The Chain Mail

Welcome to The Chain Mail - a visitor’s guide to the sights and sounds of Historic Scotland

‘The world is big…


… and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.’
– John Muir

Dunbar born John Muir is credited as one of the founding fathers of conservation and one of Scotland’s greatest exports. He lived most his life in America and was influential in the creation of Yosemite National Park, the first in the US. In this centenary year of his death, Scotland will celebrate the man with the opening of the John Muir Way. Here at Historic Scotland we have planned our own fitting tribute, our John Muir Tour at Holyrood Park.

On Saturday 19 April you are invited to join our rangers as we team up with the Scottish Wildlife Trust to bring you on a fascinating tour around the park. We’ll be starting at Bawsinch, a reserve on the outskirts, before picking up our trail on the Innocent Railway. This trail fittingly forms part of the John Muir Way! The tour will end at the summit of Arthur’s Seat which promises spectacular views – if the weather behaves.  Please note that although the event is free, you will need to book for this tour, just to make sure we can accommodate everyone.

Holyrood Park

The stunning location for our tour

We’re excited about the opening of the John Muir Way on the 21 April – it passes through seven of our wonderful sites! If you do join the Way, don’t forget to give us a wave at Kinneil House, Linlithgow PalaceRough CastleCroy HillBar Hill FortHolyrood Park and Blackness Castle.

John Muir Way Markers

Look out for the John Muir Way markers

If you stop at Kinneil House on Saturday 26 or Sunday 27 April you can enjoy an open day with a focus on the House’s landscape, history walks and you may even bump into a character from the House’s past. Later in the year you may want to stop at Dirleton Castle and Garden, Sunday 1 June, or Blackness Castle, Sunday 8 June, for the chance to meet the man himself!  Quids In Theatre Company and Scottish Natural Heritage will be on hand to showcase Mad about Muir; a theatre production based on the life of John Muir. You can then join a guided walk by Muir himself. Best of all, joining this afternoon of fun comes at no cost – you just need to book in advance.

Dirleton Castle

Meet John Muir at Dirleton Castle

If you still need more encouragement to get out exploring the John Muir Way and the many events taking place during the John Muir Festival, here are some words from the man himself:

‘When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.’

How much more inspiration do you need?


About Author

Jean Burke

Jean works in the marketing department focusing mainly on our events programme. She mostly blogs about upcoming events, campaigns and all the wonderful goings-on at Historic Scotland.

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