Dalkeith is a town in Midlothian in the Central Belt of Scotland, which grew up near its 12th C castle (which was 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.
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 Melrose, Jedburgh and Kelso. Borders Bus X95 stops at Eskbank en route between Edinburgh, Galashiels, Selkirk, Hawick 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 Berwick, Haddington 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).
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.
- 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 (enter via St Andrew St), ☏ . Tu-F 10:00-16:00. Built 1853, this now houses a small museum.
- 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".
- Dalkeith Agricultural Show is held in mid-July in the Country Park. The next is expected to be Sat 11 July 2020 but tbc.
- Midstock Music Festival in late August was cancelled in 2019 but is expected to return in 2020.
- There's a Lidl on Newmills Rd, but people do their big shop at Fort Kinnaird, the huge retail park 5 miles north on the A1.
- Blacksmith's Forge is a JD Wetherspoon at 5 Newmills Rd, open daily 08:00-00:00.
- Itihaas is a good Bangladeshi restaurant at 17 Eskbank Rd, open M-Sat 12:00-14:00 & 17:00-23:00, Sun 12:30-23:00.
- Town pubs include Blacksmith's Forge, Black Bull, Coach & Horses, and Mayson's. Justinlees Inn is southwest at Eskbank crossroads.
- Glenkinchie Distillery is to the east in the countryside near Pencaitland, see Haddington.
- 1 Melville Castle, Gilmerton Rd EH18 1AP, ☏ . 18th C Gothic mansion a mile west of town, now an upscale hotel. B&B double £230.
- 2 Premier Inn (Edinburgh A7 Dalkeith), Melville Dykes Road EH18 1AN (jcn with A7), ☏ . Well-run budget chain hotel near city bypass. B&B double £50.
Good signal here.
- 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.
|Routes through Dalkeith|
|Central Edinburgh ← South Edinburgh ←||NW SE||→ Galashiels → Carlisle|