John Muir Way

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  • The Falkirk Wheel
    The Falkirk Wheel
  • The footbridge known as The Bridge To Nowhere as the tide comes in at Belhaven Bay near Dunbar
    A footbridge at Belhaven Bay near Dunbar along the John Muir Way
  • The Forth Rail Bridge
    The Forth Rail Bridge
  • Ardmore point on the Firth of Clyde with Helensburgh visible beyond
  • Linlithgow Loch
    Linlithgow Loch

Stretching from coast to coast across Scotland for 134 miles, the new John Muir Way builds on the original shorter route of the same name, and extends from Helensburgh on the Clyde on the west coast to John Muir's birthplace in Dunbar, East Lothian.

The new national pathway is named in honour of one of the country’s most famous sons, John Muir - conservationist and founder of America's National Parks who was born in Dunbar in 1838.

Whether you're planning on walking, cycling or horse riding along the route, the trail is as suitable for walkers as for cyclists and offers easy access for everyone.

The full route should take 7 – 10 days’ walking or around 4 – 5 days’ cycling, is fully waymarked and had been designed to encourage more people to explore the great outdoors. With that in mind, the route has been divided into 10 sections and links in with a number of shorter circular paths which can be tackled in smaller sections on their own. But this trail offers a fantastic coast-to-coast expedition which you will certainly enjoy.

FalkirkMuch of the trail consists of a great mix of paths including tracks, canal towpaths and cycleways following coastlines and rivers and cutting through woodlands and farmlands. You’ll be treated to some marvellous views along the way as the route spans some of the country's most beautiful scenery, from rolling hills and sweeping agricultural landscapes to sandy beaches, rocky coastlines and quaint towns and villages.

Find out more about each section of the route.

The route

The John Muir Way starts off in the west coast town of Helensburgh from where Muir sailed off to America. From there, the trail takes in stunning views of Loch Lomond and the National Park mountain backdrop, the iconic Dumgoyne hill near Glengoyne Distillery and the fascinating Falkirk Wheel and The Helix with the Kelpies.

Further on, the route takes you through the outskirts of Linlithgow and the beautiful Linlithgow Palace to the impressive Hopetoun House Estate in Queensferry before reaching the southern end of the Forth’s road and rail bridges at South Queensferry and then onto Edinburgh. Beyond Edinburgh, the route runs through East Lothian and Prestonpans to North Berwick, where you can climb North Berwick Law and visit the ruins of Tantallon Castle. If you follow the River Tyne, it will take you to the John Muir Country Park before reaching Dunbar, where Muir was born and where you can learn more about him at the John Muir’s Birthplace Museum.

The Kelpies, two 30 metre high equine sculptures by Andy Scott which are located in The Helix, a parkland near Falkirk