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This mining and market town 13km (8mi) from Edinburgh was born in the Middle Ages as a baronial burgh. A tempestuous history, some grand architecture, delightful countryside and exciting activities make it a fascinating and energising place to visit. Here are some of the top things to do in Dalkeith, Scotland.
You’ll find the trendy Restoration Yard within the grounds of Dalkeith Country Park. Here, you can shop, eat and restore. An airy, contemporary wellbeing lab and sanctuary provide the perfect settings for rejuvenating yoga sessions, including sunrise, outdoor, healing, energising or evening reset classes. Pilates, mindfulness and baby-sensory classes are also available, along with one-off wellness workshops.
Ryze, on Mayfield Industrial Estate just out of the main town, offers nearly 3,716sqm (40,000sqft) of equipment. It’s so much more than just trampolines, though – the interconnected areas include foam pits, dodgeball, trapezes, hanging bags, obstacles, inflatables and a climbing wall. You can also book aerobic classes and parkour workshops in-house. Keeping fit has never been so fun, and it’s certainly not just for kids.
The town’s gruesome history of witches and war provides rich material for this spooky tour. Beginning at the Duke’s Gates, you’ll be guided along High Street to the Corn Exchange, the Tolbooth, and High School Close, and then into the churchyard of St Nicholas, before heading along Sale Brae to the Watch Tower and on to the Dalkeith Museum. The night ends with more terrible tales and a glass of wine as you explore the exhibits.
Dalkeith’s Dobbies Garden Centre is somewhat of a tardis. Not only does it sell a wide range of household and outdoor equipment, but it’s also home to a large and superb local farm shop selling oodles of organic Midlothian fare. There are often plentiful all-Scottish tasters, with the selection of flavoured vinegar and oils especially popular. Look out for the bargain counter if you’re on a budget and hunting for a great deal.