Midlothian is a lovely rural area situated less than 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) in the south of Edinburgh’s downtown. It’s easier to reach than before as the Borders Railway voyages through stunning countryside. This railway is connecting Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders. If you like to stay outdoors, Midlothian offers a diverse array of historical buildings, hill, museum, and sizeable woodland spots to travel. Midlothian is exactly the place that you’d want to experience memorable family days out in, with lots of exciting activities to do in the area! Not only can you visit the attractive museum that is great for a family day out but you can also find an interactive zone for children. When you’re in this fantastic part of Scotland, we suggest you check out the best things to do in Midlothian, the UK below.
1. Go back to medieval times at the impressive Rosslyn Chapel
Medieval times await you at the impressive Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian. You can see the mystic animal sculptures or try wearing clothes like people from the 15th century. In this late-Gothic chapel, are ornate pillars including the Apprentice Pillar which is a standout. You will get to know better about the history of the building in the state-of-the-art center. Then, take a stroll within the glamorous Rosslyn Glen, listen to the birds’ sounds in the trees, and enjoy the beauty of the river as you walk along the glen’s calm woodland trail.
Address: Chapel Loan, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9PU
Website: Rosslyn Chapel
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 4:45pm
Price: 9 GBP (11.7 USD)
2. Embrace the antiquated ambiance of Crichton Castle
Crichton is a small, beautiful village. The city is full of remains of forts, assumed to be a Roman basecamp. However, Crichton’s highlights of the past are Crichton Castle and Cakemuir Castle, figuring the significant feature in the landscape. Located on the south of Pathhead Midlothian, this 14th-century castle can be a place where your fairytale fantasies can become reality. It’s located beside an old antique church built in 1449. This church has a fantastic courtyard setting for concerts and weddings as well.
Address: Crichton, Pathhead EH37 5XA, United Kingdom
Website: Crichton Castle
Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily, closed on 1 Oct to 31 Mar)
Price: 6 GBP (8 USD)
3. Stroll along the romantic grounds of Arniston House
Arniston House is a luxurious William Adam style mansion house located in the lovely parkland around 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) from Edinburgh. It has been home to the Dundas family for more than 400 years. Visitors can visit this home and have a tour to see the impressively tranquil and romantic setting grounds. If you have any event, whether a private gathering, corporate affair, or a wedding you want to hold, Arniston House would love to welcome you.
Address: Arniston House, Gorebridge, Midlothian, EH23 4RY
Website: Arniston House
Opening hours: House: 2pm - 5pm (daily) Grounds: 12pm - 5pm (daily)
Price: 7 GBP (9 USD); Grounds are free of charge
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Visit the historic Newbattle Abbey
Spanning 125 acres (50.5 hectares) of splendid parkland near Edinburgh city center, Newbattle Abbey was initially an ancient Cistercian monastery. It has over nine centuries’ history of greeting royal guests at its doors. Today, the old building is an ideal place for a private event, conferences, meetings, and weddings. Its main building has been modified, displaying the best Scottish interior design. Located near the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh, Newbattle Abbey is now also the location of Scotland’s college for adult education.
Address: Newbattle Road Dalkeith, EH22 3LL
Website: Newbattle Abbey
Opening hours: Tue tour: 7:30pm onwards; Accommodations: From 40 - 65 GBP (52 - 85 USD)
Price: 5 GBP (7 USD)
5. Take a walk around Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park is a perfect area for a family day out where visitors can enjoy the best activities nature has to offer. You can try footgolf, unwind in the treehouse or Roslin Glen’s wildflower meadow, and explore the Sky Maze at Fort Douglas, an adventure playground in which kids love adventuring. Visitors can take a stroll within the semi-natural woodland at the park as well. Don’t forget to visit Robert Adam’s Montagu Bridge, where diverse animals such as foxes, deer, birds, and insects can be spotted. There is also Restauration Yard Cafe and store wherein you can dine and shop for gifts to take home.
Dalkeith Country Park
Address: Via King’s Gate, Dalkeith EH22 1ST
Website: Dalkeith Country Park
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
Price: 2 - 3 GBP (3 - 4 USD)
6. Check out Dalkeith Town Center Heritage Trail
Located on the River Esk, Dalkeith Town Center Heritage Trail spans four distinct areas in the town, such as Dalkeith proper with its historic city center, and Eskbank – a district with several large Victorian and modern houses. To its east, there is Woodburn, a working-class council estate. Meanwhile, at the south of Eskbank is Newbattle with its abbey.
Dalkeith Town Center Heritage Trail
Address: 61 St Andrew Street, Dalkeith, EH22 1BP
Website: Dalkeith Town Center Heritage Trail
7. Spend a day amid nature at Roslin Glen Country Park
Roslin Glen Country Park was formerly home to Scotland’s biggest gunpowder mill. It is now an outstanding area to explore the area’s wildlife. Visitors can enjoy wildflower meadows, woodlands and picnic locations. There are also connecting paths to Roslin Village, Springfield Mill, Castle and Chapel, and many more. The Friends of Roslin Glen work together with the Ranger Service to maintain and enhance the park.
Roslin Glen Country Park
Address: 78 Crusader Dr, Roslin EH25 9PY
Website: Roslin Glen Country Park
Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 8am - 8pm; Fri: 12am - 8pm
8. Discover the classic Dalkeith Palace
Located just 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Edinburgh’s city center at the amazing Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith Palace is definitely worth a visit. Built in 1702, this palace copied the classical style of William’s Orange palace in the Netherlands. Dalkeith was then modernized with the bridge by Robert Adam. Do note that it’s not possible to see the interior. All visits to the Dalkeith Palace will be conducted just outside the area. Today, visitors can instead see the first collection of Dalkeith Palace displayed at Bowhill House.
Address: Dalkeith, Scotland
Website: Dalkeith Palace
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
9. Marvel at the rolling hills at Pentland Hills Regional Park
Home to various birds and mammals in its lake, Pentland Hills Regional Park has many midsize rolling hills extending from Edinburgh expressway down to Carlops. Archaeological remains can be found at the top of the hills, especially at RCHAMS Castle Law Hill Fort and Souterrain, monitored by the Regional Park.
Pentland Hills Regional Park
Address: Pentland Hills Regional Park H.Q, Hermitage of Braid, 69a Braid Road, Edinburgh, EH10 6JF
Website: Pentland Hills Regional Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Price: None but donations accepted
Make unforgettable moments with family in Midlothian
What is a better way to catch a memorable moment with family in Midlothian than capturing images with the area’s beautiful backdrop behind you? With so many beautiful sceneries Midlothian has to offer and rich history to discover, it’s not easy to choose where to begin. No matter your style and option, you’ll have proper time and unique things to do in Midlothian, the UK. We suggest you use these places listed here to help you decide.
Get Trip101 in your inbox