You'll find a wealth of information about the route within the section pages under The Route menu and a wide selection of places to eat, sleep, visit and shop in the Plan Your Trip section. However we've also gathered together some handy hints on this page to help you plan, from tour companies to travel and even toilets!
Accommodation Booking Services
If you'd like the convenience of booking a walking holiday package, the companies below offer booking services and can do sections or the whole route.
Fancy travelling light and having someone else take the load of transporting your luggage along the way? The independently run John Muir Way Baggage Service can arrange to have your bags transported to your next accommodation each day. Planned dates of operation in 2021 are 27th March - 23rd October (subject to travel restrictions/COVID-19 status).
Public Transport on the John Muir Way
The key stations serving the John Muir Way are marked on each section of the map as points of interest. Between Falkirk and Dunbar, several conveniently located stations provide access either directly onto the route or within 1-3 miles of it. These can be used to reach sections of the route for day trips or to complete the route in sections. Further west, stations are fewer, but bus services help to fill the gaps. For example, Killearn can be reached by bus from Glasgow, Helensburgh and Balloch; Strathblane from Glasgow; Bonnybridge and Kilsyth from Falkirk and Glasgow; Bo’ness and Blackness from Falkirk, Linlithgow and Edinburgh. Traveline provides details of both train services and buses. Some trains can only carry limited number of bicycles so it is advisable to check availability of spaces and book bicycle tickets in advance. This is especially relevant when traveling from Dunbar.
If you want to wild camp along the route, it must be on unenclosed land away from residential housing. You should follow the advice on responsible camping, including the disposal of human waste, in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and this website. Campsites are listed in the accommodation page. If you are wild camping, leave no litter and follow the following guidelines:
There are 76 (or so) public toilets along the route and we've mentioned them in each section description. Bear in mind they sometimes have seasonal opening times and may be located within other facilities. Many local authorities now operate a 'comfort partnership scheme'. But if you are 'caught short' follow the responsible toileting advice in the leaflet below.
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. We've included links to the Mountain Weather Information Service and the Met Office which provide some of the most reliable forecasts for walkers, as well as Visit Scotland’s guide to the Scotland’s weather and climate.
To keep comfortable, wear clothing that is windproof, waterproof, quick to dry and light to carry. Weather in Scotland is notoriously variable, e.g. with summer temperatures ranging from 12 to 25°C and above. A warm hat and gloves as well as a sun-hat and sunglasses may be useful. The terrain is only rugged in a few places, so lightweight boots or sturdy walking shoes will suffice in most conditions. Some sections of the route are likely to be wet and muddy in poor weather.
In addition to food, water, map, phone and a First Aid kit, you may wish to carry sunscreen, insect repellent (midges appear in the west from May!) and tick removers (check your skin after your walk). Unless you are camping, you shouldn't need to carry any heavy equipment. To lighten your load, you may wish to make use of baggage services
John Muir Way Geocaching
Scottish Natural Heritage and Locus Focus have installed four geocaches at sites along the John Muir Way between Strathblane and Milton of Campsie. Each cache links to John Muir and has a local reference. To find out more go to https://www.geocaching.com/. If you are not already registered you can create an account which will enable you to join in and enjoy the discovery.
Please Give us Your Feedback
This route is still fairly new and we’re keen to hear about your experiences. Please let us know of any difficulties you had, e.g. with path surface, gates, obstructions, signposts and way-marking and, more importantly, what you enjoyed about it! Opinions about this website are also helpful so please contact us with your views. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org