The Lothians consist of the three former counties of East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian. The land is generally low-lying to the north, rising to moorland and hills in the south, with areas of industry to the west and expanses of good arable farmland to the east. Being close to Edinburgh, this area is at the heart of Scottish history, full of castles, grand houses and churches. It is also a place of quiet, pastoral villages and marvellous scenery. The only towns that could possibly be said to be industrial are Dalkeith, Bo’ness, Armadale and Bathgate, and even here industry never intrudes too much.
Dominating it all is the city of Edinburgh, which probably has more history per square mile than any other comparable place in the world. But it’s a compact city, and its suburbs haven’t yet gobbled up too much countryside. Behind the city are the Pentland Hills, a lonely area of high moorland stretching southwest towards the Lanarkshire boundary, and to the south and southeast are the Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills respectively, which thrust down into the Borders.
East Lothian (formerly Haddingtonshire) is a farming county, a patchwork of fields and woodland dotted all over with small, neat villages. The quiet country lanes cry out to be explored by car, and though there is none of the grandeur of the Highlands here - indeed, the scenery has, like Ayrshire, an almost rural English feel to it - it is still a beautiful area. The land rises to the south where it meets the Lammermuir Hills. Here, the landscape changes though it never loses its gentle aspect.
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