There’s a site called Letterboxd where you can track every film you watch. At the end of every year, it spits out stats such as how many films you watched, how many hours and who your most-watched actor is. Every single year without fail my most-watched actor is Tom Hanks. Why? Because I rewatch The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels and Demons (2009) approx 567 times per year. So you can imagine how unbelievably excited I was to finally visit Rosslyn Chapel just outside of Edinburgh.
Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446. And although it’s always attracted visitors because it’s an adorably petite and genuinely interesting church (not to mention hundreds of years old and in great condition), it’s notoriety with The Da Vinci Code book (released in 2003) and the film (released in 2006) are what really attract visitors.
I’ve never read the book tbh. I’m purely interested in the chapel for its use as a filming location in The Da Vinci Code. But it’s still a beautiful little chapel in its own right and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon outside of Edinburgh.
Here’s all the information I think you need to know to visit Rosslyn Chapel!
How to visit Rosslyn Chapel from The Da Vinci Code (2006)
How to get to Rosslyn Chapel from Edinburgh
Travelling by Bus
I travelled to the chapel by bus and I think it’s definitely the easiest and most convenient way to do so. For a straight forward and faff-free journey, catch the Lothian bus service number 37. The bus will have Penicuik/Deanburn on its front screen as the final stop. There are a few bus stops around Edinburgh you can catch this bus from, but the most central is on North Bridge. And you’re likely to have other people catching the same bus there too if you want some reassurance.
Now, as I’m writing this in 2019, the bus fare is £1.70 for every single journey and you will need to carry the exact change. You simply board the bus, drop the change into the slot, and get your ticket. No need to even talk to the bus driver! This service runs every 30 minutes and the journey takes about 45 minutes.
I normally check Google Maps to see when the buses are scheduled and I follow along the GPS to know which stop to get off at. If you don’t like to use Google Maps, I recommend asking the bus driver to let you off at the stop closest to Rosslyn Chapel and sitting as close to the bus driver as possible on the bottom deck of the bus.
Then, it’s a super short walk down to the chapel. I’m talking 5 minutes, tops. And there’ll be a sign for the chapel close to the bus stop in Roslin which is the village you’ll depart the bus at.
Travelling by Car
I don’t have a car, but I assume by now most people have a GPS/Sat Nav system. Use the postcode EH25 9PU to reach the Chapel and there is free parking! And the car park is right next to the chapel so it’s as simple as that. Get there as early in the day as possible to ensure there are car park spaces for you.
So, what’s the big deal about Rosslyn Chapel?
Okay, so I’ve already said that the chapel is famous for being in The Da Vinci Code book by Dan Brown and a film location for The Da Vinci Code (2006) directed by Ron Howard. It is a gorgeous chapel in its own right, but I think it would be a bit naive to not assume probably 90% of the visitors only know about the chapel because of the film.
But the reasons why it was featured in the book and again in the film will interest keen fans (like me)! Firstly, the chapel was founded by a man named William Sinclair. For fans of the book/film, his surname will pique your interest.
The chapel also has connections to the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. Obviously, they’re pretty speculative connections but it’s still interesting, and the connections clearly interested Dan Brown enough to include the chapel in his book. The chapel apparently has many Knights Templar symbols. And Wiliam Sinclair and many of his ancestors have also held the title of Grand Master of the Scottish stonemasons or Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Conspiracies and theories like this are supposed to be taken with a pinch of salt… But that’s not as much fun as believing the chapel had something to do with the Knights Templar, am I right?
Visitor Information and Ticket Prices
The chapel is 100% worth a visit if you are a fan of the book or film! As I hope you can tell from my photographs, it’s a beautiful chapel (on remarkably small grounds) and is a great place to spend a couple of hours away (around 1-3 hours maximum) from Edinburgh city centre. The chapel’s visitors centre has all the facilities you’ll need like a café, gift shop, toilets, etc.
Rosslyn Chapel is usually open between 9:30-17:00 Monday-Saturday (and until 18:00 in summer). On Sundays, the chapel is open from 12:00-16:45 and last entry is half an hour before closing. For more up to date opening times, check the chapel’s website.
Tickets are £9 for adults, £7 for concessions and you can change your ticket to an annual ticket for no extra fee. For more up to date ticket prices, check the chapel’s website.
The chapel also holds talks inside 3-6 times a day about the history of the chapel and the Sinclair family. The stories about the chapel are really interesting and it’s definitely worth researching the times of the talks before you go.
Photographing the chapel
I decided to leave the chapel talks early so I had the opportunity to take photographs of the chapel’s exterior without people. Best decision ever! So please don’t think that the chapel is really quiet, it isn’t. It’s a tiny and really popular tourist attraction so there will always be loads of people wandering around. And sometimes coaches turn up and all of a sudden 50 extra people are in a teeny tiny chapel!
So while it’s quite straight forward to get good photographs outside the chapel, photography inside the chapel is strictly forbidden. You’ll understand when you visit the chapel: it’s just too damn small! People would be falling over each other trying to take pictures and you just can’t have people standing in one spot for too long here.
It’s unfortunate of course for me as I like to take photographs for my blog to show you what the chapel is like, but I do understand. You’ll just have to take my word for it that Rosslyn chapel looks exactly as it did in The Da Vinci Code because they filmed the vast majority of the interior scenes in the chapel itself. It’s a fantastic filming location to visit and I feel really lucky it’s ticked off my movie locations bucket list!
That’s my guide on how to visit Rosslyn Chapel, a filming location for The Da Vinci Code! Have you watched the film or visited the Chapel? Let me know in the comments below!