Join the John Muir celebrations

With spring in the air, are you looking for something fun to do in Scotland’s outdoors? Then you’re invited to join the celebrations for the second anniversary of the John Muir Way!

Lee Stetson as John Muir, on the John Muir Way. Photo of Lee courtesy: Lee Terkelsen. Landscape courtesy: Mitchell Hamilton

Lee Stetson as John Muir, on the John Muir Way. Photo of Lee courtesy: Lee Terkelsen. Landscape courtesy: Mitchell Hamilton

Events take place from 16-24 April across the Central Belt. The many festivities include fun mini-critter walks by Buglife, a 12-mile group hike between two stunning historic properties, and creative workshops by the John Muir Artist in Residence.

The John Muir Way has been a huge success in its first year, with more than 60,000 visits specifically walking or cycling on the Way, and another 200,000 people using local sections for dog walking, commuting and other purposes.

The route takes in some of the most beautiful coastal scenery, sweeping landscapes, wildlife sites and historic visitor attractions across Scotland’s heartland. Whether you’re walking, cycling or on horseback you can enjoy the rocky coasts of East Lothian where Muir played as a child, as well as visit the dramatic Blackness Castle on the Forth, historic Linlithgow Palace, Roman hill forts on the Antonine Wall, and the unique Falkirk Wheel boat lift, among the many highlights.

Views across the Forth from Blackness Castle ©beckyduncanphotographyltd/SNH

Views across the Forth from Blackness Castle ©beckyduncanphotographyltd/SNH

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the events taking place across the Central Belt:

  • Bumblebee walk in a wildflower meadow at Balloch Castle and Country Park in Dunbarton.
  • Bug walks at Lauderdale Park in Dunbar.
  • Wildflower meadow discovery day at Kinneil Foreshore at Bo’Ness.
  • Other events in Helensburgh (Duchess Wood), Strathblane, and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
  • 12-mile walk along the John Muir Way from historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness to imposing Blackness Castle, led by the Friends of Kinneil charity.

The first-ever John Muir Coast Festival takes place from 22-24 April in East Lothian, and boasts a night-time golf event, an ultra-marathon, a free bike hire day and a wakeboarding competition, among other activities.

And if you’re feeling creative, North Light Arts are holding a workshop with the John Muir Artist in Residence, Kathy Beckett, on 23 April in Dunbar.

Following the week of festivities, John Muir himself, portrayed by Lee Stetson, will be walking the entire 134-mile route. Along the way, he will perform at various venues, telling stories of his earliest years in Dunbar, his boyhood in the wilderness of Wisconsin, his truly astonishing adventures in the American West, and of his heroic battles to preserve wild lands.

For more information on these events, see the John Muir Celebrations page of our website

Get an early introduction to John Muir/Lee Stetson at

Cycling on footpath past Linlithgow Palace and loch. ©beckyduncanphotographyltd.

Cycling past Linlithgow Palace and loch. ©beckyduncanphotographyltd.

Or perhaps you’d prefer to celebrate the Way by getting out walking and cycling on your own, with family or with friends. The Way is appropriate for those of any ability or fitness level. You can walk a mile along the route near where you live – or walk the entire 134 miles. Whatever your choice, it’s easy to find out how. The route is way-marked with John Muir signs, and a website, a book, leaflets and a map give you all the information you need to complete all or part of the trail.

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