John Muir Coast Festival In East Lothian Was Great Success

East Lothian's John Muir Coast Festival. Photo Credit: Rob McDougall/Greg MacVean
East Lothian’s John Muir Coast Festival. Photo Credit: Rob McDougall/Greg MacVean

The John Muir Coast Festival was ‘allround’ success

Outdoor enthusiasts and families stepped into a world of adventure with the FIRST ever John Muir Coast Festival, which took place at the weekend in East Lothian from 22nd to 24th April 2016. John Muir, the famous conservationist and founder of America’s national parks, was born in Dunbar where his love of the great outdoors began. The festival was inspired by Muir’s advocacy of the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle. From East Lothian’s first ever night golf event to an ultra marathon and wakeboarding competition – the festival had something to suit everyone.

Night Golf at John Muir Coast Fest. Photo Credit: Rob McDougall/Greg MacVean
Night Golf at John Muir Coast Fest. Photo Credit: Rob McDougall/Greg MacVean

“The first ever John Muir Coast Festival proved to be incredibly successful event as thousands of locals and outdoor enthusiasts from across the country took part in the array of events, from East Lothian’s first ever night golf event at Dunbar Golf Club, which sold out in 4 days of the tickets going on sale, to an ultra marathon and wakeboarding competition – the festival had something to suit everyone” commented  Councillor John McMillan, Spokeperson for Economic Development & Tourism.

As part of the John Muir Coast Festival, there was an amazing opportunity to play in East Lothian’s FIRST night golf tournament at Dunbar Golf Club on Scotland’s Golf Coast. Only 30 miles from Edinburgh, Dunbar Golf Club is an Open Championship Qualifying Venue and one of the most beautiful examples of a classic links course in Scotland. This Festival gave individuals the opportunity to not only experience this excellent golf course, but the exclusive chance to play it in the dark. In partnership with the fantastic Night Golf Company (, this unique experience of golf at night, using revolutionary LED golf balls and marking equipment led to an early sell out of tickets. Using the Texas Scramble format, teams of four tested their skills against fellow night golfers across 6 holes in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  

“This was certainly a novel event and the lasting memories will be the fits of laughter and enjoyment that emulated from all parts of the course, without of course, being able to see the individuals involved” said Gael Pollitt, Captain of Dunbar on East Lothian’s First ever Night Golf event which kick started the John Muir Coast Festival. Night Golf organiser, Mark Goodwin, commented ‘It was a new record attendance on Friday night at the John Muir Night Golf event’. To watch the video of the John Muir Night Golf click here.

The weekend also saw the launch of the first Foxlake Outdoor Festival, an exhilarating day of fun for all the family! Set within the beautiful surrounding of Foxlake Adventures, home to Scotland’s first cable wakeboarding park and the UK’s only ropes course constructed over water. Visitors spent the day listening to fantastic live music, sampling local food and drink, watching some of the UK’s finest wakeboarders, and embracing new adventures  giving wakeboarding, FoxFall ropes course, segways and zorbing a try. There were guaranteed thrills for adults and children alike, with a spectacular fireworks display concluding the day!

 “We felt that the inaugural Foxlake Outdoor Festival was a big success with tickets selling out over 10 days prior to the event. On the day the weather was a bit chilly but it didn’t stop the vibe on the site being warm and relaxed. Throughout the day we had Ultra Marathon runners crossing the line, pro wakeboarders making a splash on the lake and a chorus of screams and laughter from the inflatable village all to the soundtrack of great live music!! All in all a great day at the lake” Foxlakes Managing Director, James Barbour commented.

The John Muir Stone Stacking challenge saw hundreds of visitors come to Dunbar for this unique competition, the first of its kind, with a blend of the towns best Musical Talent and a great array of artists and artwork on display made for a perfect beachside day. The competition was fierce with locals competing against visitors from the rest of the UK and the creative displays and balancing skills was great. This event is the perfect way to reconnect with the outdoors, finding your inner creativity and this competition will hopefully become a regular fixture on the calendar. 

Having the beach wheelchair charity from North Berwick providing accessibility to the east beach and seeing the many young families have a go themselves was truly inspirational, East beach hasn’t seen such a crowd in a generation and this competition was a great way to showcase using such a wonderful location in spite of the environmental changes this beach has seen. The entire John Muir Festival which featured such a unique blend of outdoor pursuits highlights once again why East Lothian and especially Dunbar is the perfect destination for all generations and for all abilities to come and reconnect with Nature, something John Muir, I am sure, would have been proud of.

For more information about all of the events which took place during the John Muir Coast Festival click on

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