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Dalkeith

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Dalkeith is a town in Midlothian in the Central Belt of Scotland, which grew up near its 12th C castle (replaced by the 18th C Dalkeith Palace). It's nowadays a commuter town for Edinburgh, which is six miles northwest. This was a coal mining area in the 19th C and a couple of miles south in Newtongrange is Scotland's National Mining Museum.

Get in

From the airport, follow ring-road A720 to congested Sheriffhall roundabout then A6106 for the last mile into Dalkeith. You can also take Skylink Bus 400 to Fort Kinnaird on the southern edge of the city, then change to the buses below.

From Edinburgh, use Lothian Bus 3 (& night bus N3), 29, X29, 33 or X33. These start from various points in the western or northern burbs, then run via central Edinburgh, southside and Fort Kinnaird / Royal Infirmary to Dalkeith. From here they continue to Newtongrange, Gorebridge or Mayfield.

Dalkeith used to stand astride the A68 Edinburgh - Jedburgh - Northumberland road, and just east of the A7 Edinburgh - Galashiels - Hawick - Carlisle road. Both roads now bypass town but some buses still call at Dalkeith. The most useful of these is the 51 / 52 from MelroseJedburgh and Kelso. Borders Bus X95 stops at Eskbank en route between EdinburghGalashielsSelkirkHawick and Carlisle. Long distance coaches (eg from Newcastle and London) don't call here.

East Coast Bus 140 runs from Musselburgh (with buses to North BerwickHaddington and Dunbar) to Dalkeith and onward to Roslin (for Rosslyn Chapel) and Penicuik.

By rail: Eskbank station is a mile or so southwest of Dalkeith, less convenient than the bus for Edinburgh, but a good option for Galashiels and Tweedbank (for Abbotsford House and Melrose Abbey).

Get around

Dalkeith is small enough to walk around. For the Mining Museum at Newtongrange, take any of the buses running south from Edinburgh to Gorebridge. For Rosslyn Chapel at Roslin, take Bus 140 west towards Penicuik.

See

  • 1 Dalkeith Palace, Kings Gate Dalkeith EH22 1ST. The palace is an imposing 1702 sandstone mansion which you can admire from outside but can't visit within. It's owned by the Dukes of Buccleuch but leased long-term to the University of Wisconsin as a study centre. You can visit the surrounding country park free daily 07:00-19:00, but "Fort Douglas" is an adventure park which, ominously, is demand-priced, and costs more for children than for adults.
  • 2 Dalkeith Corn Exchange, 200 High St, ☏ +44 131 561 6463. built 1853
  • 3 National Mining Museum (Lady Victoria Colliery), Newtongrange EH22 4QN (On A7 two miles south of Dalkeith: buses & trains from Edinburgh). Daily Apr-Oct 10:00-17:00, Nov-Mar 10:00-16:00. Museum set in a colliery, active 1891-1981. An ex-miner takes you down the pit to the coal-face. Adult £9.
  • Butterfly World has these and other bugs and creepy-crawlies: watch the hungry pythons getting acquainted with the mice. It's at Dobbie's Garden Centre, Lasswade EH18 1AZ just south of Sheriffhall A720 / A7 interchange, two miles west of Dalkeith; buses 3 & 29 stop here. It's open daily 10:00-17:00, adults £8.
  • Roslin five miles southwest of Dalkeith has Rosslyn Chapel, with remarkable carvings including the "Apprentice Pillar".

Do

  • Dalkeith Agricultural Show is held here in mid-July in the Country Park. The next event is Sat 13 July 2019.
  • Midstock Music Festival in late August was cancelled in 2019 but expected to return in 2020.

Buy

Eat

Drink

  • Glenkinchie Distillery is out in the countryside near Pencaitland, heading east to Haddington - see listing there.

Sleep

  • 1 Melville Castle, Gilmerton Rd, ☏ +44 131 654 0088.
  • 2 Premier Inn (Edinburgh A7 Dalkeith), Melville Dykes Road, ☏ +44 871 527 9290.

Connect

Go next

  • Edinburgh is an easy day trip by bus. Don't take a car into the city.
  • Most onward routes involve connecting via Edinburgh, but another day-trip is to take the train south from Eskbank to Tweedbank. This gets you (with a bit of hiking) to Abbotsford (mansion of Sir Walter Scott) and  Melrose  Abbey.



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