Discovering Britain, the Society’s series of geographically-themed walks, continues to grow with over 150 routes now on the project website. One of the newest walks explores Dunbar in East Lothian, the birthplace of conservationist John Muir.
John Muir, the nineteenth-century explorer, geologist and botanist, campaigned to protect American wilderness sites including Yosemite Valley and Mount Rainier. He helped to establish America’s National Parks and founded the Sierra Club. Today Muir is often considered the father of the modern conservation movement.
Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838 and lived there until he was 11 years old when his family emigrated to America. The new 2.5-mile Discovering Britain walk explores how Dunbar’s landscape shaped Muir’s early life and inspired his later achievements.
Describing his childhood, John Muir wrote: “When I was a boy in Scotland I was fond of everything that was wild…I loved to wander in the fields to hear the birds sing, and along the shore to gaze and wonder at the shells and the seaweeds, eels and crabs in the pools when the tide was low; and best of all to watch the waves in awful storms thundering on the black headlands and craggy ruins of old Dunbar Castle.“
Called ‘From Scotland to the Sierra Nevada’, the walk visits Muir’s childhood homes, explores the town and follows a spectacular coastal section of the John Muir Way long-distance path.
The walk has been developed ahead of the centenary of Muir’s death on 24 December 1914. It is free to download as a printable booklet and audio guide from www.discoveringbritain.org.
Dr Lynda Yorke (Bangor University) and Dr Simon Tate (Newcastle University)
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