Mary and I have been walking the John Muir Way in sections of 8-10 miles for the past 3 years, whenever the weather and social circumstances allowed. Unlike the famous John Muir hiking Trail in the US, which runs for 215 miles through the California wilderness, with snow and bears to contend with, the John Muir Way is a 135 mile, mostly low level route, across central Scotland from Helensburgh in the West, to Dunbar (Muir’s birthplace) in the East.
The variety of geographical, historical and industrial landscapes has engrossed and surprised us from the start. To be honest we still have 2 final sections to complete, from Gullane Bay to Dunbar via North Berwick. A challenge we look forward to before the end of 2018.
The John Muir Way is a remarkable journey as it passes through unexpected and fascinating landscapes. From Scotland’s first National Park (Loch Lomond and the Trossachs), alongside the historic canals (Forth and Clyde and the Union), the engineering wonder of the Falkirk Wheel, the Roman Antonine Wall, Linlithgow Palace, underneath (literally) all 3 of the Forth Bridges, through the Capital to the coast with its foreshore beaches and bays, before ending at Dunbar.
With careful planning it is possible to use public transport to access much of the route, starting and finishing from Stirling bus or train station. All in all this has been a surprising and instructive walk, and one we thoroughly recommend. Among many surprises look out for the preserved ruin of James Watt’s stone workshop next to Kinneil House just past Linlithgow.