Musselburgh, six miles from Edinburgh, is the oldest town in Scotland, making the meetings at the Musselburgh Racecourse an atmospheric experience. With around 25 meetings a year, covering both Flat and National Hunt racing, Musselburgh is busy little racecourse that prides itself in its resistance to bad weather, rarely ever cancelling a race.
Address: Musselburgh Racecourse, Linkfield Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 7RG
Phone: 0131 665 28 59
The Edinburgh Races was the original name for the first meetings staged in 1816 on the Musselburgh Links, which is still the location of the racecourse today as well as the home of the world's oldest golf course. During the early years racing at Musselburgh was far from the public spectacle it is today, it was reserved mainly to aristocrats and affluent commoners. However, as the popularity of the sport grew, the margins of classes admitted to watch the races widened slowly.
During the peak of Musselburgh Racecourse's fame, a race meeting could draw crowds up to 15,000 strong - which was also due to the fact that one could only legally gamble on the actual site of the race. The introduction of bookkeeping outlets changed the attendance numbers dramatically in the 1960s, leading to the closure of a number of Scottish race tracks, such as Boghall and Lanark. However, Musselburgh Racecourse was saved from such a cruel fate when the East Lothian Council took over the courses management in 1991.
Since this takeover, Musselburgh has once again bloomed and is now the most popular and successful racecourse in Scotland.
Note: A free bus runs on race days from Wallyford Station (on the Edinburgh - North Berwick Line) to Musselburgh Racecourse.
The racecourse can easily be reached via the A1, eight miles east of Edinburgh. Signage and free parking are provided.
Epperston Restaurant: The Restaurant, located in the Epperston and Lothian Suite, offers panoramic views of the course, mouth-watering three course meals, private betting facilities and much more. Book early to ensure a table as your base for the duration of the race day.
The Old Weighing Room Bistro: This is quite a cool little venue, considering it indeed used to be the room in which the jockey's had to face up to the scales. Today you are well advised to ignore all thoughts of scales as you indulge in the tasty treats served up in the comfortable and more casual bistro-style restaurant.