John Muir Way

This delightful coast to coast trail through central Scotland delivers a perfect blend of country, coastal and leafy urban walking. One of Scotland’s Great Trails, the John Muir Way journeys for 135 miles from Helensburgh on the Firth of Clyde to Dunbar in East Lothian. Along the way you’ll enjoy stunning views over Loch Lomond, walk beneath the impressive Campsie Fells and explore remnants of Roman forts and the Antonine Wall. You’ll spend time in Scotland’s capital, view historic homes, and marvel at miles of sweeping golden sands. All this before entering the John Muir Country Park, a haven for nature lovers. Finally, take time to reflect on your achievement with an idyllic clifftop approach to Dunbar.

John Muir was a remarkable man; a botanist, geologist and glaciologist. He found fame as an author, explorer and environmental campaigner, and is best known to many as the father of the United States national parks. Born in Dunbar in 1838, he spent the first eleven years of his life there, finding enjoyment exploring the surrounding countryside and coastline, as well as scrambling on the ruins of Dunbar Castle. He later wrote “When I was a boy in Scotland I was fond of everything that was wild, and all my life I’ve been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures.”

It’s fitting therefore that in addition to the sublime scenery, the John Muir Way features a variety of habitats, home to a wealth of flora and fauna. The trail’s hedgerows, often fragrant with flowers, give shelter to the likes of voles and weasels as well as goldfinches and wrens. In the skies above expect to see kestrels and buzzards. The John Muir Country Park covers an area of nearly 2000 acres and this saltmarsh, grassland and woodland supports over 400 plant species and a variety of birdlife including the skylark and ringed plover. The canals and lochs on the Way are home to swans and a variety of ducks. Coastal paths are adorned with thrift, wild thyme and common orchids. Cormorants and lapwings patrol the coast while a number of islands in the Firth of Forth house colonies of puffins and gannets, most notably the magnificent Bass Rock.

All those that follow this incredible trail through Scotland will find themselves immersed in nature, enriched by history, and rewarded with a renewed feeling of wellbeing.

Our Holidays

We offer 3 great holidays on the John Muir Way. Firstly we have the full route, a magnificent 135 mile, low level, coast to coast journey across central Scotland, walking from Helensburgh to Dunbar in 10 days.

We also cover the route with 2 shorter holidays; the 78 mile western section from Helensburgh to South Queensferry over 6 days, as well as the shorter 57 mile eastern section from South Queensferry to Dunbar over 4 days.

Please bear in mind that the distances each day are trail distances only. They do not take into account walking to your accommodation. On some days the accommodation might be on or close to the trail but on other days you may need to walk one or two miles to get to your overnight stop.

John Muir Way

Helensburgh to Dunbar 135 miles/217 km

A feast of coastal and country walking with a helping of the city thrown in. All those with a reasonable level of fitness will take this coast to coast adventure in their stride. Coastline, woodland, farmland and city sights combine to ensure a memorable ten days of walking. A great introduction to long distance walking in Scotland.

Code Length Average per day Price range
JM11 10 days walking (11 nights) 14 miles/23 km $1735 - $2063 Full Info Book

John Muir Way West: Helensburgh to South Queensferry

Helensburgh to South Queensferry 78 miles/126 km

Six superb days of walking in which you’ll experience the atmospheric woodlands of Bannachra Muir and Darleith Muir, enjoy stunning views over Loch Lomond and its islands, and walk in the shadows of the impressive Campsie Fells and Kilsyth Hills on your way to meet the Firth of Forth. The foreshore has a final treat in store with a delightful strip of oak, beech and Scots pine wrapping up nicely your week of country walking.

Code Length Average per day Price range
JMW7 6 days walking (7 nights) 13 miles/21 km $929 - $1126 Full Info Book

John Muir Way East: South Queensferry to Dunbar

South Queensferry to Dunbar 57 miles/92 km

A wonderful short break enjoying the woodland foreshore of the Dalmeny Estate before a stretch of urban walking through Scotland's capital and the chance to scale the impressive Arthur’s Seat with panoramic views over the city and the Firth of Forth. Pleasant farmland follows as you make your way to the John Muir Country Park, culminating in a dramatic clifftop approach to Dunbar.

Code Length Average per day Price range
JME5 4 days walking (5 nights) 14 miles/23 km $994 - $1125 Full Info Book