I bid Scotland farewell in April but there are still a few places I’m very keen on sharing with you, one of which is Roslin Glen Country Park.
Yes, I am talking about THE Roslin, home of Rosslyn Chapel which draws a constant stream of foreign visitors throughout the year thanks to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Yes, THE Roslin where Dolly the cloned sheep was brought to life.
Personally, I’d never felt the urge to read Brown’s book and so I’d never felt the urge to visit the chapel. Nor had I ever dreamt of visiting the birthplace of Dolly. Seeing her stuffed cadaver at the National Museum of Scotland was quite enough, thanks very much. So I bypassed those attractions.
One weekend, however, I found myself looking for parks in and around Edinburgh and stumbled across Roslin Glen Country Park, which happens to be next to the aforementioned chapel and just down the road from the Roslin Institute.
The park’s trails stretch north-east and south-west of Rosslyn Castle. It’s easy to forget you’re so close to a big city when you’re wandering along the narrow paths which wind along the steep, forested banks of the River North Esk. Wear sturdy footwear and keep a close eye on younger hikers because there are all to many loose stones and tree roots to trip on.
In fact, no matter your age, make sure you don’t get too distracted by the captivating views across the river to the cliffs and caves on the other side. The long route also takes you past the former Gunpowder Mill Gates, the carpet factory and further reminders of the region’s industrial past which can be admired close up.
We hopped on Lothian Bus number 15 to get to Roslin Main Street and walked to the park from there. The journey takes about 45 minutes from central Edinburgh. Of course, there is a car park in the glen for those with a vehicle of their own.
It’s certainly worth taking refreshments since you can lose track of time all too easily, only to suddenly realise you’re rather peckish and thirsty with no shops nearby.