10 Reasons Dalkeith Country Park is the Best Campsite Near Edinburgh

Camping at Dalkeith Country Park. Edinburgh

Something for everyone

Perhaps you’re coming en famille or looking to get away with friends or partner – there is something for everyone (including your four-legged friends) to enjoy within the Park itself and out with in Midlothian, East Lothian and the city of Edinburgh. Check out our top 10 things you can enjoy doing during your tent time with us that make Dalkeith Country Park the best campsite near Edinburgh.

1. The Park

Come enjoy the space and countryside in the best campsite near Edinburgh – just a stone’s throw from the city. Dalkeith Country Park has been in the Buccleuch family for over 300 years and the site itself can be traced back to Roman times. The Park’s woodlands are hundreds of years old and now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with some of our trees in the Old Oak Wood over 900 years of age. The Park’s impressive architecture and designed landscape are the result of changes by different generations of the Buccleuch family. Explore it all using our pretty waymarked walks and you’ll enjoy views of the beautiful Dalkeith Palace built in 1711, the 18th century 12-sided Orangerie by William Burn and the remarkable Robert Adam Montagu Bridge.

Fort Douglas Adventure Playground

2. Fort Douglas

Coming with the kids? Their adventures await in Fort Douglas Adventure Playground which is a five minute walk from your tent. Let them escape into the trees in Sky Maze where you can relive your childhood too by joining them as they climb, slide and scramble within its wooden, turreted adventure-fest. Mini Maze is a littler version of Sky Maze so that those under-five can take their first steps, safely, into mini adventures. Add in the amazing jumping pillows, the ziplines, tunnel slide and scramble nets and Fort Douglas is a one-stop fun zone where energy can be burnt off in the great outdoors. What’s more, adults can go on pretty much all the equipment so the whole family can play together, yippee! Let the adventures begin…oh and as a campsite resident you can get 25% off your entry to Fort Douglas.


3. Restoration Yard

This 18th century stable-yard by William Adam was reinvented in 2016 with an £8.9 million investment. The Tuscan-inspired courtyard is now home to a store, a beautiful restaurant and a wellbeing studio. The Store is packed with treats for all ages from toys and books to beauty and fashion. It’s an emporium of gifts for young and old. The Kitchen is an all-day restaurant serving delicious breakfasts and lunches including kids’ menus. Enjoy its views over the River Esk. The Studio, in the eaves of the historic stables, offers a programme of wellbeing classes including yoga and Pilates. So enjoy a little restoration of self during your camping stay, through retail therapy, eating delicious local food or taking a moment in a wellbeing class.

Go Ape at Dalkeith Country Park

4. Go Ape Dalkeith

New in 2021, Go Ape has landed at Dalkeith Country Park. It’s an exhilarating addition. Embrace adventure and take your camping tribe to a whole new height! It’s not just the grown-ups that can have all the fun.

Go Ape has introduced its first Scottish Treetop Adventure course for children over 1m tall. Which of the courses will you choose? Treetop Adventure, for children over 1m, is fun for all the family. Everyone can find their tree-feet on crossings, climbing towers and, most importantly, ziplines. Meanwhile, Treetop Adventure Plus (over 1.2m) includes all the fun and excitement of Treetop Adventure but adds an extra dash of challenge. Finally, Treetop Challenge (over 1.4m) is designed so you can tailor your thrill level. Book Go Ape during your stay. Challenge your comfort zones and see the stunning landscape of Dalkeith Country Park from a very different perspective.

The National Mining Museum

5. The National Mining Museum

This 5 Star visitor attraction, twice winner of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions “Best Visitor Experience” Award, is just along the road from Dalkeith Country Park in Newtongrange. As one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian colliery in Europe, the Lady Victoria Colliery, it’s a great day out for all ages.

Marvel at the sheer size of the National Mining Museum. Be astounded by the engineering brilliance behind all the machinery. Retrace the footsteps and struggles of the thousands of miners and their families before them. You’ll learn the story of coal, find out what life was, both at home and at work, for miners and their families and experience the atmosphere and noise of a working pit with first-hand experiences from tour guides who are ex-miners. Oh and did we mention you can get the chance to drive the massive winding machine – the largest steam engine in Scotland – which hauled men and coal up and down the pit shaft for nearly 90 years?


6. Rosslyn Chapel

Ah…the famous Rosslyn Chapel. Take a step out your active holiday to soak up its peaceful aura. Rosslyn Chapel is still a place of worship today and services continue to be held here weekly. Founded in 1446, it has been around a lot longer than the 2003 Dan Brown Book The Da Vinci Code and its subsequent film that made it a global household name, again.

