Located in the middle of the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is proof that good things come in small packages. Read on for our pick of the island’s best walks.
Raad ny Foillan
The Isle of Man’s crowning glory is its spectacular coastline and what better way to experience it than from the coastal footpath? The 90-mile Raad ny Foillan (Manx Gaelic: Way of the Gull) takes in some of the island’s most striking scenery – from dramatic sea-cliffs to sweeping shingle bays – and is steeped in natural and geological interest. If 90 miles sounds too much like hard work, why not try a short section of the route?
Port St Mary – Port Erin
This 7-mile stage visits the island’s southernmost point, where the waters of the Sound separate the mainland from the Calf of Man. Dolphins and basking sharks are regular visitors here and the rocky islet of Kitterland is home to a sizable seal colony.
Note – The Chasms and sea-cliffs require stout footwear and a good head for heights!
Port Erin – Bradda Head
A fairly steep footpath leads from the picturesque seaside resort of Port Erin to the neighbouring headland, crowned by the iconic Milner’s Tower. It’s a great place to watch the sunset and on a clear day, you can see the Mountains of Mourne.
‘Big Girl’ might seem like a strange name for a waterfall, but we recommend paying her a visit! She can be found in Dhoon Glen, near Laxey, where various streams weave their way through a wooded ravine to the sea. Unlike many of the other glens, Dhoon’s paths are steep and uneven, therefore reliable footwear is a must!
The seventeen National Glens are hidden gems, each with its own individual character and beauty.
The Manx mountains and hills offer some great walking. At 2,034 ft, Snaefell is the island’s highest summit, but the two Barrules (North and South) are arguably more interesting: both boast fantastic views and South Barrule features the added interest of an Iron-Age Celtic hillfort. North Barrule can be climbed from Ramsey or Laxey, whereas South Barrule is usually accessed from the junction of the A27 and A36 (known as the Round Table).
Situated on a coastal hill just south of Peel, Corrin’s Tower is a 200-year-old folly. The there-and-back route starting from Fenella Beach is simply a pleasure. You’ll probably want a little breather after the climb, and with its great views of Peel – the town, the sweeping sandy beach and impressive castle – and the surrounding countryside, the summit is the perfect place to linger. Of course, after all that exercise, you’ll deserve an ice-cream on the sea-front when you get back!