Welcome

17 — 26 April, 2014


Welcome to the John Muir Festival 2014

A celebration of the life and legacy of pioneering conservationist John Muir as a new national pathway was named in his honour.

The inaugural John Muir Festival - a signature Homecoming Scotland event - ran from 17 - 26 April, to mark the official opening of the John Muir Way.

Funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland - the successful Festival involved community participation, artist-led events and large-scale public performances at selected locations along the 134 mile route.

Home – the international launch of The Kelpies and Helix

The Festival opened with a spectacular night-time arts event – on the theme of Scotland as Home – which also marked the international launch of new cultural landmark, The Kelpies and the Helix.

On 17 and 18 April, one-off, specially-commissioned artworks illuminated Helix Park in Falkirk, as almost 10,000 gathered round the iconic Kelpies for an extraordinary, recurring animation of the sculptures with pulsating soundtrack. Artist Andy Scott’s colossal 300 tonne, 30 metres high horses heads sculptures were ‘brought to life’ with a breath-taking light, flame and sound performance by Groupe F, the internationally renowned pyrotechnic company who famously lit up the Eiffel Tower at the Millennium.

Dunbar – official opening of John Muir Way

First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened the new coast to coast pathway in Muir’s hometown of Dunbar on 21 April. Thousands enjoyed the Festival atmosphere in the sunshine with celebratory art, music, performance and food stalls. Ramblers, runners and cyclists participated in the first leg of the relay 'A Flag For John Muir' to North Berwick.

A Flag for John Muir

A key part of the Festival was the coast-to-coast flag relay. Ramblers, runners and cyclists of all ages and abilities participated by carrying flags, designed by local schoolchildren, along the new pathway to selected hotspots where they could enjoy a variety of artworks.

A gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes provided fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings. A caravan obscura provided a new perspective on the surrounding landscape. And seed bombing with Scottish wild flowers proved very popular.

Loch Lomond Shores – music, art, street theatre and fireworks

In the afternoon of 26 April, the Festival and flags reached the end of the John Muir Way in Helensburgh on the same Clyde coast where 11 year old Muir and his family set sail for a new life in America. Appropriately – for a founding father of the US National Parks – Scotland’s national park at Loch Lomond was the venue the same evening for the Festival finale. The outdoor finale of music, art, street theatre and fireworks at Loch Lomond shores, Balloch attracted a large and appreciative crowd many of whom enjoyed an indoor concert later at the Gateway Centre, Loch Lomond Shores with Rodney Branigan and Scottish contemporary folk band Breabach.

If you would like any further information about the John Muir Festival please contact: UZ Arts on 0141 559 4910 or info@uzarts.com

Find Out More

What's On


Almost 40,000 people took part in the John Muir Festival 2014.

The programmed John Muir Festival events, produced and commissioned by UZ Arts, which took place from 17-26 April, are listed below.

More than 70 associated events - organised by a large variety of local groups - which took place over the Festival are listed alphabetically by location.

17 and 18 April

The John Muir Festival opened with the spectacular launch of The Kelpies in Falkirk. Thousands thronged Helix Park, Falkirk to enjoy a variety of artworks on the theme of Scotland as 'Home' before a breathtaking performance at the gigantic horse head sculptures staged by Groupe F.

Photo credit: Alan McAteer

21 April

Official opening of the John Muir Way

First minister Alex Salmond officially opened the John Muir Way at the glebe in Dunbar on Monday 21 April. Thousands enjoyed the Festival atmosphere in the sunshine with celebratory art, music, performance and food stalls. Ramblers, runners and cyclists participated in the first leg of the relay 'A Flag For John Muir' to North Berwick.

Photo credit: Alan McAteer.

22 April

North Berwick, Seabird Centre
A Flag for John Muir.
Ramblers, runners and cyclists were invited to see the world anew through Kenny Bean's Caravan Obscura, have a chat with John Muir himself via the Mischief la Bas performers and seedbomb native flowers with Darren Wilson.

Photo: Members of the Ramblers Association at North Berwick.

23 April

Edinburgh Quay, Fountainbridge
A Flag for John Muir.
Ramblers, runners and cyclists were invited to see the world anew through Kenny Bean's Caravan Obscura, have a chat with John Muir himself via the Mischief la Bas performers and seedbomb native flowers with Darren Wilson.

Photo: The Braids Running Girls met several John Muirs at Edinburgh Quay before setting off to run a section of the John Muir Way to Corstorphine Hill.

24 April

Linlithgow Palace, 9.30am.
A Flag for John Muir.
Ramblers, runners and cyclists were invited to see the world anew through Kenny Bean's Caravan Obscura, have a chat with John Muir himself via the Mischief la Bas performers and seedbomb native flowers with Darren Wilson.

Photo: Local schoolchildren meet two John Muirs at Linlithgow Palace.

25 April

Kirkintilloch, High Street.
A Flag for John Muir.
Ramblers, runners and cyclists were invited to see the world anew through Kenny Bean's Caravan Obscura, have a chat with John Muir himself via the Mischief la Bas performers and seedbomb native flowers with Darren Wilson.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
3 Poets & Some Seed: Alec Finlay, Gerry Loose & Andrew Schelling.
Poems inspired by a walk planting seeds, along the John Muir Way. Gerry Loose and Alec Finlay are joined by Andrew Schelling, of the USA, renowned for his Sanskrit translations.

Photo: Flag bearers and John Muirs at Kirkintilloch.

26 April

JOHN MUIR FESTIVAL FINALE

Early bird ramblers carried a flag for John Muir from Croftamie, Wayfarers Pub and Balloch Castle.

The Helensburgh Afternoon Finale celebrated the end of the route with a fun, family procession of flags from The Hill House to Hermitage Park with music, artworks and street theatre.

Gathering at The Hill House, Helensburgh a flag procession of John Muir Flags led by Helensburgh and District Pipe Band set off for Hermitage Park where there was UZ Arts commissioned artworks, walkabout theatre, choir performance, and food stalls.

Loch Lomond shores, Balloch The Festival drew to a fitting close on the banks of Scotland's first National Park with a celebration of the life and legacy of John Muir and an evening of music, street theatre, artistic installations and much-lauded pyrotechnics.

The free and unticketed Festival finale attracted a large and appreciative crowd many of whom attended a memorable indoor concert at the Gateway Centre, Loch Lomond Shores with Scottish contemporary folk band Breabach.

Edinburgh Real Life Science Studio, Royal Botanic Garden.
3 Poets & Some Seed: Alec Finlay, Gerry Loose & Andrew Schelling
Poems inspired by a walk planting seeds, along the John Muir Way. Gerry Loose and Alec Finlay are joined by Andrew Schelling, of the USA, renowned for his Sanskrit translations. Artist's blog. Seed Collecting



Associated Events

Bo'ness

21 April
Bo'ness Community Cabin, Boundary Street.
Lantern-Making and Lantern-Lit Procession
Make your own lantern during the day and join the evening lantern-lit procession through Bo’ness. Finish at the Corbie Inn for the launch of a special brew to celebrate the official opening of the John Muir Way. All ages welcome. Please see Falkirk Community Trust for more information.

21 April
Corbie Inn
John Muir Sessions with Falkirk Folk Club
As part of the Lantern-lit procession, join Falkirk Folk Club for a night of traditional music and song inspired by the power and beauty of the natural world in celebration of John Muir and the opening of the John Muir Way. Free, no booking required. Over 18s only. Please see Falkirk Folk Club for more details.

23 April
Hippodrome, 7.30pm.
Chasing Ice
Jeff Orlowski / USA 2012 / 1h20m / 12A
Screening of documentary 'Chasing Ice' as part of the John Muir Film Festival. National Geographic photographer James Balog set out to capture incontrovertible evidence of climate warming’s impact via an ambitious, multi-continent project visually documenting the increased speed of glacial melting over a matter of years. A profoundly cinematic experience featuring breathtaking time-lapse footage.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Please call 01324 506850 for tickets. Tickets £6/£4.50. Family Ticket £2 adults/2children or 1 adult/3children £16.40. See Hippodrome website for information on the screening. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

24 April
Kinneil Museum, 5.45 pm.
Kinneil Past and Present Evening Walk
Join us on a guided walk to explore Kinneil estate and Bo’ness foreshore. Learn the old forgotten secrets of the area from guides from the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, and find out about what makes the Inner Forth one of the busiest places for migrating birds in the country from our RSPB guide. Meet at 5:45 for a 6pm start from Kinneil Museum that will take us around the estate and down to the Forth estuary, before looping round back up to the museum. The walk will last approximately two hours and hot drink will be provided at the end of the walk. Stout footwear and warm clothing are recommended. Free. Booking essential, telephone 01324 832953. Please visit Inner Forth Landscape or RSPB Events for more details.

26 April
Kinneil House, 12.30 - 4 pm
Open Day
Weekend event to coincide with the launch of the new John Muir Way, which runs through Kinneil. The event will focus on the landscape of Kinneil Estate and the influence of the powerful Hamilton family. See inside the amazing Kinneil House, hear from a costumed interpreter and go on a walk around the surrounding parklands... packed with historical features (and great flora and fauna). Kinneil Museum will be open from 12.30 pm until 4 pm and the House open noon until 3 pm (last admission 2.30pm). Event continues on the Sunday. For walk times check website or call 01506 778530. Free, no booking required.

