There was a time, actually until fairly recently, when tourism in Scotland all but stopped each year at the end of October.
Although seasonality is still an issue (or should that be an opportunity?), it’s fantastic to see just how much now goes on across the country, especially in the lead-up to Christmas. And, for the first time, it’s great news to welcome Midlothian’s Winter Festival.
The programme has been put together by Midlothian Tourism Forum and Midlothian Council and includes a variety of entertaining events and activities to suit all ages and interests. There are winter exhibitions and concerts and, to get you in the mood for Christmas, there are seasonal fairs, switching-on of lights, and markets including the very popular one at Penciuik on December 1. Midlothian provides the perfect backdrop for a winter festival, with the opportunity to visit some great venues, from Rosslyn Chapel, Newbattle Abbey and Vogrie House to picturesque village churches, the National Mining Museum Scotland and the impressive Dalkeith Country Park. You can enjoy carols at Crichton Collegiate Church or Rosslyn Chapel, choose one of three pantomimes or sample some tasty Christmas food and drink on offer at restaurants and cafes across the area. For the more energetic, why not try the weekend ski and snowboard schools at Midlothian Sports Centre?
The online programme serves as a reminder of dates for events which have proved successful in the past or will whet your appetite to try something new this year. It’s bound to produce an economic boost for Midlothian’s groups, organisations and local businesses as well as encouraging everyone to get in to the festive spirit. You can see the whole programme at the Visit Midlothian website – www.visitmidlothian.org.uk.