John Muir Way, East Lothian by Suzanne Forup

Ride level Regular cyclist
Distance 25 mi / 40 km
Type of bicycle Mountain bike
Traffic free
Circular route
Deep into the East Lothian countryside

Cycling UK’s Head of Development in Scotland, Suzanne Forup, takes us on a ride along the John Muir Way in East Lothian. 

This circular route has several variations, making it suitable for a range of cyclists, including families with older children or those looking for some off-road action as well as a road route.

Starting (or ending) in Dunbar the ride follows some of the John Muir Way to North Berwick, giving riders the opportunity to explore two of Scotland lovely seaside towns and beaches, too. The route takes you past some of our lovely coastline on NCN76, showing off Belhaven Beach, a popular spot for surfing. There are a couple of short climbs, ensuring you can get the best of the views of Bass Rock coming into North Berwick, but at least one can be avoided if you take a longer route around.

The road sections are generally quiet but rural, so care needs to be taken as the road surface is variable and a good headlight is required if you want to do this in winter. It’s a great place to spot wildlife, with deer, hares, owl and bats seen at different times of day.

The route is a café lovers heaven, with great options in both towns and along the route, including my route favourites: Smeaton Nursery Gardens and Tearoom, Steampunk in North Berwick and the Boardside Café at Foxlake outside Dunbar. Both North Berwick and Dunbar have regular train services, so it's easily accessible from Edinburgh, which is 30 miles from Dunbar.


Bring enough money to indulge as many café stops as you can handle!

Places along the route to stop include lovely views on the John Muir Way sections and in North Berwick and Dunbar towns and beaches; and cafés in North Berwick and Dunbar.

A touring bike, mountain bike or robust hybrid are the best choices.