Midlothian: The Best Things to Do

Crichton Castle


Midlothian, a historic county between East and West Lothian, is a region that manages to retain its traditional charm while embracing the excitement of modern Scotland.

Situated in the southeast of the country and bordered by the city of Edinburgh to the north and the Scottish Borders to the south, it’s a unique blend of rural landscapes and bustling towns that truly deserves to be included in any sightseeing tour.

The northern side of Midlothian is dominated by the Pentland Hills which provide a dramatic backdrop to the rolling fields that surround the rest of the county, while the River Esk, divided into North and South Esk, adds an idyllic touch to the scenery.

Pentland Hills Swanston

There are several towns and villages with their own unique characters including Dalkeith, the county town which is home to the majestic Dalkeith Palace, Penicuik which sits at the foot of the Pentlands, and Roslin, famous for the iconic Rosslyn Chapel (as seen in ‘The DaVinci Code’).

Midlothian’s wildlife is just as diverse as its landscape. The Pentland Hills Regional Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts who can enjoy watching a variety of birds from skylarks to meadow pipits and buzzards.

The park’s diverse habitats also support a range of animals including foxes, badgers, and roe deer, the rivers and reservoirs inside the park are home to a variety of fish species, and the forests and woodlands are teeming with plant life.

Tourism in Midlothian is thriving thanks to its myriad attractions. At the top of the list is the previously-mentioned Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th-century chapel with some of the finest stone carvings to be found anywhere in Scotland.

Rosslyn Chapel

The National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange provides an insight into the region’s coal mining heritage, while for nature lovers, Vogrie Country Park offers a wonderful assortment of woodland walks and picnic spots.

Dalkeith Country Park is another must-visit location, boasting beautiful walking trails that are suitable for all abilities, an adventure playground, and Restoration Yard which is a highly recommended retail and dining spot.

If you’re a fan of winter sports, the Midlothian Snowsports Centre on the slopes of the Pentland Hills is the perfect place to enjoy skiing, tubing, zorbing or snowboarding, and if you love woodland walks, the Gore Glen Woodland Park is a must-visit destination.

Find places to visit and things to do in Midlothian with these visitor guides.

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