The Rosslyn Chapel Way

Part of Routes and photos


An easy, short, off the beaten track route which starts at the top of Leith Walk in the centre of Edinburgh with a short climb up Arthur’s Seat for a magnificent view of Holyrood Palace, the Scottish parliament, and Edinburgh Castle and then over the Firth of Forth to Fife and a horizon of extinct volcanoes. The Way then progresses mainly along surfaced former railway tracks quiet roads and forest paths to the famous Rosslyn Chapel, near Roslin south of Edinburgh. Treats along the way include Craigmillar Castle which once provided shelter for Mary, Queen of Scots, the magical Ellen’s Glen and the site of “Scotland’s Forgotten Battle” of Roslin in 1303.Then you have the choice back into Edinburgh of an easy bus journey or taking the westerly 26 km ROSLIN VILLAGE TO EDINBURGH through the Pentland Hills and along canal paths.

Pubs and shops along way.

If you are staying in Edinburgh consider a “round trip”, going to Rosslyn by this the Rosslyn Chapel Route (16.6 kms) and returning to Edinburgh by St Wilfrid’s Way (23 kms) . See St Wilfrid’s Way-Rosslyn Chapel to Edinburgh.

Many thanks to volunteer researcher, Matjaz Vidmar, who  researched this route.

Michael T.R.B. Turnbull, PhD (Edin.) The BBC broadcaster and author of Rosslyn Chapel Revealed has a 1 hour powerpoint presentation on Rosslyn Chapel. This is available free to groups. Please contact:

Distance: 16.6 km

Inclination: Partly hilly – partly flat

Full easy-to-follow route description below.

Edinburgh to Rosslyn Chapel

Please ensure that you read and understand the following section on Risks, Rights and Duties before setting off on this route.


Start Point.

Saint Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral (at the top of Leith Walk ) NT 259743

Cross over to Film Centre on south side of the roundabout and proceed past black netal giraffes 200 m down Leith Walk past Playhouse and pubs to roundabout . Turn right onto London Road and continue 800 m  to junction with Easter Road with lights. Turn right uphill along Easter Road for 100m  to junction with Montrose Terrace. Cross over onto Abbeymount and continue down hill along winding road, under railbridge, with Holyrood House on your left to roundabout in front of Scottish Parliament (400m) . Continue along Horses Wynd road with Holyrood Palace railings to your left until roundabout (300m). Turn left along Queens Drive and go 100 m to entrance to Car Park.(NT270 737)

Cross road heading south towards Arthur’s seat to narrow tarmac track winding to left. Proceed 300 m where track turns north with swampy area, Hunters bog to left. Proceed towards Arthur’s seat, along path for 500 m, then turn right over saddle and head down hill. Cross road after 200 m, continue downhill another 200 m to another road.

Turn left and continue about 100 m until junction with slip road at NT272724. Sign reads No Unauthorised Vehicles. Turn right down slip road and continue along tarmac track (winding to the left leaving drive entrance to house on right) for 700 m where track joins BIKE ROUTE 1 (and exit from Innocent Railway Tunnel. Note 1)

Continue along track (with Duddingston Loch on left) for 900 m to junction with Duddingston Road West. Cross road and turning  right, continue along pavement for 500 m to junction with Niddrie Mains Road (several shops).

Cross over Niddrie Mains Road and continue along Craigmillar Castle Road (Extension of Duddingston Road West) for 300m through built-up area to crossroads at NT288713, then cross over and enter through gateway to Craigmillar Park with information board. Proceed south along track for      100 m, then fork right onto grassy track at NT289711 uphill towards Craigmillar Castle (Note 2). After 300 m arrive at a wall.  Path continues through woodland (with castle on left) for 200 m. Then arrive out into open country and travel down a bumpy track 400 m to meet the main road, Old Dalkeith Road.(NT 286 704)

Turn right on Old Dalkeith road and proceed 200 m to a crossing, then turn left onto Kingston Avenue. After 300 m  arrive at Liberton Golf Club with gateway on the left. Go through the gateway and follow the road round and down 600 m (passing the fine sand stone clubhouse on your right and the golf car park on the left) to the gateway on Gilmerton Road (Shops etc) NT 281699.

Turn left on Gilmerton Road for 400 m, then cross road and go through ornate metal entrance archway announcing Burdiehouse Valley. Information board on Moredun Wood within. Continue down track with stream on left for 300 m to sandstone signpost . Turn right and pass through gap in stone wall (NT
282693). Turn left uphill along narrow lane (two black bollards)  for 150m  to arrive at metal gates and housing (signposted Guardswell Glen) NT 285690. Turn right and proceed to 50 m into park between red brick pillars and metal obstacles. Continue downhill along track forking left to arrive at wooden footbridge after 200 m. Leave footbridge and stream on right and continue along track, passing sandstone acanthus leaf sculpture on left for 200m to roadbridge (carrying Gilmerton Dykes Street) Continue under road bridge for 50 m to crossroads (sandstone sculpture on left, footbridge on right leading uphill).  Continue another 200 m and then veer left uphill to join Lasswade Road.(NT 284681)

On Lasswade Road turn left and proceed for 700m through built-up areas until open farmland and roundabout at NT 287677. Take the first left, straight on and down hill 600 m to a small junction and roundabout. Cross road and ascend 25 m onto the old railway track running North East and South West.

Turn right, going south- west along tarmac surface of old railway track. After 800 m pass under motorway bridge. Then travel another 700 m and pass under another road bridge, then 800 m to the centre of Loanhead (shops, pubs etc)

Travel along signposted track to Roslin another 2600 m until track merges onto quiet road at NT 274635, then proceed 400 m to the crossroads and centre of Roslin (pubs, hotels, and war memorial) turn left at crossroads and proceed 150 m to Rosslyn Chapel.


Most of the restrictions for the prevention of the spread of Covid have now been lifted in Scotland and normal pilgrimage activity is now possible. However, when you are planning your pilgrimage, please consult the latest government guidelines and be aware that these can change at short notice.
Most of the restrictions for the prevention of the spread of Covid have now been lifted in Scotland and normal pilgrimage activity is now possible.