John Muir Way

The John Muir Way is a 215-kilometre (130 mi) continuous long distance route in southern Scotland, running from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute in the west to Dunbar, East Lothian in the east. It is named in honour of the Scottish conservationist John Muir, who was born in Dunbar in 1838 and became a founder of the United States National Park Service. The route provides a coast-to-coast route across Scotland, linking Muir's birthplace with Scotland's first national park, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs,[2] and Helensburgh, from where he left Scotland for the United States.[3] It is suitable for walkers and cyclists although some sections are on rougher terrain and may not be suitable for road bicycles.[4]

The John Muir Way opened on 21 April 2014.[5] Previously a shorter 'John Muir Way' existed only in East Lothian, but the majority of this older route has now been absorbed into the much longer new route.[6] A shorter section of the older route from Dunbar to the Scottish Borders has been renamed as the 'John Muir Link'.[7] In 2017 the route was designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.[8] The Independent declared John Muir Way its Walk of the Month for February 2014.[9] Between 240,000 and 300,000 people use the path every year, of whom about 5,500 walk the entire route.[10]

John Muir Way
Gullane Beach
Gullane beach lies on the trail
Length215 kilometres (134 mi)[1]
LocationArgyll and Bute and East Lothian, Scotland
DesignationScotland's Great Trails
TrailheadsHelensburgh Esplanade, Helensburgh, Argyll
56°00′11″N 4°44′12″W / 56.0031°N 4.7368°W
56°00′09″N 2°30′59″W / 56.0025°N 2.5165°W
UseHiking and cycling
Elevation gain/loss2,015 metres (6,611 ft) gain[1]
Lowest point0 m (0 ft)
Hiking details
SeasonAll year
SightsCastles, canals , beaches, birds, Roman sites, Falkirk Wheel.
John Muir Way2
John Muir Way fingerposts


The John Muir Way is signposted throughout using a purple-brown logo.[8] Taking the trail from west to east, the John Muir Way starts in Helensburgh.[3] The trail follows over the hills, providing views of Loch Lomond and the Trossach mountains, before descending into Balloch, with its National Park centre. This is one of the wilder sections of the route with the most rugged terrain: windswept, high moorland with little shelter. From here the route winds its way towards Strathblane and Scotland's most famous long distance walk, the West Highland Way which it crosses near Dumgoyne hill and Glengoyne Distillery.

At Kirkintilloch, the trail picks up the Forth and Clyde Canal and heads through Strathkelvin to Falkirk and its wheel which provides a link between waterways for travelling craft. Roman forts and the Antonine Wall are the next attractions en route to the ancient town of Linlithgow and its impressive palace of Mary, Queen of Scots. It leaves Linlithgow with its low lying loch for the seashore and the harbour town of Bo'ness, coasting along to Blackness Castle and the bridge town of South Queensferry. The trail follows the greener places in the capital city, Edinburgh, before guiding travellers east, past famous, coastal birding and golf spots via Aberlady and North Berwick. The trail ends in Dunbar, where Muir was born and there is a museum dedicated to him.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Trails". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  2. ^ "The Story of the John Muir Way". John Muir Way. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Miller, David (17 April 2014). "John Muir Way ready to be unveiled". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ "John Muir Way". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  5. ^ "John Muir Way Opens In April 2014 - Outdoors News". OutdoorsMagic. 4 February 2014. Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  6. ^ "The John Muir Way & The John Muir Festival". Scottish Natural Heritage. 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  7. ^ The Long Distance Walker's Association. "John Muir Way". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Recognition for the John Muir Way". Scotland's Great Trails. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. ^ Mark Rowe (22 February 2014). "Walk of the month: East Lothian coast - Great strides towards conservation - UK - Travel". The Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 5. Retrieved 26 September 2018.

External links

Coordinates: 56°02′53″N 2°43′09″W / 56.0481°N 2.7191°W

Aberlady Bay

Aberlady Bay in East Lothian, Scotland lies between Aberlady and Gullane.

In 1952, Aberlady Bay became the UK's first Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and is served by the East Lothian Council Rangers.

The Scottish Ornithologists' Club has Waterston House as its headquarters at Aberlady, with panoramic views of the bay.

Aberlady Bay is part of the John Muir Way, a long distance footpath from Fisherrow (Musselburgh) to Dunglass. It is also the East Lothian Section of the transnational North Sea Trail, a path network connecting seven countries and 26 areas.

