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A captivating blend of old world charm and industrial heritage await you in Midland, the birthplace of Western Australia's railway workshops. It's also the commercial centre of the Swan Valley, Western Australia's oldest wine region, boasting a gastronomic list of wineries, microbreweries and award-winning restaurants. Midland's bustling city centre is a 35 minute drive east of Perth, and like the neighbouring town of Guildford, its historical buildings flaunt a unique character resplendent of its vibrant past. Visit the Town Hall with its unusual square clock tower, built in 1906, and the workshop buildings, which have emerged as major tourist attraction. An old school house is home to the Australian Opera Studio, a world-class training institution for operatic performers, while Midland's premier art gallery resides in a former bank. The town owes its existence to the construction of a railway from Perth in 1886, and the establishment of the State's railway workshops at the turn of the 20th century, which employed tens of thousands of workers in its heyday. The interpretive centre at the Midland Railway Workshops will take you on journey through its 90 year working history. Today, Midland offers a range of shopping experiences with two major shopping centres, including Midland Gate, and a city centre which features village-like shopping precincts, a cinema, pedestrian malls and boutique shops. A buzzing Sunday farmers market behind the Town Hall is a weekly mecca for shoppers seeking fresh gourmet produce, arts and crafts. The town's large Military Markets also sell a variety of produce and local crafts on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. Choose from a variety of restaurants, cafes and takeaway outlets in town, or venture into the Swan Valley where you can dine at award-winning restaurants overlooking the vineyards, or while away the afternoon hopping from cellar door to brewery, sipping premium wines, delicious fortifieds and carefully crafted beers. Pick up a map of the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, and design your own day of indulgence. Or perhaps extend your visit with a stay in the valley's holiday parks, bed and breakfasts, farmstays or luxury resorts.