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1 Mar 2017

Edinburgh & The Lothians

The drawing room in the Georgian House
Visitors to Edinburgh and the Lothians are spoilt for choice with a treasure trove of splendid historic homes and beautiful gardens.

For more than 400 years, the Dalyell family has owned and lived in the House of the Binns near Linlithgow. Built in the early 1600s, the mansion boasts a host of decorative features and artefacts, including magnificent plaster ceilings, family portraits, fine furniture and porcelain.

In Edinburgh, the urban heart of this region, a kaleidoscope of early 17th-century life is re-created for visitors at one of the capital’s oldest remaining tenements. Gladstone’s Land, on the Royal Mile in the Old Town, was owned by a wealthy merchant and landlord, who let out numerous rooms over six storeys to people from a range of social backgrounds.

Gladstone's Land on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Gladstone's Land

By contrast, the New Town was where the wealthy escaped the overcrowded Old Town tenements to live in grand homes on sweeping crescents, broad boulevards and elegant squares. The Georgian House on Charlotte Square is typical of the New Town development of the late 18th century and was designed by celebrated architect Robert Adam. Today, Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town are recognised as a joint UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After spending time in the heart of bustling Edinburgh, head to the outskirts of the city to enjoy a few peaceful hours at Malleny Garden. Take in memorable sights such as the huge 400-year-old yew trees, Victorian greenhouses and heritage rose plantings.

In Musselburgh, the magnificent late 17th-century Newhailes House & Gardens brings three centuries of history to life. Discover impressive rococo designs, an opulent Chinese sitting room and an impressive designed landscape.

Large cherry blossoms stand at either side of Newhailes
Newhailes House in Edinburgh

Musselburgh is also home to Inveresk Lodge Garden, a hillside walled garden and peaceful sanctuary. The garden features colourful flowerbeds, woodland and wildflower meadows, as well as a sundial with an unusual lectern dial dating back to 1644.

In East Linton, Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot are quirky architectural oddities amid the rolling East Lothian countryside. Find out how an 18th-century miller lived and worked, as well as discovering the number of pigeons kept in the doocot.

Inveresk Lodge Garden
Inveresk Lodge Garden