Family days out near me: Roslin, Midlothian - Tales of medieval murder and mystery come to life at magical Rosslyn Chapel

When it comes to murder, mystery and medieval skullduggery, fact can be just as fascinating as fiction.If you’ve read the book and seen the film, why not visit the building made famous by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code?

By Julie Douglas
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 7:00 am

Description: A medieval building founded in the 15th century as a family chapel. It shot to worldwide prominence following the publication of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel in 2003. A sequence from the film it inspired, starring Tom Hanks, was filmed in the chapel in 2005.

Location: The chapel is located off the A701 in Roslin, Midlothian. Look out for the brown tourist signs as you approach the village. For satnav, the postcode is EH25 9PU.Lothian Buses’ service 37 to Penicuik/ Deanburn runs from the centre of Edinburgh to Roslin.

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Historic Rosslyn Chapel is just a short walk from the ruins of Rosslyn Castle and the picturesque Roslin Glen, an area of outstanding natural beauty, with ancient woodland and rich wildlife.

Suitable for: There’s something for family members of all ages. The site has its own free children’s guide full of activities and child-friendly facts about the chapel.

Entry costs: Adults, £9.50; concessions, £7.50; under-18s with family, free.Income from admissions helps to cover the running costs and supports the long-term conservation of the building.

Opening hours: Visits are based on different time slots throughout the day. From Monday to Saturday, the first slot begins at 9am and lasts for 90 minutes. The last lot starts at 3.40pm and finishes at 5.10pm. On Sundays, the first slot starts at 12noon and the last one starts at 3.20pm.

What they say: “Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 as a place of worship and services continue to be held here weekly."The beauty of its setting, in rural Midlothian, and the mysterious symbolism of its ornate stonework have inspired, attracted and intrigued writers, artists and visitors ever since.“By the late 18th-century, it was starting to appear on itineraries and its profile greatly increased after the publication of Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, in 2003, and the subsequent film.”

There’s a children’s trail and other activities to keep young visitors busy

What visitors say: “All aspects very positive - parking, access, the chapel itself with knowledgeable talk by guide. Wonderful lunch in cafe and well laid out visitor centre. The best visitor attraction I've been to in a long time.”“Having read about Rosslyn Chapel in a number of books (not just the Da Vinci Code) we were keen to visit whilst in the area and were amazed by the architecture. Believe what you will of the stories, but Rosslyn is a little gem of building.”“Forget the Dan Brown nonsense – the real story is even better. The recently restored chapel is spectacular.”

Look out for: Don’t miss the Apprentice Pillar. Legend has it that the apprentice who carved the breathtaking pillar was killed by the chapel’s master mason in a fit of jealous rage.

Parking: There’s a large free car park.

Facilities: The visitor centre has a gift shop, toilets and coffee shop serves a selection of hot and cold snacks and drinks.