Don’t miss 600 years of history at Rosslyn Chapel, a fantastic family day out – kids go free

From the glamour of the Da Vinci Code to brutal stories of history, wonderful architecture to fun and games for the kids, Rosslyn Chapel is a great day out

The architecture of the chapel has always fascinated visitors, throughout its 600-year history. But in recent times it has been a novel turned Hollywood blockbuster which has attracted huge numbers.

The Da Vinci Code featured the chapel and took its splendour across the world from the moment when the book was published 21 years ago, in 2003.

But there is far more to the building to explore, which has a rich and sometimes gory history.

The Apprentice Pillar is an amazing carving to admire in its own right but its story adds even more, helping adults and children to use their imagination to understand the fascinating complexities which make up Rosslyn Chapel.

The Apprentice PillarThe Apprentice Pillar
The Apprentice Pillar | Rosslyn

In a story told since at least 1677, the chapel’s Master stonemason was abroad, looking for inspiration from other ecclesiastical buildings. While he was gone a young apprentice created carvings on the pillar which his peers agreed were astounding.

The Master did not agree when he returned and flew into a rage, bludgeoning the young apprentice to death. He was hanged and the other stonemasons carved his face into a wall looking down on to the pillar so he would have to look at it for eternity.

Hear more about the Chapel and its legends from the expert Guides when you visit.

Families can take children for free

Children go free and will love using a guide, also free, which is packed with activities to get them exploring.

Highlights include:

– Counting the carvings from angels and animals – it’s a big number! Can you spot the musical angels?

– Get into the spirit with the dressing up zone – don’t forget your camera!

– Enjoying the ‘ropes and ladders’ (also available for sale in the visitor centre)

There is also plenty for teens who want their text books to come alive, or students who are ready for some great field study.


Great in any weather

The outside of the Chapel is just as stunning as the interior and looks out over beautiful rolling countryside. There is also a terrace overlooking Roslin Glen, where you can enjoy refreshments from the coffee shop.

If the weather is being a bit too Scottish the inside of the Chapel and visitor centre will keep you more than occupied.

Visiting any time

Located in Midlothian, it is easy to get to the chapel with public transport links from Edinburgh, and there is free parking. The visiting slots are split into 90-minute sections – and afterwards you can discover the grounds and visitor centre to make a day of it.

Children in a family group go free with a full-price adult ticket only £10.50 (reduced price £9) – with that ticket you can apply for an annual pass at no extra cost. This means you can visit anytime in 12 months and maybe introduce the fabulous visitor attraction to family and friends.

Rosslyn Chapel is run and managed by a charitable trust so your visit will help to look after this unique building for future generations.

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