The John Muir Way is an exciting walking holiday trail in southern Scotland. The walk stretches some 134 miles across Scotlands’ heartland. It runs between Helensburgh in the West, and Dunbar on the East coast which is also the birthplace of John Muir.
John Muir, best known for his influential writings, and his role in the creation of multiple national Parks, was born in Dunbar in 1838. He spent his first 11 years in this Victorian burgh. His first home is now known as the John Muir Birthplace Museum, and sits in the middle of Dunbar High Street.
John Muirs Grandfather took him on nature walks from an early age, encouraging his love of nature which would influence his work in the future. In 1849 John Muir travelled by ship to America along with his family. Once grown, John almost lost an eye in an industrial accident, and thereafter devoted his time to nature. He gained the title ‘The Father of our National Parks’ constantly exploring and preserving the natural landscapes. By the time of his death in 1914 John Muir had encouraged over 230 million acres of land as national park in the United States.
He wrote” Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” – John Muir
In 2010, the Central Scotland Green Network decided to create a new long-distance walking route named after John Muir. The route links Scotland’s first National Park at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, to Dunbar (Muirs birthplace), forming a Scottish ‘Coast to Coast’ route. This walking holiday takes the finest landscapes, then adds beautiful countryside views and places of interest.
The start and finish of this walking holiday in Scotland is marked with a seat made from Scottish oak. You will also see a stone plinth homing a John Muir quote. The starting point for this walking holiday on the John Muir Way is from a pretty seaside town, where you can enjoy views out to sea before setting off. As you climb the hills you will be rewarded with stunning views of Loch Lomond with the National Trail mountainous backdrop.
Wander through Balloch Castle Country Park with fantastic views of Loch Lomond. Over the Kilpatrick Hills, which is upland with a sense of wilderness. This is the highest point of the route, and the weather here can be challenging!
Lovely open stretches along to Clachan of Campsie, Cort-ma Law Hill, Kirkintilloch. From this historic town, you join the first canal stretch. Flat walking on the towpath for a rest! The canals are quiet, cherished places where people enjoy fishing and messing about on the water. Relax and watch some wildlife. Onto Falkirk. A bustling town. Hosts to the Falkirk Wheel and the Helix. Callendar Wood and Estate let you enjoy wooded walks.
Leaving Linlithgow, you will walk through glorious rural countryside. Look out for steam railways, and bird watching opportunities by the shore. The Hopetoun House Estate is beautifully managed and worth a visit. You will soon spy the Forths road and rail bridges. Up by sunset for fabulous pictures of the Forth bridges.
Edinburgh is a wealth of sightseeing opportunity. Take a day off here (or two). Ask us about price supplements for Edinburgh though as it is expensive here! Leaving Edinburgh behind you, glimpse back at views of Arthurs Seat. Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock. Heading to the coast and beaches of John Muir Country Park.
This walking holiday will take between 10 and 12 days for the full walk. You can also choose to walk shorter sections from 3 days to 8 days. Other long distance walking holidays in Scotland the West Highland Way, and the Isle of Arran
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