A Guide to: The John Muir Country Park

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The John Muir Country Park

The Out About Scotland complete guide to the John Muir Country Park

About the John Muir Country Park

The John Muir Country Park is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of the East Lothian coastline and offers a diverse variety of wildlife habitats that nature-lovers of all ages will enjoy exploring.

The park is dedicated to John Muir, the famous Scottish-born 19th-century naturalist and conservationist who preserved many of the wilderness areas in the United States, including Yosemite Valley and the Sequoia National Park, after developing a fascination with the East Lothian countryside. Although the park wasn’t designated as a preservation area until 1976 it has since become one of the most-loved outdoors areas in the east of Scotland, and nature-lovers flock to the site to enjoy the wild landscape.

The John Muir Country Park is a great place to take a leisurely afternoon stroll, and the beach, in particular, is one of the nicest in East Lothian with wide-open stretches of soft golden sand and seawater that’s crystal clear. It really is a lovely place to be and I totally recommend visiting the park if you’re ever in this part of the country.



Things to do at the John Muir Country Park

The John Muir Country Park has become well-regarded for the number of plant species that live on the site and to date over 400 different types have been recorded growing there. The park is also a prime site for birdwatchers thanks to the different habitats in the area, and across sand dunes, salt marsh, beach and woodland you can see kittiwakes, eider duck, shelduck, skylark, meadow pipit, ringed plover, gannet, terns and others foraging for food.

The walk shown on this page will take you through each habitat, starting at the salt marsh before moving on to the beach, through the sand dunes, back across the salt marsh and finishing off with a lovely walk through the coniferous woodland. While some sections of the path aren’t suitable for people with impaired mobility there are enough accessible areas that anyone can enjoy a visit to the site.

Other highlights for families are the large children’s play park at Linkfield car park with a BBQ area nearby, and the East Links Country Park attraction that’s located on the edge of the woodland. You can see some of the animals in the East Links Country Park as you make your way back to Linkfield car park, so don’t be surprised if you suddenly find an emu or a llama staring at you through the fences there!

The facilities on offer are pretty good too and there’s plenty of car parking spaces near the kids play-park along with a nearby BBQ area and public toilets. The council have even installed a wooden walkway so that wheelchair users can enjoy part of the park, although they probably won’t be able to get further than the end of the walkway onto the beach. All-in-all, the John Muir Country Park is a first-class attraction in East Lothian.


What I liked about this attraction

  • The park is beautiful
  • Lots of different wildlife habitats to explore
  • It’s a really good, free, family day out

What I didn’t like about this attraction

  • I haven’t got any negative comments about this attraction

Address and directions map

John Muir Country Park,
East Lothian,
EH42 1XF


Walking Map

Contact details

Prices and opening times

There is no fee to enter the John Muir Country Park, however, car parking charges may apply.

The park is open to the public at all times of the year.


Virtual Tour



John Muir Country Park (the beach at Belhaven Bay)John Muir Country Park (view across the dunes and Belhaven Bay)John Muir Country Park (view of Bass Rock)John Muir Country Park (Belhaven Bay)John Muir Country Park (Skylark)John Muir Country Park (the path along the dunes)John Muir Country Park (view across to the Lammermuir Hills)John Muir Country Park (view across the dunes)John Muir Country Park (view cross salt-marsh)John Muir Country Park (Skylark singing)John Muir Country Park (the salt-marsh)John Muir Country Park (driftwood on the salt-marsh)John Muir Country Park (the boundary between the salt-marsh and the woodland)John Muir Country Park (a clearing inside the woodland)John Muir Country Park (path into the woodland)John Muir Country Park (East links Country Park Llama)John Muir Country Park (East links Country Park sheep)John Muir Country Park (East links Country Park Emu)

Craig Smith

Craig Smith is your guide to the best attractions in Scotland. He loves exploring the Scottish wilds and is happiest when he's knee-deep in a muddy bog in the middle of nowhere.

Out About Scotland