The John Muir Way by bike
Day 1 - Welcome to Scotland
Welcome to Scotland! Arrival in Glasgow or Edinburgh. Transfer to your hotel located in the city center. Day tour of the city. Relaxing evening, maybe in one of the restaurants or pubs that we have recommended …
Day 2 - Helensburgh - Strathblane
Transfer to Helensburgh in the morning. Recovery and handling of your bike (s) as well as the necessary equipment, of course including a map and a description of the route. And let’s go, the John Muir Way is for you! 1st stage of this magnificent cycle route to Strathblane, a charming town about 43km away in the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National park. The course is very flat and rolling. You will be able to enjoy the view of the biggest and one of the most spectacular loch in the UK – Loch Lomond. Allow 3 to 4 hours of cycling. Arrived in Strathblane, check into your cosy B&B for the night adn enjoy your evening in a local resturant or pub.
Day 3 - Strathblane - Linlithgow
Cycle along the Campsies towards East of Kilsyth where the trail meets the Forth and Clyde Canal, which in John Muir’s time provided a busy shipping link between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Now the canals are cherished places to enjoy quiet fishing, cycling or just messing about on the water. If you’d like to relax and watch some wildlife, try visiting nearby Dumbreck Marsh, or if industrial heritage floats your boat, float off on the Falkirk Wheel which transports shipping from one canal to another. Falkirk is home to a bustling pedestrianised town centre and hosts the Falkirk Wheel and The Helix, two of Scotland’s most well-known tourist attractions. Callendar Wood and Estate let you enjoy wooded walks and visit these permanent displays: The Story of Callendar House, a history covering the 11th to the 19th centuries; The Antonine Wall, Rome’s Northern Frontier; and Falkirk: Crucible of Revolution 1750-1850, which tells how the local area was transformed during the first century of the industrial era. Further on, the route takes you through the outskirts of Linlithgow. The town centre is well worth a visit, as is Linlithgow Loch, which was probably in existence when the fairytale Linlithgow Palace was constructed in 1425. Today anglers and watersports enthusiasts enjoy the loch’s waters in summer, and wintering wildfowl take their shift in autumn when it’s quiet. Signs for the Linlithgow Link will lead you from the John Muir Way into the centre of Linlithgow and back out to re-join the Way. The Link route leaves the east-bound John Muir Way (i.e. heading towards Dunbar) near the Aqueduct, and the west-bound John Muir Way at Mill Road. It is signed Linlithgow Link east (LLe) and Linlithgow Link west (LLw) respectively. 54km today so a drink in one of Linlithgow traditional pub will be well deserved.
Day 4 - Linlithgow - Edinburgh
Today’s stage in 47km long. Leaving Linlithgow you travel through some wonderfully rural countryside. The Fisherrow gives you superb views and was used by wives of fishermen travelling between Bo’ness and Linlithgow to sell their catches. Bo’ness itself is a delightful town with an architectural mix that ranges from 16th-century housing to the Hippodrome Cinema from the 1920s. Look out for steam railway and bird-watching opportunities by the shore. Further on you journey through the large, beautifully managed Hopetoun House Estate before reaching the southern end of the Forth’s road and rail bridges at South Queensferry. The town also boasts a harbour and numerous fine restaurants.South Queensferry affords you superb views of all three 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. From South Queensferry you start to enter the outskirts of the city, passing through the coastal Dalmeny estate. If you’ve time, why not visit the largest Napoleonic collection outside France in Dalmeny House before turning inland at Cramond to take on the capital and all of its delights.
Day 5 - Edinburgh - Dunbar
Once you’ve immersed yourself in the wealth of sightseeing and dining opportunities, you can then leave Edinburgh via Musselburgh. Today’s final stage is 64km long. Be sure to take in a race or two, if only for the spectacle, before joining 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. In winter you’ll see Redshanks and Dunlin and the large black-and-white Eider Ducks all-year-round. Eiders are unusual in that they ‘crunch up’ mussel shells (and their soft yummy contents) for an ideal meal. Beyond Prestonpans with its battle site and rich industrial heritage the route runs past the site where Cockenzie Power Station used to stand. It then heads off east to Seton Sands and lovely long beach views. Circumnavigating Kilspindie and Craigielaw golf courses, you’ll arrive at the picturesque village of Aberlady. The bay is famed for its skeins of roosting Pink-footed Geese in winter, along with mixed flocks of plovers and waders. Be sure to stop at Dirleton Castle with its tranquil wooded grounds before heading north to Yellowcraig Beach and North Berwick’s well-serviced seaside town. Leaving North Berwick southwards provides you with an opportunity to climb Berwick Law, giving great views of the town, Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock. Berwick Law has always 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.
Day 6 - Good Bye Scotland
Last day in Scotland… Depending on flight schedules, take advantage of your free time to enjoy Glasgow or Edinburgh before your transfer to the airport.
“Awesome cycling coast to caost route.The weather was dry the whole trip and everything was perfectly organised. Thank you to Maria and all the team!”
“We had such a great time. Everything went over smoothly. I would recommend them to anyone. They really exceeded my expectations. I know I'll be back for sure! Thanks Tom”
A magnificent cycling journey from Fort William, at the foot of Scotland's highest peaks, to the North Sea at Inverness.