John Muir Way Accessible Highlights
It’s a 134-mile coast to coast trail across Scotland, running from Helensburgh right through to Dunbar, the birthplace of John Muir! John Muir was a Scottish naturalist, geologist, mountaineer, inventor, conservationist and glaciologist who lived in the USA and became known as ‘one of the greatest thinkers of America’. The John Muir Way celebrates his life and work back home in Scotland, and there are a few interesting stops along the route. Here are just some of the places you’ve told us about with good disabled access along the way!
Useful links to get started:
Helensburgh: The Commodore, Vintage Inn
Right at the beginning of the John Muir Way, this country pub has a rustic, rural charm with views across the Firth of Clyde. One wheelchair who visited for lunch gave it 4.5 ★ and said:
“This lovely pub is on the waterfront close to the town of Helensburgh. As well as the pub part, there is a large garden area with tables and chairs and a smaller coffee bar, where there are steps to the tables with a view. The whole pub area is accessible and the staff very helpful and friendly.”
Balloch: Loch Lomond Shore
Moving towards Balloch, Loch Lomond Shores is a visitor centre on the banks of Loch Lomond. Inside you’ll find restaurants, shops, a Bird of Prey Centre and a SEALIFE Centre to explore! This is one of the more easily accessible parts of the trail, with ‘good surfaces, wide paths and seating available.’ One visitor who spent Disabled Access Day here wrote:
“The staff were very friendly and helpful. The tour was amazing. The centre was accessible and the toilets were too. It was an adventure. I have never been there and everything was lovely.”
Killearn: Killearn Village Hall
Heading across Scotland, Killearn Village Hall is in the Stirling area where there are lots of places to explore! The Hall is a great place to stop for food as it is home to the Three Sisters Bake Café who serve homemade cakes, breads, soups, pates and more.
“Superb access from start to finish! A perfect example of how a venue with split floors can easily be accessible to all. The views from the village hall are stunning but they are surpassed by the food provided on site from the Three Sisters Bake team!”
Falkirk: The Kelpies
The ‘world’s largest equine sculptures’ are worth a visit if you’re covering the Falkirk section of the John Muir Way! Inside the modern Helix Park, the stunning water horses were built in just 90 days in 2013 with the visitor centre following soon after. One visitor loved The Kelpies and wrote:
“Absolutely loved the access around the Kelpies attraction and the new visitor centre. There is just so much space! The centre is bright, and you are greeted with the most friendly welcome by somebody at reception. This is where you book tickets for the Kelpie tour which is itself wheelchair accessible.”
South Queensferry: The 3 Bridges
A Harry Ramsden restaurant with a picture perfect view of the Forth Rail Bridge, The 3 Bridges has been described as a delightful place to stop for a fish ‘n’ chips in South Queensferry!
“This is a lovely venue which has stunning views out over the Forth Bridges. Access to the venue is ramped, although the entrance door requires a member of staff opening this door from the inside. The interior is spacious and would accommodate a wheelchair.”
Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle
If you choose to cover the section of the trail that passes by Edinburgh, you’ll have plenty of places to explore before you move on again! Edinburgh Castle is a top-rated attraction with some of the best views across the city.
“It certainly deserves its five-star rating! Small things like tactile replicas of the Crown Jewels, large print guides, audio guides, ramps and very helpful staff made the day!”
North Berwick: Beach Wheelchairs
Nearing the end of John Muir Way, North Berwick is an ideal place to stop off for a bit of seaside fun! The Beach Wheelchairs are a popular way to enjoy the long stretch of sandy coast in this picturesque town.
“Really great to be able to get on the beach and move about which is impossible with a standard manual wheelchair. Was able to push the beach wheelchair a little into the water too which was real fun.”
Dunbar: East Links Family Park
At last, Dunbar! If you make it this far or choose only to do this section, the East Links Family Park is a great way to end the trip. Here you’ll find farm animals, go-karts, soft play and plenty of fun activities for families.
“We found East Links Family Park to be a fantastic place for all the family and very accessible for my mother-in -law who is blind and uses a symbol cane. Excellent ramp access, even on the huge climbing fortress.”
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