[Gorge of the River North Esk]|
|[The optional eastern extension has serious erosion, though wooden staples help with this fallen tree]|
|[Fallen tree - take the right fork at the junction immediately beyond]|
|[End of the line - River North Esk]|
|[The return route is at a higher level]|
|[Farmland above the gorge]|
|[Rosslyn Chapel (paying visitors only)]|
|[Steps descend from the castle to the footbridge to return to the car park]|