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John Muir Way highlights and tips by walking friends Jane and Hayley

Great experience: Walking the John Muir Way with Highland Transfers

Friends Jane and Hayley recently spent eight days walking the 134-mile John Muir Way from Helensburgh to Dunbar in Scotland. They were delighted with the luggage transfer support from Highland Transfers and praised owner Ryan's attention to detail.

Jane and Hayley on the John Muir Way.

The walk: John Muir Way

Day 1: 9 miles from Helensburgh to Balloch

Day 2: 18.5 miles Balloch to Strathblane

Day 3: 13 miles from Strathblane to Kilsyth

Day 4: 16 miles from Kilsyth to Polmont, near Falkirk

Day 5: 19.5 miles from Polmont to South Queensferry

Day 6: 21 miles from South Queensferry to Musselburgh

Day 7: 17 miles from Musselburgh to North Berwick

Day 8: 15 miles from North Berwick to Dunbar.

Jane revealed that they mostly followed the 10-day suggested route of the John Muir Way, but completed it in nine days. They did not walk into the centre of Edinburgh but skirted the edge of Scotland's capital and they also had a few longer days of walking.

She says: "In retrospect, it would how been better to have spread the walk over more days but we were tied to various dates due to personal circumstances, which meant we ended up with a few longer days. We really enjoyed the whole walk but I would recommend people take more days for this wonderful trail."

The friends were keen to walks another Scottish route and chose the John Muir Way.

Luggage transfer on the John Muir Way

Jane and Kayley, who are from England, booked their own accommodation for the John Muir Way and then enlisted the help of Highland Transfers for luggage transfer.

Jane said: "We were really impressed with the service offered by Ryan at Highland Transfers. As well as the excellent luggage transfers between our accommodations, he was in touch with us regularly to make sure we are okay and enjoying the walk. If there was ever a problem, we knew he would be there for us to contact immediately. It gave us good peace of mind.

"We thought his attention to detail and kind support were excellent. We will definitely recommend him to other people and if we can make use of Highland Transfers again for future walks, we will."

Luggage transfer between accommodations allows walkers to enjoy the walking without the weight of a heavy overnight rucksack. Jane said: "We simply took a small rucksack with us each day, packed with the items we needed for a day of walking. That was all."

Jane and Hayley walked the John Muir Way over nine days.

The friends enjoyed ever-changing landscapes along the trail.

Highlights of the John Muir Way

Jane and Hayley report that they enjoyed the entire route. Jane said: "The trail from coast to coast in Scotland is very varied. No two days were the same and we really enjoyed the ever-changing scenery.

"The terrain was different each day, too, from more rugged trails and forest tracks, to the towpath and tarmac along the canals. We liked the variation."

The friends, who enjoy regular walks together, were fortunate with fine weather. While it was early in the season, Scotland offered many days of sunshine and warmth.

Jane, who is retired, said: "I would really recommend the John Muir Way. We saw so much of Scotland and very different landscapes. We were rarely far from a village or town, too, which meant it was easy to access facilities.

"The A to B route from coast to coast was also rewarding."

Tips for the John Muir Way

Pack all the essentials: Scotland's weather can be changeable. Make sure you have waterproof jacket and trousers in your pack, even if it is a sunny day. Gloves, hat and spare layers are useful, too.

Blister protection: While walking boots or shoes should be worn in before setting out on a long-distance walking holiday, it is a good idea to carry blister plasters, such as Compeed, just in case.

Food and water: The John Muir has plenty of facilities en route but it's wise to make sure you have enough snacks just in case. It is important to carry water for drinking, especially in the summer.

Book ahead: Accommodation and luggage transfer services are popular in Scotland, especially with the rise of the staycation. The sooner you can book, the less likely it is you will face disappointment.

Walk early: If it is going to be a warm day, start earlier to avoid the heat at mid-day. Or break the walking day into two and do some miles in the morning and the rest in the afternoon.

Think about budget: There are many different types of accommodation in Scotland from hostels to B&Bs, guest houses, AirBnB properties and hotels. Once you have set a budget, you can pick overnight stays to suit. A mix will allow you to have some nights in more expensive hotels or B&Bs as a treat.

Find out more: John Muir Way

What's it like?: Helensburgh to Balloch

What's it like?: Croy to Falkirk

What's it like?: North Berwick to Dunbar

Make plans for the John Muir Way

If you want to discuss any plans or ideas you have for walking, running or cycling the John Muir Way in Scotland please do give Highland Transfers a call. We can help with luggage transfer between your overnight accommodation and we have a wealth of other information that we can discuss with you.

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