I enclose some suggestions for pedestrians. What I want is to show
my fellow-pedestrians how to spend seven days in the Isle of Man. I
believe I can guarantee the accuracy of this little sketch I hope no
one will be frightened by the term " pedestrian." The longest of
these seven walks is the last, and that is not more than 20miles,
though certainly much of it is rather stiff. The fact is that people
surrender the delights of pedestrianism far too tamely and far too
early in life. I hope I may induce some of your visitors to
reconsider the question as regards themselves.
T. E Brown.
Get leave for the Nunnery land behind Douglas Head. This is important: the bit is very fine. I feel sure that application at the Nunnery, or to the agent of the proprietor in Douglas, would procure permission. The first inlet is Ballacregga harbour, the east corner of Soderick bay. Strike inland until you hit the path to the Port Soderick Hotel. Follow this path At the west corner of the bay, get on the cliffs again.
St. Anne's Head, Greenock; some delicious walking, over fine turf a nice margin between the fields and the reeks. The temptation to lie down here and dream for a couple of years or so must be resisted.
Jackdaw harbour, Cass-na-howin, the foot of the Santon river. If the tide is out, wade across; if it is in, make a bundle of your clothes, fasten them to a good big stones throw them across, and then swim across yourself. If nervous about this, keep up your own side of the stream to a farmhouse, when you can cross on a plank. Down the other side to sea again undoubtedly one of the very best things in the Island. Keep west to Derbyhaven; walk round and out to Fort Island, then along the " back of Langness" commonly called the " back o' Langlish" to Langness point. The gullies are good. Off the point, notice the Skerranes and the strong tide. Creep out on the point as far as ever you can; in again, and follow coast of Castletown bay exquisite bathing creeks; water gloriously clear. At the N.E. corner you come on to the Racecourse, a sweet bit of turfy sandbank smells like a rose. Near the College you hit the road and so on into Castletown. On this walk there is no place of refreshment except Port Soderick Hotel, and this is close to Douglas
Sandwich and flask will be best. The whole walk will take about
six hours. Smokers could hold out till dinner in Castletown. This
walk is a very solitary one. After leaving Port Soderick, you will
most likely not see a soul before you come to Derbyhaven.
A look at the Castle outside is enough; inside, it is a jail. Make
for Scarlett, and bathe there. This is a prime beatitude. Keep coast
to Poolvash. Here you get road. Follow it to Mount Gawne. Just beyond
Mount Gawne there is a mill. Here take a footpath-to the left; it
will lead you to Port St. Mary. Here you might lunch. Ask for the
Chasms. It is not hard, however, to find them. Take the turn to the
right off Port St. Mary street, and keep up the road past the only
big house. You will soon see a stile on the left. Here is a path to
the creek of Perwick. Keep rather up the little glen (Glen Chass);
climb up its left side to a mine, which is unmistakable. Avery little
beyond this you come on to the open moor. Its sea edge contains the
Chasms. Keep the coast. The next head is the Black Head; then Spanish
Head. Here you see the Calf and the Sound. Strike inland; cross some
seedy-looking, little, half-drained fields, and you will hit a road
running up N.E.: leads to Craig-Naish. At this hamlet be sure to take
the seaward road. It leads by a Druidical circle to a mountain gate.
Below the gate is a little glen called " Strooan-Snell." There is a
road down it into Port Erin. This walk might take some five hours.
Sleep here; but in the evening take a stroll by Bradda village to
Fairy-hill. The first part of this day's walk will be lonely enough;
but there will be people at the chasms probably.
Bradda Head; behind it, a very deep bay Fleshwick. North of this bay, or rather creek, keep close to the cliffs; but rise gradually You will come to a singular depression in the coast line called " The Slock. " Here are some walls converging. Steer north, and keep up You will get to the top of Cronk-ny-Eary-Laa, a splendid lookout-post westward. If decently clear, you ought to see Ireland. The little town on the coast, N. E., is Peel. You can see the Castle. The deep dell on the north is Dalby; the reef of rocks running out just north of it is the Niarbyl. Descend eastward. The mountain before you is South Barrule. When you come to the level between the two hills you will find a road. This place is called " The Round Table." Turn down the road to the left: it will lead you just above Dalby and the Niarbyl, and then it will follow the coast north. Keep this road to Glen Meay. See the waterfall (which, by-the-bye, is only a ruin of its old self), and then follow the stream to the shore. Climb up on the right, and you will get on to Peel hill. A fine walk along the top, and then you drop down into Peel, just as the Castle begins to show itself in front. Five hours are ample time for this walk. Refreshments might be had at Glen Meay; but I should "lay in" at Port Erin. Sleep at Peel. - A fine lonely walk, except just at Glen Meay.
