We may be half-way through January already but I hope there's still time to wish you a Happy New Year, writes Ian Gardner (Midlothian Tourism Forum).
If, by now, you are struggling to keep well intentioned New Year resolutions, then Midlothian Tourism Forum members might just be able to help!
For readers, who included being more active on their list of resolutions, there are great walking opportunities across the county including at Dalkeith Country Park, Penicuik Estate, Vogrie Country Park and Roslin Glen Country Park, often with the opportunity to spot some winter wildlife as you go.
Midlothian is also a great place for cycling. Right on Edinburgh’s doorstep, yet out in the fresh air, you can enjoy our heritage, history and scenery on quiet, safe and mostly traffic-free cycle paths. Built on former railway lines, they have good surfaces, gentle gradients and great views of the Pentland Hills, the River North Esk and the Moorfoot Hills. A good route to try is the North Esk Cycle Loop, a 15-mile circular trail for experienced adult cyclists and including Rosslyn Chapel, the giant Bilston Glen viaduct and Eskbank station.
If you resolved to take up a new sport, the Midlothian Snowsports Centre, at Hillend, offers lessons in skiing and snowboarding for all ages – and, if your time is limited, they are offering the opportunity to learn to ski in a day on January 29! The forum's website, www.visitmidlothian.org.uk, also has details of local golf courses, swimming pools, many with a range of swimming lessons available, and leisure centres to enjoy, if those appeal more.
Another popular resolution is to eat more healthily, so if you are out and about in the area, look out for cafes and restaurants displaying VisitScotland’s ‘Taste our Best’ award, as a sign of quality, local produce on offer.
The Midlothian Tourism Forum's website has lots of ideas of places to visit and things to do across Midlothian, so keep an eye on www.visitmidlothian.org.uk or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for new ideas. You won't have to travel far to enjoy a happier and healthier year in Midlothian!