The River North Esk in Roslin Glen forms a deep, steep valley which provided ideal conditions for the largest Gunpowder Mills in Scotland, using the power of the water to drive the machinery. The mills operated for 150 years between 1804 and 1954: public access to the area was prohibited during this period but it is now a very interesting walk. It abounds with wildlife and has one of the larger rookeries in Midlothian.

Watch the Roslin Castle Video Watch the Roslin Chapel Video(extracts from ‘The North Esk River, From Source to Sea’)

Immediately downstream was a carpet factory established by Richard Whytock in 1868 and later operated by Henry, Widnell and Stewart until its closure in 1968. Although some of the remains of these industries can still be seen, the area is now Roslin Glen Country Park.

The name Roslin is derived from two Celtic words, Ross – a rocky promontory, and Linn – a waterfall. Towering over the river are Rosslyn Chapel and Castle, the castle dating from shortly after the Battle of Roslin in 1303 and the beautiful chapel being founded in 1446.


The Esk Valley Trust have produced a leaflet showing walking routes between Loanhead, Roslin and Auchendinny.

Walk the North Esk Way – Loanhead to Roslin

Walk the North Esk Way – Roslin to Auchendinny

Midlothian Council has produced a series of leaflets of maps and information on Walks in Midlothian.

Roslin to Penicuik Gunpowder and Paper Walking Path

Roslin Loanhead Bilston Circular Walking Path

Roslin Rosewell Circular Walking Path