6 miles,
9.6 km
Average time to complete:
2 hours
Route type:
Total elevation:
100 metres


Explore the Firth of Forth coastline just east of Edinburgh on this walk along the John Muir Way. Starting at Musselburgh’s Fisherrow Harbour, hug the coastline past the ash lagoons with their rich birdlife. Look out for the hundreds of swans that patrol the Forth here too.

Approaching Prestonpans you’ll spot the towering chimney that marks the industrial heritage museum at Prestongrange. After a tour of the free museum, continue along the John Muir Way through Prestonpans and see how many of the murals you can spot on the way.

There’s plenty of history on this route, passing near the site of the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans and Scotland’s oldest railway, revealed at the 1722 Waggonway Museum.

Continue along the coast to Cockenzie and Port Seton, where the harbour seal might pop up to greet you. For tired legs, this can be a one-way walk as there is a regular bus service back to Musselburgh.


This route follows the John Muir Way along the coast and is fully waymarked. The coastal terrain means it’s virtually flat. Surfaces are good with a few sections of hard packed dirt track or gravel but mainly tarmac on shared walking/cycle path.

Getting There

BY RAIL: There are train stations at Musselburgh, Prestonpans and Longniddry on the Edinburgh line.

BY BUS: This area is served by the 26 and X5 bus routes between Edinburgh and North Berwick.

BY CAR: There is free parking at Fisherrow Harbour and more options in Musselburgh town.


There are some great views on this route, north over the Forth and west to Arthur’s Seat. Before you get the bus back, there’s also a good viewpoint over the 1745 battlefield site about 30 minutes’ walk from Port Seton Harbour.

For a full listing of businesses and attractions on this route, view it on the Plan Your Trip page.

Points of interest

Fisherrow Harbour

Found on the western approach to Musselburgh this harbour, built from 1850, is still used by pleasure & fishing boats. Walk along the prom or harbour piers and spot wading birds on the shoreline. Public toilets to the west include warm showers.

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Cockenzie House and Gardens

One of the few remaining unique late 17th century manager’s houses in Scotland. Call in for a well-deserved tea and cake and explore the gardens on your way.

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1722 Waggonway Museum

Museum dedicated to Scotland's first railway, the 1722 Tranent - Cockenzie Waggonway. Open at weekends only, 12-4pm.

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Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum

Prestongrange is a free museum – managed by East Lothian Council Museums – and an open-air site of major importance in the story of Scotland's Industrial Revolution.

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