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Midlothian is a historic county located in the southeast of Scotland, bordered by Edinburgh to the north, East Lothian to the east, and the Scottish Borders to the south. The county is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant communities.
The county's name is derived from the Old English words "mid" and "lothian," which mean "middle" and "land of the Britons," respectively. The county was once home to the ancient Britons, who were later conquered by the Romans in the 1st century AD. The Romans built several forts and roads in the area, including the famous Antonine Wall, which stretches across the county.
Midlothian played a significant role in Scotland's history, particularly during the Middle Ages. The county was home to several important castles, including Dalhousie Castle, which was built in the 13th century and served as a stronghold for the powerful Ramsay family. The castle is now a luxury hotel and is open to visitors.
Another notable castle in Midlothian is Craigmillar Castle, which was built in the 14th century and served as a residence for several Scottish monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle is now a popular tourist attraction and is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture.
Midlothian is also home to several historic churches and abbeys, including the 12th-century Newbattle Abbey, which was founded by monks from Melrose Abbey. The abbey is now a private school but is open to visitors during certain times of the year.
In addition to its rich history, Midlothian is known for its stunning natural landscapes. The county is home to several parks and nature reserves, including the Pentland Hills Regional Park, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The park is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.
Midlothian is also home to several golf courses, including the famous Muirfield Golf Course, which has hosted several major championships, including the Open Championship. The county is also known for its excellent fishing, with several rivers and lochs offering opportunities for trout and salmon fishing.
The county's largest town is Dalkeith, which is located just a few miles south of Edinburgh. The town is known for its historic buildings, including the 15th-century Dalkeith Palace, which was once the home of the Duke of Buccleuch. The palace is now a museum and is open to visitors.
Midlothian is also home to several smaller towns and villages, each with its own unique character and charm. One such village is Roslin, which is known for its famous Rosslyn Chapel, which was built in the 15th century and is known for its intricate carvings and mysterious symbolism.
Overall, Midlothian is a fascinating county with a rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant communities. Whether you're interested in exploring its historic castles and abbeys, hiking in its beautiful parks, or simply enjoying its charming towns and villages, there's something for everyone in this beautiful part of Scotland.