26 April
Hippodrome, 7.30pm
Into the Wild
Sean Penn / USA 2007 / 2h28m / 15
Writer/director Sean Penn's powerful and moving adaptation of Jon Krakauer's non-fiction account of the wanderings of Chris McCandless, a young man who leaves behind his friends, family and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Please call 01324 506850 for tickets. Tickets £6/£4.50. Family Ticket £2 adults/2children or 1 adult/3children £16.40. Please see Hippodrome website for information on the screening. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

26 April
Hippodrome, 11 am
Over The Hedge
Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick / USA 2006 / 1h23m / No dialogue / U
With the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte. Animated.
When greedy raccoon RJ gets caught stealing the snack stash of a ferocious bear, he's given a week to replace it all or become part of the food chain himself. With time running out, the scheming RJ fools a makeshift family of woodland creatures into helping him to steal food from the new and terrifying world of suburbia, which has recently encroached on their once-natural habitat.
This screening is part of Wild Places - John Muir Film Festival.Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Please call 01324 506850 for tickets. Tickets £2.30 as part of Reel Saturday. See Hippodrome website for information on the screening. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter. Book tickets by calling 01324506850 or visit the Hippodrome website

27 April
Hippodrome 2.30 pm
Over The Hedge (Autism Friendly)
Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick / USA 2006 / 1h23m / No dialogue / U
With the voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte. Animated.
When greedy raccoon RJ gets caught stealing the snack stash of a ferocious bear, he's given a week to replace it all or become part of the food chain himself. With time running out, the scheming RJ fools a makeshift family of woodland creatures into helping him to steal food from the new and terrifying world of suburbia, which has recently encroached on their once-natural habitat.
This screening is part of Wild Places - John Muir Film Festival. Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Please call 01324 506850 for tickets. See Hippodrome website for information on the screening. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter. Book tickets by calling 01324506850 or visit the Hippodrome website

Date TBC
Kinneil Foreshore & Kinneil Estate.
Family treasure hunt and geocache event will help participants discover and explore the foreshore area and the woodland and meadow habitats. The geocache points will also be spread throughout Kinneil Estate which has a medieval church, 15th century house, Roman remains, woodlands and grassland. Participants will need to supply their own phone with GPS, or GPS device. Free, no booking required. Visit the website or Facebook for more details.

Birnam, Perthshire

23 April
Birnam Arts & Conference Centre
Screening of 'Project Wild Thing', a film by David Bond
Project Wild Thing is a movement to get kids and grown ups playing outside more, roaming freely and reconnecting with the natural world on our doorsteps.
Event organised by the Caingorms National Park Authority and in partnership with the John Muir Trust. Please see website, Facebook or Twitter for more information. The event is free and unticketed, with refreshments available.

Blackness

23 & 24 April
Blackness Castle
Medieval Construction Science Show
Discover how Medieval castles were built in this cross curricular show. P4-S1 pupils will help our Medieval stonemason, Peter, in demonstrations that explore energy, forces and technology. The Learning Services team develops and provides opportunities for learners of all ages to actively engage with their heritage through activities, resources and projects. Event aimed at schools only. Session at: 9.50; 11.10; 12.40; 2.00. Free, with booking essential through Historic Scotland Education Visits scheme: 0131 652 8155/56 or hslearning@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

Medieval Construction Science Show
Bishopbriggs

16 April
Library, 170 Kirkintilloch Road, 11am.
John Muir Lantern Making Workshop
EDLC’s Easter holiday programme celebrates pioneer of conservation John Muir and all things environmental! Join us for free lantern making sessions, then show off your creations at our John Muir Lantern Procession. Free, book your place on edlct.bookings@eastdunbarton.gov.uk. Ages 4+, Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Visit EDLC's website for further information.

Cumbernauld

23 April
Palacerigg Country Park, 7pm
Nature's Peace - the Spirit of John Muir
Author Peter Wright invites audiences to imagine they are journeying along the wilder spine of Scotland. For all those who love wild places this richly colourful and evocative journey is an inspirational delight. For further information please visit Wright's website or see his Twitter or Facebook. To book a place please email peter.wright@ribbonofwildness.co.uk, an entry fee of £2 is payable at the event.

Dirleton

19 April, 2pm
The Walled Garden, Archerfield Estate, Dirleton EH39 5HQ

Bring the kids along to The Walled Garden on Easter Saturday afternoon between 2 and 4pm for our John Muir Festival event. There'll be a special yurt on site for face painting and nature craft activity as well as the Magical Musical Walled Garden Trail - a guided wander along our paths with the brilliant Being in Rhythm.

Tickets to include all activities and materials: £5 available on the day, subject to availability.

The Walled Garden is a new destination in East Lothian, located on the historic Archerfield Estate. Housing a brewery and a gallery shop showcasing local art and craft, as well as a restaurant serving seasonal, local produce, The Walled Garden is also committed to celebrating the Estate flora and fauna and countryside trails. For more information visit the website, Facebook or Twitter.

Dunbar

5 April – 21 April
John Muir’s Birthplace
Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm, Sun 1pm – 5pm
Drop in to John Muir’s Birthplace in Dunbar to design and make your own flag to celebrate the opening of the new John Muir Way. Everyone welcome, no booking required. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. John Muir’s Birthplace is free to visit and is the Dunbar terminus of the new John Muir Way, officially being opened on 21 April. Come and learn more about the man who inspired the John Muir Way and the John Muir Festival. Find out more at John Muir's Birthplace.

5 April - 3 May
Dunbar Town House
In a Natural State
An exhibition at Dunbar Town House by the Scottish artist Emma Herman-Smith. The exhibition comprises selected sculptures and prints, which capture the dynamic actions of nature in the process of growth and decay. Presented by North Light Arts, the exhibition comprises selected sculptures and prints, which capture the dynamic actions of nature in the process of growth and decay. Presented by North Light Arts, an artist-led organisation delivering innovative public arts projects and educational initiatives in and around Dunbar. Free entry. Please visit North Light Arts website or Facebook page for more information.

10 - 22 April
Dunbar Garden Centre are running a 'John Muir themed Easter bunny hunt'!
It is FREE and open to children from all ages to enter. It will be starting on Thursday 10th April and closing on Tuesday 22nd April, the hunt will only take a few minutes to complete. All the entries will be put together and a winner chosen at random on the 22nd. The winner will then be notified that their prize is ready for collection.

19 April
Dunbar Film Society, West Barns Village Hall, 3.15pm
Grizzly Man
Werner Herzog / USA 2005 / 1h44m / 15
Filmmaker Werner Herzog, perennially fascinated by obsession, here takes on the strange case of Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers in Alaska living among grizzly gears and chronicling their lives on video. The animals he loved, however, were to be his downfall. Screening as part of Wild Places: John Muir Film Festival.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £4 (£10 family) pay on door only. Please see www.dunbarfilm.org.uk website for information on the screening. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter

20 April
Lochend Woods, Dunbar. 10am - 6pm
Celebrating the Launch of John Muir Way

Your Woodland is embracing the spirit of Dunbar's most famous son on Sunday 20th April. We are gearing up for a day of JM fun in the woods!

10am - Bird identification walk - with David Bates, our convenor.
11am - Easter Egg Hunt for the wee ones - with DCWG
12 - 5pm - Log Drum workshop - with Andy Penicuik.
12.30 Food/lunch, setting fire in the clay oven and the camp-fire
2.30 - 'Mad about Muir' - a promenade play in the woods, by Quids In theatre.
3.30 - planting of a sequoia tree, and wild flower.
4.30 - Woodland Barbecue - pay as you eat: venison steaks, venison burgers, wild garlic and nettle soup, baked goodies from the clay oven.
5.30pm - story telling around the camp fire.

Most events will take place at the Gathering Space near the corner of Kellie/Middlemas Road. All Welcome. Please see Dunbar Community Woodland Group for more information.

12 April and 3 May Walk with Wendy Robertson Fyfe in the spirit of John Muir.

20 & 21 April
Lauderdale Park, 10am - 4pm
Wild About East Lothian
Visit this Countryside Ranger Service event and go Wild About East Lothian – through rockpooling, storytelling, bat hunts, micro world, art and many other free environmental activities and journeys for all the family.
We will be waiting to guide you on many different themed journeys around the local area to explore the various habitats and discover the wildlife there. Advanced booking is advisable with limited places available on the day. All events are free. Some of the events on offer include:
Rockpooling: Rocks are tough, but rockpool animals are tougher still! Come along to discover and record the fascinating marine life that frequent our rocky shores, and learn about the amazing ways they manage to survive and thrive. Wellies advisable.
Seabirds: The Firth of Forth is a summer home to over half a million seabirds. Join us as we head off in search of diving gannets, crying kittiwakes and maybe even pretty puffins on this leisurely 90-minute walk along the coast.
Tracks and trails:Join us on a quest to uncover which animal placed that print or plopped that poo. Learn about feather and fur identification and hone your skills as a nature detective!
There will also be ongoing drop-in environmental activities at the hub such as:
Fungi Fun
Drop in to find out how the mushroom got its spots, make some pictures with fungi paint and try a mushroom supermarket challenge.
Willow weaving workshop Discover the art of natural weaving – no experience necessary! Come and have a go at making a willow and rush fish to take home.
Click here for full programme details.

