Welcome to our official guide to Musselburgh Racecourse. Our teams explore this great flat and jumping racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the tracks, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview of Musselburgh Races
- 2 History of Musselburgh Racecourse
- 3 Musselburgh Racecourse Maps – Flat and Jumps
- 4 Musselburgh Racecourse Address
- 5 How to Get To Musselburgh Races
- 6 Best Hotels Near Musselburgh
- 7 Best Musselburgh Races Online Betting Sites
- 8 Main Races and Musselburgh Meetings
- 9 Musselburgh Racecourse Weather
- 10 Other Events Held at the Course
- 11 Summary of Musselburgh Racecourse
- 12 Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Overview of Musselburgh Races
Just six miles outside Edinburgh, Musselburgh is second in size only to Ayr when it comes to Scottish racecourses. Operating meets throughout the year, with a range of flat and national hunt races, Musselburgh is most celebrated for its Sensational Six events – half a dozen of the most prestigious occasions in Scottish racing.
Musselburgh has a 1.25-mile right-handed oval track, often celebrated for it’s perfectly flat racing surface.
The track has a pair of very sharp turns so nimble and agile horses are better suited to the terrain than hardy gallopers. Although the going makes Musselburgh ideal for flat meets, it’s the jumps events at the track that carry the greatest reward.
Musselburgh is a fairly relaxed course, without any formal dress code. Attire suited to the Scottish climate is most important, though naturally, dressing to impress leaves visitors with a chance to win prizes – especially on Ladies Day.
History of Musselburgh Racecourse
While races have taken place in Musselburgh since 1777, with races such as Edinburgh Cup, however, the racecourse has endured a chequered history. The arrival of legal betting shops on the Scottish high street in the early 1960s plunged local racecourses into financial difficulty. Musselburgh fell into decline and stared down the barrel of bankruptcy for decades, almost going to the wall on countless occasions.
East Lothian Council took responsibility for management of Musselburgh in 1991, improving the financial fortunes of the venue.
1995 completed a reversal of fortune following £7.5m of investment, due to partnership with the Lothians Racing Syndicate. The Queen’s Stand and Link’s Pavilion were built, the Edwardian Grandstand was refurbished, and the track was re-laid and improved. This has led to Musselburgh’s current standing as a major location for British horseracing.
Musselburgh Racecourse Maps – Flat and Jumps
Musselburgh’s flat racing track is right-handed and sharp. This means it tends to suit handy racers more than traditional gallopers. On the straight course, the runners tend to come down the stands rail. The racecourse is also known as one of best draining in the country, meaning that conditions rarely get too heavy.
Similar to the flat course it is right-handed and oval. It is 10 furlongs per circuit. Again the tightness of the track means it suits those ridden handier and with natural speed. There are 8 steeplechase fences or six flights of hurdles (three in each straight nowadays) per circuit.
Musselburgh Racecourse Address
The official correspondence address of Musselburgh Racecourse is:
How to Get To Musselburgh Races
As Musselburgh is so close to Edinburgh, it’s very easily accessed from both sides of the border.
- By car – the racecourse is just a mile from the A1 and clearly signposted as soon as you’re in the vicinity. Details for the sat nav are – Linkfield Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 7RG
- By train – Wallyford Station is even closer, though you’ll likely need to change trains to gain access to this provincial station. An alternative is to take a bus from Edinburgh City Centre – Musselburgh is served by routes 26, 44, 106, 113, 124 and X24.
- By air – if you wish to fly, Edinburgh airport will get you there, or the rail station will also be served by taxis.
Best Hotels Near Musselburgh
The Edinburgh A1 Premier Inn is the closest – and cheapest – hotel to Musselburgh Racecourse at just 1.5 miles away. The same chain also has another hotel on the A1, dubbed the Newcraighall Hotel, a little further afield. The Best Western King’s Manor is comparable in price and distance to these Premier Inns. Alternatively, if you’d rather eschew road noise for a more authentic Scottish experience, check out the Carberry Tower Mansion House and Estate. This is a little over two miles away, and the building will take your breath away. Also, check out the fantastic range of brilliant hotels available via Booking.com below:
Best Musselburgh Races Online Betting Sites
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.
If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals for new customers:
Main Races and Musselburgh Meetings
Musselburgh has a packed calendar of jumps and flat races throughout the year. Offering meets from New Year’s Day right through to December, there is sure to be a raceday for you on the Musselburgh fixture list.
- January – Musselburgh opens the calendar year with a bang with a Sensational Six event on New Year’s Day, which includes a full array of jumps races. This is followed by two further jump racedays later in the month.
- February – February is another gala month for Musselburgh, thanks to the Scottish Cheltenham Trials Weekend that unfolds over the first Saturday and Sunday in the calendar. This Sensational Six event is headlined by the prestigious Edinburgh National. Another jumps meet is typically held later in the month.
- March – March is slightly lower-key, but it still boasts two jump meetings across the month. If Easter Sunday happens to fall in March, this will also be celebrated with a Sensation Six event, including the Queen’s Cup race and the recently added Royal Mile Chase.
- April – As discussed previously, Easter Sunday will see a Sensational Six event if the calendar allows. Even if this isn’t the case, April opens with the Return of the Flats curtain-raiser at the beginning of the month. This event usually hosts the Scottish Sprint Cup.
- May – May will typically see three Flat meets take place at Musselburgh.
- June – June sees the next Sensational Six event at Musselburgh. Ladies Day at the venue is considered the highlight of the Scottish racing calendar and is host to the Maggie Dickson Stakes.
- July – This month sees a standard flat racing meet, and a Family Day at the end of the month.
- August – This is a bumper month in the Musselburgh calendar with four Flat meets. Three of these are traditional fixtures, but August also sees another Family Day that hosts the Archerfield Cup.
- September – September is arguably the biggest month at Musselburgh. Things open with a standard flat meet, but this is followed by two Sensational Six events – The Caledonian Cup raceday, and the Supporting Your Services Family Day.
- October – After all the excitement of September, October is lower-key. One standard Flat meet takes place in the middle of the month.
- November – The beginning of November sees the Return of the Jumps event, which marks the recommencement of the jumps season. A second meet unfolds later in the month.
- December – Musselburgh closes out its annual future list with two jumping meets, usually at the start of the month.
Always be sure to confirm if a racing event is going ahead before travelling to Musselburgh. All race meets are subject to change due to a wide array of external circumstances, including but not limited to the famously unpredictable Scottish weather.
Musselburgh Racecourse Weather
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Musselburgh:
Other Events Held at the Course
Like most racecourses, Musselburgh is available for private hire throughout the year. Unlike others, however, it boasts a golf course within the grounds. This is owned and operated by the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club, who manage reservations and bookings. You’ll need to make arrangements directly, as Musselburgh Racecourse keeps its gates closed on non-racedays.
Summary of Musselburgh Racecourse
Set in beautiful East Lothian, Musselburgh is a great Scottish racecourse. It has a packed schedule throughout the year hosting quality jumps and flat racing. Lively informed racing crowds, mix with families and those on a day out, making it a truly great occasion whenever you choose to go. Whether you are looking for a day out or serious top end racing Musselburgh offers you that. It’s a racecourse the team here at British Racecourses love to go to at any time of year!
Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Our team as of January 2021 have reviewed these racecourses that you may also like to visit:
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- Ayr Racecourse Guide
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse Guide
- Bath Racecourse Guide
- Beverley Racecourse Guide
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