East Lothian Council

Row, row, row your boat along The John Muir Way

Published Friday 28th July 17

John Muir

Local rowing club become the first to complete iconic walk by boat

Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club has become the first to complete the John Muir Way by boat.

Over 20 local rowers took part in the challenge which mirrored the 134 miles of the John Muir Way stretching from Helensburgh to Dunbar.

The intrepid adventurers set out on the water at Helensburgh on 17 July and became the first Scottish coastal rowing team to tackle the coast-to-coast route which commemorates the journey of world-renowned conservationist, John Muir.

The team left Helensburgh and rowed up the Clyde shipping lane, into the Forth & Clyde Canal (40 locks, 16 bridges) past Kirkintilloch, Auchinstarry, Bonnybridge, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies, into the Forth near Boness, then down the coast past South Queensferry, Post Seton, Aberlady, North Berwick and finally arrived in Dunbar.

The adventurous team of 23 were aged from 14 to 76 and have clocked up several miles as a group with many having trained together for over five years.

Dunbar local and Club Secretary, Kenny Maule (66) took part in the event as well as co-ordinating the challenge with his wife, Pamela (60).He explained the thinking behind the idea:

“This summer the team were looking for a row that would offer interesting challenges combined with taking in some of Scotland’s beautiful scenery along the way. Someone suggested that we row around the whole of Scotland and while this sounded like a wonderful idea, logistically it would have caused a few hiccups. We soon realised that we already have an abundance of beautiful coastal scenery on our doorstep so the John Muir Way became the obvious choice. As Dunbar locals, we pass John Muir’s birthplace every day. His legacy is an integral part of our community’s history so it was particularly special for us to select this route.”

The John Muir Way - a flagship project of the Central Scotland Green Network - takes in castles, historic towns and villages, stunning coastal scenery as well as Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and has already attracted walkers, cyclists and now rowers from across the globe.

East Lothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, Cllr John McMillan, said:

“The John Muir Way is not just a superb waymarked long distance route traversing the south of Scotland but also an initiative highlighting the inspirational thoughts and achievements of John Muir. The rowing club’s challenge fully imbues Muir’s ethos of exploring wild places and enjoying nature and I hope this inspires others to enjoy their own personal outdoor challenges on the John Muir Way.”

Keith Geddes, Chair of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust – which drives forward the delivery of the CSGN, said:

“Three years on from the launch of the John Muir Way, I’m proud to see Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club challenging the norm and echoing the adventurous nature of John Muir himself. This also highlights the growing understanding in Scotland of Muir’s significance throughout the world and we look forward to many more people completing the 134 mile route whether by foot, bike or any other creative way they can think of.”

For further information about the John Muir Way, please visit http://www.johnmuirway.org/ – a dedicated website on the 134 mile route with key information to help people plan their trip. You can also like the John Muir Way on Facebook and follow the John Muir Way on Twitter

The John Muir Birthplace Trust can be found at http://www.jmbt.org.uk/, on fref=nf">Facebook and Twitter.

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