The first walk after Christmas. A chance to toss aside the jumper you’ve been wearing for a week, potentially don a pair of jeans (if you’re brave) and see if your little bit of the world has changed since you entered a Christmas cocoon of Chocolate and pastry.
Having already explored the ‘Edinburgh beaches’ of Portobello and Cramond, Musselburgh beach was next on my list to check out during lockdown three. Nestled in East Lothian on the picturesque John Muir Way, I had imagined it to be a quaint smallish seaside town with somewhere cute to buy a tolerable coffee, so off I set.
After parking for free at Fisherrow Harbour, in true Scottish style the sky was awash with contrasting shades of grey and a strong breeze hit me in the face as soon as I left the car. With no sign of anywhere to get a hot bev apart from McDonald’s, it was very tempting to wimp out, drive home and put Netflix on. However I persevered as the charms of Musselburgh awaited for me to explore.
What is there to see in Musselburgh
Musselburgh is situated on the John Muir Way, which is a fantastically flat trail for walkers and cyclists to explore along the East Lothian coast. There are plenty of information boards to guide you along your route.
Musselburgh has a short beach, but when the tide is low, you can walk far out from the shoreline, which is quite thrilling, especially when the temperature is only 1 degree.
Fisherrow Harbour has been in existence since 1597 but seems to mainly make the history books for the unsuccesses it has had, rather than having been put to good use. In 1650 Oliver Cromwell was searching for a port in the Forth for his supply ships, Fisherrow was rejected for being too shallow. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries Fisherrow was unsuitable for foreign trade and in the early 18th century a new harbour was built at the mouth of the River Esk, but this was soon abandoned because of silting.
Today, the harbour is home to small local boats, one called Countess Linda made me chuckle.
Originally Roman but the current bridge is actually one that was rebuilt in 1597, this is considered one of Musselburgh’s ‘sites’.
Levenhall Links is a well known spot for Birdwatching and seal spotting. Pack your binoculars!
Musselburgh Beach Parking
I drove to Musselburgh from Edinburgh, which takes 15 minutes by car.
There is free parking at Fisherrow Harbour.