11 to 12 nights
134 mls (km)
Southern Scotland
Mar to Oct

The John Muir Way: Dedicated to the Scotsman, Founder and ‘Father’ of the US’s National Parks

  • Walk through The Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park
  • Spend one night, or an extra rest day in the Scottish capital
  • Witness the Falkirk Wheel, linking the Union and Forth & Clyde canals together
  • Stay in quaint towns and villages along your walk, including the seaside town of North Berwick
  • Visit the childhood home and birthplace of John Muir at Dunbar
  • An interesting range of scenery, from coastline to national park to the nations historic capital

Walking The John Muir Way

John Muir is a notable figure with many strings to his bow. An avid traveller, talented writer and nature trailblazer, in his lifetime he campaigned for the conservation of wilderness areas and is credited with the creation of 4 National Parks. Scotland is where he spent the first 11 years of his life and where he discovered his love of outdoor pursuits.

John Muir was a staunch campaigner for the preservation of wilderness areas, his nature writing and tireless petitioning of the government helped establish the national parks of America.

However, The John Muir Way is not closely related to the John Muir Trail of California, and those considering stepping out on this path should keep in mind that this path takes in scenery which is markedly different from the vast stretches of Yosemite that John Muir wrote about.

That being said, you'll find stretches of the way remarkably remote as you pass through quaint towns & villages, coastal expanses and Scotland's first National Park (Loch Lomond & The Trossachs).

The expedition which will take you from coast to country, from rolling farmland to breath-taking beaches.

Memorable Long Distance Walks with Celtic Trails

The John Muir Way walk is a terrific option for someone looking at their first long distance walk because it is clearly waymarked and offers few sustained climbs. Trek an impressive distance and immerse yourself in Scotland’s most notable sights with Celtic Trails.

We offer incredible walking holidays and have been in the business for over 20 years. From organising accommodation to arranging transfers, we take the stress out of a holiday -  allowing you to focus on the fresh air, beautiful surroundings and exciting routes ahead of you.

John Muir Way walk map
Our linear John Muir Way Walking Holidays take you on a walk across Scotland from Helensburgh to Dunbar

Path Walkthrough

The route links coast to coast, from the Firth of Clyde to the North Sea and John Muirs childhood home at Dunbar. The route is low-lying with the highest point at Gouk Hill (277m), just outside Helensburgh. Following the route out of Edinburgh, at Musselburgh the way becomes predominantly coastal, with the final section continuing for a long stretch inland over field and farmland.

Considerable sections of the Way are spent following the Union and Forth & Clyde canal path. Along your route, you'll meet the Falkirk Wheel - an incredible feat of engineering designed to re-connect the two canals. The section from Balloch to Strathblane has long road-walking sections and as expected, the walk into and out of Edinburgh is the most urbanised stage of the journey. The trail is frequented by cyclists as well as walkers, especially on road and canalside sections.

Our John Muir Way Itineraries

  • Helensburgh to Dunbar
    Distance: 134 miles (215.5km)
    11 Nights, 10 Days
    from £1470 pp
    JMW1 ~ Helensburgh to Dunbar ~ 11 / 10 classic
    Day 1:Arrival day
    Day 2:Helensburgh to Balloch9 miles/15km
    Day 3:Balloch to Strathblane18.25 miles/29.3km
    Day 4:Strathblane to Kilsyth13 miles/21km
    Day 5:Kilsyth to Falkirk12.75 miles/20.5km
    Day 6:Falkirk to Linlithgow9.5 miles/15.3km
    Day 7:Linlithgow to South Queensferry14.5 miles/23.4km
    Day 8:South Queensferry to Edinburgh15.5 miles/25km
    Day 9:Edinburgh to Port Seton12 miles/19.3km
    Day 10:Port Seton to North Berwick14.5 miles/23.4km
    Day 11:North Berwick to Dunbar15 miles/24km
    Day 12:Departure Day

    or ask us a question
    What's Included:
    10 walking days
    11 nights
    11 breakfasts
    2024 Prices
    12 Nights, 11 Days
    from £1590 pp
    JMW2 ~ Helensburgh to Dunbar ~ 12 / 11 classic
    Day 1:Arrival day
    Day 2:Helensburgh to Balloch9 miles/15km
    Day 3:Balloch to Croftamie8.5 miles/13.6km
    Day 4:Croftamie to Strathblane9.75 miles/15.7km
    Day 5:Strathblane to Kilsyth13 miles/21km
    Day 6:Kilsyth to Falkirk12.75 miles/20.5km
    Day 7:Falkirk to Linlithgow9.5 miles/15.3km
    Day 8:Linlithgow to South Queensferry14.5 miles/23.4km
    Day 9:South Queensferry to Edinburgh15.5 miles/25km
    Day 10:Edinburgh to Port Seton12 miles/19.3km
    Day 11:Port Seton to North Berwick14.5 miles/23.4km
    Day 12:North Berwick to Dunbar15 miles/24km
    Day 13:Departure Day

