Edinburgh is the world's festival capital, with 12 international festivals and a host of other major events throughout the year. As well as the Edinburgh Fringe, they include the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, International Film Festival, International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay.

The city contains many theatres and production companies. Concert venues include the Usher Hall, the Festival Theatre, the Assembly Rooms, and the Queen’s Hall and theatre venues include the Royal Lyceum Theatre, the King’s Theatre, the Edinburgh Playhouse, and the Traverse Theatre.


Edinburgh is home to many museums and art galleries, including the National Museum of Scotland, Scotland’s five national galleries of art, the National War Museum, and Surgeon’s Hall Museum. The city also has many smaller private galleries.

Midlothian has a strong heritage featuring churches, castles and industry. Attractions such as Rosslyn Chapel, Crichton Collegiate Church and the National Mining Museum of Scotland are a window to the past.

Cultural celebrations include arts festivals in Penicuik and Pathhead. Each September the Midfest Festival of Arts and Culture involves the wider community offering a rock concert and extensive family fun day. Other festivals include the Megacycle in May, the walking festival in August, the Dalkeith Agricultural Show in July, the highly popular Midlothian Science Festival in October, and Festival of Music in November.

Midlothian’s food culture is celebrated each year in June with the Midlothian Food and Drink Awards showcasing its best restaurants, cafes, bars and food and drink producers.

A recent tourism audit was commissioned on behalf of Midlothian and Scottish Borders Council which highlights the tourism offering in both areas.


Most Scottish Borders towns host local opera companies and theatre groups. There are regular art exhibitions, book festivals, craft fairs, and music events attracting artists, authors, musicians and audiences from all over the country.

One of the area’s most distinctive cultural features is the annual celebration of Common Riding festivals. Each town commemorates the historic practice of riding the town‘s boundaries to preserve burgh rights and prevent encroachment by neighbouring landlords.