Tranent is located about a mile inland from the south shore of the Firth of Forth, in the Scottish county of East Lothian, approximately 402 miles north of London and 9 miles east of Edinburgh.
The town has a population of around 8,300. Administratively it is within the unitary council region of East Lothian which covers an area of approximately 679 sq kms and which has a population of around 90,000.
One of the most ancient towns in East Lothian, and formerly an important mining centre, Tranent lies on a gentle slope, about 300 feet above the level of the sea. There are some notable historic buildings, including the remains of the 16th century Tranent Tower on Church Street, and numerous visitor attractions within the area.
Mining is at the centre of the town's history with coal first being worked in Tranent in the 12th century. Perhaps the darkest moment in the town's history is the infamous 'Massacre of Tranent' in 1797. A protest march had been organised against the government's introduction of a type of compulsory military service, troops were called in to restore order and in the ensuing riot twelve people were killed by regular cavalry unit. No-one was ever brought to justice for the slaughter, although a memorial statue to those who died now stands in the Civic Square.
Historically the town's economy was based upon coalmining. With the decline of that industry the town is undergoing a process of regeneration, and today the majority of the workforce are employed in the retail, health, public administration, financial services, real estate, and other service sectors. Many residents also commute to work in Edinburgh. One of the town's major employers is the drug-testing and biotechnology company Inveresk Research.
The name Tranent derives from its ancient form 'Trevernant' ('tref ' - a homestead or village, and 'nant' - a valley), meaning 'the village in the valley', and refers to its natural situation. The town's motto is 'Lie Forrit' which means ''.