Berwickshire Coastal Path

The Berwickshire Coastal Path is a walking route some 48 kilometres (30 mi) long. It follows the eastern coastline of Scotland from Cockburnspath in the Scottish Borders to Berwick upon Tweed, just over the border in England. At Cockburnspath the path links with the Southern Upland Way and the John Muir Way.The coastline traversed by the path is nationally and internationally important for seabirds, coastal flora and marine life: much of the coastline is protected as a Special Protection Area, and there is a National Nature Reserve at St Abbs Head which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Strong walkers can walk the route in two days, although the walk can be split into shorter sections to allow more time to explore the towns and villages along the way.The path was developed by Scottish Borders Council, and is now designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The route is waymarked, and there are four memorial statues at Eyemouth, Burnmouth, St Abbs and Cove to commemorate the 189 lives lost in the Eyemouth disaster of 14th October 1881, when a hurricane devastated the fishing fleet. Twelve bronze trail markers have also been erected along the route, linking the memorial sculptures.

Corstorphine Hill

Corstorphine Hill is one of the hills of Edinburgh, Scotland, named for nearby Corstorphine. There are traditionally said to be seven hills in Edinburgh in reference to the Seven hills of Rome, but this figure is debatable, and as the city has expanded, even more so. It is a long ridge shaped hill, mostly forested ("Corstorphine Woods") with broad leaves, and has extensive development on its south side, including Edinburgh Zoo. Much housing has been built on the lower slopes, and houses in other parts of the city have been built using stone quarried from Corstorphine Hill.

Barnton Quarry, at the north end of the hill, was the site of a war-time radar station and cold-war nuclear bunker.

Part of the hill is adjacent to the neighbourhood of Clerwood where there is a walled garden (55°57′0.47″N 3°16′36.89″W); it was featured on the BBC TV programme The Beechgrove Garden and it was awarded the first Green Pennant Award in Scotland in July 2009. On the east slope is Murrayfield Golf Course and the suburb of Craigcrook.

On the top are two radio masts, and also a tower dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. There is also some evidence of ancient settlement here, possibly a hillfort of some kind. Cup marks have been found on the hill.

The Corstorphine Hill Local Nature Reserve is now part of the Edinburgh section of the extended John Muir Way.

Cove, Scottish Borders

Cove is a village in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland, close to Cockburnspath, Dunglass, Innerwick, Oldhamstocks, Bilsdean, and, further afield, Dunbar and Eyemouth. It is approximately 36 miles east of Edinburgh (slightly South-East) and is about 8 miles from Dunbar. It is 18 miles north-west from the Scotland/England border.

The climate is the average Scottish climate, with winters being cold and wet and summers being variable, with days of rain and days of temperatures over 20 degrees.

The nearest railway station is Dunbar which is on the main East Coast line from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh. There are regular trains from Dunbar to Edinburgh and southwards to Berwick-upon-Tweed as well. The nearest bus station is in Cockburnspath which takes you northwards to Edinburgh and terminates at St Andrews Square, or southwards which terminates in Blyth.

The rocks that form the approach to the harbour are limestones and sandstones of Carboniferous age. They dip sharply to the N/NW due to the downthrust of the Cove fault about half a mile to the SE. Beyond the fault, older strata of the Old Red Sandstone of Devonian age can be seen.

The natural harbour was improved in 1831 by the building of a breakwater. Access is via an unusual tunnel which was excavated by hand, the pick marks are clear to see.

Eleven men from Cove lost their lives in the great East Coast Fishing Disaster of 1881, and there is a memorial at the top of the cliffs.

The village has been described by The AA Guide to the British Coast as having more of a Cornish than Scottish air about it. It has no school, shops or post office, although it was knocked down to build new holiday homes. There is a shop and post office nearby in the village of Cockburnspath which also has a school. For amenities, such as a pool or a gym, you need to travel to Dunbar which is also has an ASDA supermarket.

The nearby beaches of Pease Bay (1.4 miles) and Thorntonloch (3 miles) are good for surfing.

Cove is privately owned by the architect Ben Tindall and the Cove Harbour Conservation Ltd.

The Southern Upland Way passes through Cove along the headland and the road in Cove. Nearby also is the John Muir Way which passes through Dunbar.


Dunbar ( (listen)) is a town on the North Sea coast in East Lothian in the south-east of Scotland, approximately 30 miles (48 km) east of Edinburgh and 30 miles (48 km) from the English border north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Dunbar is a former royal burgh, and gave its name to an ecclesiastical and civil parish. The parish extends around 7 1⁄2 miles (12.1 km) east to west and is 3 1⁄2 miles (5.6 km) deep at greatest extent, or 11 1⁄4 square miles (29 km2), and contains the villages of West Barns, Belhaven, East Barns (abandoned) and several hamlets and farms.

