The last coastal town in Lothian before the Borders, Dunbar was an important defensive place in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the remains of its castle overlooking the harbour. It was burnt twice in the 16th century by the English, and then occupied by Cromwellian troops in the 17th century. It is known throughout the world as the birthplace of naturalist John Muir, the father of American national parks, whose legacy is very much alive in the region. For 215 km between Dunbar and Helensburgh, the John Muir Way crosses the Lowlands from east to west, meeting Scottish heritage and landscapes ( It is also said to be the sunniest place in the country, hence the nickname Sunny Dunny.

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