John Muir Country Park

Natural history


To date, around 400 species of plant have been found. Among the most common are thrift and sea aster on the saltmarsh; sea rocket and biting stonecrop on the upper beach; marram grass and birds-foot trefoil on the dunes; with meadow cranesbill and viper's bugloss along the grassy edge to the woodland.


The meadow brown and common blue butterflies are often seen in July and August, feeding on plants in the shorter grassland. Two of the commonest moths that can be seen are the day flying cinnabar and six-spot burnet moths. In late summer, the yellow and black caterpillars of the cinnabar moth can be seen feeding on ragwort.


Some breed in the park, such as kittiwake on the castle ruins and eider duck and shelduck in the dunes, others are seasonal visitors. Birds that can be seen in the summer include skylark, meadow pipit and lapwing in the dunes and saltmarsh; ringed plover on the rocky and sandy shores; with gannet and terns offshore. Sand martins swoop above the sand and saltmarsh, and flocks of crossbill can sometimes be glimpsed moving through the plantation at Hedderwick. Winter visitors include wigeon, bar-tailed godwit and whooper swan.



Read about wildfowling and apply for a permit online.

How to get there

By bicycle / car

Follow the A1. At the Thistly Cross Roundabout, take the turning towards Dunbar/East Linton/North Berwick. Arriving soon after at a second roundabout, turn right (along the A1087, signposted Dunbar). After one kilometre, turn left and follow the signs into Linkfield car park which is clearly signposted.

Parking charges

Parking charges may apply to coastal car park.

By train

ScotRail services operate between Dunbar and Edinburgh. High speed train services also opeate on this route. From Dunbar station it is a 15 minute walk to Dunbar Harbour at the East end of John Muir Country Park.

By bus

East Coast Buses operate services between Edinburgh and Dunbar, ask the driver to drop you off near to John Muir Country Park.