    or ask us a question
    What's Included:
    11 walking days
    12 nights
    12 breakfasts
    2024 Prices
    • Good standard accommodation at a mixture of Guesthouses, Farmhouses, local Inns and B&B’s with en-suite or private facilities wherever possible
    • Breakfast
    • Luggage transfers
    • Personal transfer between accommodation and path that form a part of our standard package
    • Route planning
    • Walk pack including Trail Guide and mapping, itinerary, accommodation directions and route notes, lunch and dinner information, restaurant recommendations and holiday planning details

    You choose which day you would like your holiday to start on. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements.

    Our John Muir Way holidays are available to walk March to October.

    We advise walking this route between spring and autumn.  Scottish weather is notoriously changeable, so walkers are advised to pack taking this into consideration.

    By Rail - Helensburgh (direct service from Glasgow Queen Street – 45 minutes journey. Glasgow Queen Street is a 10 minutes walk from Glasgow Central)

    Dunbar (direct service to Edinburgh – 30 minutes journey).


    By Bus – Local bus services to points on or near John Muir Way are available.


    By Air – Glasgow Airport - An airport shuttle bus operates from Glasgow International Airport to Glasgow city centre (journey time 20 minutes).

    Edinburgh Airport - A tram and bus operate between Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Haymarket Station (journey time 20 minutes) from which you can connect to either Glasgow Central or Glasgow Queen Street (journey time 45 minutes to 1 hour).

    Looking for different mileages or a different number of nights? Please contact us to discuss how our itineraries can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. Call one of our helpful team on +44 (0)1291 689774 or e-mail us here.

    John Muir Way Client Reviews

    4.9/5 based on 13 reviews
    4th time using Celtic and not a single problem on their end.
    - June 2023
    Celtic Trails are professional; experienced team members, nice accommodations, great experience provided. Feel as though my mental health has been enhanced with time to reflect while walking.
    - August 2022
    From booking to walking and return, Celtic Trails takes care of everything. This was my 4th walk with Celtic Trails and my experience was wonderful.
    - August 2022
    Celtic Trails organises accommodation along the walk and transfers of luggage. They are helpful and flexible with arrangements.
    - June 2022
    Excellent hiking guides and pre-trip information packet. Very thorough. We chose this walk because of the recommendation of a prior customer.
    - April 2022
    It was good to get out and walk - desperately needed a good stretch out. There was a lot of hard surface walking.
    - October 2019
    Celtic Trails were easy to walks with: Great experience, no problems or complaints. This walk made us feel stronger.
    - July 2019
    Nikki did a wonderful job of breaking up the walk into do-able segments and placing us in first rate B&Bs. It really put the focus on the walk and not the logistics of the trip. Walking is an amazing way to see a country and meet the people. Everyone we met was so kind and helpful. Scots gave us directions, offered us food, shared great stories and gave us helpful tips for our journey. Knowing that a wonderful B&B was at the end of each day's walk made it a joy to arrive at our new "home".
    - May 2019
    I would describe Celtic Trails as the only way to go.
    - May 2019
    Love the outdoors, the total experience was wonderful, as were the hosts and people in the towns we stayed. Makes me a very happy person.
    - May 2019
    I have never used another company - you are all awesome!
    - September 2018
    Celtic Trails are far superior to other companies - excellent choice of accommodation, very client focussed. It's nice to deal with a small company.
    - June 2018
    'We enjoyed the variety of the John Muir Way. We walked along a canal through forests & field and countryside & coast.'
    - July 2017
    Leave your own review of your John Muir Way Walking Holiday with us - add review.
    Booking Request - John Muir Way
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    What Happens Next?

    We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £150 per person (£100 per person for a single centre break) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking process here.

    Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.

    Still Have Questions?

    If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.

    Enquire About John Muir Way
    +44 (0)1291 689 774
    Our lines are open: 9am to 5pm (GMT), Monday to Friday
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    Sample Accommodations

    Please note: exact accommodation booked will depend on availability.