Musselburgh is a town in East Lothian, Scotland, around 6 mi (9.7 km) east of the country's capital city, Edinburgh. The town lays claim to being the oldest in Scotland, and has certainly been inhabited for many thousands of years, due to its strategic location where the River Esk flows into the Firth of Forth. Although the town centres are 6 miles apart, the western edge of Musselburgh meets the eastern edge of Edinburgh at Eastfield, forming a continuous conurbation.
Musselburgh is served by Scotrail services to and from Edinburgh Waverley and North Berwick. The railway line skirts the southern edge of the town, with 1 Musselburgh Rail Station roughly a half mile from the High Street and Town Centre. 2 Wallyford Rail Station lies within walking distance of the Eastern edge of the town, and could also be regarded as serving Musselburgh.
Musselburgh is just off the main A1 Edinburgh to London road. The current dual-carriageway A1 bypasses the southern edge of the town, and it's easy to drive past without seeing any part of the town. Prior to the late 1980s, the A1 ran through the centre of Musselburgh, via the High Street, and you can follow this route directly to the town centre from the north by leaving Edinburgh either through Portobello or on Milton Road.
You can walk from one end of the High Street (and North High Street) to the other in 10–15 minutes, perhaps slightly longer if you window-shop along the way. Anything of consequence off the High Street (commercial parks, hotels, railway station, etc.) is still within a short walk, but anyone in time-saving mode could take a taxi (from the ranks at The Brunton Theatre and Town Hall), or bus (No 30 connects the High Street and Rail Station).
- 1 Newhailes House (Well-signposted from the west end of Musselburgh), ☎ . May-Sep: Th-M noon-5PM. National Trust for Scotland owned mansion house, virtually unchanged since the 18th century. Tranquil wooded grounds, open all year, nice for walking. House interior can only be seen on a guided tour (small groups lead by friendly knowledgeable volunteers), taking around 1 hour (+ allow 20 minutes before for exhibition). Tours are best booked in advance. £12.50 for tour of the house, grounds free.
- 2 The Lagoon (Behind the racecourse). Popular spot for ornithologists, due to the number of migratory birds that use it for a stopover. Lots of birds live here year round too. Concrete hides to allow for observation.
- 3 Musselburgh Museum, 65 High Street, (adjacent to the Old Town Hall). Apr-Oct: Th–Sa 10:30AM-4PM. free.
- 4 Inveresk Lodge Garden, 24 Inveresk Village, Musselburgh, EH21 7TE (In Inveresk Village about 1 mile south of Musselburgh High Street), ☎ . Daily 10AM-5PM. A garden on a domestic scale. The garden was designed in 1851 and restored by the National Trust for Scotland in 1959. The adjacent Inveresk House (not open to the public) dates from the 17th century. £3.50.
- 1 Musselburgh Racecourse, Linkfield Road, ☎ , fax: . Musselburgh Links has hosted horse racing since 1816, when the development of the docks at Leith put a stop to race meetings on the sands there. After significant investment in facilities over the last decade or so, the course has now been rated a 5-star attraction by Visit Scotland. Hosts races around once a fortnight throughout the year, both flat and National Hunt.
- 2 Musselburgh Old Links, Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course, Balcarres Road, ☎ . Located in the middle of the race course, this 9-hole links course claims to the oldest continuously played golf course in the world.
- 3 Royal Musselburgh Golf Club, B1361, between Musselburgh and Prestonpans. A picturesque parkland course, the club is the fifth oldest in the world.
- 4 The Musselburgh Golf Club (formerly Monktonhall Golf Club), Monktonhall Terrace, Musselburgh. High-quality championship course, was the Open Championship Qualifying course for Scotland until 2010, and in 2013 was a Local Final Qualifying venue for the Open at Muirfield.
- The Fine Wine Company, 145 North High Street, ☎ . Small independent wine merchant with an excellent range of fine wines, malt whisky and Scottish beers.
There is a wide selection of ethnic restaurants in the town, along with a number of takeaway fish & chip shops.
- 1 Elena Di Rollo, 34 Bridge Street. A family-run business producing very good ice cream and other sweets.
- 2 Luca's, 32 High Street, ☎ . M-Sa 9AM-10PM; Su 10AM-10PM. No trip to Musselburgh is complete without a visit to Luca's - as the queues of folk from Edinburgh and further afield every weekend (not just in summer) will attest. Simply delicious ice cream and old-fashioned desserts.
- 1 The Sportsman Bar, 58 High Street, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11AM-midnight. Situated near the famous Musselburgh race course, this friendly local pub, serves up an extensive range of wines, beers and spirits with a smile
- 2 The David Macbeth Moir, Bridge Street, EH21 6AG. Wetherspoon's pub with the usual cheap real ales and large menu.
There are two corporate chain hotels in the area, neither of which actually lie within the town itself. Travelodge are based within the Moto Service Area, at the junction of the A1 and A720 (Edinburgh City Bypass), which lies between Musselburgh and Old Craighall.
Premier Inn are based on Carberry Road, to the South of Inveresk.
Neither of these establishments are well-served by public transport. The Travelodge seems especially aimed at car drivers, as there are no footpaths or pedestrian walkways leading to and from the site, and pedestrians can often be seen making their way along the access roads, along with the vehicular traffic. Both are within a minute or so of the A1.
- Edinburgh is a few miles to the west, and has the following districts:
- East to Haddington, Gullane and North Berwick