21 - 28 April
Dunbar Harbour
Emma Herman-Smith: Beach Hut Artist Residency
Emma Herman-Smith will take up a week long Beach Hut artist residency on Dunbar 's Victoria Harbour. Emma, originally from Helensburgh, will be continuing her research into the nature of the John Muir Way and discussing her plans for her walk across Scotland in 2014. Free. Presented by North Light Arts, an artist-led organisation delivering innovative public arts projects and educational initiatives in and around Dunbar. Please visit North Light Arts northlightarts.org,uk or the Facebook page for more information.

Sunday 20 April
Dunbar Community Woodland Group
Celebrating the Launch of the John Muir Way
10am till 6pm in Lochend Woods - The Gathering Area, (by the John Muir Stone, corner of Kellie and Middlemass Roads)
10am - Bird I.D. Walk - with David bates, DCWG convenor,
11am - Easter Egg Hunt - for the wee ones, with DCWG,
12 - 5pm - Log Drums - a workshop with Andy Penicuik
'Pay As U Eat' - from 12.30 - lunch buffet, from 4.30 Barbecue
2.30pm - 'Mad About Muir' - a promenade play in the woods, by Quids In Theatre
3.30pm - Sequoia planting - linking Dunbar's Wood with John Muir's California
4.30pm - Woodland Barbecue - Venison steaks and burgers, Wild garlic and nettle soup, goodies from the clay oven.
5.30pm - Stories around the camp fire.

21 April
John Muir Birthplace Trust & West Barnes Inn, Belhaven Bay
Dunbar Writers
Dunbar Writers’ are preparing a dramatic presentation to celebrate John Muir as an ecologist and also an inspiring writer.Readings concerning John Muir, as he relates to Dunbar but also covering wider issues will be connected by a narrator. The first reading will take place at John Muir’s Birthplace, then open air readings and a reading at the West Barnes Inn at Belhaven Bay. Visit Dunbar Writers or Discover Dunbar for further information.

21 April
Dunbar Harbour, 2pm
Dragon Boat Ceremony
In recognition of the inspiration that comes from connecting to the environment, artist Emma Herman-Smith will bring the Port Edgar Dragons to Dunbar during the John Muir Festival meeting with the local skiff rowing teams. Free. Presented by North Light Arts, an artist-led organisation delivering innovative public arts projects and educational initiatives in and around Dunbar. Please visit North Light Arts website or Facebook page for more information.

21 April
John Muir Birthplace Trust
Wandering West
A soundscape project, by artist LesleyMay Miller and writer Elspeth Brown. Celebrating the ethos of John Muir, it explores the innovative fiction of John Muir conversing with two other great Scots, James Clerk Maxwell and Patrick Geddes. Starting point is the John Muir Birthplace Trust. Free, no booking necessary. All ages welcome. For further information please visit LesleyMay's website or [Elspeth Brown's website] (http://www.elspeth-brown.co.uk).

21 April - 26 April
Glebe Park, 12.30pm and Various Locations
Songline
Soulwind Songline is a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast. The Songline is starting in the Glebe Park in
Dunbar at 12.30pm to send off the walkers, cyclists and runners.

21 April
Fashion School, Old Library, Belhaven Road 10am - 4pm
Reflections Of Nature
A wonderful collaboration of work by home-grown international fashion designer Jacqui Burke. Her Autumn/Winter 2014 collection is inspired by Karele`s beautiful horses, East Lothian's rugged coastline, captured by professional local photographer Jon Savage. Please see the Fashion School for further information.

21 April
Dunbar to Helensburgh
Ramblers Scotland Relay
Ramblers Scotland groups will be staging a relay along the route. Starting in Dunbar on the 21 April, they'll be leading walks along a section of the trail each day until reaching Helensburgh on 26 April. Different groups will be leading each day, and it's a great opportunity to try out a Ramblers walk. To find out about the walks available please see the Ramblers website, Facebook page or Twitter.
All walks will be free and organised on a turn up and walk basis. Participants can be of any age, but if under 18 must be accompanied by parents or guardians and capable of completing the walk distance in the time indicated.

21 April
Dunbar, Outside Leisure Pool. All day.
Cycling: The John Muir Way
In celebration of John Muir, Belhaven Bikes of Dunbar are offering free cycle hire to visitors attending the John Muir Festival Opening Ceremony, 21 April 2014. Free bike safety checks will be available too! Book your bike in advance by emailing info@belhavenbikes.co.uk or calling 01368 860300 ; refundable deposits apply. See Belhaven Bikes for more information

21 April
Dunbar Opening Ceremony, 10.30 - 2.30pm
John Muir Trust
Join in with some fun, free missions – suitable for everyone who dares to explore the world with Muir’s spirit of adventure and curiosity. These activities will be taking place in Dunbar, North Berwick, Helensburgh and Balloch during the Festival. See website, Facebook or Twitter for more information.

21 April
Dunbar primary school children have been working on a tapestry for the opening of the John Muir Way and it will be on display on the day of the official opening of the new pathway.

Dunbar Primary school's John Muir tapestry
On display at Our Lady of the Waves Church Hall
10am - 3pm, 21 April. Admission free

22 April
Dunbar Golf Club, East Links, Dunbar EH42 1LL;
Homecoming Scotland 2014: John Muir Golf Challenge
Entries are encouraged from individual players as well as teams of 4 for this Texas Scramble. Individual entrants will be entered into teams. In addition to the links golf all players will receive a commemorative Glencairn whisky glass, tea / coffee and a hot roll before play. The cost is £35 per player. Clubs are available for hire. Prizes for top teams and individual holes.
Dunbar is the birthplace of John Muir (21st April 1838) widely recognised as the founder of America's National Parks, pioneer of conservation and founder of the Sierra Club.

Belhaven Bikes
Dundee

'Meet John Muir' - Saturday 26th April 1-3pm
At the close of national celebrations of the life and times of this famous conservationist. Join us round the campfire at Templeton Woods Visitors Centre to hear his story.

Further information

East Linton

21 April
Community Hall, High Street, 2 pm
Nature Walk
A led nature-walk (with wildlife spotting and plant identification) lasting about 1 hour, along part of the John Muir Way and past historic features such as Preston Mill, Phantassie Doocot and House, and the John Rennie Memorial. The walk will be one hour in duration and it will go along part of the John Muir Way, across the river Tyne (bridge) and past open fields and woods back to Community Hall where refreshments and toilet facilities will be available. The event is free and non-ticketed. Age range; adults and children (80 years down to 1month). There are steps but these can be by-passed, except for the bridge access. Baby buggies can be brought. Not suitable for wheelchairs due to steps and some of the surfaces involved. For more information see the website or the Dunpender Community Council Twitter

21 April
Community Hall, High Street, 2 - 5 pm
Refreshment Pit Stop
Dunpender Community Council offers hospitality in the form of tea, coffee and bacon rolls for weary walkers on the open day of the John Muir Way on April 21st. Pop into our Community Hall any time between 2-5 pm and enjoy a welcome cup of tea. Stroll around our picturesque village before undertaking the next section of the walk. East Linton is the first village along the John Muir Way and is attractively situated beside the River Tyne. The village has shops, pubs and toilet facilities, and historic Preston Mill will be open for those who wish to visit. Please visit Dunpender Community Council's website for more information.

Edinburgh

17 April
The Filmhouse 6pm
Baraka
Ron Fricke / USA 1992 / 1h37m / PG
Screening of 1992 documentary 'Baraka,' as part of John Muir Film Festival.
From the ancient Sufi word 'baraka' (which translated means blessing, breath, or the essence of life), the director of photography, co-editor and co-writer for Koyaanisqatsi, takes on directorial and cinematographer duties in this breathtaking New Age tone poem. The evoked message suggests that over the course of evolution, humans have lost touch with the significance of nature in their lives and, as a result, have lost touch with their sense of spirituality in the modern world.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6.50. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

17 April
Water of Leith Centre, 7pm
Natures Peace - the Spirit of John Muir
Author Peter Wright invites audiences to imagine they are journeying along the wilder spine of Scotland. His description and full-colour illustrations will inspire. For all those who love wild places this richly colourful and evocative journey is an inspirational delight. To book a place please email peter.wright@ribbonofwilness.co.uk, an entry fee of £2 is payable at the event. For further information please visit Wright's website, Twitter or Facebook page

21 April
The Filmhouse, 5.45pm
Into The Wild
Sean Penn / USA 2007 / 2h28m / 15
Writer/director Sean Penn's powerful and moving adaptation of Jon Krakauer's non-fiction account of the wanderings of Chris McCandless, a young man who leaves behind his friends, family and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6.50. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

22 April
The Meadows, by the Pavillion 6.30pm
Songline
Soulwind Songline is a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast. The Songline is starting in the Glebe Park in
Dunbar at 12.30pm to send off the walkers, cyclists and runners along the Way, ending in Helensburgh on the 26th.

22 & 23 April, 8pm
Valvona & Crolla Caffe Bar, 19 Elm Row
*John Muir: Rhapsody In Green
(featuring ‘Stickeen’ – the greatest dog story ever told)
Written and performed by Mike Maran. Directed by Patrick Sandford.
John Muir, Scottish adventurer and father of the American national parks,
explores the forests and glaciers of the Pacific Northwest, saves the life of his
friend, Sam Young, on a mountain top, rescues the plucky wee terrier,
Stickeen, from a glacier crevasse – daredevil feats matched by inspirational
stories round the campfire that even the wolves gather to hear. Now Sam
Young shares these wilderness stories with you – and Stickeen keeps him
right. That dog knows a thing or two, I can tell you!
Tickets £10/£8. Call 0131 556 6066, visit valvonacrolla.co.uk or email office@valvonacrolla.co.uk to purchase tickets.

