About The Program


The Experience Scotland program takes you to Dalkeith, a bustling village just six short miles southeast of Edinburgh in the Midlothian region of Scotland.  Edinburgh and the surrounding region provide an ideal environment for educational programs.  The richness of British history, politics, literature, poetry, arts, and other subjects come alive at every turn.  Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland since 1124, is a classic European city.  There the medieval grandeur of Old Town, crowned by Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, joins harmoniously with the modern attractions of New Town.  The natural beauty of the Scottish landscape and its coastline provide a majestic background for exploration, education, and enrichment.

Dalkeith House

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The Dalkeith House facility is an 18th century manor house known to the Scots as Dalkeith Palace. Anne of Buccleuch, the first Duchess of Buccleuch, commissioned James Smith, Scotland's leading architect at the time, to build the house in its present form on the remains of the original Dalkeith Castle (built in the 12th century) during the period of 1701-1711. The "Palace" is a magnificent example of late William & Mary architecture. It is renowned for its fine oak paneling and carvings, and is considered one of Scotland's grandest early classical houses. The interior of the house still includes a large amount of marble, including a large marble staircase, all of which was introduced by Anne of Buccleuch. The George IV addition was built prior to George IV's stay at Dalkeith Palace on his first visit to Scotland in 1832. He used the Music Room to receive Scottish noblemen and dignitaries. In 1842 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were also guests. The house was last used as a Buccleuch family residence prior to WWI and during WWII it was used to billet soldiers of the Polish Free Army. Since 1986 the house has been home to the Experience Scotland program. The house is spacious and provides room for residence life and food service facilities, classrooms, offices, lounge areas, laundry and recreation rooms.

Dalkeith Estate

Montague bridge

As if living in a palace isn't enough, you'll also have access to Dalkeith Country Park - a working 1,000 acre estate owned by the Duke of Buccleuch - as your "backyard". Escape into nature, and wander under some of the oldest oak trees in Britain, on one of the estate's beautiful walking trails, enjoy some family-friendly fun at the Fort Douglas Adventure Park, or relax at the Restoration Yard. There is something for everyone!

The Country Park is a popular destination for individuals throughout Midlothian. Dog-walkers frequent the many trails, and families will often picnic at the park on the weekend. The park has also played host to events ranging from rock concerts to Colour Runs to the Tough Mudder.

Be sure to take advantage of optional walking tours offered by the Buccleuch gameskeepers while you are in Scotland to learn more about the rich history of this vast estate!

Learn more about the estate, and all it has to offer here:



Just a few minutes walk from the front door of Dalkeith House is the town of Dalkeith. Dalkeith is the main administrative center of Midlothian, and has a population of just over 12,000. The town has grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, shops, and a post office all within walking distance. Dalkeith has a rich history of its own - you are encouraged to explore this history through a self-guided walking tour of Dalkeith's historic sites.


Victoria street 

There are frequent bus connections from Dalkeith to Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a magnificent city with something for everyone - stunning architecture, great museums, shopping, dining, entertainment, and a thriving student community. View the resources below for more information on the city.

This is Edinburgh: Official guide to the city with information about museums, markets, dining, shopping and more.

The List: focuses on Edinburgh and Glasgow nightlife, activities, restaurants, festivals, theater, and cinema.

The Oracle: lists many events, speakers, and exhibitions in the Edinburgh area. It even has a dedicated section to free activities.


Rosslyn chapel 

Your bus pass (included in your program fee) will provide you unlimited access to the entire Midlothian region. Take in the beauty and mystery of Rosslyn Chapel, experience year-round skiing and tubing at the Snowsports Centre, enjoy breathtaking views atop the Pentland Hills, or learn about the region's mining history at the National Mining Museum.