Discover adventure, history and more in Midlothian
The area is full of fantastic attractions to keep everyone entertained, whether you’re looking for thrills, stunning scenery or intriguing historical sites, as well as some of the best restaurants around.
There’s so much to choose from that we’ve created a few special routes to get you started:
Head to Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1446, to discover the secrets of one of Scotland’s most famous buildings. Almost every stone surface inside and out reveals a unique sculpture: see the angels, the green men and the famous pillar of apprentices. Then, refuel at Dolly’s Tea Room in Roslin, famous for its fabulous supershake – don’t miss their signature Rocky Road if you’re a fan.
Spend a great day at Dalhousie Falconry in the grounds of the Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Spa, where you can book an incredible falconry experience to handle owls, buzzards, hawks, hawks and eagles, or try your hand at archery. ‘bow. Treat yourself to lunch at the Paper Mill in Lasswade, which serves everything from home-baked cakes to Sunday brunch with the newspapers, or head inside the 700-year-old castle itself where the menu of the ‘Orangerie offers a modern mix of Scottish and European cuisine with plenty of family favorites to keep everyone happy.
Test your strength with a session at Eden Rock, Scotland’s largest indoor bouldering wall, which offers a huge range of climbing facilities for all ages and abilities, then head for pizza at Stewart Brewing. The freshly made pizzas get rave reviews, as does the beer – and there are even board games to keep the kids entertained!
Mixing landscapes and history
Combine a lovely walk in one of Midlothian’s breathtaking country parks – such as Vogrie, with its 11.5 miles of marked country paths through woodland and the bustling Tree Top Cafe, or the 1,000 acres of Dalkeith Country Park – or in the finest designed landscapes at Penicuik House with a visit to the National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange or Rosslyn Chapel.
Whether it’s the fresh air and freedom you crave after a long winter, or the opportunity to share a great meal with friends and family, Midlothian has it all. Find even more inspiration for fun family days at www.locateinmidlothian.co.uk/family-days – here’s a preview of what’s on offer:
Discover the history – and mystery – of Rosslyn Chapel on your tour, from its 15th-century origins to The Da Vinci Code; a new children’s guide will also help ignite little imaginations.
And the National Mining Museum Scotland is a truly unique gem with a collection that includes over 60,000 items including tools, safety equipment, lamps, models, clothing, trophies, geological specimens and much more. . There is a program of excellent events throughout the year, from family fun days to storytelling.
There are amazing all-weather adventures in Midlothian, from trampolining at Dalkeith’s Ryze to climbing at Eden Rock. Spend an unmissable day at Midlothian Snowsports Center with its artificial ski slope and the chance to try tubing, or play at the Melville Golf Center in Lasswade.
Watersports enthusiasts will love the stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkelling offered by Driftwood Watersports or you can Go Ape at the new treetop adventure park at Dalkeith Country Park, where you’ll also find the Fort Douglas Adventure Park: This is the ideal place for intrepid children to let off steam. Make a day of it exploring the treasure trove that is Restoration Yard and lunch at the spacious and airy Kitchen restaurant, before strolling through the ancient oak forest.
For a day out like no other, Dalhousie Falconry offers a range of raptor experiences where you can get up close and personal with some sensational birds of prey.
Or animal lovers won’t want to miss the chance to visit Peggyslea Clydesdales, a family business near Penicuik focused on these gentle equine giants. Enjoy a relaxing carriage ride through the park with these magnificent animals; you can even make it a weekend with a night at the farm’s luxurious five-star B&B.
Make the most of Midlothian’s big skies and see nature come alive this spring, just minutes from Edinburgh. There are a number of routes ranging from riverside walks to walks in the woods, with the chance to admire the many waterfalls and reservoirs along the way.
Best spots include the Pentland Hills, ideal for spotting grouse, roe deer, otters, badgers, peewits and larks, and Dalkeith and Vogrie Nature Parks. Add Roslin Glen, Lord Ancrum’s Wood and Penicuik House, to name a few, to your must-try list.
There are great places to eat in Midlothian where all tastes are catered for: discover the Secret Herb Garden Café & Bistro nestled in seven acres of pristine farmland at the foot of the Pentland Hills, as well as The Paper Mill overlooking the beautiful River Esk which serves everything from salads to mouth-watering steaks. Afternoon teas at Dalhousie Castle are not to be missed, and check out Stewart Brewing and Restoration Yard for other fantastic local independent options.
Or how about the Dolcetti Café for food lovers, the Beetroot Bar and Grill (with a children’s menu), the Laird and Dog Grill, the Beacon Café for the beautiful products of local bakers, or even the changing menus of the Secret Garden.