21 April
The Filmhouse, 5.45pm
Grizzly Man
Werner Herzog / USA 2005 / 1h44m / 15
Filmmaker Werner Herzog, perennially fascinated by obsession, here takes on the strange case of Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers in Alaska living among grizzly gears and chronicling their lives on video. The animals he loved, however, were to be his downfall.
Screening as part of John Muir Film Festival. Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6.50. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, their Facebook page or Twitter.

GrizzlyMan
Falkirk

27 April
Meet at The Milk Barn, Glen Farm, FK1 3AA.
John Muir Way Treasure Trail
This family treasure hunt and geocache taster event will help participants discover and explore the woodlands and trails of South Falkirk, including the John Muir Way.As a taster event, this will be designed to be as inclusive as possible. People can take part on foot, or by bike, and will be teamed with experienced geo-cachers to ensure they gain the most enjoyment from the experience. Bring your own mobile GPS device. Free, no booking required. Bespoke Falkirk

Glasgow

25 April
Hopkirk Building, Glasgow Botanical Gardens, 6.30pm
Nature's Peace - the Spirit of John Muir
Author Peter Wright invites audiences to imagine they are journeying along the wilder spine of Scotland. His description and full-colour illustrations will inspire. For all those who love wild places this richly colourful and evocative journey is an inspirational delight. To book a place please email peter.wright@ribbonofwilness.co.uk, an entry fee of £2 is payable at the event. For further information please visit Wright's website, Twitter or Facebook

Peter Wright: Nature's Peace
Haddington

Friday 18 April–Monday 21 April
Prestongrange Museum (Prestonpans) & John Gray Centre (Haddington)
Eggs-cellent Eco Easter Hunt
£1 per trail sheet or mask
Everyone welcome (children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult)
Drop-in event, no booking required

The Easter bunny has visited our museums at night and left behind some eggs. Families will be challenged to complete a trail sheet about John Muir which will lead them to some Easter surprises! We’ll also have Easter mask-making so children can become a lamb, chick or bunny using recycled materials.

Prestongrange Museum sits on the John Muir Way, just outside Prestonpans. Families are encouraged to visit the museum, which includes a café and children’s area, on their route!

The John Gray Centre is in Haddington, just 5 miles away from the East Linton section of the Way, and welcomes visitors who want to find out more about the area John Muir came from. Both museums are free to visit and are open throughout the John Muir Festival. See www.eastlothianmuseums.org for opening times and further details of these and other local museums in East Lothian, including John Muir’s Birthplace.

Helensburgh

18 April
7.30-9.30pm at the Tower, old St Columba Church, Helensburgh.
Singing workshops with Soulwind Songline for a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast.

24 April
Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, 7.30pm
From Dunbar To Yosemite
Well known entertainer and conservation champion Jimmie Macgregor, pays homage to John Muir, wilderness guardian and father of the national parks movement. Tickets £10 in advance, £12 on the door. Tickets available from Victoria Halls, or phone 01436 673275. Small fee for credit card sales.
Website

25 April
Lomond School, 7.30 pm
Into The Wild
Sean Penn / USA 2007 / 2h28m / 15
Writer/director Sean Penn's powerful and moving adaptation of Jon Krakauer's non-fiction account of the wanderings of Chris McCandless, a young man who leaves behind his friends, family and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. Tickets from Lomond School reception or by calling 01436 672476 or see Lomond School website. This film screening is part of Wild Places - John Muir Film Festival.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

26 April
St. Columba's Church, 12:00 (duration 50 minutes)
John Muir Songcycle
Helensburgh musicians and children will perform a new cycle of songs to texts by John Muir. Clarsachs, drumkit, flutes, a lone piper and projected photos of the John Muir Way will add Scottish flavour. Tickets on the door: Adults £10/£6, Children £2. Go to Visit Helensburgh's website or The Tower email louise.burnet@virgin.net for further information.

26 April
Hermitage Park, Sinclair Street, 2pm
History and Archaeology Walk
Local archaeologist Fiona Baker will be leading her popular history and archaeology walk in Hermitage Park for the Friends of Hermitage Park. Free, all ages welcome. Meet at the Park Gates on Sinclair Street.

26 April
Hermitage Park, Sinclair Street, 3.30pm
John Muir meets Tom Weir on Goukhill overlooking Loch Lomond
A walk to Goukhill, a truly dramatic location on the John Muir Way, overlooking Loch Lomond. Walkers start from Hermitage Park OR Kiltwalk Marquee, Loch Lomond Shores. Participants are asked to wear John Muir cowboy hats and big beards or Tom Weir toorie bunnets.
Registration at 3.30pm and the Walk commences 4pm. Free, with a suggested donation of £5. Book your Tom Weir bobble hat or John Muir hat and beard by emailing john@balmillig.co.uk. See Facebook for details.

26 April
1pm Hill House and 2.30pm Hermitage Park, Helensburgh.
Soulwind Songline is a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast.

Kirkintilloch

17 April
Townhead Bridge, opposite St. Mary's Church. 6.30pm
A Beacon Of Light For John Muir
Celebrate the work and legacy of conservator and environmentalist John Muir by taking some time to enjoy an evening walk. This walk - illuminated by beautiful hand-made lanterns produced by families at workshops throughout the week – will finish at Peel Park and take in one of the best views in East Dunbartonshire; the Campsies. At the end of the procession there will be a viewing of art work made especially for the John Muir Festival by our talented smART participants.
Wear comfy shoes and a cosy jacket! Free, no booking required.

17 April
William Patrick Library, 11am - 12.15pm
John Muir Lantern-Making Workshop
This special lantern-making workshop is great fun for the whole family! Create your very own illuminated art using paper, lots of imagination and other messy stuff. Then join us on Thursday evening for our John Muir lantern procession, show off your lovely lanterns in the evening light and take a nice walk to Peel Park. Ages 4+, children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Free, but booking is essential. Please call 0141 777 3143 (Mon-Fri 10am-12pm 2pm-4pm) or email edlct.bookings@eastdunbarton.gov.uk to reserve your place.

22 April - 16 May
William Patrick Library
John Muir smART Exhibition
If you missed our special lantern procession, come along to the William
Patrick Library for a look at some of the lanterns produced by families
during our Easter Programme, and the large scale art work made especially
for the John Muir Festival by our smART young artists. Presented by East Dunbartonshire Council. Free. All ages welcome. Visit EDLC's website for more information.

26 and 27 April

East Dunbartonshire's Food & Drink Festival ‘Seasoned to Taste’ has all the ingredients to be the best yet - with a scintillating menu with something for all ages and palates.

This year's festival will celebrate the strong Scots-Italian links through food, whilst highlighting the historical, heritage and cultural connections that exist between both countries dating back to Roman times.

The Strathkelvin Railway Path (which makes up part of the John Muir Trail) will lead you into the festival's highlight in Kirkintilloch Town Centre on 26 and 27 April and includes street food, live music, entertainment, a mini-beer festival, smoothie-making and much more.

Linlithgow

5 April
10.30am-12.30pm, Linlithgow Primary School
Workshop with Soulwind Songline for a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast.

23 April Linlithgow Palace 2.30pm
Performance with Soulwind Songline as part of a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast.

24 April
Linlithgow Peel, 9.30m
Nature and craft activities in the great outdoors. West Lothian Council, Rural Connect and Historic Scotland are working in partnership to celebrate the John Muir Festival in Linlithgow with a free, family friendly event celebrating John Muir’s legacy. All ages welcome, particularly family groups and primary school children. For more information, please visit West Lothian Council's website or their Facebook page

Linlithgow Peel
Longniddry

Youth Vision * invites you to join in a day of bushcraft and cooking in the outdoors to celebrate the life of John Muir
Where: Fernyness Wood, Longniddry, East Lothian
How to get there: Access through the Gosford Estate West Lodge Entrance on Lyars Road, Longniddry and bear left
When: 11am - 3pm Saturday 26 April
Come and sample freshly cooked pancakes as well as other camp fire cooked delights and hot and cold refreshments.
Learn some bushcraft skills for keeping yourself comfortable in the woods.
Event suitable for all ages
Free event, no need to book

  • Youth Vision is a Balerno based charity, which provides opportunities for young people to make the transition to adulthood using programmes rooted in outdoor learning www.youthvisionscotland.org.uk
    Facebook: Youth Vision (Edinburgh)
    For more info contact Graham Hardie on 07872 623381 or Sara Beauregard on 07999 948491
Milngavie

15 April
Lillie Art Gallery, Station Road, 11am
John Muir Lantern Making Workshop
EDLC’s Easter holiday programme celebrates pioneer of conservation John Muir and all things environmental! Join us for free lantern making sessions, then show off your creations at our John Muir Lantern Procession in Kirkintilloch on the 17th. Ages 4+, children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Free, book your place at edlct.bookings@eastdunbarton.gov.uk. Visit EDLC's website for further information.

