SparseRunner

By SparseRunner

Shawfair

On another day that turned out much better than forecast, I took my bike out to explore new and familiar corners of Midlothian. This is Newton Church, now limited to just its tower. It is just visible from the Edinburgh Ring Road (on the horizon), and I went an awfully long way around to get to it. Once there, I discovered how to get to it from the back of Dalkeith Country Park, leading me to tour its woods, which were thick with bluebells in places. After that, I crossed the Ring Road and explored the strange area that is near Shawfair. Although within the Edinburgh Ring Road, the area is part of Midlothian and was going to be a new town about 20 years ago. It has a deserted station with impressive accessibility infrastructure on the newly re-opened Borders railway, and a few areas of housing, but lots of part-cleared brownfield sites. Nearby are a few villages that grew up when one of Scotland's last big collieries was set up, and now seem similarly "lost" in the semi-developed area. It would seem so much more logical to develop an area close to Edinburgh than create all the huge new estates in the towns further out - but maybe no-one wants to live in a new town.

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