Musselburgh Trail in East Lothian is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy cycling, walking, and running. The trail is approximately 3 miles long and offers stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding countryside. The flat terrain makes it an easy and accessible route for people of all ages and fitness levels.

The trail starts at the Fisherrow Harbour and follows the coastline towards Prestonpans. Along the way, you’ll pass by a variety of landmarks, including the Musselburgh Racecourse and the Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum. The trail is well-maintained and clearly signposted, making it easy to navigate and enjoy at your own pace.

The Musselburgh Trail

The Musselburgh Trail is a scenic route that takes you through some of the most beautiful and historic areas of Musselburgh, East Lothian. This trail is perfect for those who love to explore the great outdoors while learning about the rich history of Scotland.

The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, with illustrated plaques along the way that provide information about the various landmarks and points of interest. These plaques are perfect for rubbing with a crayon, and once you have collected them all, you can receive a certificate to commemorate your journey.

The route takes you through Musselburgh, a charming coastal town that is steeped in history. Along the way, you will pass by the Musselburgh Racecourse, which is one of the oldest racecourses in Scotland. You will also get to see the historic Fisherrow Harbour, which has been a hub of activity for over 900 years.

One of the highlights of the Musselburgh Trail is the beautiful views of the Firth of Forth that you will encounter along the way. The trail takes you along the coastline, where you can enjoy stunning views of the water and the surrounding landscape.

Historical Significance

Musselburgh Trail in East Lothian has a rich history that spans over centuries. The trail passes through several sites of historical significance, including those related to mining, Romans, Mary Queen of Scots, and other historic landmarks.

Mining played a significant role in the development of Musselburgh during the 19th century. The town was home to several coal mines, and the trail passes through some of the former mining areas. The mining industry brought prosperity to the town, and the trail provides an opportunity to learn more about the town’s industrial past.

The Romans also left their mark on Musselburgh, and the trail passes through some of the sites associated with their presence. The Roman Bridge, located near the town centre, is a historic landmark that dates back to the 2nd century AD. The bridge was part of the Roman road that connected the fort at Inveresk with the rest of Scotland.

Mary Queen of Scots also has links to Musselburgh. The queen stayed at the nearby Pinkie House in 1567, following her defeat at the Battle of Carberry Hill. The house is now a museum that provides an insight into the life of the queen and her time in Scotland.

Other historic landmarks along the trail include the Musselburgh Old Town Hall, which dates back to the 16th century, and the Musselburgh Tolbooth, which was built in the 1590s. Both buildings are examples of the town’s rich architectural heritage and are open to the public.

Natural Beauty and Wildlife

Musselburgh Trail in East Lothian is a nature lover’s paradise, with its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The trail takes you through woodlands, along the coast, and past the Musselburgh Lagoons and Levenhall Links Nature Reserve.

As you walk along the trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the coastal scenery. The trail is also home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and insects. If you’re a birdwatcher, be sure to bring your binoculars and camera, as you’ll have the opportunity to spot a wide range of bird species.

One of the highlights of the trail is the Musselburgh Lagoons, which are a haven for birdlife. The lagoons are home to a variety of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and swans. There are also several bird hides along the trail, which provide the perfect vantage point for birdwatching and photography.

The Levenhall Links Nature Reserve is another must-see destination along the trail. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including roe deer, foxes, and badgers. There are several picnic areas throughout the reserve, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch break.

Outdoor Activities

Musselburgh Trail in East Lothian offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you are a family looking for a leisurely walk or an adventure enthusiast seeking a challenging hike, there is something for everyone.

One of the most popular activities on the trail is walking. The trail offers scenic paths and countryside views that are perfect for hikers and walkers. The River Esk Walkway is a particularly picturesque route that follows the river from Musselburgh to Dalkeith.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are plenty of family-friendly walks to enjoy. The John Muir Way is a popular option that takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the trail.

Golf enthusiasts can also enjoy a round of golf at the Musselburgh Links, which is the oldest golf course in the world. The course has a rich history and is a must-visit for any golf lover.

Camping is also available for those who want to spend the night on the trail. Campers should bring appropriate footwear and gear for the terrain and weather conditions.

Visitor Amenities

Musselburgh Trail has a range of amenities available for visitors, making it a great destination for families, couples, and solo travellers alike.

Cafes and Restaurants

There are several cafes and restaurants located near the trail, offering a variety of food and drink options. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste. Some of the popular cafes and restaurants include:

  • The Lantern Room
  • The Olive Branch Coffee House
  • The Pinkerton’s Kitchen

Play Area

If you’re travelling with children, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a play area located near the trail. The play area is suitable for children of all ages and is a great place for them to burn off some energy.


There are several facilities available near the trail, including public restrooms and water fountains. These facilities are well-maintained and easily accessible to visitors.


The trail runs along the promenade, providing stunning views of the coast and the sea. The promenade is well-maintained and is a popular spot for walking, jogging, and cycling.

Parking Fee

There is no parking fee for visitors to the trail. However, parking can be limited during peak hours, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a spot.


In addition to the cafes, play area, and facilities, there are several other amenities available near the trail. These include:

  • Bike rental shops
  • Gift shops
  • Tourist information centres

Camping Opportunities

There are no camping opportunities available near the trail. However, there are several campsites located in the surrounding area, making it a great destination for a camping trip.

Nearby Attractions

Musselburgh Trail is located in East Lothian, which is known for its picturesque countryside and beautiful coastline. Visitors can enjoy a range of attractions nearby, from historic landmarks to stunning natural scenery.

One of the most popular nearby attractions is Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Just a short drive away, Edinburgh is home to a range of famous landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the Scottish Parliament. Visitors can also explore the city’s many museums, galleries, and shops, or take a stroll through the beautiful Princes Street Gardens.

Another must-see attraction is Inveresk Lodge Garden, a stunning 18th-century walled garden located in the nearby village of Inveresk. The garden features a wide range of plants and flowers, as well as a beautiful pond and a charming summerhouse.

For those interested in history, Newhailes House is a must-visit attraction. This beautiful 17th-century house is located just a short drive from Musselburgh Trail and offers visitors the chance to explore its grand rooms and beautiful gardens.

Other nearby attractions include Prestonpans, a historic town with a rich maritime history, and Prestongrange, a former industrial site that is now home to a fascinating museum. Visitors can also explore the charming high street of Musselburgh itself, or take a stroll along the beautiful Firth of Forth.

Nature lovers will also find plenty to enjoy in the area, with nearby attractions including the seaside town of North Berwick, the picturesque village of Cockenzie, and the beautiful beaches of Gullane and Portobello. The Dalkeith Country Estate Circular and the Newhailes Garden Walk are both popular walking routes, while the Queen Margaret University Circular and the Port Seton walk offer stunning views of the coastline.

Finally, visitors can explore the charming villages of Longniddry and Aberlady, both of which offer a range of shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Practical Information

Musselburgh Trail is a well-maintained walking and cycling path that runs along the coast of East Lothian. Here’s some practical information to help you plan your visit:

Trail Maps and Driving Directions

The trail is easily accessible by car, with parking available at various points along the route. You can find detailed driving directions and trail maps on the East Lothian Council website.

Trail Conditions

The trail is generally easy to navigate and suitable for all levels of fitness. However, there are some rougher sections, particularly around the rivers South and North Esk, so sturdy footwear is recommended. During wetter conditions, some areas of the trail may become muddy, so be prepared with appropriate footwear and clothing.


There are several facilities along the trail, including public toilets, picnic areas, and benches. If you’re planning a longer walk or cycle, there are also several cafes and restaurants in Musselburgh where you can stop for a bite to eat.