Musselburgh

17 - 26 April
The Pavilion at Musselburgh Racecourse
Exhibition of Photographs- The Story of the Development of Musselburgh Links 1964 - Present Day
Friends of Musselburgh Links will organize an exhibition of photographs recounting the story of the development of the reclaimed land at Musselburgh Links (part of the John Muir Way) from 1964 until the present day (ongoing) to be held in the Pavilion at Musselburgh Racecourse from 17th -26th April. This will be set up by members of the Friends group. Please see website for details.

17 April
The Brunton, 7pm
John Muir - The Last Explorers
Tim Neil / UK 2011 /60m Screening of 2012 BBC Documentary 'John Muir - The Last Explorers,' as part of John Muir Film Festival. Neil Oliver follows in the footsteps of 19th century adventurer John Muir. Set in the spectacular Yosemite Valley in California, this is the story of the father of the modern conservation movement and one of the founders of America's National Park movement.
Pre screening talk with Tom Heap: To launch the Festival Tom will talk about the importance of conservation, linking conservation work today and John Muir’s work/legacy. Tom Heap is a freelance broadcast journalist, well known for his investigative reporting on BBCs Countryfile.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

19 April
Dunbar Film Society, West Barns Village Hall, 3.15pm
Grizzly Man
Werner Herzog / USA 2005 / 1h44m / 15
Filmmaker Werner Herzog, perennially fascinated by obsession, here takes on the strange case of Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers in Alaska living among grizzly gears and chronicling their lives on video. The animals he loved, however, were to be his downfall. Screening as part of Wild Places: John Muir Film Festival.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £4 (£10 family) pay on door only. Please see www.dunbarfilm.org.uk website for information on the screening. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter

22 April
The Brunton, 7.30pm
The Edge Of The World
Michael Powell / UK 1937 / 1h12m / U
Screening of Michael Powell's 1937 film 'The Edge of The World' as part of John Muir Film Festival. The film that first made Michael Powell's reputation is a love story set on the remote island of Foula. Filmed on rocks and dizzying cliffs, it's a landscape film par excellence – a rhapsodic vision of lives lived at the farthest extremes of nature and human society.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

23 April
The Brunton, 7.30pm
Baraka
Ron Fricke / USA 1992 / 1h37m / No dialogue / PG
Screening of 1992 documentary 'Baraka' as part of John Muir Film Festival.Taking the ancient Sufi word 'baraka' (which translates as blessing, breath, or the essence of life), the director of photography, co-editor and co-writer for Koyaanisqatsi takes on directorial and cinematographer duties in this breathtaking New Age tone poem that captures images from 24 countries that transcend geographical and language barriers.
Pre screening talk with Scott Donaldson from Creative Scotland: Scott will discuss the link between the Arts and environmental issues, including wilderness photos from when John Muir was alive, through to present day wilderness photography and cinematography.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

24 April
The Brunton, 7.30pm
Grizzly Man
Werner Herzog / USA 2005 / 1h44m / 15
Filmmaker Werner Herzog, perennially fascinated by obsession, here takes on the strange case of Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers in Alaska living among grizzly gears and chronicling their lives on video. The animals he loved, however, were to be his downfall. Screening as part of Wild Places: John Muir Film Festival.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

24 April
The Brunton, 10.30am
John Muir - The Schools Film Premiere
Join the stars of tomorrow on the red carpet for this unique film premiere. Ticket price includes refreshments at the film’s after party. A short animated film exploring the life of John Muir in East Lothian. Created by pupils at Law, Musselburgh Burgh and Dunbar Primary Schools with local animation company D fie foe Productions. Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £5. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

25 April
The Brunton, 7pm
Into The Wild
Sean Penn / USA 2007 / 2h28m / 15 . Writer/director Sean Penn's powerful and moving adaptation of Jon Krakauer's non-fiction account of the wanderings of Chris McCandless, a young man who leaves behind his friends, family and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature.
Pre screening talk (6.30pm) with Ron Butlin. With readings from Muir’s journals, diaries and letters to old friends he will provide a fascinating insight into Muir. With an international reputation as a prize-winning novelist, Ron Butlin is also the Edinburgh Makar (poet laureate). In 2009 he was made the first ever Honorary Writing fellow (together with Ian Rankin) at Edinburgh University. Much of his poetry, as well as many of his novels and short stories have been broadcast and translated into over ten languages. In addition to his plays for BBC radio and theatre (most recently Sweet Dreams for Oran Mor in Glasgow), he has written five operas, two of them for Scottish Opera. Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

26 April
The Brunton, 2pm
Over The Hedge (U)
Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick / USA 2006 / 1h23m
Voices: Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell,
Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte. Animated.
When greedy raccoon RJ gets caught stealing the snack stash of a ferocious bear, he’s given a week to replace it all or become part of the food chain
himself. With time running out, the scheming RJ fools a makeshift family of woodland creatures into helping him to steal food from the new and terrifying
world of suburbia, which has recently encroached on their once-natural habitat.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7 (£6). For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

26 April
The Brunton, 7pm
Chasing Ice
Jeff Orlowski / USA 2012 / 1h20m / 12A
National Geographic photographer James Balog set out to capture incontrovertible evidence of climate warming’s impact via an ambitious, multi-continent project visually documenting the increased speed of glacial melting over a matter of years. A profoundly cinematic experience featuring breathtaking time-lapse footage.
Pre Screening talk with Andy Kirkpatrick: Top British mountaineer and standup comedian will talk about his expeditions. Big-wall climber and winter expedition specialist, Andy has soloed the most difficult routes in the world. He is a published writer and film-maker with a tremendous ability to captivate any audience with his unique brand of motivational story-telling. Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £7/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

21 April
Fisherrow Beach 6.30pm
Soulwind Songline is a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast.

Chasing Ice
North Berwick

17 - 21 April
Scottish Seabird Centre, 2 - 3pm daily
Join Professor Egghead and follow in the footsteps of conservationist John Muir in a brand new interactive, family-friendly science show to discover what it takes to survive in the wild. Are you fit enough to complete the adventure? See Facebook or Twitter for further information. Event is included within admission to the Discovery Centre; Adult £8.95; Child £4.95; Family £25 (2 adults and 2 children). Fully accessible.

19 April
East beach (outside Scottish Seabird Centre), 11am - 1pm
Community Beach Clean
In the spirit of John Muir, help keep North Berwick beaches wild and enjoyable for all! Join the Scottish Seabird Centre, East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service and North Berwick in Bloom for a fun and rewarding community beach clean. All ages welcome, with litter pickers, bags and gloves all provided. Clothing and sturdy footwear for all weathers recommended! A partnership project between the Scottish Seabird Centre, East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service and North Berwick in Bloom. All three organizations champion the enjoyment, education and conservation of East Lothian’s iconic landscapes and wildlife.

21 April
Beach at North Berwick, 7.30pm
Songline
Soulwind Songline is a community event running in parallel with the John Muir Festival. It will bring songs and communities together in song along The John Muir Way from coast to coast. There will be an event on the beach at North Berwick at 7.30pm. The Songline is starting in the John Muir Park in
Dunbar at 2pm to send off the walkers, cyclists and runners along the Way, ending in Helensburgh on the 26th. Please see listings for your town for more information.

26 April
North Berwick Law, 2pm
Walk Slow, Pedal Fast
Meeting at the Law car park, the event will consist of a slow, mindful walk led by artist Karen Gabbitas to a film installation where participants will be able to pedal a bike-powered projector in order to see a short film screening. The ground will be rocky in places and there will be some climbing involved, so strong footwear is highly recommended and clothing appropriate to weather conditions. Free outdoor event, bookable through the artist by emailing kgabbitas@btinternet.com or through Karen's website.

Karen Gabbitas
Prestonpans

Friday 18 April–Monday 21 April
Prestongrange Museum (Prestonpans) & John Gray Centre (Haddington)
Eggs-cellent Eco Easter Hunt
£1 per trail sheet or mask
Everyone welcome (children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult)
Drop-in event, no booking required

The Easter bunny has visited our museums at night and left behind some eggs. Families will be challenged to complete a trail sheet about John Muir which will lead them to some Easter surprises! We’ll also have Easter mask-making so children can become a lamb, chick or bunny using recycled materials.

Prestongrange Museum sits on the John Muir Way, just outside Prestonpans. Families are encouraged to visit the museum, which includes a café and children’s area, on their route! The John Gray Centre is in Haddington, just 5 miles away from the East Linton section of the Way, and welcomes visitors who want to find out more about the area John Muir came from. Both museums are free to visit and are open throughout the John Muir Festival. See www.eastlothianmuseums.org for opening times and further details of these and other local museums in East Lothian, including John Muir’s Birthplace.

Stirling

22 April
macrobert arts centre, University of Stirling, 7.30pm
The Edge of The World
Michael Powell / UK 1937 / 1h12m / U
Screening of Michael Powell's 1937 film 'The Edge of The World.' as part of the John Muir Film Festival. The film that first made Michael Powell's international reputation is a love story set on the remote island of Foula. Filmed on rocks and dizzying cliffs, it's a landscape film par excellence – a rhapsodic, at times almost anarchic vision of lives lived at the farthest extremes of nature and human society.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £6.50/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

24 April
macrobert arts centre, University of Stirling, 7.30pm
Chasing Ice
Jeff Orlowski / USA 2012 / 1h20m / 12A
Screening of documentary 'Chasing Ice' as part of the John Muir Film Festival. National Geographic photographer James Balog set out to capture incontrovertible evidence of climate warming’s impact via an ambitious, multi-continent project visually documenting the increased speed of glacial melting over a matter of years. A profoundly cinematic experience featuring breathtaking time-lapse footage.
Through a programme of films, talks and Q&A events focusing on themes of landscape and wild open spaces, the John Muir Film Festival celebrates Muir’s legacy of engagement with the natural world, and the global influence of one of Scotland’s most famous sons, founder of the modern conservation movement. Tickets £6.50/£6. For more information on the film festival visit The Brunton, Facebook or Twitter.

