10 Days Walking / 11 Overnight Stays

The John Muir Way does not have a great deal of ascent/descent, nevertheless, it should only be tackled if you are fit and have well worn in boots. This itinerary allows you a more leisurely walk meaning that the longest day you will trek is 18.75 miles/29.75 km. This is an ideal option if you want to take an easy pace and soak up both the history and scenery

However, please note that if you prefer to split up the long day then you can insert an overnight stay at the stage of Croftamie between Balloch and Strathblane. Since there is nowhere to dine in Croftamie we transfer our clients to Drymen for their overnight stay

Day 1

Travel to Helensburgh With good public transport links, you arrive into the coastal town of Helensburgh ready to start your trek on the Way. If you arrive after lunch we recommend a visit to the National Trust for Scotland’s Hill House and enjoy some arts and crafts splendour

Day 2

Helensburgh to Balloch

9 miles/15 km

The start of the route is marked by a seat made from Scottish oak and a circular stone plinth with engraved footprints and a John Muir quote. Take time out to look seawards and imagine sailing off to America from those waters like John Muir did well over a century ago before you set off up the hill on your trip. As you gain height towards Gouk Hill look back for stunning views of the Clyde and then Loch Lomond. Then the Way winds its way down to Balloch on the shores of the Loch

Day 3

Balloch to Strathblane

18.5 miles/29.75 km

From Balloch Castle Country Park the Way passes through lush pastures and rolling Kilpatrick hills. The Way passes Burncrooks Reservoir with beautiful vistas on all sides. If this day is too long we can add a stop half way – though the route would be the cycle stage which passes Dumgoyne Distillery

Day 4

Strathblane to Kilsyth

13 miles/21 km

Today takes you along old railway routes through working towns and towards Kirkintilloch where you join the Forth & Clyde Canal for a short while before heading up Bar Hill and the sight of a Roman Fort. As you leave the hill you will pass a Neolithic settlement before heading down to the canal again

Day 5

Kilsyth to Falkirk

13 miles/21 km

Today takes you to another Antonine Wall fort before you join the Forth & Clyde Canal, Scotland’s oldest canal. From Bonnybridge you take the ‘Radical Pend’ towards Roughcastle then you drop down to the amazing Falkirk Wheel before reaching the stage end. It is well worth planning a short taxi run to see the Kelpies in Falkirk

Day 6

Falkirk to Linlithgow

8.5 miles/14 km

A short day which will give you time to enjoy Callendar House in Falkirk and admire the landmarks on your route. Also as the Way skirts Linlithgow there is a 1.5 mile/2.5 km into the town for your accommodation

Day 7

Linlithgow to South Queensferry 

14 miles/23 km

Leaving Linlithgow you travel through some wonderfully rural countryside. The Fisherrow walk gives you superb views and was used by wives of fishermen travelling between Bo’ness and Linlithgow to sell their catches. Today’s walk is cram packed with places to visit from Kinneil House and the Steam Railway Museum in Bo’ness. Then Blackness Castle to Hopetoun House before reaching the southern end of the Forth’s road and rail bridges at South Queensferry.

Day 8

South Queensferry to Edinburgh

15.5 miles/25 km

As you leave South Queensferry enjoy the superb views of both of Scotland’s famous Forth bridges; be sure to get out at sunset (or dawn if you’re keen) to capture them at their best. You can also see the new road bridge due to open in 2016. Soon you will pass through Dalmeny estate. If you’ve time, why not visit the largest Napoleonic collection outside France in Dalmeny House before turning inland at Cramond and then on to the delights of Edinburgh. We highly recommend that you follow the alternative route in Edinburgh as given by Rucksack Readers – this will be supplied with your tour pack

Day 9

Edinburgh to Port Seton

11.5 miles/18.50 km

You depart Scotland’s Capital towards Musselburgh Racecourse and the world’s oldest golf course. Soon you join the coast and its wading wildlife. Much of the shore is designated for its visiting birds, which flock on its sandy beaches and shores to pick up worms, shells or crustaceans amongst the tides. As you pass through Prestonpans look out for the fabulous murals. Prestonpans is the official stage end and there is no accommodation at this point. However, Port Seton is only a further 1.5 miles/2.5 km this is ideal as it takes 1.5 miles off the longer stage tomorrow

Day 10

Port Seton to North Berwick

15 miles/24 km

As you leave Port Seton head east to Seton Sands and long beach views. Soon you will see Gosford House on your right. The house is open on occasion and worth a visit. After Aberlady you will soon reach the comfortable golfing town of Gullane. Then onto Dirleton Castle with its tranquil wooded grounds before heading north to Yellowcraig Beach and North Berwick

Day

11

 

North Berwick to Dunbar

15 miles/24 km

As you leave North Berwick you will have an opportunity to climb Berwick Law, which gives you great views both east and west of the town, to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh and Tantallon Castle south of Dunbar. It has always sported whale jawbones and when the last ones decayed, fibre-glass replicas were installed. Then onto East Linton and the National Trust for Scotland attractions of the Phantassie Doocot and Preston Mill are well worth a look. The cafe serves up good lunches to fortify you for the final leg of the journey. 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. Remember to sign the visitors book and ask for a completion certificate

Day

12

 

Depart Dunbar For onward travel

Extra nights and/or rest days: If you are new to Scotland’s we would highly recommend extra days for visiting Glasgow, the Forth Valley and Edinburgh. We can quote for extra days and suggest itineraries for you to enjoy

Price of Package: £935.00 per person (based on two persons sharing)

Included:

+ Eleven overnight stays in selected quality b&bs/guest houses/hotels with ensuite facilities

+ Full Scottish breakfast

+ Baggage transfer from stage to stage

+ John Muir Way Harvey Map & Guidebook

+ Edinburgh alternative circuit route notes

+ Comprehensive tour pack with full information on your walk including location details for your accommodations and local facilities

+ The services of the Gemini Team prior to and during your holiday

 Not Included:

– Evening meals, packed lunches and drinks (available at all stages)

– Transport to Helensburgh/from Dunbar

– Travel Insurance (we recommend that you arrange your own cover)

Notes:

Additional overnight stays can be arranged at a cost of £45.00 to £55.00 per person per night. However, the cost of an extra night in the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh can vary substantially so price upon request

Single supplement for solo walkers is £45.00 per night

Single supplement for singles as part of a group is £35.00 per night

Please note that, upon the actual booking of rooms, we will do our very best to try and reduce the single or solo walkers’ supplement. This will be dependent on availability of rooms at the time of booking

Group Discounts for 4 or more people available on request