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Living in Penicuik: The Local Area Guide

Penicuik is a town situated in Midlothian, Scotland, on the west bank of the River Esk. The town is home to Penicuik House, which was built in 1761 by Sir James Clerk. Influenced by the architecture in Italy, the building is made from ashlar and has impressive Palladian windows, inspired by the Venetian architect, Andrea Palladio. The house has an impressive array of paintings and used to be frequented by members of Enlightenment Edinburgh during the 18th century. There are a variety of picturesque walks to discover all around the estate and the rest of the town.

During the Napoleonic Wars, French prisoners were taken to a prison camp in Valleyfield Mill, which now plays host memorial to commemorate them. There are also a selection of ancient forts and castles in close proximity to the site. The National Mining Museum Scotland, which preserves to remains of Lady Victoria Colliery, is situated a short distance from Penicuik in Newtongrange. It is listed as Category 'A' by Historic Scotland, the agency responsible the maintenance and management of many Scottish monuments and their cultural heritage. Visitors will be fascinated by the sheer size of the museum and get an insight into the intricacy of the engineering behind all the machinery.


For a town, Penicuik has a considerable population of around 15,926 recorded inhabitants, while Midlothian itself has around 87,390. The 16 to 29 demographic only account for 16.1% of the population in comparison to 18.2% in the whole of Scotland, whereas persons aged 60 and over make up 24.4% of Midlothian, compared to 24.2% nationally. The population of Midlothian is projected to increase by 17.6% by 2037, which is significantly larger than the projected increase for the rest of the nation.

The projected increase in the number of households in Midlothian is from 2012 to 2037 is 22%, growing from 35,540 to 43,312. However, the Scottish national number of households is set to only rise by around 17% in the same period. Households headed by 60-74 year olds are expected to rise in number by 12%, while those in the 75+ age bracket are projected to increase by 107%.


Penicuik is home to 5 primary schools; Cuiken Primary, Sacred Heart Primary (Roman Catholic), Cornbank St James Primary, Strathesk Primary and Maricewood Primary. Penicuik High School is a non-denominational, comprehensive school which achieved the highest place in Midlothian for Standard Grades. 85% of S4 pupils attained 5 passes at level 4 or higher. Sir James Arnot Hamilton, the designer of Concorde's delta wings and Scotland’s Grand Slam captain and Jim Aitken are notable alumni the school. Beeslack Community High School is another comprehensive school located in the town which has over 800 pupils enrolled.


There are 27 different bus services functioning in Penicuik, making it easy to reach places such as Edinburgh, Silverknowes, Ladywood and Deanburn. Penicuik no longer has a railway station, as it was disbanded in 1951, though Curriehall Railway Station is only 6 miles away, with buses connecting to that station daily. Edinburgh is also just a 30 minute drive away from town via the A701.

Amenities and shopping

On the High Street, there are a several shops such as Pound Mania, Co Co Beach and The Best Seller, there are also two hotels and Allan McDougall Solicitors. For greater commercial shopping needs, the locals tend to venture into the capital, where there are a greater range of amenities to suit any additional needs.

The Howgate Restaurant has a certificate of excellence on TripAdvisor, and serves fine traditional Scottish cuisine, including dishes such as the beef rib and black pudding pigeon. Cibo is another highly rated restaurant in the town, with a Mediterranean style menu on offer. Stewarts Bar & Grill is also a great place to enjoy some quality grilled food with a large selection of cocktails available as well.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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