MBTAG Midlothian Familiarisation Trip

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MBTAG (Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group) are delighted to announce the second of 3 FAM Trips for 2017.

We have the opportunity to host 3 FAM Trips each year as part of our 2 year plan. The FAM trips have been created for people who run their own business or work as front line staff in tourism in the Scottish Borders and Midlothian. This trip will focus on the Midlothian.

This is an excellent FREE opportunity. The day will allow you to meet and network with fellow tourism providers from the Midlothian and the Borders and to experience some of the fantastic offerings we have to enhance your product knowledge of what is available on your doorstep, which in turn is a great opportunity for tourism businesses to refer business to each other and develop working relationships going forward.

We have an exciting full day’s programme lined up which includes the below. It is a very busy itinerary as we are keen to showcase as many tourism businesses in this area, which will give you a true flavour of this part of the Scotland. We will have a tour guide throughout the day on the coach and they will be able to tell you more on the area as we drive through this wonderful and breath-taking countryside.

Please note you MUST work in tourism within the Scottish Borders or Midlothian to attend this educational FAM trip.


08.30 - Option to be collected at Newtongrange Train Station if you plan to travel by train on the 'Borders Railway' Collection at 08.30hrs - Please state in registration if you wish to be collected here.

08.45hrs - Arrive and park (if driving) at Ryze Adventures Park, Midlothian - 23/A Mayfield Industrial Estate, Newtongrange, Dalkeith EH22 4AD

- Welcome and registration with MBTAG

RYZE - Your visit will include a tour around all the businesses in the building followed by a bounce on our state of art trampolines! Get ready to defy gravity!

Ryze Adventure Parks Midlothian is a home to Ryze Extreme Air Sports Park, Ryze & Roll All Wheel Park, Level Ten Fitness functional fitness studio, Everyone’s Hall meeting space and Sky High Café. It’s THE place to be for gravity-defying action sports with plenty of fun!

NATIONAL MINING MUSEUM - ‘A tour of the Pithead, recreated underground roadway and coalface, with an ex-miner as your guide and experience the atmosphere and noise of a working pit.’

‘The Lady Victoria Colliery, home of the National Mining Museum Scotland was opened in 1895 as Scotland’s first super-pit. It ceased production in 1981 and now serves as an example of one of the best preserved Victorian Collieries in Europe. The four-acre Midlothian site effectively captures the developments in mining over generations and highlights include the most powerful steam winding engine in Scotland, the most extensive preserved suite of Lancashire Boilers in the UK and the only extant timber Dredger in Europe.’

Refreshments and talk by Scotrail on the 'Borders Railway'


Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 as a place of worship and services continue to be held weekly. The Chapel has also been a popular destination for visitors for generations. By the late 18th-century, it was starting to appear on itineraries and its profile greatly increased after the publication of Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, in 2003, and the subsequent film.

ARNISTON HOUSE - The visit to Arniston House will include a whirlwind tour of the main floor reception rooms and light refreshments offered in the Orangery so guests can get a taste of the full tour and see additional event space.

Arniston House is a magnificent William Adam, Palladian style mansion house set in acres of beautiful parkland just 11 miles from Edinburgh. It has been home to the Dundas family for nearly 450 years. We invite you to visit and marvel at the intricate stucco work and beautiful portraits by contemporary Scottish artists such as Sir Henry Raeburn and Alexander Nasmyth and to admire the fascinating period furniture. In addition to the treasures that are within Arniston House, the treasures around are just as glorious.

Picnic Lunch on the bus provided by Midlothian’s 'Delilicious' where you can sample and taste some wonderful local produce.

CRICHTON CASTLE - Meet the monument manager for a brief history of this lordly residence and its connection with some of Scotland’s most exciting moments. Find out more about Historic Scotland properties and our visitor offer before taking time to explore the castle remains.

Crichton Castle was home to medieval lords and Renaissance noblemen. A sturdy tower from the late 1300s stands by a sophisticated façade created 200 years later. Though rarely the stage for significant events, the castle’s connection to two influential families link it to some of the most colourful chapters in Scottish history. The castle ruins, framed by a secluded valley, were later celebrated by Walter Scot and J.M.W. Turner.

DALHOUSIE CASTLE - Experience the Traditional Scottish Welcome to Dalhousie Castle by Andrew Sharp – the Castle Steward and Pipe Sergeant joined by our Falconry Centre! Meet the Team over refreshments, served in the atmospheric Gun Room followed by a full show round of the Castle by James Little - General Manager and Debbie Phillips - Business Development Manager.

Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Spa - a magnificent 13th century fortress set within acres of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the River Esk. Bring your vision to life in the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland. Whether you're looking for an inspirational setting for a conference, meeting or training event, a gala dinner in one of the spectacular banqueting suites, indulging in a delicious dinner in the Dungeon Fine Dining Restaurant, or simply enjoying a relaxing break; the Dalhousie Castle is the leading business venue and first choice for luxury hotels in Midlothian. Located close to Edinburgh and all major transport links with ample parking & 35 bedrooms including themed Suites. Dalhousie Castle is available for exclusive use and boasts an Aqueous Spa, Falconry & Archery Experience, and Team Building Activities & Clay Pigeon Shooting amongst many other options.

THE SECRET HERB GARDEN - you can expect to have a guided tour of the gardens and find out all that they do by Hamish Martin - this really is a hidden gem.

The Secret Herb Garden is nestled at the foot of the Pentland Hills only twenty minutes from Edinburgh tucked away on the Old Pentland Road. The garden is set within 7.5 acres bordered by native hedgerows and a gentle stream, surrounded by fields and magnificent hills. Hamish and Liberty Martin opened the doors on 1st May 2014 after stumbling upon a large derelict glasshouse in Lothianburn. Together with their 5 children, 5 dogs, chickens, quails and pigs they have lived and worked tirelessly to achieve their dream of creating the most amazing enchanting herb garden. There is something very magical about the garden as it's so close to the hustle and bustle of the city but feels so far away. There are plenty of open spaces to let the children explore hidden treasures like the Yurt or the bee observatory and you can find a hidden spot for yourself amongst the apricots, herbs and vines in the glasshouse. The cafe serves delicious lunches and cakes as well as specialist teas and great coffee. The Secret Herb Garden hosts several special events during the year including Full Moon Dinners, weddings, private wine tastings, bee-keeping courses and more.

THE PAPER MILL LASSWADE - On Arrival you will be shown around the facilities and welcomed by the team at The Paper Mill. You will then get to sample some lovely locally produced canapes by The Paper Mill.

Midlothian breweries will also be there giving you the opportunity to sample the local beer and the opportunity to meet the makers - great opportunity if you are looking to have local beers for sale in your tourism business.

Overlooking the beautiful River Esk in the tranquil conservation village of Lasswade, Scotland, the Paper Mill is an all-day bar and restaurant situated in a historic former paper mill.

17.45hrs - Day concludes when bus departs The Paper Mill and can drop delegates off at 'Newtongrange Train station / back to their cars at Ryze.

Communications will follow to give you more detail on each item on the itinerary soon.


  • The spaces are based on first come first serve basis
  • You MUST work in tourism in the Borders / Midlothian to attend this event,
  • This is a funded educational FAM trip.
  • Please remember to bring clothing for all weathers AND appropriate footwear as there will be activities and walking involved.
  • We will have a videographer with us on the day to capture the day. If you have any objections to being in this, please do let us know. The video will then be used to showcase the above businesses and what people can do when they come to Midlothian
  • Your details will be shared with the businesses we visit on the day.
  • Given this is free to attend trip if you are for any reason unable to make it following your registration, please be kind enough to let us know so we can allocate your space to another delegate.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jemma Reid, Project Manager of MBTAG on

Engaging with both the wider tourism sector outside of the Borders Railway corridor and businesses along the line, the two year MBTAG project has secured £150,000 from the Borders Railway Blueprint Group, and a further £200,000 from Scottish Enterprise’s Tourism Destination Development Fund to implement the plan.

A private sector led initiative in partnership with Midlothian Council, Scottish Borders Council, Midlothian Tourism Forum, Scottish Borders Tourism Partnership, ScotRail and VisitScotland, MBTAG has pledged to work collaboratively with local businesses over an initial two year period. This activity will build upon the success of the Borders Railway Tourism Development Programme which has been delivered since September 2015.

‘Borders Railway Blueprint’, a partnership project led by Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, VisitScotland, ScotRail and Scottish Borders, Midlothian and City of Edinburgh Councils. The Blueprint sets out an ambition to maximise the economic benefits of the Borders Railway, transforming tourism, business and investment opportunities for communities along the new rail line.



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