The Edge Of The World
Tayvallich, Argyll

17 April - 1 May
John Muir Celebrations - Picture This Exhibition
Taynish National Nature Reserve, Tayvallich, Argyll

In 2013 the Argyll National Nature Reserve Rangers teamed up with acclaimed wildlife photographer Phillip Price of Loch Visions for a weekend of photography workshops. These workshops were in celebration of the first John Muir Birthday celebrations in Argyll.

Those participating in the workshops over the weekend were given an insight into the work of a wildlife photographer, how to get the best out of their camera, techniques in photography and exploration of the Natural Heritage of the area.

Now, to mark the second celebration of John Muir’s birthday, the pictures taken on that day will be displayed in the historical setting of Taynish Mill, a recently stabilized building in the majestic setting of Taynish National Nature Reserve now utilized as an open air exhibition space.

Open to the public 24/7 this special place allows the visitor to choose their own time to visit. Nestled below the great oakwoods of Taynish as they sweep down to the shores of Loch Sween, Taynish Mill is an excellent place to rest a while and take in the photography of the birthday guests from 2013.

Media are advised to contact Mags Russell should they wish to be joined by a member of the Reserve Team for background information on the Reserve and the exhibition. Mags.russell@snh.gov.uk Tel: 01546 603611 or mobile 07747 499 260. Free, all ages welcome, and open all hours.

See What’s On

Tickets


All events at hotspots along the John Muir Way were free and unticketed for people to come along, enjoy the artwork, carry a flag for John Muir, and walk a section of the new national pathway.

There were also over 50 other events taking place at venues along the John Muir Way in association with the Festival.

Anyone interested in a tour of The Kelpies can get tickets here.

Map


The map shows where Festival events took place.
Red pins were programmed events. Green pins were associated events.
Click here for an interactive map of the John Muir Way

The Artists


Festival artists and artworks were selected to reflect in some way the restless spirit and artistic sensibility of John Muir.

Why an arts Festival for an environmentalist? Well, John Muir was many things - explorer, geologist, botanist, inventor and farmer – but he could not have had such a lasting impact, had he not been such an eloquent, persuasive and lyrical writer. Without doubt, Muir was a prose writer with a poet’s heart.

  • And Now:

    And Now: conceive, design and create visual performance, image and installations; working with people, ideas, fire, fireworks, structures and light.

    Their work is unexpected, accessible, entertaining and public. They have longstanding experience of creating outdoor site and circumstance specific happenings, and touring shows of varying scale. They undertake commissions to design and build for indoor performance and engage with collaborative idea generating and devising processes. And Now: also make art in a wide variety of materials, sew big things and work stones.

    So expect the unexpected when And Now: provide the climatic fireworks for the John Muir Festival Finale at Loch Lomond Shores on 26 April.

  • Kenny Bean

    'Precipitation' – Working with the play of water projected upon a caravan, artist Kenny Bean evokes glorious, bittersweet memories of rain-soaked Scottish holidays.

    This artwork appeared at HOME - the International launch of The Kelpies on 17 and 18 April at Helix Park.

    'Caravan Obscura' – John Muir once said that the best way to appreciate a landscape anew was to look at it upside down. Artist Kenny Bean invited the public to do just that sitting in an adapted caravan and viewing the landscape outside projected using lenses and mirrors live onto the ceiling. The beauty and simplicity of the effect provided a new perspective on the environment.

    'Caravan Obscura' appeared at hotspots along the John Muir Way.

    Edinburgh based artist Kenny Bean experiments with projection of light images as well as the exploration of water and all its textures and motion. In his work at Photo-Lab, he has created light and image-capture based installations in the form of a mobile darkroom, which allow thousands of people and groups to make their own shadow photogram images.
    www.kennybean.co.uk

    Photo by Alan McAteer:

  • Gijs van Bon

    Visual artist, Gijs van Bon specialises in creating multidisciplinary objects and installations which move between a theatrical and autonomous tension like 'Skryf' the sand writer. His combinations of elements breakdown the boundaries between them so very vital life objects are at once powerful, yet also poetic and delicate.

    Skryf the sand writer moves forward, leaving a stream of letters behind him.
    Skryf refers to the fact that everything is transitory.

    An almost irrelevant pile of sand can be used to reveal the magic of the word.
    Until human beings, nature and the passage of time are responsible for the disintegration of the word again. Sometimes very quickly, sometimes very slow.

    Like sand through your fingers...

  • Breabach

    Breabach deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music which has earned the group international recognition on the world and roots music scene as one of the UK’s most dynamic and powerful bands.

    Voted ‘Best Group’ at the 2012 Scots Trad Music Awards, Breabach have also received nominations in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and as ‘European Folk Group of the Year’ in the German Folk Awards. The band intertwine highland bagpipes, fiddle, guitar, bass, flute, bouzouki, step dance, Gaelic and Scots song to produce a diverse and captivating performance.

    Breabach will be appearing at the Loch Lomond street ceilidh at 7.45pm on 26 April. FREE TICKETS:

    http://breabach.com

    Breabach - dynamic and powerful contemporary folk music.
  • Rodney Branigan

    The London based singer/songwriter masterfully plays two guitars at once or both guitar and piano simultaneously. However, it is his ability to mix this extraordinary skill with his own heartfelt lyrics and rich, soulful voice that have led to Rodney Branigan becoming one of the most followed global performers of the moment.

    A multi-talented musician; a voice that delivers honest, self-penned lyrics with soul and feeling; a globally recognised performer; an inspiration to a new generation of musicians; an equal amongst his peers; it is fair to say that Rodney Branigan’s future is as bright as the musical landscape he is now so pivotal in shaping in 2013.

    Rodney Branigan will be supporting Breabach at the Loch Lomond finale on 26th April.

    "Impossibly Talented” - Music Connections Magazine, USA

    See his Website, Facebook or Twitter for more information.

    Rodney Branigan
  • Neil Butler

    'Home' was an illuminated text piece by Neil Butler using the handwritten script of John Muir realised in collaboration with Duncan Turner. The image launched and concluded the festival by being set first within the industrialised landscape of Grangemouth and finally in the national park of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. The piece relates to Muir writing that, 'going to the mountains is going home.'

    The artwork at HOME - the International launch of The Kelpies on 17 and 18 April at Helix Park, Falkirk.

    Photo Alan McAteer.

  • Susan Castillo

    'Magic Hour' – The audience was invited to make themsleves at home in Helix Park, as artist and photographer Susan Castillo blurred the distinction between interior and exterior with a cluster of giant lampshade-like structures, each decorated with thought-provoking images of rural and urban life.

    This artwork appeared at HOME - the International launch of The Kelpies on 17 and 18 April at Helix Park.

    Describing her work, Susan said: 'As a photographer I consider my work to be experimental in approach, exploring various alternative photographic techniques and processes. The experience involved in its creation and the story behind my work is very important to me, and sharing that with the viewer I feel is a must.'

    Photo Alan McAteer.

  • Alec Finlay

    'A pair of trees opens a new life' - a walking and growing artwork for The John Muir Way devised by Alec Finlay with Gerry Loose, Andrew Schelling and Hannah Devereux.

    To inaugurate the John Muir Way, Alec Finlay conceived of a celebratory planting as a living memorial to Muir.

    From Thursday 17 to Friday 25 April, two poets – Gerry Loose (Scotland) and Andrew Schelling (USA) – sowed seeds, planted pairs of trees native to Scotland and America, from Dunbar to Helensburgh.

    The names of the trees spelled out a poem inspired by Muir, ‘A PAIR OF TREES OPENS A NEW LIFE’.

    On their walk the poets carried books by Robert Burns, John Milton, and the New Testament, just as Muir did on his first great journey.

  • Alice Francis

    Alice Francis uses performance, film and installation, to produce site-specific temporary public artworks. Her work explores themes of expression, sublimation and censorship, in personal and societal terms. Through the unorthodox juxtaposition of context and practise, she aims to elucidate and challenge the institutional and self-imposed conditioning with which we inhabit our selves and our social and physical environment.

    Alice looks at the personal in relation to the institutional, and the instinctual in relation to the conditioned. Her performance ranges in style from the highly theatrical or bizarre, to the only just noticeably abnormal.

    Her work is sometimes interactive and always interventionist. Alice does not use gallery or designated ‘Art’ spaces, but works in Real Life contexts, attempting to dissolve the boundaries between art and life.

    In her John Muir Festival piece 'View' - Alice Francis invited an audience to take a seat before drawing back the curtains on a giant, glassless window frame. The audience was invited to admire the view and examine the relationship between wildness and wilderness, inside and out, in our environment and within ourselves.

    Photo: Alice's giant window frames Callendar House.

  • Groupe F

    The Kelpies – light, sound and flame spectacular - Groupe F produce stunning fireworks, flame and pyrotechnics shows at major events all over the world including famously lighting up the Eiffel Tower at the Millennium. Their performance to mark the Festival opening and the international launch of The Kelpies offers a rare chance to see their awe-inspiring work in Scotland in what is sure to be a breathtaking show.

