Heritage at risk

John Muir Link – Coastal Path

There is a path from Dunbar to Whitesands, and beyond, today known as the John Muir Link. At some point in the late 19th Century an esplanade was created, in the hey day of the big hotels, which have since been demolished. The esplanade itself has seen better days, but nonetheless gives access to a few million years of rather interesting geological history (hardly well-publicised given the dominance of red sandstone in the town’s built environment), unless the weather is foul.

However, there is little mention of the local geology or landscape, despite it being an important factor in the siting and building of Dunbar Castle, the Battery and the two harbours; and in how the local area has been shaped during the Ice Age. The information described in these few pages should show that there is great scope for introducing geology to those that visit the Dunbar area, particularly with the town’s association to John Muir, who campaigned for the preservation of natural environments through his work as an environmentalist, geologist and botanist.

OR/14/063 Site assessment – ELC 4: Dunbar Shore, Dunbar. Whitbread, K, Ellen, R, Callaghan, E, Gordon, J E, and Arkley, S. 2014. East Lothian geodiversity audit. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/14/063.

The coastal footpath of sorts runs from the charming old club house uncomfortably close to both the golf players and ankle breaking gabions, which are intended to stitch up the fragile ground and perhaps prevent easy access to the beach.

Once upon a time the path ran sensibly across the dune slacks and along the Deer Park and Broxmouth House wall.

By dunbarheritage

an eye on built and natural heritage in and around dunbar