Leaving North Berwick southwards provides you with an opportunity to climb North Berwick Law, giving great views of the town, Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock.
The summit has historically sported whale jawbones and when the last ones decayed, fibre-glass replicas were installed. After a few miles on country tracks and quiet roads you’ll reach the popular village of East Linton, whose National Trust for Scotland attractions of the Phantassie Doocot and Preston Mill are well worth a look. You now follow the Tyne for a while, until the Way takes you onward to the coast and beaches of John Muir Country Park, before reaching Dunbar. Head for John Muir's Birthplace Museum as this marks the finish of the route.
For this section the route takes you along grass tracks, gravel paths and quiet roads. There are some steps and inclines, particularly on the walking route, which are steepest near Dunbar by the cliff-tops. North Berwick Law is a steep climb but this is an optional highlight, just off the walking route.
The alternative cycling route is mainly on quiet roads apart from a short section on grass track between Blackdyke and Whitekirk, which can become muddy at times. This route avoids the sandy footpaths around Belhaven Bay and the steps of the cliff-top walk. Cyclists on off-road bikes can plot a mixture of the walking and cycling routes using the Bikepacking Route.
Several flights of steps heading south from North Berwick, followed by kissing gates and a narrow stone squeeze stile at North Berwick Law, limit accessibility along the northern part of this section. Although a little lumpy, the middle section is more accessible, including with a horse, all terrain buggy or wheelchair. Accessibility between East Linton and Tyninghame is limited by narrow bridges with steps, a low tunnel under the road and narrow paths. The bridge over the Biel Water and numerous sets of steep steps along the cliff-top walk approaching Dunbar are only accessible on foot.
For detailed information about potential access restrictions along this section, see the Accessibility Storymap.
By car: there is parking (pay and display) in the centre of North Berwick and for free at the foot of North Berwick Law. In Dunbar there is some on-street parking and a car park at the swimming pool.
Points of interest
John Muir's Birthplace
Start or finish your John Muir Way adventure by exploring the life and legacy of John Muir in the house where he was born. Completed the route? Claim your John Muir Way certificate here.View Business Page
Set on the edge of the cliffs, looking out to the Bass Rock, this formidable castle was a stronghold of the Douglas family. Ascend Tantallon’s towers for spectacular views of the Bass Rock and to watch gannets plunge into the North Sea. Then descend into the depths of a particularly grim pit prison.
Open daily 10am-4pm
Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot
Preston Mill, with its distinctive Dutch-style conical roof, was East Lothian’s last working water mill. Nearby is the beehive-shaped Phantassie Doocot, with its French-style horseshoe parapet, built in the 16th century to house 500 pigeons.Visit Website
John Muir Country Park
The John Muir Country Park is named after the famous naturalist and geologist who was born in Dunbar. The park offers several woodland and beach walks and is home to a wide variety of birds, plants, butterflies and moths.Visit Website
The harbour is popular with fishing boats and leisure craft in the summer, and with a range of festivals and events in the town it provides a fantastic destination from both land and sea.Visit Website
This extensive beach is home to salt marsh and sand dune habitats as well as being a great place to paddle or learn to surf. Look out for the ‘bridge to nowhere’ that’s cut off at high tide.
Click on one of the sections below to view more details and plan your trip.