Walking the route
The John Muir Way provides a great opportunity to walk 'coast to coast' across Scotland taking in a wealth of sights, sounds and experiences. There are so many places to interest you along the way – natural, historical and industrial – that it's worth allowing time to savour them. As John Muir put it, "It is a good thing, to make short excursions now and then", and to "saunter rather than hike". Explore the interactive map in our Plan Your Trip page for details of places to visit along the route.
The route follows a great mix of paths: tracks, canal towpaths and cycleways, together with some pavements and minor roads. The path surfaces range from grass and 'dirt' to gravel and tarmac. Much of the route is flattish with easy gradients, and interspersed with a few hill climbs. More information about the terrain can be found in the pages for each route section, linked from here.
The walkers' route has the added bonus of taking in the highest points along the Way. These are at Gouk Hill (270m) just outside Helensburgh, in the Kilpatrick Hills (275m) near Carbeth, and at the Hill Fort sites of Bar Hill (155m) and Croy Hill (150m) near Kilsyth. For the best views in the east you can climb Arthur's Seat (251m) in Edinburgh or North Berwick Law (187m). Visit the Hill Walks page for more details.
What should I wear?
Given the nature of the route you can wear lightweight walking boots or sturdy trainers but make sure to take waterproofs, especially in the west where the weather can be changeable.
Can I have my bags carried for me?
A popular way to travel light if you're walking the whole route end-to-end is to have your baggage delivered ahead of you each day at your accommodation. Contact the independently run John Muir Way Baggage Service for more details. Planned dates of operation in 2021 are 27th March - 23rd October (subject to travel restrictions/COVID-19 status).
Following the signs
The Way is signposted in both directions for those travelling from Helensburgh to Dunbar or vice versa. At cycle braid junctions there will be separate signs for both walkers and cyclists. The sign below, with a walker and an E, would be for walkers heading East.