Commemorating and exploring the life and legacy of John Muir, the world-renowned Scots-born naturalist and explorer, the John Muir Festival is a series of fantastic events over nine days. It includes the official opening of the John Muir Way, the international launch of the magnificent new cultural landmark, The Kelpies and The Helix, and many special events along the length of the John Muir Way.
The Kelpies and The Helix
The festival opens with remarkable night-time artworks illuminating the new Helix Park in Falkirk over the evenings of 17 and 18 April. The Kelpies, the gigantic 300 tonne and 30 metre high horses head sculptures designed by Scottish artist Andy Scott, will be animated to a pulsating soundtrack and ‘brought to life’ with a breathtaking light and flame performance by international pyrotechnics experts.
The opening of the John Muir Way
The opening of the new route will take place on 21 April in Dunbar, East Lothian and is tied in with the 175th anniversary of John Muir’s birth in 2013 and 100th anniversary of his death in 2014.
The new route will mainly follow the existing trail, which stretches from John Muir’s hometown of Dunbar to the outskirts of Edinburgh zig-zagging through the scenic suburbs of the city, and will extend further west to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. The new route will span a total of 130 miles offering some of the most magnificent nature and landscapes of central Scotland, including the unrivalled views over Loch Lomond and the distant mountains in its final section from Balloch to Helensburgh on the west coast.
The festival’s culminating event will take place at Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch on 26 April, and will include a spectacular fireworks display and a street ceilidh performed by the Scottish contemporary folk band, Breabach.
The John Muir Events programme
There will also be a number of local events and activities on the key locations along the John Muir Way. Taking place from 27 April to 13 June, why not join in the inspirational John Muir Events and experience the marvellous natural and cultural heritage which is right on your door step? You can carry a flag for John Muir, for example along a section of the new national pathway, and explore some of the country’s most picturesque landscapes and wildlife sites.