The cache title makes a shamelessly populist connection to the Dan Brown novel “The Da Vinci Code” which draws on the long-standing links between Roslin Chapel and the Grail legend. Do visit the Chapel and marvel at the intricate stonework. It would be nice to think that this is really the home of whatever mystery lies at the heart of the Grail story.
Roslin Glen is a wonderful place even without connections to the Grail. It is a deep and winding cleft cut sharply into beds of sandstone by a river raging with melt-water after the end of the last glacial period. The same river spilled out further downstream and built up a pile of sands and gravel near Polton (see “On A Clear Day”).
Nowadays the relatively placid North Esk finds its way between dramatic sandstone cliffs with romantic ruins and turreted buildings along its length. It’s a place right out of Walter Scott. Birches and Scots Pine cling to the top of the cliffs underplanted with bluebells and wild garlic. Lower down there is a profusion of ferns. I have found plenty of evidence of otters in the river and deer, kingfisher, dipper and heron are all to be seen.
If you work upstream you will pass a number of climbing venues. First you’ll go above the Red Cliffs (climbers abseil down to the start of the climbs by looping ropes around the trees – sadly, rope damage is all too evident on some of the trees). And then on the true right bank, Wallace’s Cave Crag (the cave is where Sir Alexander Ramsay and 65 soldiers hid in 1338 during the Wars of Independence – heaven knows how they all packed in!). And on the true left bank, after a section of the path at water level, Jumbo’s Bum Cliff (which is named for its rather less than prepossessing looks). I have failed on almost every climb there is on this outcrop, including the appallingly titled “Jumbo’s Proctoscopy” which has one of the most psychologically challenging finger pocket holds ever. (I rest my case!)
If your soul does not stir to the mystery in the Glen and Roslin Chapel you may respond better to modern Roslin. The science institute at the head of the Glen is the home of cloning technology made real. This is where Dolly the Sheep was created. I know which aspect I prefer!
The co-ordinates are pretty tentative given the tree cover in the Glen. So the clue is quite detailed.