Most of the movie’s interior scenes of the Chapel were filmed here, and the main actors Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, were on site for a few days. Want to find that movie moment? In the film, the characters enter the Chapel by the west door. After filming, Tom Hanks said: ‘Few locations in film are so delightful and few destinations live up to their billing, but Rosslyn Chapel was all one could imagine or hope for.’ Enjoy a visit here to make your own conclusions of its beautiful stonework, windows and carvings.

Ryze Trampoline Park Edinburgh

7. Ryze Trampoline Park

Camping in Scotland does come with the proviso that the weather may not always play ball. So if the rain does come during your stay in our campsite you may need to entertain the kids with a wet weather option. That makes Ryze, number 7 in our list of reasons Dalkeith Country Park is the best campsite near Edinburgh, the perfect solution. This indoor trampoline park in Dalkeith has it all. Kids and adults can bounce away on a huge variety of super-fun options.

Bounce across its network of interconnected trampolines. Try the inflatable obstacle course. Take on the angled wall trampolines and a ninja obstacle course. The TrickZone area is designed for the advanced thrillseekers and will set you up for a challenge. Have a shot of our Slackline, Hanging Hoops, Box Jumps, Challenging Monkey Bars, Chimney Climbs and Bouldering Wall. Happy rainy day, well spent.


8. The Secret Herb Garden

What was once a derelict plot of land in nearby Lothianburn is now the beautiful oasis of The Secret Herb Garden. It’s a place where people can open the door to the magic of nature. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the herbs and plants: whether that’s sitting amongst them in the glasshouse, walking past them in the gardens or taking them home with you from its nursery.

The Secret Herb Garden has a little something for everyone including its own range of colour-changing gins. Tour the garden, learn how herbs and nature have an important place in our daily lives, have a bite to eat in the café bistro or enjoy a free gin tasting in the onsite shop.

Dalkeith Corn Exchange

9. Discover Dalkeith

Check out our Discover Dalkeith information panel near The Orangerie. Download the QR code to follow our route that will take you on a walking tour into Dalkeith town. You’ll explore landmarks and buildings that reveal the strong historic connections between Dalkeith Country Park and its town during your visit.

From Romans and railways to royal processions, busy industries and farming riches to gruesome hangings and burning witches, Dalkeith has seen it all. Surrounded by rich, fertile land, Dalkeith once hosted the biggest grain market in Scotland. It was also the site of the country’s first railway. It has played a prominent role in local government and industry. On two occasions, the whole of Scotland was ruled from Dalkeith.

Edinburgh & East Lothian

10. Edinburgh & East Lothian

OK so we are cheating a little here. Bringing two neighbouring regions together in our list of why Dalkeith Country Park is the best campsite near Edinburgh. However, from the rolling hills of the Park’s Midlothian base, it’s just a short drive into beautiful East Lothian. With over 40 miles of stunning coastline, golden beaches and rolling countryside it’s worth the trip. Golfers can book onto award-winning courses. Beach lovers can enjoy views out to the impressive Bass Rock from a number of beautiful beaches along the coast. Or perhaps treat the kids to an up-close-and-personal trip out to the Bass Rock itself. They can see just how many noisy gannets live on this impressive bird sanctuary.

Meanwhile, the city of Edinburgh is also just a few miles away. Take a day to discover its history, explore its beautiful architecture and take in its shops and eateries. Perhaps your camping dates run into the schedule of Edinburgh’s famous International Festival and Fringe. Well, rest assured you can pop easily into the throng of the city. The proximity means you can enjoy the excitement of Edinburgh then head back to the Park’s countryside.

So that’s our 10 reasons why Dalkeith Country Park is the best campsite near Edinburgh this summer. However, there is so much more you can do and see from your perfect tent base from mid-July until mid-August. For some more great ideas of family days around the Park check out Family Days Midlothian.

Want to camp with us – Here’s how

Check out all the details on dates, prices and tent options at Dalkeith Country Park –  the best campsite near Edinburgh – on our Camping page HERE. We can’t wait to see you.

So this summer our temporary campsite, the best campsite near Edinburgh, is coming back to Dalkeith Country Park and we have 10 great reasons to camp here. From mid-July to mid-August 2022, our campsite is a wonderful way to get away from it all without the hoo-ha of a holiday abroad. Whether it’s just a hop and a skip from home or you’re coming from slightly further afield, there are many reasons why pitching up in the beautiful surroundings of Dalkeith Country Park is a proper little escape.

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