Midlothian

 

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Midlothian: 55.829225, -3.133843

Midlothian (Scots: Midlowden, Scottish Gaelic: Meadhan Lodainn) is somewhat complex in terms of its political boundaries. As a county and as a lieutenancy area, the ceremonial areas for lord-lieutenants as the monarch’s representatives in Scotland, Midlothian includes the capital city Edinburgh and was formerly known as Edinburghshire. However, as one of Scotland’s 32 council areas, Edinburgh is excluded and the council area borders the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

As would be expected given Edinburgh’s proximity, Midlothian is rich in history. Originally, it formed part of the Lothian region whose name relates to the legendary British King Lot. It was annexed to the Kingdom of Northumbria in the seventh century but the Picts ensured that this arrangement was short-lived and in 1018 the region was annexed to the Kingdom of Scotland. William the Conqueror subsequently invaded this area and although he did not re-annex it, the area was viewed by the Scottish King as ‘English’ subjects. In 1303, Roslin, Midlothian became a battle site of the First Scottish War of Independence with the Scots defeating the English and regaining Scottish independence a decade later.

Midlothian holds many attractions such as the fifteenth century Rosslyn Chapel at Roslin, a castle still held by the Sinclair family who built it. The Chapel’s architecture is striking, earning it a place in the ‘DaVinci Code’ film. Crichton Castle overlooks the River Tyne and dates even earlier than Rosslyn Chapel. Scotland’s National Mining Museum is at Newtongrange, where the Lady Victoria Colliery has been restored to be the finest surviving colliery in Europe. As a geographically diverse area with hills, lowlands and the Firth of Forth, Midlothian also offers many sites of natural beauty.

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