Nestled in the Scottish Lowlands, Midlothian is known for its dramatic landscapes and splendid historical attractions. Once the historic county of Edinburgh, this location continues to celebrate its strong influence on Scotland's history, with its distinctive stone-built properties making a nod to the past.

This area guide will take you through the ins and outs of this charming county, exploring the balance of rustic beauty and urban convenience found in towns like Bonnyrigg and Penicuik. We will also guide you through useful information including schooling, transport, and property prices.

History of Midlothian

Midlothian's rich past traces back to ancient times, once home to Roman settlements. Its strategic location made it a battleground between Scotland and England during the Middle Ages. The mining of coal became a linchpin of Midlothian’s economy in the 1800s, carving pathways in the region's landscape and culture. During the 20th century, the decline of coal mining stirred a shift towards the service industry, shaping Midlothian into the thriving hub it is today.


Stone monuments, castles, and museums add to Midlothian's allure. Rosslyn Chapel sits high on the list, famous for its elaborate carvings and connections to the best-seller The Da Vinci Code. Dalkeith Palace, with its lush grounds and impressive architecture, reveals the grandeur of the past, while a journey into the National Mining Museum Scotland provides a deep dive into the area's mining heritage.

Landmarks we love

  • Midlothian Snowsports Centre (Biggar): Known as Hillend, it is the largest artificial ski slope in the UK and provides exhilarating fun for all skill levels.
  • Newbattle Abbey College (Dalkeith): An adult learning college with stunning architecture and surrounding gardens that stir the imagination.
  • Rosslyn Castle (Roslin): Filled with scars of history, the castle ruin stands majestically amidst lush woodlands.
  • Butterfly World (Lasswade): A paradise for butterfly enthusiasts, offering lush indoor tropical gardens.
  • Crichton Castle (Pathhead): A 14th-century fortress, showcasing unique diamond-faceted stonework and stunning views.

Top 10 things to do in Midlothian

  • Unload some adrenaline at Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World and get close to some amazing creatures.
  • Catch nature’s exhibit at Vogrie Country Park, with its beautiful woodlands and mini-railway.
  • Experience horse riding at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena: Ratho.
  • Explore the extensive woodland trails at Pentland Hills Regional Park.
  • Navigate your way through the 250 acres of parkland on a Segway at Dalkeith Country Park.
  • Discover the beauty of industrial history at the National Mining Museum Scotland.
  • Spend a day High-Stand Shooting School to learn clay pigeon shooting.
  • Tap into spirituality while appreciating art at Rosslyn Chapel.
  • Experience a white-knuckle thrill ride on the slopes of Midlothian Snowsports Centre.
  • Visit the heritage-rich Dalkeith Palace and wrap up with a riverside walk.

Our recommended areas to live in Midlothian

  • Bonnyrigg: A thriving community, packed with modern amenities and a range of housing options.
  • Penicuik: Known for its excellent schools and open green spaces, it's perfect for families.
  • Dalkeith: Offers a blend of urban conveniences and scenic beauty, along with a variety of property options.
  • Roslin: Perfect for those who prefer tranquillity, boasting a rich history and stunning views.
  • Gorebridge: An affordable option, offering great transportation links to Edinburgh and an assortment of property types.

Best schools in Midlothian

Midlothian provides excellent educational opportunities with a range of good schools to choose from. The region offers several well-regarded primary schools including Rosewell Primary School and Bonnyrigg Primary School. For secondary education, schools such as Dalkeith High School, St David's Roman Catholic High School and Beeslack Community High School consistently receive favorable feedback. Beeslack Community High School also offers an impressive selection of vocational subjects. For higher education, the University of Edinburgh's Midlothian campus is known for its world-class research facilities.

Transport links in Midlothian

Midlothian boasts excellent transport links, making it extremely accessible both domestically and internationally. The A720 city bypass provides a smooth drive to central Edinburgh, while the A7 and A68 offer routes to the Border regions. Regular bus services run across the entire county, connecting all major towns. The Borders railway links Midlothian with Edinburgh and Tweedbank, and Edinburgh Airport is easily reachable, offering national and international flights.

Midlothian, with its rich blend of history and modernity, open spaces, and urban conveniences, is a location you would love to call home. Its beautiful landscapes, coupled with an array of attractions, keeps life interesting, whilst the excellent schools and diverse housing options make it a suitable place for families. With efficient transport links connecting it to its surroundings, it offers an ideal base to explore the wider Scotland.

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