Its strategic location gave rise to a history full of incident and strife; but Dunbar has become a quiet dormitory town popular with workers in nearby Edinburgh, who find it an affordable alternative to the capital itself. Until the 1960s, the population of the town was little more than 3,500. The town is thriving with the most recent population published for the town at 8,486, and there are many active and planned housing developments ongoing. There are very well regarded primary schools, a secondary school and a private school in the town.

The town is served by Dunbar railway station with links to Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland, as well as London and stations along the north-east corridor.

Dunbar is home to the Dunbar Lifeboat Station, the second-oldest RNLI station in Scotland.

Dunbar is the birthplace of the explorer, naturalist and influential conservationist John Muir. The house in which Muir was born is located on the High Street, and has been converted into a museum. There is also a commemorative statue beside the town clock, and John Muir Country Park is located to the north-west of the town. The eastern section of the John Muir Way coastal path starts from the harbour. One of the two campuses to Dunbar Primary School: John Muir Campus, is named in his honour.

On the last full weekend in September, Dunbar holds an annual weekend-long, traditional music festival sponsored by various local companies.

Firth of Forth

The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary (firth) of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. An early Welsh name is Merin Iodeo, or the "Sea of Iudeu".


Fisherrow is a harbour and former fishing village at Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland, to the east of Portobello and Joppa, and west of the River Esk.

Forth and Clyde Canal Pathway

The Forth and Clyde canal pathway runs between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde and is a 106-kilometre (66 mi) long footpath and cycleway that runs across Scotland, between Bowling, west of Glasgow, and Lochrin Basin (Edinburgh Quay) in Edinburgh. The path runs on the towpaths of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals and is entirely off road. The path is well maintained and its surface is generally good, although there are some stretches particularly between Falkirk and the outskirts of Edinburgh where wet weather leads to muddy conditions unsuitable for road intended bicycles. It is well used by walkers and cyclists, and designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. It also forms part of the National Cycle Network, being designated as Route 754. Sustrans advises that the path is best followed from the Clyde to the Forth because the prevailing wind is from the south west. Much of the path is also suitable for experienced horseriders, although in some places low bridges, narrow aqueducts and gates may restrict access for horses.


Gullane (possibly from Scottish Gaelic Gualainn, meaning 'ridge') is a town on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth in East Lothian on the east coast of Scotland. There has been a church in the village since the ninth century. The ruins of the Old Church of St. Andrew built in the twelfth century can still be seen at the western entrance to the village; the church was abandoned after a series of sandstorms made it unusable, and Dirleton Parish Church took its place.

Gullane Bents, the village's award-winning beach, is backed by large sand dunes that in recent years have become rather overgrown by invasive shrubs like sea-buckthorn. Gullane is part of the John Muir Way, a long-distance footpath along the coast between Musselburgh and Dunglass.

The local population includes a higher than average percentage of elderly people, but also attracts young families and commuters for Edinburgh. Urbanisation has led to some recent housing developments being approved on greenbelt land around the village, and Gullane is gaining popularity as a commuter village for nearby Edinburgh (twenty two miles away), despite the poor transport to the village. Amenities include the village hall and a variety of shops including a chip shop. There is a primary school, and local children attend secondary school five miles away in North Berwick. The Scottish Fire Service College was located on Gullane's Main Street.

List of places in East Lothian

Map of places in East Lothian compiled from this listThe List of places in East Lothian is a list for any town, village, hamlet, castle, golf course, historic house, hill fort, lighthouse, nature reserve, reservoir, river, and other place of interest in the East Lothian council area of Scotland.

Longniddry Bents

The area is popular, mostly in the summer months, with local families, holidaymakers, picnickers, horseriders, ramblers, metal detectors, dogwalkers and the occasional kite buggy. The shallow bay is a popular watersports location for windsurfers, kitesurfers and sea kayaks.

Many sea and wading birds frequent the area making it a regular haven for bird-watchers. A small community of rare water voles are known to reside around the several burns running out of the bents. Grey seals are often spotted to the west of the bay.

The area is part of the Firth of Forth Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site.

There are three car-parking areas, and the largest (No. 3) has good views west across the bay to Edinburgh's skyline and the Forth Bridge and Forth Road Bridge. Overnight parking is prohibited.

Close to car park No.3 is Gosford House, and one of its two listed 18th century lodges can be seen on the main road.

Longniddry Bents are part of the John Muir Way coastal walk and were presented with a Seaside Award (Rural) in 2006.

In the East Lothian Council-produced series of leaflets on the John Muir Way, Longniddry is included in the leaflet "Cockenzie to Aberlady". The John Muir way is also part of the North Sea Trail of seven nations and 26 areas around the North Sea.

