Family days out near me: John Muir's Birthplace, Dunbar, East Lothian - An introduction to conservation for the future guardians of our planet

If your children are among the growing throng of young people determined to do more to protect their environment, here’s an exhibition to inspire them.They’ll discover how a boy born in a modest house in East Lothian in 1838 became a driving force of the modern conservation movement.

By Julie Douglas
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 7:00 am

Name: John Muir’s Birthplace

Description: A museum dedicated to the life and work of John Muir, pioneer conservationist. The exterior has been restored and now looks much as it would have done when John was born there. Inside you will find three floors of family friendly interactive displays, with well-informed staff on hand to answer questions.

Location: 126 High Street, Dunbar, EH42 1JJ.The museum is located in the centre of the town, just off the A1, towards the north end of the High Street.Dunbar railway station is a 10 minute walk away, with a regular services from Edinburgh and the south.Regular bus services run throughout the year to and from Edinburgh city centre. All stop on the High Street within easy reach of the museum.

A statue of pioneer conservationist John Muir stands proudly on the High Street of Dunbar, the place he was born and where he discovered his passion for the natural world

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    Suitable for: The exhibition and interactive displays are suitable for ages 6 and over. The building has level access throughout and a lift to upper floors.

    Entry costs: No admission charge but donations are welcome.

    Opening hours: Until the end of September the museum opens Monday to Saturday,10am-5pm; Sunday, 1pm to 5pm (last entry 4.30pm). From October to the end of March it’s closed Monday and Tuesday.

    What they say: “Explore the life and legacy of this remarkable man in the house where he was born – now a unique museum and the starting (or end) point of the John Muir Way. John was born in 1838 in Dunbar, and as child developed a deep love of the natural world. His introduction to Yosemite Valley in California resulted in his campaign to preserve the wilderness, leading to the establishment of the world’s first national park system. He is remembered as a pioneer of the modern conservation movement.”

    The exterior of the building has been restored to look much as it did in 1838

    What visitors say: “John Muir was an incredible force for conservation and it was a pleasure visiting his birthplace. Dunbar is a also a wonderful place to visit and walk along the rocky coastline.”"Excellent! Kids really enjoyed it. A great opportunity to learn about the great naturalist and explorer.””The museum is only three floors of a small building, but it gives you a thorough history of John Muir's life and impact on conservation efforts worldwide.”

    Look out for: The attraction has impressive green credentials, achieving the gold standard in the Green Tourism Business Scheme Award and has been highly commended for its environmental education work.

    Parking: There’s free High Street parking for 90 minutes or at nearby Dunbar Leisure Pool.

    Facilities: The museum has its own toilet and a small gift shop and is well located for town centre shops and cafes.