Enjoy Midlothian even in midwinter!

Reptile handling at the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World at Dobbies Lasswade
Reptile handling at the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World at Dobbies Lasswade

There was a time when tourism across Scotland more or less closed down each year at the end of October. If you think that still applies in Midlothian, think again! writes Ian Gardner, Midlothian Tourism Forum.

Many of our local attractions, including Rosslyn Chapel, the National Mining Museum, Butterfly and Insect World and Ryze, stay open throughout the year, and of course our wonderful outdoor areas, such as Vogrie Country Park, Roslin Glen Country Park and Dalkeith Country Park offer different experiences as the seasons change. If you are looking for somewhere local to eat out, there are lots of local restaurants and coffee shops to choose from and, if you want to combine somewhere to visit and going out for a drink, a trip to Stewart Brewing could provide the perfect solution!

The coming weeks will be a busy time for events across Midlothian. The National Mining Museum will host three events as part of Book Week Scotland (November 21-27), with the chance to hear from David Wyllie speaking about his book 'Earthmovers in Scotland', Denise Bates telling the inspiring tales of Scotland's women miners and Dorothy Alexander talking about her debut novel 'The Mauricewood Devils'. Each talk starts at 7.30pm and refreshments will be provided; admission is free. If you would prefer music, there will be a candlelit concert of 17th century Scottish and French music, with voice, lute and Baroque fiddle, at Rosslyn Chapel on November 24.

With Christmas now firmly on the horizon, you can take the chance to enjoy 'Christmas at Newbattle Abbey College' on November 26, with 40 stalls offering a huge variety of gift ideas, festive music, children's activities and mulled wine. On December 2, Penicuik's Christmas lights will be switched on, and this year there will be Christmas trees, Santa's grotto, gifts – and a seasonal menu – at Dalkeith Country Park's Restoration Yard.

Keep up-to-date by visiting www.visitmidlothian.org.uk or follow us on twitter or Facebook. It's a great time to visit what’s on offer across Midlothian!