Spotlight on Tourism - The curtain rises on a new midwinter festival

The autumnal hues at Newbattle Abbey College
The autumnal hues at Newbattle Abbey College

Summer may be over but there is still a lot going on for visitors and local residents across Midlothian, writes Ian Gardner (Midlothian Tourism Forum).

In fact, Midlothian Tourism Forum and Midlothian Council are already looking ahead to our first 'Winter Festival'.

There is already a great variety of events over Christmas and New Year and the idea is to pull all this information together to help market all that is going on to locals and visitors. And if you are planning an event, there is still time to have it included.

Events can be anything from a Christmas fair or a Christmas light switch-on to a carol concert, pantomime or community performance. You may be running activities or events for families or children or perhaps something after Christmas, such as a New Year party or ceilidh – it would be great to include them. It doesn’t need to be a new event but it may be an opportunity to provide more awareness for something you are already running. You may just wish to promote your own business and let others know that you are open or have some great gift ideas available.

A special Midlothian Winter Festival programme will be produced and promoted through a range of local and national channels including help from EventScotland and VisitScotland. So far, events at Newbattle Abbey College, Vogrie Country Park and Rosslyn Chapel are included, as are a concert by the Pathead Music Collective and the Christmas lights switch-on in Penicuik. There is not much time left to have your event included and we will need a clear outline of any events with full details to copy for the online brochure.We will also need to have good quality images in order to include these and for entry on to the Visit Midlothian website.

All event details should be supplied by the end of this week to Aileen Scobie at Midlothian Council – email The programme will be launched later this autumn, giving everyone plenty of time to plan what to do. Don't miss this chance to be involved and help to make this first winter programme something special. Even in midwinter, there's plenty of choice in Midlothian.