Blackness Castle.

Explore two churches and a castle along the Way

Walkers are being invited to join in a special trek along part of the John Muir Way.

It will link up two historic churches and a castle used in the TV series “Outlander”.

The trek, on Saturday, April 20, is being organised by Step Forth – which delivers volunteer-run health walks across the Falkirk Council area.

Anyone can take part – and join all or part of the walk. It’s free to take part and no booking is necessary.

The walk will start at noon at Carriden Church, Bo’ness. The current building dates from 1909; however, there’s been a place of worship here since 1243. Visit the Church website to find out more.

Walkers will follow the flat coastal path for around three miles to the imposing Blackness Castle.

The Castle, a 15th-century fortress, has been used in the TV series “Outlander” – as well as films such as “Mary, Queen of Scots”.

The walk to the Castle should take about an hour. There will be a chance to use the toilets in Blackness and buy a drink or ice cream at the castle.

Around 1.15 p.m. walkers will set off from the Castle grounds on the second leg of the walk – heading through coastal woodlands to Abercorn Church, on the nearby Hopetoun Estate.

Abercorn dates back to the 1100s; however, historians say this has been sacred ground since the late 400s. Read more here.

Abercorn Church is hosting its own “Easter Tea” – selling tea and cakes – during the afternoon of April 20. Walkers will get the chance to explore the grounds and have some tea and cake before heading back to Bo’ness. Please note there will be a charge for the tea/refreshments (so bring some money with you).

Full timings are given below.

This event is part of a series of activities taking place over a week to mark “John Muir Day” in Scotland.

Follow the hashtag #JohnMuirDay on social media for updates. And get more information on other events in Scotland here

John Muir Day Celebrations logo

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Organised by Step Forth walk leaders in Bo’ness. Open to anyone. Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Sadly – although we love them – dogs aren’t allowed on the walk.


NOON – Leave Carriden Church and follow the coastal path eastwards to Blackness Castle (approx. three miles). Please make sure you arrive at the church in good time to allow everyone to leave at noon. There is limited parking beside the Church.The postcode is EH51 9LU.

1 P.M. – Expected arrival at Blackness Castle to use toilets and get refreshments. For people joining the walk here, there is limited parking in Blackness Village. The village is also served by a limited bus service.

1.15 P.M. – Leave Blackness Castle for Abercorn Church (approx. 2.5 miles)

2.15 P.M. – Arrive at Abercorn Church. Time to explore the church and grounds and have a cup of tea or some cake (payable at church hall).

3 P.M. (Approx). Depart Abercorn Church for Bo’ness (5.5 miles). There will a small stop in Blackness Village for anyone needing to use the local toilets. Alternatively, walkers may want to arrange a lift back from Abercorn Church Hall. The postcode is EH30 9SL.

5 P.M. Expected arrival back in Bo’ness.

Please note the timings are approximate. You can join certain stages of the walk, but arrive at any departure point approx. 15 minutes before the stated departure time. If you want to leave the walk at any time, just make sure one of the walk leaders know.

What you need to know

BOOKING: No need to book, just turn up.

DISTANCE: The full walk should be around 11 miles – however, you can join at different stages – or organise a lift back from Abercorn if you don’t want to walk the return leg.

There is limited car parking at Carriden Church. The postcode is EH51 9LU. There is also parking at Blackness (postcode EH49 7NH) and Abercorn (postcode EH30 9SL).

GRADIENT: Most of this walk is along a flat coastal path. However, there is a short walk up a hill towards Abercorn Church.

TOILETS: There is one toilet at Carriden Church (so use the loo before you arrive). There are also toilets in Blackness and a toilet at Abercorn Church Hall.

REFRESHMENTS: There will be opportunities to buy refreshments in Blackness and Abercorn. However, you may want to bring drinks and snacks with you for the journey.