Walking Route



The name Dalkeith first appeared in recorded history when land at “Dolchet” was granted by King David I to William de Graham, an Anglo-Norman Knight, in 1142. 200 years later the land passed by marriage to the powerful Douglas family and Sir James Douglas became the 1st Lord of Dalkeith in 1369.

In 1540 Dalkeith became a “Burgh of Barony & Regality” which gave the town the right, among other things, to hold a weekly market and annual fair.
The 7th Lord of Dalkeith, who was the 4th Earl of Morton, was Regent of Scotland during the early reign of James VI, from 1572 to 1578, and he controlled Scotland from Dalkeith Castle – “The Lion’s Den”. Morton’s successors ran into financial difficulties because of their support for Charles I and sold the Castle to the Buccleuch family in 1642.
Around this time Dalkeith became known as “a town where all witches were burnt” (in 1648–49 alone, 5 women were executed as witches). After the arrival of the Rev. William Calderwood in 1659 the number of witches being accused rose so rapidly that weekly witch trials were held in the town.
In 1650 Cromwell’s army occupied Dalkeith after the Battle of Dunbar. His troops used the parish church as a barracks and stable and his Governor in Scotland, General Monck made the castle his HQ. Scotland was once more ruled from Dalkeith Castle and Monck while here made plans for the restoration of Charles II.
Our Heritage
Dalkeith has a long and exciting history: a tale of Romans; kings, knights and castles; of beheadings, burnings and hangings; witches, dungeons and body- snatchers; of agriculture, coal mining and electronics.
Over the centuries Dalkeith has been at the heart of a rich agricultural area and before the coming of the railways it had the biggest grain market in Scotland.
In more recent times it was at the centre of Midlothian coal mining industry. Scotland’s first railway, the Edinburgh & Dalkeith opened in 1831 for horse drawn wagons taking coal from the local pits to Edinburgh and by 1832 passengers were being carried on what became known as the “Innocent Railway”.
A passenger railway has now returned to Dalkeith. The Borders Railway has a new station at Eskbank.

Please allow at least 39 minutes to complete it, excluding the time taken to enjoy the destinations along the way.

2mi / 3km
Total climb:
262ft / 80m
Total descent:
295ft / 90m
Our best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of data, however the data and geographic information contained along route lines and on maps should be used for informational purposes only.

What you'll see

St Mary's Church - Dalkeith

Religious Buildings

St Mary’s, a church built in the “English University” style for the Duke of Buccleuch in 1843–45

Corn Exchange - Dalkeith

Museums & Exhibitions

By the mid 19th century Dalkeith was the leading grain market in Scotland and to accommodate this thriving trade the Tudor style edifice was opened…

The Burns Monument - Dalkeith

History & Heritage

A Victorian cast iron fountain erected in the High Street in 1899 to commemorate the centenary of the death of Robert Burns.

Former Cross Keys Hotel - Dalkeith


Built in 1804 as a coaching inn, the door on the right was the carriage pend

Tolbooth - Dalkeith


The Tolbooth was built in the early 1700s, (ignore the date of 1648 which has come from another building)

St Nicholas Buccleuch Church - Dalkeith

Early Christian, Religious Buildings

A Chapel has been on this site since at least 1372.

White's Close - Dalkeith


This is typical of the many ‘closes’ which connected the High Street with the Back Street (now St. Andrew Street).

The Watch Tower - Dalkeith


Dalkeith Watch Tower was built in 1827 to shelter watchmen looking out for grave robbers who stole bodies to sell to the School of Anatomy.

West Parish Church - Dalkeith

Religious Buildings

This was built in 1840 to take the overflow from St Nicholas Church

Dalkeith Flour Mills - Dalkeith


A group of three buildings dating from the late 18th century

Bridgend - Dalkeith

History & Heritage

This site is believed to be the crossing point over the river North Esk used by the Romans who had a camp nearby

Dalkeith House - Dalkeith

Castles & Stately Homes

Dalkeith Palace was built in 1702 on the site of an earlier Castle and until the 1920s was the principal seat of the Montagu Douglas…