John Muir Way

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Gullane beach, East Lothian
John Muir Way fingerposts

The John Muir Way is a pair of long-distance paths. The coast-to-coast route is 134 miles long through the Central Lowlands, designed for walking or cycling. Another route stretches extend it further down the East Lothian coast. The 'ownership' of the route being unsettled, there may be said to be two John Muir Ways, and in addition a number of loops off the main routes for cyclists.

The trail is named in honour of the 19th-century conservationist John Muir, who was born at Dunbar in East Lothian, in 1838 and who became a founder of America's national park system.

Hisotry of the route

The original John Muir Way was a modest affair but a fine route in itself. It was a continuous coastal path, 45 miles long, from John Muir's birthplace, Dunbar in East Lothian, to Edinburgh in Midlothian, running close by the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. The path became a well-established, popular route. Later extensions take the route down the coast of East Lothian. This old route with later extension, running from Musselburgh to Cockenzie, is known as 'The John Muir Way in East Lothian'[1]

In 2014, the 100th anniversary of John Muir's death, a number of tax-eating authorities decided to add to the honour of John Muir by extending the route from coast to coast. The route today is 134 miles long, from the original starting point at Dunbar westwards to Helensburgh on the Firth of Clyde in Dunbartonshire. This version of the John Muir Way may be known as the John Muir Way Coast to Coast.

John Muir Way Coast to Coast

East Lothian:
1 Dunbar to North Berwick 15 miles
2 North Berwick to Prestonpans 16½ miles
East Lothian to Midlothian:
3 Prestonpans to Edinburgh 10 miles
Midlothian to West Lothian:
4 Edinburgh to South Queensferry 15½ miles
West Lothian:
5 South Queensferry to Linlithgow 14 miles
West Lothian to Stirlingshire:
6 Linlithgow to Falkirk 8½ miles
7 Falkirk to Kilsyth 13 miles
8 Kilsyth to Strathblane 13 miles
Stirlingshire to Dunbartonshire:
9 Strathblane to Balloch 18½ miles
10 Balloch to Helensburgh 9 miles

The John Muir Way in East Lothian

The path runs from the edge of Edinburgh, along the coast initially through Midlothian and then after leaving Musselburgh it enters East Lothian, where it continues to the edge of Berwickshire.

Fisherrow Harbour, Musselburgh, to Cockenzie 6 miles Ash lagoons, Levenhall Links, Musselburgh Racecourse, West Pans, Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum, Morrison's Haven, Prestonpans, and Cockenzie Harbour
Cockenzie to Aberlady 5 miles Cockenzie, Port Seton, Seton Sands, Longniddry, Gosford, Kilspindie and Aberlady
Aberlady to North Berwick 9 miles Luffness House, Gullane, Archerfield House, Dirleton, Dirleton Castle, Yellowcraig and North Berwick
North Berwick to Dunbar 15 miles North Berwick Law, East Linton, Preston Mill, Prestonkirk Parish Church, John Muir Country Park, Belhaven Bay, and Dunbar
Dunbar Harbour to Dunglass, near Cockburnspath 10 miles Dunbar Castle, East Links, Broxmouth, Catcraig, Barns Ness, Skateraw Harbour, Torness Nuclear Power Station, Bilsdean, and Dunglass

The John Muir Way in East Lothian is signposted throughout with green fingerposts. It also connects with other coastal and countryside pathways, for example the 4-mile Railway Walk from Longniddry to Haddington

Outside links


  1. The John Muir Way on 'Visit East Lothian'