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John Muir Way

Named in honour of the conservationist and founder of the US National Parks system, the John Muir Way is a coast-to-coast walking route across the Midland Valley of Scotland between Muir's birthplace in Dunbar (East Lothian) and Helensburgh (Argyll and Bute) where he left Scotland for the USA. The 134-mile (215-km) route passes through a rich variety of landscapes, towns and villages. Opened in 2014, this represented a significant extension of the original John Muir Way which was a 45-mile (73-km) coastal path connecting the City of Edinburgh with the Scottish Borders.

The path follows the coast from Dunbar, where is passes through the John Muir Country Park around Belhaven Bay, to North Berwick, Aberlady, Longniddry, Port Seton, Cockenzie, Prestonpans, Musselburgh and Edinburgh. The route then moves away from the coast, passing through the city via Brunstane, Bingham, Duddingston, Holyrood Park, The Meadows, Merchiston, Slateford, Murrayfield, Corstorphine Hill, Clerwood, Barnton and Cramond before returning to the coast to South Queensferry. It turns inland again at Bo'ness to Linlithgow, following the tow-path of the Union Canal to Polmont and Falkirk, then on to Bonnybridge, where it follows the tow-path of the Forth & Clyde Canal and route of the Antonine Wall to Croy, Twechar, Kirkintilloch, Lennoxtown and Strathblane. The route then enters the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and proceeds onwards to Balloch and finally Helensburgh. Significant attractions along the route include the Scottish Seabird Centre, Tantallon Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Callendar House, The Kelpies, Falkirk Wheel and The Hill House. Route variants exist for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.

The original John Muir Way was the East Lothian section of the North Sea Trail which navigates the coast of the seven countries around the North Sea. It extends beyond Dunbar for a further 9¾ miles (15.6 km) to Barns Ness, Skateraw and finally Dunglass. This route included sandy beaches, dunes, cliffs, notable features such as Bass Rock, North Berwick Law, Torness Nuclear Power Station and the natural sandstone arches of Bilsdean.


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