The town is split into four distinct areas: Dalkeith proper with its town centre and historic core, with Eskbank to its west. and Woodburn to its east. Eskbank is the well-heeled district of Dalkeith with many large Victorian and newer houses. To the south of Eskbank is Newbattle with its abbey. Woodburn is a working class council estate.
Dalkeith is the main administrative centre for Midlothian. It is twinned with Jarnac, France. In 2004, Midlothian Council re-paved Jarnac Court in honour of Dalkeith and Jarnac's long standing link.
There is an estate called Thornybank on the edge of Dalkeith near the industrial estate beyond which is the newly built Dalkeith Campus - housing the high schools of Dalkeith and St David's.