John Muir Way

John Muir Way

Cross the magnificent Scottish heartland in honour of the 'Father of National Parks'.

4 to 13 nights
42-135 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding

From £530 per person

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About the trail

Named for the ‘Father of National Parks’, the John Muir Way is an energetic walk that strings together the best sights of the Scottish heartland along low-level, approachable paths. Pack your walk with visits to the Glengoyne Distillery, the Roman remains at the Antonine Wall, the world’s only rotating boat lift, the Falkirk Wheel, and Edinburgh Castle, to name but a handful of possibilities.

Canal paths, smooth trails, and old coffin roads lead the trail along lochsides and through rolling fields, with beautiful coastal views over the Firth of Forth. John Muir was all for making the best of the countryside more accessible, and this celebratory route does an excellent job of it.

We offer multiple holiday options along this trail. If you wish to experience the entire trail, simply select the first option from the list below.

Choose your route

  • John Muir Way
  • John Muir Way - West Section
  • John Muir Way - East Section

About this route

11 to 13 nights
135 miles
Moderate / Demanding
2nd January to 24th December

From £1435 per person

John Muir Way

The full John Muir Way trail traverses more than 130 miles along the breath of Scotland from Helensburgh in the west to Dunbar in the east. Along the way, the walk encounters roman ruins, old distilleries, impressive castles and many more intriguing historic landmarks, as well as plenty of charming towns and villages, each with their own unique stories to share.

The scenery along the John Muir Way is fantastically diverse, showcasing sparkling lochs, rolling hills, unspoilt coastlines and rugged mountains, with plenty to discover throughout your walk.

Available tours

Code Tour Duration Difficulty Price per person
JMW1 From Helensburgh to Dunbar 11 nights, 10 days walking Moderate / Demanding £1435
JMW2 From Helensburgh to Dunbar 12 nights, 11 days walking Moderate / Demanding £1565
JMW3 From Helensburgh to Dunbar 13 nights, 12 days walking Moderate / Demanding £1690
"Callander Park in Falkirk" by Jinru Chen (2019) "Callander Park in Falkirk" by Jinru Chen (2019)
"A Wringing Spider Web" by Jinru Chen (2019) "A Wringing Spider Web" by Jinru Chen (2019)
"View from Corstorphine Hill" by Thomas Witzel (2018) "View from Corstorphine Hill" by Thomas Witzel (2018)
"Bass Rock" by Thomas Witzel (2018) "Bass Rock" by Thomas Witzel (2018)
"Forth Bridge" by Thomas Witzel (2018) "Forth Bridge" by Thomas Witzel (2018)
"View from Port Seton" by Thomas Witzel (2018) "View from Port Seton" by Thomas Witzel (2018)
"Dumgoyne" by Thomas Witzel (2018) "Dumgoyne" by Thomas Witzel (2018)
"Preston Mill in East Linton" by Pirson Marc (2018) "Preston Mill in East Linton" by Pirson Marc (2018)
"Sycamore Forest before Aberlady" by Pirson Marc (2018) "Sycamore Forest before Aberlady" by Pirson Marc (2018)
"Belhaven Bridge" by Pirson Marc (2018) "Belhaven Bridge" by Pirson Marc (2018)
"Sammy and the Seagulls in Dunbar Harbour" by Pirson Marc (2018) "Sammy and the Seagulls in Dunbar Harbour" by Pirson Marc (2018)
"Avon Aqueduct" by Arthur Brown (2017) "Avon Aqueduct" by Arthur Brown (2017)
"Shorefront Promenade at Prestopans" by Arthur Brown (2017) "Shorefront Promenade at Prestopans" by Arthur Brown (2017)
"Structure in Cockenzie" by Elizabeth Hurrell (2022) "Structure in Cockenzie" by Elizabeth Hurrell (2022)
"Stoneymollan Road" by Mary Brown (2017) "Stoneymollan Road" by Mary Brown (2017)
"Helensburgh and the Clyde" by Mary Brown (2017) "Helensburgh and the Clyde" by Mary Brown (2017)
"Tyne Estuary" by Mary Brown (2017) "Tyne Estuary" by Mary Brown (2017)
"Dunbar Castle" by Bill Borie (2017) "Dunbar Castle" by Bill Borie (2017)
"Union Canal" by Bill Borie (2017) "Union Canal" by Bill Borie (2017)
"On the beach at North Berwick" by Elizabeth Hurrell (2022) "On the beach at North Berwick" by Elizabeth Hurrell (2022)

Customer reviews from the John Muir Way

“A wonderful holiday across beautiful scenery with many interesting sights. Highly recommend this holiday but it's a bit of a challenge in some spots. Met many nice Scottish folks who were very helpful when I had difficulties finding my way in two places. I would definitely recommend this holiday to others. Already looking at alternatives for 2023. Will be in touch.”
Mr Kuhns, USA
“Varied and interesting walk. I knew before I went that it went through populated areas of the central belt but I was keen to see them on foot. I was surprised by how unexploited the canals are.”
Mr Moon, UK
“Brilliant to be back in Scotland. I really enjoyed this one. Lots of scenic variety, ranging from hills and forests in the west, canals and the Antonine Wall in the centre, and coastal walking in the east. Also lots of extras to see and do along the way - I had a boat trip on Loch Lomond, a ride on the Falkirk Wheel, and climbed Arthur's Seat and Berwick Law.”
Mr Julyan, UK
“The walk was an excellent way of connecting to the West Highland Way from the Pennine Way. Surprisingly rural and quiet most of the time. The digital route supplied worked well but most of the Route had excellent on the ground signage. I think this makes an excellent link route when doing a longer version of Land’s End to John o’ Groats.”
Mr Dowling, Ireland
“Interesting, fun, scenic.”
Ms Schnitger, USA
“Another enjoyable holiday thanks to Contours. A well maintained path with excellent way marks. Not a classic walk (ie not in the same class as Pennine Way, Offa's Dyke, West Highland way and some of my coastal paths) but I enjoyed it. Loved it! I was fairly lucky with the weather - just 3 wet days.”
Mr Duthoit, UK
“It was wonderful. Everyone replied to our questions quickly and helpfully.”
Ms Yatsko, USA
“I enjoyed seeing parts of Scotland I didn't previously know. Everything was impeccably organised, including on the two days in Falkirk with taxi pick-ups/drop-offs.”
Ms Korkmaz, Switzerland
“Immensely. Everything was perfectly arranged with good directions to each accommodation. Enjoyable route, easy walking. Great hosts. I have already recommended this holiday to others. Will book another holiday with you, just need to wait for the body, and the bank, to recover.”
Ms Freeberg-Hagen, USA
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