    Groupe F are recognised worldwide for their impressive track record of building popular, entertaining events with a strong, cultural dimension. Their experience with fireworks, flame and pyrotechnics is vast, having created and produced unforgettable shows for some of the biggest events around the world including national celebrations, inaugurations and the Olympics.

    The company strives to create events that combine visual impact and accessibility with artistic achievement and integrity. Groupe F's stunning performance at The Kelpies was one of the highlights of the John Muir Festival.

    Photo: Alan McAteer.

  • Gutty Slippers

    This high energy, quirky pipe band provided entertaining and uplifting music at the send off in Dunbar and the finale celebrations in Loch Lomond.

  • Gavin Lockhart

    In an artwork entitled 'Friendly Fire', artist Gavin Lockhart brings the peat fires of a Highland hearth to Falkirk to highlight both the disappearing tradition of peat cutting and the recent challenges to the very existence of the local petrochemical industry. Experience the warmth and smell of a peat fire from peats cut by hand in the Highlands and Islands.

    Historically, the burning of peat in Scotland, as elsewhere, was not a matter of choice, but one of necessity. There were no alternatives, which is not the case today where the oil tank replaces the peat-stack. The global importance of peatlands as stores of carbon, in providing clean water and as habitats rich in specialised plants and animals is now widely recognised. While the small-scale, local cutting of a few peats need not compromise these benefits, large-scale mechanical extraction is always damaging and denies future generations the benefits that we have enjoyed.

    Having studied at Glasgow School of Art and Leeds, Gavin Lockhart is an artist who displays a consistent interaction with the environment. He concentrates his work on people and the landscapes around them; exploring the changing interactions between them. He has worked on a wide range of visual and video arts and environmental projects.and collaborated on many community and live performance based projects throughout Scotland and the UK.

    In 2011, at the Merchant City Festival, his project Derive involved making footprints of sand on the streets of Glasgow; to animate the history of the streets we occupy, of slave merchants and the trade which built the cities around us.

    Friendly Fire at HOME - the International launch of The Kelpies.
    Photo: Alan McAteer.

  • Maria McCavana

    'A Flag For John Muir' - The official opening of the John Muir Way, took place on 21 April in Dunbar, this launched the Flag for John Muir element of the Festival and started a six day long programme of community, schools and artistic activity along the route ending in Helensburgh on 26 April.

    The theme for the launch of the John Muir Way was – ‘A Flag for John Muir’ – this involved the public in making, carrying and gathering flags from coast to coast along the John Muir Way route.

    Artist Maria McCavana worked with pupils from six primary schools along the John Muir Way during February and March 2014.

    Maria asked the pupils to take her outside the classroom to explore and connect with wild places around their school grounds and beyond. Inspired by the nature and wilderness that John Muir was so passionate about they used drawing, mono printing and photography to create designs in the landscape. The designs were printed onto small flags called Landmarks. Thousands of these Landmarks were available along the John Muir Way.

    During the festival week, schools coming to the John Muir Way discovered Landmarks at Pop Up Information Points (PIP-Stops) along the way. These were then carried by pupils on a walk, or taken and placed along the trail to highlight a beautiful view or scene in the wildlife for fellow walkers to admire. Pupils were also welcome to take the 'Landmarks' home as a souvenir of their day. The concept was designed to make everybody think about John Muir’s ideas, and appreciate their surroundings.

    Along the route pupils were also joined in programmed artist led events and activities, such as Darren Wilson’s Seed-boming and Kenny Bean’s Caravan Obscura. UZ Arts provided a teachers’ resource pack for ongoing use.

    Pupils from Dunbar Primary (pictured below) took Maria to the woods beside their school and used the journals they made to make sketches of the trees, plants and fallen leaves. They also wrote words about what they could smell, hear, see, felt and what mood they were in. The following words made up the class quotes: 'The wind blows through the ivy covered trees, snowdrops dotted around on the muddy squelchy ground. I taste metallic, I feel free.'

  • Mischief La Bas

    'Gang of John Muirs' - With a mission is to ‘gently warp the underlay of the fabric of society’, Mischief La-Bas deliver surprise and humour to their outdoor performances. Experts in ‘walkabout theatre’, their a gang of bearded John Muir lookalikes will provide fun photo opportunities as well as thought-provoking quotes from Muir’s writings.

    Established in 1992, Mischief La-Bas have over twenty years experience of successfully producing strange but accessible work in a multitude of environments, almost invariably to the public in public places. Using the public as their collaborators, Mischief create work which is accessible, yet not ‘dumbed down’, and are experts are in engaging audiences in their own environment. www.mischieflabas.co.uk

    Photos: Actors from Mischief la Bas (l-r) Colin Irons, Jim Callaghan and Martin Campbell who will all be performing as pioneering environmentalist John Muir during the John Muir Festival next month.

    Photos by Alan McAteer:

  • Old Hag

    Katie Rowland and Natasha Russell have been working together since meeting at Edinburgh College of Art in 2008. Both studied Drawing and painting specialising also in printmaking. They have collaborated on various projects, most recently the ‘A flag for John Muir’ designs for UZ arts and also the John Muir bench project.

    Their collaborative interests lie in working on community and group based projects and addressing themes of nature, the outdoors and narrative.

    Katie Rowland is currently studying for an MSC in Community Education and works an art worker. Her interests lie in using art as a tool for effective community development and consultation work. Re-occurring themes within her own art work are: nature, storytelling and history. This takes the form of prints, drawings, paintings and artist’s books.

    Natasha Russell uses drawing and printmaking to cross between design and fine art practices, both exhibiting installations and working on illustration commissions for digital forms or print. While her practice crosses between processes and forms there are patterns of visual storytelling, surrealism, natural form and intricate patterning that run through her work. She is interested in developing large scale collaborative art pieces that involve participation from the community to create artworks that enliven public spaces visually while serving educational or functional purposes, from public feedback into events to awareness of natural structures.

    Old Hag's flags - carried from Dunbar to Helensburgh by cyclists and ramblers - provided some of the most iconic images of the Festival.

  • Alex Rigg

    'Wynden' - Alex Rigg’s timber, steel, cloth and stone structures have impressed at many large scale, outdoor events but the raising of his iconic, stylised tree at the Festival launch and finale is especially appropriate given John Muir’s enduring love of forests and giant sequoias in particular.

    Alex has had a prolific career in practicing various artforms. As well as having thirty years of practical experience in building large scale structures in timber, steel, cloth and stone, he has also been creating and delivering live events since 1982. Particularly iconic are the large-scale willow, steel and timber fire-sculptures that Alex and colleague Trevor Leat create together for festivals and events, including the Wickerman Festival and many past Hogmanay events.

    Similarly, his incredible work in physical theatre, dance, sculpture and design has been shown internationally and his company Oceanallover has created many innovative events, bringing new audiences to physical performance.

    www.oceanallover.co.uk

    Photo by Alan McAteer:

    Alex Rigg's Wynden.
  • Samson Sound

    Dancefloor vibes and happiness from Samson Sounds - an up-coming outfit from Glasgow. Incorporating musical elements from African highlife and blues, to Kwaito and steppas with a heavyweight dub base. The grooves played are tight, solid and never fail to bring warm happy vibes to any event.

    A highly diverse group, the use of digital elements, gives them the ability to set up in limited spaces bringing live music to where only DJs have played before. It also allows soundsystem-heavy music to be played live at similar levels to those of a DJ with ease.

    Samson Sounds bring style and smiles to any party.

  • Stage Code

    'Song Trail' – Czech artists, Stage Code change the rhythm and atmosphere of public spaces. Working with local choirs and inviting audience participation they will create melodic ‘living pictures’ on the John Muir Way.

    Stage Code will guide the public on a walk from the birthplace of John Muir in Dunbar along the pathway to the beach reflecting in song the life and work of John Muir. The situations on the walk will reference his childhood in Dunbar, emigration to the USA and what his view on nature, civilization and nature protection means today.

  • Phil Supple

    'Lighting the wetlands' – See the landscape in a different light, as artist Phil Supple transforms the lush, wetlands area of Helix Park into an altogether different night-time experience with strategically-placed sound and light interventions.

    This artwork can be seen HOME - the International launch of The Kelpies on 17 and 18 April at Helix Park, Falkirk.

    Phil Supple’s company Light Refreshment covers incredible and visually impacting lighting design for site-specific theatre, outdoor events, large-scale landscape interventions, artistic direction and creative design work for commissioned projects and consultancy.

    Phil’s experience covers a whole range of public and private clients and locations, from the smallest of small-scale theatre production, to large-scale public events for local government. In addition to a long experience of conventional venues and managed sites, he has successfully delivered on a number of projects in environmentally sensitive areas including: SSSIs, on National Trust and English Heritage properties and in National Parks.
    www.lightrefreshment.co.uk

    Photo by Alan McAteer:

  • Surreal McCoy

    Surreal McCoy present "Scotland's sexiest 9 foot giant,"Big Rory. He loves to work, harassing his audience, playing the bagpipes and causing a happy riot. He has performed in 35 countries round the world, delighting literally millions of people.

  • Darren Wilson

    'Seedbombing' - Guerrilla Gardener Darren Wilson aims to promote an awareness of green ethics, sustainability and a reconnection with nature in the spirit of Muir, by encouraging the public to participate in seedbombing native flowers along the John Muir Way.

