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.
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)
JMW1 ~ Helensburgh to Dunbar ~ 11 / 10 classic
|Day 1:||Arrival day|
|Day 2:||Helensburgh to Balloch||9 miles/15km|
|Day 3:||Balloch to Strathblane||18.25 miles/29.3km|
|Day 4:||Strathblane to Kilsyth||13 miles/21km|
|Day 5:||Kilsyth to Falkirk||12.75 miles/20.5km|
|Day 6:||Falkirk to Linlithgow||9.5 miles/15.3km|
|Day 7:||Linlithgow to South Queensferry||14.5 miles/23.4km|
|Day 8:||South Queensferry to Edinburgh||15.5 miles/25km|
|Day 9:||Edinburgh to Port Seton||12 miles/19.3km|
|Day 10:||Port Seton to North Berwick||14.5 miles/23.4km|
|Day 11:||North Berwick to Dunbar||15 miles/24km|
|Day 12:||Departure Day|
JMW2 ~ Helensburgh to Dunbar ~ 12 / 11 classic
|Day 1:||Arrival day|
|Day 2:||Helensburgh to Balloch||9 miles/15km|
|Day 3:||Balloch to Croftamie||8.5 miles/13.6km|
|Day 4:||Croftamie to Strathblane||9.75 miles/15.7km|
|Day 5:||Strathblane to Kilsyth||13 miles/21km|
|Day 6:||Kilsyth to Falkirk||12.75 miles/20.5km|
|Day 7:||Falkirk to Linlithgow||9.5 miles/15.3km|
|Day 8:||Linlithgow to South Queensferry||14.5 miles/23.4km|
|Day 9:||South Queensferry to Edinburgh||15.5 miles/25km|
|Day 10:||Edinburgh to Port Seton||12 miles/19.3km|
|Day 11:||Port Seton to North Berwick||14.5 miles/23.4km|
|Day 12:||North Berwick to Dunbar||15 miles/24km|
|Day 13:||Departure Day|
- Good standard accommodation at a mixture of Guesthouses, Farmhouses, local Inns and B&B’s with en-suite or private facilities wherever possible
- 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).
John Muir Way Client Reviews
4.9/5 based on 13 reviews
4th time using Celtic and not a single problem on their end.
Chuck Keenley - 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.
Al Edmonds, Bradford - 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.
William Chalberg - August 2022
Celtic Trails organises accommodation along the walk and transfers of luggage. They are helpful and flexible with arrangements.
Ken Hare - June 2022
Excellent hiking guides and pre-trip information packet. Very thorough. We chose this walk because of the recommendation of a prior customer.
Anon - April 2022
It was good to get out and walk - desperately needed a good stretch out. There was a lot of hard surface walking.
Anon. - October 2019
Celtic Trails were easy to walks with: Great experience, no problems or complaints. This walk made us feel stronger.
Anon - 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".
B. Tomita - May 2019
I would describe Celtic Trails as the only way to go.
K. Fry - 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.
Anon. - May 2019
I have never used another company - you are all awesome!
T.C. - 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.
C&C - June 2018
'We enjoyed the variety of the John Muir Way. We walked along a canal through forests & field and countryside & coast.'
Mr & Mrs Billingsley - July 2017
Booking Request - John Muir Way
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
Our lines are open: 9am to 5pm (GMT), Monday to Friday
Please note: exact accommodation booked will depend on availability.