72 hours in the Lothians

Spend three days in the Lothians with this useful itinerary which includes ideas for spending a day in East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian. Discover the history of aviation, admire a famous chapel, learn about the history of mining and enjoy the great outdoors. You may wish to visit everything on this itinerary or pick and choose to suit your own timescales and preferences.

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  • A family at the edge of the loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow
    The loch at Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
  • Shelves backed full of fresh fruit and vegetables including strawberries and asparagus
    Fresh fruit and vegetables from East Lothian
  • The view across Linlithgow Loch to the Palace and St Michael's Parish Church in Linlithgow.
    Linlithgow Loch
  • The ornate stone carved Prentice Pillar of Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin
    The ornate interior of Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin
  • A group view the Concorde at the National Museum of Flight
    The National Museum of Flight

East Lothian

Begin your day in East Lothian at the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune, where you can find out about the role of the area in both World Wars and see the amazing Concorde. Explore the four aircraft hangars which detail the history and progress of aviation with military and civilian planes.

Nearby, in the village of East Linton, is Preston Mill And Phantassie Doocot - one of the oldest mechanically intact water driven meal mills in Scotland.

Eastward bound, on the A6093, travel to the picturesque village of Pencaitland and the Glenkinchie Distillery. Set in a small valley, this is the only remaining malt whisky distillery close to Edinburgh. Enjoy a fascinating guided tour and tasting and discover some of the secrets of the distillers' craft.

Midlothian

Start your day exploring Midlothian at Vogrie Country Park. A haven of tranquillity, explore over 105 hectares of woods and 11.5 miles of stunning countryside paths, absolutely perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding. There is also a 9-hole golf course, adventure play area and a café on the ground floor of Vogrie House, a Victorian mansion and former home of the Dewar family. 

From here, head south west towards Newtongrange and the Scottish Mining Museum. This is the best surviving example in Europe of a late 19th century colliery and the museum’s collections comprise over 60,000 items.

Finally, no visit to Midlothian would be complete without a trip to the enchanting Rosslyn Chapel, star location of The Da Vinci Code and the area’s must-see attraction. Admire the flying buttresses, gargoyles and carvings of this late-Gothic chapel and then take a walk around the scenic Roslin Glen.

West Lothian

The Almond Valley Heritage Trust should be your first port of call on your day in West Lothian. Here you can see a working watermill, browse the family-friendly museum and the farm is home to many friendly farm animals such as sheep, goats, ponies, horses and Highland cattle. Located in a peaceful riverside setting, with woods and fields extending almost as far as a mile, you could easily spend a whole day here.

Next, head to Beecraigs Country Park, near Linlithgow, which has 913 acres of land to explore where you can try a range of outdoor activities such as archery, climbing or windsurfing.

End your day in West Lothian at the magnificent Linlithgow Palace and admire the stunning architecture - see how many of the statues you can find dotted around the palace. Be sure to take a wander along the beautiful peel, the parkland around Linlithgow Loch that surrounds the palace, and spend some time feeding the birds. Take part in some of the fantastic ranger-led events throughout the year such as teddy bears picnics, themed walks and festive activities.