Musselburgh’s history stretches all the way back to the Romans, who, having invaded Scotland in 80AD built a fort here. They also built a bridge over the River Esk, but apart from the foundations, this was later replaced in the 13th century. The bridge was used by Edward II in his retreat from the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Later in 1332, the town earned its label the “honest town” for its part in caring for the dying Regent of Scotland, the Earl of Moray. There are many fine 18th and 19th century buildings in the town, and visitors can follow a trail highlighting places of historic interest with information boards telling the story of Musselburgh’s involvement in numerous battles, as well as the roles of Oliver Cromwell and Sir Walter Scott in its history. The Old Town Hall and Tollbooth, housing the town museum, is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Scotland, dating from 1590.
Tourist attractions in Musselburgh include a venerable old church, St Thomas’Church, which has been turned into a Dolls Museum. In the village of Inveresk on the edge of the town is the Inveresk Lodge Garden where the many interesting plants are complemented by an Edwardian conservatory and aviary. To the west of the town is the late 17th century Newhailes Estate. The other thing that Musselburgh is known for is horse racing. Its racecourse is the premiere racing venue in south east Scotland, and its year-round fixtures include a Gold Cup Day on Easter Weekend.
Map of the area.