    Darren Wilson is a product designer/maker and Guerrilla Gardener based in Glasgow.

    Believing that sustainability and green ethics should be the norm in everything we produce, he set to design a product that instigates a reconnection with nature, promoting awareness and allowing the consumer to interact with their surroundings.

    It also had to be fun, affordable and usable by practically anyone, and so ‘Seedbom’ was the result. Armed with this idea, methodology and the discovery of a concept known as Guerrilla Gardening, Darren set about starting his own business called Kabloom. As part of the thriving product design and manufacture business, Darren’s work also provides seedbom making and guerrilla gardening workshops.

    http://kabloom.co.uk/blog/

    Photo by Alan McAteer:

    Seedbombing at Helix Park.
View The Artists

The John Muir Way


The opening of Scotland’s new national pathway, the John Muir Way in 2014 was especially significant as the year marked 100 years since Muir’s death.

Stretching from John Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar to the waters of the Clyde at Helensburgh, the new trail will enable everyone to explore the varied nature and landscapes of Central Scotland and visit Scotland’s first National Park at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

From Dunbar, the route mainly follows a coastal path before cutting inland to the outskirts of Edinburgh where it zig–zags through the leafiest and most scenic suburbs of the city and all its attractions.

Walking west, historical highlights include the much under–rated Blackness Castle on the Firth of Forth; the seaport which in medieval times served the royal burgh of Linlithgow. The castle was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s more powerful families, the Crichtons but in 1453 it became a royal castle and its enduring roles were those of garrison fortress and state prison.

The path weaves its way between the canals, taking in Auchinstarry Marina offering boat and cycle hire, berths for 50 craft and is home to the floating Boathouse, before heading off to the foot of the rolling but wild, Campsie Fells.

The Strathkelvin Railway path follows last century’s trading tracks and is a speedy bit of the route suitable for bikes, push-chairs or the fleet of foot.

The high–point of the route is the Stoneymollan road from Balloch to Helensburgh which gives ramblers and runners superb views out over Loch Lomond and the distant mountains. Whatever the weather, it’s an exhilarating experience to walk over this final section, an ancient ‘coffin road’ to the fine town of Helensburgh with its scenic pier and welcoming diversity of refreshments.

See the interactive map of The John Muir Way

The John Muir Way Explore The John Muir Way

Where To Eat & Sleep


The John Muir Way offers a wide choice of places to stay, eat and drink. For further information, go to Visit Scotland or accommodation in East Lothian. or the John Muir Way.

A variety of fine, quality Scottish foods were served at the key events of the John Muir Festival.

Home - launch of The Kelpies Helix Park, Falkirk. 17 and 18 April
Supreme Catering provided a mouth-watering selection of delicious Scottish food including: Haddock caught from Scotland's coastal fishing ports. A 6oz speciality burger made from 100% Scottish beef burger. An award winning Black Pudding and Haggis. British Wild Boar. Scottish minute steak. 6oz Scottish Venison. Organic Soup and Toastie supplied from Scottish company Tartan Rocket.

Opening of the John Muir Way High Street, Dunbar. 21 April
Community Bakery All produce is made on the Community Bakery premises with ingredients from local suppliers in Dunbar. Belhaven Smokehouse offers an exquisite range of food and gift products reflecting the very best of quality, wholesome food and a range of complementary products. Selling a varied range of home produced and locally sourced food; Belhaven Smokehouse offers everything from smoked salmon and chocolate to award-winning local cider. Cooks Desire All products, including honey, oatcakes and tablet, are sourced from within the Lothians and Borders area.

Festival afternoon finale Hermitage Park, Helensburgh. 26 April
National Park Venison is 100% pure, wild venison cooked over a barbeque. Enjoy Scotland on a plate, or in a burger bun if you prefer!
River Hill Deli, The Buffet Bar

Festival evening finale, Loch Lomond Shores, 26 April
Loch Fyne Oysters are sweet, fresh and slightly salty, with a soft creamy meat. The combination of oceanic seawater and fresh water from burns on steep hillsides produces brackish water, which imparts the distinctive sweet taste and colour that have made Loch Fyne oysters an international favourite. Scozzese Wood Fired Pizza is a unique mobile catering business that raises the standards for catering at Event's and Festivals across Scotland. Handmade and baked in a wood fired oven at 400 degrees, their pizzas have a superb crisp texture and a light flavour. Using only the finest authentic and, where possible, locally sourced ingredients, they provide a superior food offering for Festival goers.

Campsie Snacks, Hog Food and drink.

Find Out More About Where To Eat & Sleep

Who Was John Muir?


John Muir was a farmer, inventor, botanist, geologist, explorer, mountaineer and writer but he is best known as a pioneer of nature conservation.

Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland on 21 April 1838. As a child he developed a deep love of the natural world. This grew into a lifelong journey, both physical and spiritual, of exploration, revelation, hardship and wonder.

Widely recognised as the father of the modern conservation movement and a founder of America’s National Parks, John Muir’s environmental campaigning helped change the way people view nature and the earth’s finite natural resources.

Most closely associated with the establishment of Yosemite National Park in California, Muir’s deep love of wild places led him to travel the world in scientific study and spiritual reverence. ‘God never made an ugly landscape,’ he wrote. ‘All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.’

But Muir was a pragmatist too, who – faced with the voracious demands of domestic and industrial expansion in the 19th Century – campaigned vigorously, not just for areas of unspoilt wilderness to be protected but also, where necessary and unavoidable, for renewable and sustainable development in sympathy with nature.

Travelling through a mixture of landscapes, land uses and landmarks, the new John Muir Way illustrates these historical, competing demands and offers much optimism for the future. For here – as well as castles, palaces, woodland and meadow – are mounds of coal mining spoil reclaimed by nature, here are the canals of the industrial revolution providing tranquil habitats for plants and wildlife, and here too, is Scotland’s first National Park: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs – John Muir would surely approve.

‘Visions of holiness are pure and abundant in vales as on mountains,’ he once wrote, ‘only the holiness is of a less conspicuous palpable kind.’ In other words, while Muir believed that anyone could be awestruck by the beauty of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite there were quieter delights to be found in more muted or subtle landscapes. He ardently hoped that one day: ‘the lowlands will be loved more than the alps, and lakes and level rivers more than waterfalls.’

Visit John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar.

Download a free graphic novel about John Muir written by Julie Bertagna and illustrated by William Goldsmith. John Muir, Earth - Planet, Universe

Read John Muir’s Biography

John Muir Factfile


Born: 21 April 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland
Died: 24 December 1914 in Los Angeles, USA


SIGNIFICANT DATES

  • Left Scotland aged 11 in 1849.
  • Worked on the family farm. Left, aged 22, to exhibit his inventions at State Agriculture Fair in Madison. Enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in 1860
  • Left University without graduating and undertook long walking tours of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Canada in 1863.
  • In March 1867, an industrial accident in a sawmill blinded him for six weeks. He was unsure if he would ever regain his sight. When he recovered he wrote that he saw the world and his purpose – in a new light.
  • He gave up his sawmill job and began his life-changing 1000 mile walk from Indiana to Florida in 1867.
  • First visited Yosemite 1868.
  • Worked as a summer sheep herder in high Sierra; returned to live in Yosemite and began exploration for signs of glaciers in 1869.
  • Began to publish environmental articles in leading, national magazines in 1872
  • Founded the environmental campaigning group, Sierra Club in 1892.
  • Accompanied President Theodore Roosevelt on a camping expedition to Yosemite 1903.
  • Stickeen (1909), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), The Yosemite (1912), and The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913) published.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

The damming and flooding of the Hetch Hetchy valley to supply drinking water to San Francisco.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT

His contribution to the US National Park system and his global influence on the conservation and environmental movements.

Visit John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar.

Download a free graphic novel about John Muir written by Julie Bertagna and illustrated by William Goldsmith. John Muir, Earth - Planet, Universe

Find Out More About John Muir

John Muir Quotes


  • “Everybody needs beauty... places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.”
  • “God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”
  • “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
  • “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”
  • “Going to the mountains is going home.”
  • “Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.”
  • “Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
  • “The sun shines not on us but in us.”
  • “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
  • “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
  • “One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made; that this is still the morning of creation; that mountains long conceived are now being born, channels traced for coming rivers, basins hollowed for lakes...”
  • “Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”
  • “What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!”
  • “These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.”
  • “I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadn’t ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, ‘A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake’ feeling sure I was going to learn something.”
  • “Raindrops blossom brilliantly in the rainbow, and change to flowers in the sod, but snow comes in full flower direct from the dark, frozen sky.”
  • “I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.”
  • “Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.”
  • “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.”
  • “Writing is like the life of a glacier; one eternal grind.”
  • “Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fibre thrilling like harp strings.”
  • “We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.”
  • “Long, blue, spiky-edged shadows crept out across the snow-fields, while a rosy glow, at first scarce discernible, gradually deepened and suffused every mountain-top, flushing the glaciers and the harsh crags above them. This was the alpenglow, to me the most impressive of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.”
  • “How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation!”
  • “One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”
  • “Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and give strength to body and soul alike.”
  • “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”
  • “How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.”
  • “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
  • “Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress...”
  • “Who wouldn't be a mountaineer! Up here all the world's prizes seem nothing.”
  • “Everybody needs beauty...places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.”
  • “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
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