Morrison's Haven

Morrison's Haven (or Morison's Haven) is a harbour at Prestongrange, East Lothian, Scotland, UK, on the B1348, close to Levenhall Links, Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum, Prestonpans, and Prestongrange House.

National Cycle Route 76

National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 76 is a Sustrans National Route that runs from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Kirkcaldy. The route is 168 miles (270 km) in length and is fully open and signed in both directions. Between Dunbar and Kirkcaldy the route is known as the Round the Forth.

North Berwick

North Berwick (; Scottish Gaelic: Bearaig a Tuath) is a seaside town and former royal burgh in East Lothian, Scotland. It is situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, approximately 20 miles (32 km) east-northeast of Edinburgh. North Berwick became a fashionable holiday resort in the nineteenth century because of its two sandy bays, the East (or Milsey) Bay and the West Bay, and continues to attract holidaymakers. Golf courses at the ends of each bay are open to visitors.

North Sea Trail

The North Sea Trail is an international long-distance path linking seven countries and 26 partner areas in Northern Europe around the North Sea.

The project's aims are to support sustainable tourism and to explore the heritage of communities along the North Sea coast.

Scotland's Great Trails

Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.

The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.

Seton Sands

Seton Sands is a rocky beach to the east of Port Seton, East Lothian, Scotland. It is situated at the western end of Longniddry Bents and is part of the John Muir Way coastal walk.

Low tide reveals many rock pools, then a flat sandy bed to the north which runs about 200 yards out to meet the Firth of Forth.

South of the beach there is Seton Sands Holiday Park, a popular holiday destination in the summer months for many visitors, mostly families from the west coast of Scotland and the north of England.

At the western edge of the caravan park is a public footpath leading to the Historic Scotland property Seton Collegiate Church, referred to locally as Seton Chapel.

A regular bus service to Edinburgh terminates at Seton Sands (Lothian Buses no.26).

Three Lochs Way

The Three Lochs Way is a 55 kilometres (34 mi) long-distance path in Argyll and Bute in Scotland that links Balloch and Inveruglas.

The path crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, which divides the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands, and is named for the three major lochs linked by the route: Loch Lomond, the Gare Loch and Loch Long. About 1,500 people use the path every year, of whom about 300 complete the entire route.The route was first conceived of in 1991 by Alan Day, secretary of the Helensburgh & District Access Trust. The trust began promoting the route in 2010, and have since undertaken work across the route to improve the signage and path conditions, leading to the route now being designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The Three Lochs Way links directly to the Cowal Way (also designated as one of the Great Trails), which shares the section along Glen Loin between Arrochar and Inveruglas. The Way crosses the route of a second Great Trail, the John Muir Way, either side of Helensburgh. The West Highland Way, Scotland's first officially designated long distance trail can also be linked to the Three Lochs Way via a ferry over Loch Lomond from the start/finish point of Inveruglas, joining the West Highland Way at Inversnaid. By combining sections of the three paths and the ferry, a circular walk around southern Loch Lomond is possible.In April 2018 an ultramarathon was due to be held along the route of the Three Lochs Way, but was cancelled with less than 24 hours notice due to the company organising the event going into administration. Around 60 of the 700 people entered in the event chose to complete the course despite the lack of any organised support.


Yellowcraig, less commonly known as Broad Sands Bay, is a coastal area of forest, beach and grassland in East Lothian, south-east Scotland. Yellowcraig is partly within the Firth of Forth Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is bordered to the north by the Firth of Forth, to the south by the village of Dirleton and Dirleton Castle, to the east by the North Berwick West Links golf course, and to the west by the Archerfield Estate and Links golf courses.

Access to Yellowcraig is by the A198 coastal route through Dirleton. A visitor car park lies 270 metres (300 yd) south of the beach. The area includes information displays, a barbecue area and a Treasure Island themed adventure play park.

WCs and showers are located at the car park.

There is also a wheelchair accessible path and ramp giving a view over the beach.

Yellowcraig is on the John Muir Way, a 73-kilometre (45 mi) long distance footpath between Fisherrow, Musselburgh and Dunglass, named in honour of the conservationist John Muir, who was born in Dunbar. Yellowcraig is featured in the leaflet Aberlady to North Berwick among a series of leaflets on the John Muir Way. The John Muir Way is part of the North Sea Trail, a network of paths in 7 countries and 26 areas around the North Sea.

The island of Fidra, reputedly the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, lies just to the north-west and is an RSPB nature reserve.

The East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service co-ordinates the day-to-day management of this site.

East Lothian Council.

National Trails
(England and Wales)
Scotland's Great Trails
Long-distance path
(Northern Ireland)
Coastal paths of Great Britain


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.