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The local area guide to living in Penicuik

Penicuik is a small town located in Midlothian, Scotland, which is situated only 9.7 miles away from Edinburgh. The River Esk, which is initially divided into 2 streams, flows through Midlothian where it is more commonly known as the North Esk. Penicuik House was built a short distance from the centre of the town by Sir James Clerk in 1761. The building was inspired by Italian architecture, most notably ‘Palladian’ windows, a features of the works of Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. During the 18th century, members of Enlightenment Edinburgh used to go to the building to hold intellectual discussions and muse over paintings.

The Rosslyn Chapel is another landmark of deep historical importance not far from Penciuik, it can be found in the small village of Roslin. The chapel was founded in the 15th century by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness from the Scoto-Norman Sinclair Family. A 10-minute drive from Penicuik is the Snowsports Centre, the largest dry ski facility in Europe which attracts thousands of visitors each year. It is also a national training centre of Scottish sportsmen and women aiming to compete in the Olympics.

Information about the local residents

Penicuik is home to around 15,926 people and the population in Midlothian stands at around 87,390. Midlothian has a considerably older population when compared to the rest of Scotland, as only 16.1% of people living there are aged 16 to 29, in comparison to 18.2% for the rest of the country. People aged 60 and over account for 24.4% of Midlothian, a slight increase when compared to the national figure of 24.2%. The population of Midlothian in 2037 is set to increase by 17.6%.

The types of dwelling in Midlothian are quite evenly varied, with 32% terraced, 25% semi-detached, 23% flat and 20% detached. In 2015, the number of households in Midlothian was recorded to be 37,069, which was a 1.3% increase from the figure in the previous year. 97% of dwellings in Midlothian are occupied, 3% are vacant and 0% are second homes.

Local schools

Cuiken Primary, Mauricewood Primary, Strathesk Primary, Sacred Heart Primary (Roman Catholic) and Cornbank St James Primary are the five primary schools located in town, which presents a good choice of options for families. Penicuik High School ranked highest in Midlothian for Standard Grades, with 85% of students achieving a minimum of 5 passes at level 4. Distinguished alumni of the school include Scotland Grand Slam captain, Jim Aitken and Sir James Harnot Hamilton, designer of the delta wings for Concorde. The other high school in Penicuik is Beeslack Community High School.

Getting around

There is no longer a railway station in Penicuik, as it was discontinued in 1951, so the closest train station is called Curriehall Railway Station and is situated 6 miles away. Although the town has no station of its own, there are 27 bus services destinations such as Silverknowes, Ladywood, Deanburn, Edinburgh, and many other surrounding areas. A 30-minute drive along the A701 takes you straight into the capital, meaning the town is well connected for onward journeys to other national destinations.

Local shops

Penicuik has a fair amount of shops on the High Street, including the Best Seller, Co Co Beach, and Pound Mania. Most of the shops are independently owned are well positioned to provide for the usual every day needs. For larger shopping excursions, there are excellent transport links to Edinburgh, where the majority of needs can be satisfied.

For dining out, look no further than the Howgate Restaurant, which has been credited with a certificate of excellence on TripAdvisor. The bistro offers excellent traditional Scottish food, alongside a list of fine wines. The Cuiken Inn is also a lovely place to grab some home cooked food, while the Flotterstone Inn has a beer garden and prides itself on serving locally sourced food.

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

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