Weekend walking ideas in the Isle of Man: 6 suggestions during the perfect Manx staycation

Perfect for a staycation while the borders are still closed, experiencing the Isle of Man on foot is a wonderful way to get around. Rambling countryside, beautiful views and pretty glens make it comparable to a day out in the Lake District, give us the chance to see all the Heritage sights  that the Isle of Man has to offer.   

It means fantastic family time in the fresh air, whether it be an exhilarating climb up Snaefell or having a stroll around a reservoir.

Footpaths

The Island’s marked out footpaths make the most of the gorgeous scenery and nature.

Raad-ny-Foillan, The ultimate long distance coastal footpath

The way of the Gull. 98 miles around the Island’s coast, different sections can be tackled over a few weeks or throughout a staycation summer including quiet beaches and dunes, cliff footpaths, over farmland through wooded glens.  The footpath is never far from the sea. It is suitable for the gentle walker to do in short day-walk sections over the course of a holiday, or over several weekends. For a dedicated backpacker or fell-runner, great personal challenges can be set on this beautiful circuit of the Isle of Man. If you are a keen Geocacher, 230 Caches can be found along the way.

Raad ny Foillan map

The Millenium Way 

28 miles from the north to the south. It can be completed in a day by a fit walker, or split into sections. For the full journey, start in Ramsey, climb Sky Hill, and continue to West Baldwin across open moorland with stunning views past the beautiful church of St Lukes. Continue to Crosby and start the climb towards Marown old church. Head towards St Marks and continue to Rushen Abbey and the Silverburn River before you arrive at Castletown. A lovely way to do this walk in sections from Palm Villa is to take the Steam train or bus from Port Erin to Castletown, and enjoy the pleasant walk from Castletown to Crosby which takes around three hours.  

Millenium Way map

The Heritage Trail 

10.5 miles, a flat easy walk along disused railway lines, from Douglas to Peel. This is a wonderful family walk along a quiet path, with plenty of resting areas and picnic benches along the way, and the luxury of an ice cream at the end. A favourite for dog walkers, Fenella beach in Peel is a great opportunity for your dog to have a splash in the waves after a long walk. 

A guide to the footpaths can be downloaded here 

Hills and Mountains

If a short sharp climb is what you have in mind, with glorious rewarding views from the summits, the Island's hills and mountains are a perfect and accessible way to enjoy your daily exercise.  

Snaefell

Snaefell is the Island’s only mountain, 2036 ft above sea level. Park at The Bungalow or take the tram from Laxey on the Snaefell Mountain Railway and alight at the Bungalow, to tackle the mountain on foot. The moderate ascent to the summit can be tackled in half an hour. The saying goes that once at the summit, on a clear day, you can see seven kingdoms: Mann, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, Neptune and Heaven! On the way down, if you have come by tram, cross the mountain road at the Bungalow, and continue on to Laxey through Agneash Valley, taking in the Snaefell  mines, the village of Agneash and the Laxey Wheel on the way. A great family hike.

North Barrule

The Island’s second highest peak. Park at Black Hut, and across the road is a signposted footpath. First ascend the peak of Clagh Our, a short 20 minute climb, then walk along the ridge of hills to the summit of North Barrule, a peaceful 2 hour walk.  

South Barrule

For a climb closer to Port Erin, South Barrule rises to 1585 ft. From Round Table Road, there is a small area of parking on a rough track by the A36 Sloc Road.  The path to the summit is around half an hour's walk. From the summit, the coastline of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales can be seen on a clear day, plus much of the Isle of Man. To the south, the view is over the beautiful Cringle plantation and Reservoir, and the view North is the gorgeous central hill range. Perfect for a dog walk, the summit is a perfect spot to reward yourself with a picnic.   

Self-guided routes

For self-guided walking routes, see here. Other options include The Forestry Warden walks which are 1.5 to 3 hour walks off the beaten track, split into easy, moderate and strenuous. Alternatively, the old fashioned way, a walking book. It takes me back to when we were kids having holidays in the Lakes, Dad holding a pocket book up all the way and enthusiastically narrating the trip; special memories.

Consider using a guide

For ease on your holiday or day out, perhaps consider a walking guide who can tell you about the area and the history of the Isle of Man as you enjoy the scenery.  We chatted to Manxwalks who recommend a couple of their favourite family walks around the south of the Island close to Palm Villa:

From Port Erin, walk south along Ballafurt road and continue this way on the coastal footpath around the Meayll Peninsular, then three choices. Either walk to the beautiful  Chasms, Cregneash, or the Sound depending on preference(and appetite), then back towards Port St Mary along the Howe Road. Once you have wandered along the promenade, loop back towards Port Erin, or take the steam train.   

For something more strenuous, Catriona suggests walking from Port Erin around the Rowany Golf course and Bradda Head, down to Fleshwick Beach. Then climb, heading left, and take the coastal footpath back around Port Erin to Bradda Head.    

What better way to have family time and make the most of what we have on our doorstep, without leaving the Island or spending a penny. Whether it is one hour climb, or a seven hour day out, with these exciting walking options and challenges there is something to suit everyone, especially with the rewards of the stunning views and Manx history we can see in return.

If you would like any further information about routes or ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Seaside cottages, and we will be delighted to help.