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The John Muir Way

12 Days & 11 Nights 4.5 Read 13 reviews
  • Hike through Scotland’s heartland; mountains, canals, lochs, and coast paths
  • Explore Edinburgh with its castle, museums, galleries and restaurants
  • Visit the Falkirk Wheel and enjoy easy-going canalside walking
  • Sample a 'wee dram' or two of whisky from Glengoyne Distillery
  • Relax on the shores of Loch Lomond with a picnic
This coast-to-coast trail across the heart of Scotland celebrates the life and work of inspirational conservationist John Muir (1838-1914). Experience mountains, lochs, canals and coastal scenery as you walk west to east from the shores of the Clyde at Helensburgh via historic Edinburgh to Dunbar, Muir’s birthplace. Highlights along the way are picturesque Loch Lomond, the engineering feat of the Falkirk Wheel, the lagoons and sandy beaches around the Scottish Seabird Centre at Berwick, and of course Scotland's historic capital - Edinburgh.

What To Expect

Enthuiastic long distance walkers will enjoy the navigation of one of Scotland’s newest long distance trails, which crosses from the west to east coast, via Edinburgh.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.


Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers, Multi-Generational

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wine, Whisky & More...
  • Wildlife
  • Historical Journeys


  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate and follows footpaths, gravel tracks and canal pathways. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.


The trail is very well way-marked and you will receive a comprehensive guide book with maps to ensure you find your way. There is an unofficial alternative route that takes you through Edinburgh (as the 'official route' bypasses the city), and we will provide you with information accordingly. The route comprises of hill and mountain tracks (so some ascent/descent), riverside trails, minor roads and highland paths.

Accommodation Information

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room willalways have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is always included.

Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability (and to ensure you enjoy an excellent standard of accommodation), we may have to accommodate you at an alternative location. In the event that we feel it is best to accommodate you a little further from the trail, we will advise you of this before confirming your booking (and transfers may also be provided). Our expert Scotland team will liaise with your accordingly to make sure you have the best possible experience.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a solo walker supplement is payable (due to the fact that you are not splitting the cost of the room with another person). If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generallypossible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.


Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will often be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival and paid for locally, alternatively your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.

  • 11 Nights in hand-picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • 11 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfer
  • Information pack and guidebook
  • Access to detailed maps and GPX tracks with the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
  • Travel to Helensburgh / from Edinburgh
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Additional nights along the route

When To Go

This tour is available to start any day of the week, between April and the end of September. If you are planning on travelling in August, please bear in mind that Edinburgh is very busy for the whole month due to the world-renowned Fringe Festival and Edinburgh Tattoo (pipe band competition). There will likely also be an supplement for overnights in Edinburgh during August due to increased accommodation costs at this time. 

Getting to the Start

By Air: For international travellers Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports are are the most convenient. From Glasgow Airport there is a shuttle bus into the city centre (25 mins), and from Edinburgh Airport you can take a shuttle bus into the city centre (30 mins) or to Glasgow (60 mins).

By Train: Helensburgh is easily accessible by rail from Glasgow city centre (45 mins). Returning from Dunbar, it is 30 mins to Edinburgh and 1h30 approx. to central Glasgow. Trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh are regular, duration approx. 50-60 mins. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and tickets.

By Car: Helensburgh is 32 miles (45 mins) north of Glasgow off the A82. Parking (not secure) is available in Helensburgh.

Journey Planning: If travelling by public transport the website www.travelinescotland.com has an excellent journey planner.

Getting from the End

By Air: For international travellers Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports are are the most convenient. You can catch the train to Glasgow airport which takes approx. 3 hours or the train to Edinburgh which takes approx. 2 hours. 

By Train: Dunbar has great transport links. Glasgow city centre is approx. a 2 hour journey and there are trains throughout the day. Edinburgh city centre is approx. a  1.5 hour journey and again there are a number of trains throughout the day. www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and tickets.

By Car: Glasgow city centre is a approx. a 2 hour drive and Edinburgh city centre is approx. a 45 minute drive. Please note that parking is limited in Dunbar but if you wanted to leave your car here for the duration of the trip then please ask if the accommodation has any parking facilities available.

Journey Planning: If travelling by public transport the website www.travelinescotland.com has an excellent journey planner.

Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfers are included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person with a maximum weight of 15kg.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing necessary items for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walk boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for the summer and also a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Day 1 Arrive Helensburgh Day 2 Walk to Balloch, by Loch Lomond 9 miles / 15 km Day 3 Walk to Strathblane 18.5 miles / 30 km Day 4 Walk to Kilsyth 13 miles / 21 km Day 5 Walk to Falkirk 13 miles / 21 km Day 6 Walk to Linlithgow 8.5 miles / 14 km Day 7 Walk to South Queensferry 14 miles / 23 km Day 8 Walk to Edinburgh 15.5 miles / 25 km Day 9 Walk to Prestonpans 10 miles / 16.5 km Day 10 Walk to North Berwick 16.5 miles / 27 km Day 11 Walk to Dunbar 15 miles / 24.5 km Day 12 Onward Travel

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