East Lothian Council


Population: 21,900

Musselburgh is situated at the mouth of the River Esk and derives its name from the extensive mussel beds which lie along its shore on the Firth of Forth.

Known locally as 'The Honest Toun', it dates back almost 2,000 years to when the invading Roman army built a fort on Inveresk Hill.

The town's racecourse, dating back to 1816, is Scotland's oldest. It still has a full programme of flat and national hunt racing each year. The bounds of the racecourse contain a historic nine-hole golf course which traces its history back to 1672, making it the oldest in the world.

The Musselburgh Silver Arrow claims to be the oldest sporting trophy in the world and is competed for each May by the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's Bodyguard in Scotland.

The Musselburgh Museum is located at 65 High Street, adjacent to the Old Town Hall building of 1590. The museum puts on regular events and exhibitions illustrating the history of the town and the surrounding aera.

The town contains some outstanding architecture, including:

  • the fine old stone Tolbooth of 1590 in the High Street which was used as a meeting place, courthouse and jail
  • the old Mercat Cross, which dates from the 1700s
  • the magnificent 18th century Newhailes House, which was bought and restored by the National Trust for Scotland for the enjoyment of the public
Musselburgh is also home to the Brunton Theatre, which puts on major dramatic productions throughout the year, and Loretto School, one of Scotland's leading private schools which was founded in the 19th century and is partly housed in the 16th century Pinkie House.

A one-stop-shop for what’s on in the area

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.