An ancient, sea-facing town that lured in Roman crusaders with a good shore and villagers with rich shellfish harvests today creeps over towards Edinburgh. Musselburgh is a postcard for any mid-sized Lothian town, miles of pleasant estates and commercial sites strung along the waterfront and the gentle River Esk. Civic buildings in typical Scottish Baronial style proudly anchor the high street shopping district, an assortment of ethnic restaurants and brasseries scattered among newsagents, banks, and estate agents. Comfortably lived in and solidly working class, the community advances in a seamless drift of concrete and tidily painted cottages all the way to the water’s edge.
Roman legions laid out the essential groundwork for the Musselburgh region over two millennia ago and established the roadways linking East Lothian to Edinburgh still followed to this day. The old Roman bridge spanning the River Esk was replaced in time by a medieval stone structure still carrying pedestrians above the churning muddy waters, a newer peer managing car traffic bound for the capital. Musselburgh Links charts eighteen holes over rolling dunes at the Esk estuary, and the river flats provide an excellent sports field for the esteemed Loretto School.