Q. How long will the route take me to walk/cycle?
A. The John Muir Way is 134 miles or 215km long over easy to moderate terrain and can be completed end-to-end on foot, taking 9-11 days and by bike over 4-5 days. Our website has an overview of each section of the route with information on how long each should take to walk or cycle.
Q. Can I buy a map of the route?
A. Our website has an interactive map you can look at, as well as downloadable maps for each section of the route. It is also possible to purchase a printed map and guidebook. These are also for sale at retail outlets along the route.
Q. Do I get anything if I complete the route?
Q. Do you have information on places to stay overnight?
A. Our website suggests a number of options and includes contact details for accommodation along the route.
Q. Can I cycle the walking route options?
A. The only sections of the walking route where cycling is not permitted are the Antonine Wall scheduled monuments (archaeological sites protected by Historic Environment Scotland). Here cyclists are asked to dismount and push, and some lifting over gates is required.
The John Muir Way was created as both a cycling and walking route; the cycle sections provide a generally smoother, flatter option where the walking route is rougher and more challenging. That said, the cycle route is also steep and rough in parts and some pushing may be required, and a mountain, hybrid or very sturdy touring bike with puncture proof tyres is recommended. Cycling the walking route end to end would require a mountain bike and would involve some pushing and lifting. See here for further information in general about cycling.
A description for the cycling and walking routes in each section can be downloaded here.
Q. What will the weather be like?
A. Temperatures can range from an average maximum of 17°C in the Summer to 5°C in the Winter. However, Scotland is renowned for its changeable weather, often experiencing four seasons in one day, so it is best to prepare for every eventuality. The prevailing wind blows from west to east, so if you’d like it behind you for extra help, start in Helensburgh. For more detailed forecasts, see the Met Office website and the Mountain Weather Service.
Q. Who can I contact about issues with littering and dog fouling?
A. Please notify the relevant local authority:
- Argyll and Bute Council
- East Dunbartonshire Council
- East Lothian Council
- City of Edinburgh Council
- Falkirk Council
- Glasgow City Council
- North Lanarkshire Council
- West Dunbartonshire Council
- West Lothian Council
Q. Does the route pass through any areas with unfenced livestock?
A. The John Muir Way crosses several working farms and estates, passing through fields and open pasture with livestock and deer. Particular spots known to have unfenced livestock include the following, but this list is not exclusive and can change throughout the year:
- Section 2 (Balloch to Strathblane): Cattle and sheep in unfenced field for short section at Cameron Muir, west of Wester Cameron Farm where the walking route heads south into Merkins Plantation. This can be avoided by taking the cycle route for this section.
- Section 3 (Strathblane to Kilsyth): Free range cattle on Croy Hill from April to September. They are young and inquisitive and often sit on the path. Also sheep and cattle on the track leading to/from Barrhill. All can be avoided by following the cycle route along the canal towpath for this section, bypassing the Antonine Wall forts.
- Section 4 (Kilsyth to Falkirk): Livestock on the southern edge of Roughcastle in winter feeding pens.
- Section 6 (Linlithgow to South Queensferry): Cattle and deer at Hopetoun Estate, in the Deer Park area south of Hopetoun House, between the Blue Gate and Nethergate.
- Section 10 (North Berwick to Dunbar): Exmoor ponies on North Berwick Law.
There are many other places where the route passes adjacent to fields containing cattle and sheep, upland areas with wild deer, and areas managed for shooting or where birds nest. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code sets out the rights and responsibilities for walkers and others users of the countryside, including those with dogs kept under proper control.