Musselburgh is a historic market town known as 'The Honest Toun' and famed for golf and its racecourse.

Musselburgh was first settled by the Romans in the years following their invasion of Scotland in AD80. They built a fort a little inland from the mouth of the River Esk and bridged the river here. In doing so they established the line of the main eastern approach to Scotland's capital for most of the next 2,000 years.

Musselburgh is the oldest town in Scotland and has the oldest golf course in the world; Musselburgh Links dating from 1672. The Links, which is a former venue of golf's Open Championship, is the oldest continuously played golf course in the world. What’s more, the golf course is located in the middle of Musselburgh Racecourse!

The name Musselburgh is Old English in origin with mussel referring to the extensive shellfish beds which line the shore on the Firth of Forth, and burgh derived from the Old English for 'town'. The town motto "Honesty" dates back to 1332, when the Regent of Scotland, Randolph, Earl of Moray, died in the burgh. His successor offered to reward the people for their loyalty but they declined, saying they were only doing their duty. The new regent, the Earl of Mar, was impressed and said they were a set of honest men, hence 'The Honest Toun'.

Musselburgh is the largest town in East Lothian and is next door to Edinburgh. It has a long High Street with a mixture of both local and well-known stores.


What to see and do

Enjoy a day at the races at Musselburgh Racecourse. This 5-star visitor attraction is the oldest racecourse in Scotland and the ideal location for a great day out.
Get your culture fix at one of The Brunton's shows, including music, cinema, comedy, children's shows, dance festive family fun during pantomime season.
Play a round of golf in the middle of a racecourse at the historic 9-hole Musselburgh Links. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have played here in 1567.
Discover the history of the 'The Honest Toun' at Musselburgh Museum from earliest times, through its Roman settlement and medieval upheaval to its former valuable industrial mill complex and thriving agricultural, mining and fishing communities.
Enjoy a family day out at Newhailes House & Garden. This National Trust for Scotland property is famed for having some of the finest rococo interiors in Scotland and has a super play park – Wee Hailes.
Visit Inveresk Lodge Garden a National Trust for Scotland property featuring a 17th century house with a stunning walled garden.
Go for ice cream at the famous Luca’s ice cream parlour which has been in Musselburgh since 1908.
Take a woodland walk steeped in history to Carberry Hill Monument where Mary Queen of Scots surrendered herself to the confederate Lords on 15th June 1567.
Grab a crayon and paper and take a stroll along the River Esk Walkway to complete the Musselburgh Trail. Make a rubbing of the illustrated plaques, unlock a secret phrase and claim your certificate!