Inspect the Castle. Take train to St. John's. Walk to Rhenass the name ludicrously transmogrified now into "Glen Helen!" See waterfall, and return to gate, where you can get lunch. Up Craig Willie's hill to Cronk~y-Voddey chapel. Here take a road to the left, which will enable you to strike the road between Peel and Kirk Michael, just N.E. of Glen Broigh. Walk N.E. on this road to Kirk Michael You will cross the mouths of three glens Glen Cam, GlenBallagawne, and Glen Willyn. Glen Cam (crooked) is decidedly one of the finest things in the Island At Glen Ballagawne turn up the stream for about half a mile, and you will come to the Spoot-vane waterfall. It is not worth much. You can leave it by a different road, which will fall into the highroad nearer Kirk Michael. It is apart of what is called " Bishop Wilson's road." As you walk along, Scotland hovers nearly parallel to you, a fine old geographic ghost. Sleep at Kirk Michael. If there is no room at the hotel, you will find a very decent " public" a little way down the street, where you can get a good clean bed, and a dish of ham and eggs for breakfast of the most bountiful kind. This day's walk will have been magnificently solitary, except from Peel to Rhenass.
Don't waste time on Bishop's Court. The glen is really nothing: a few clumps of rhododendra and some gravel walks a part, in fact, of the Bishop's private grounds. Go straight on to Ballaugh. Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn to the right and go up the glen. Keep on some two miles to Ravensdale, where the glen forks. Take the E. stream, and go right up.
When you get well up on to the first plateau, and are on the open mountain land, steer S.E. by S.; or, what is as good a guide, walk straight on from the top of the glen to the first cultivated land. Then skirt this, going about E., and you will come down into Sulby Glen at a capital spot. I want you to come down just where the Sulby river turns northwards. Here there is a little chapel, and 500 yards below there is Bishop Murray's bridge. Cross this, and go up a narrow lateral glen, where they have been trying for slate and, I am sorry to say, have destroyed one of the sweetest little waterfalls and rock basins in the British Isles. However, this bothers me more than you. Keep to the stream as close as you can, up to its source. You are walking S.E. by E., along the back of Snaefell. You can, if you choose, go up to the right, and climb the mountain. I do not recommend that. It is an unsatisfactory view, and the mountain itself is a very ugly stupid affair. Come to the water-shed. Bear a little to the N. of E. You will see, but avoid, the new road running towards Ramsey N.E. by E. You will cross the old road from Ramsey to Snaefell, and strike the head of Glen Aldyn. Follow this glen rights down to Milntown, where you get on to the main road, which you. saw last at Ballaugh. This takes you into Ramsey (2 miles). An absolutely solitary walk from Ballaugh to Milntown. You can have a grand bathe in the Sulby river. For refreshments, I should try a cottage in Sulby Glen, where you first come down. You will get buttermilk and oat cake at any rate. Give the people a trade: the old free hospitality can't be relied on in these days, it is well to bear this in mind up Manx glens. The walk will take six hours. Sleep at Rmnsey.
Go up North Barrule. The best way is to follow the "old Douglas
road," which turns up to the right, a few yards above Ballure
Descend straight to a little inn just E. of the mountain, and on the regular Douglas road. It is called "The Hibernia" Walk back towards Ramsey on this road. You go down a long hill, Slieu Lewaigue. Where it turns rather sharp to bear down upon Ramsey leave it, and turn to the right. At Lewaigue House, turn to the left. The lane will lead you to Port-e-Vullen (pronounced " Port-aVullion"). Turn up the road which leads to Kirk Maughold Church but leave it almost immediately. Pass through a gate on the left, where there is a runic cross set up in the hedge. Now keep close to the sea. There is only a track. It leads round Ago Point (pronounce as an Irishman would, "ego"), just above an iron mine Follow on. You can't go down to the water's edge. Just keep above the rocks. Less than a mile of this will bring you to St. Maughold's Well. It is in the seaward face of the steep hill. It is not so very easy to find. The danger is that you may pass above it, so you really must keep as close to the very cliff as you well can. You are not likely to pass below it without noticing the rushy damp look of the ground, which indicates that you are not far from it. Then nb to the top of Maughold Head, which they call " The Cairn"(pronounced "kern"). Now, whichever way you look, there is no view dike this in the Irish Sea: I have heard George Borrow say this. Go down inland to the church yard, which you can see from the top due W. From the little hamlet near the churchyard gate follow a road which leads S., by the back of Baldromma Farm, to Port Moar. Thence keep the coast to Cornaa harbour.. Here turn up the stream inland, till you reach Ballaglass waterfall. This I very much recommend. A little below the waterfall is a mill and bridge. Cross the bridge and proceed southwards. The road is a little intricate, running from farm to farm but say you want to go over the Barony. This is a good bit of moorland near the sea. It will lead you to the Dhoon. This is a fine deep ravine, running down to the water's edge. Just above it, on the south side, you will find the Douglas road. Follow it to Laxey. There is a choice of roads at the top of this hill (Dreemy-Keskeig). Take that which keeps closest to the cliffs. A little after Laxey Glen opens, I would strike a very old rough road down to the left, and descend to Lower Laxey, or Laxey-on-the-Sea. The two views of Laxey are those from the opposite headlands at the mouth of the glen. One you will have just had; the other you will have you go up on the other (Douglas) side. Don't trouble yourself about the big wheel, washing apparatus, and what not. [But, if you must, go up the glen to the hotel near the little church, and sleep there. Next morning, go up Glen Roy, N.W. of Laxey, and spend an hour there before starting for Douglas. Return to hotel for start.] Follow Douglas-road till you pass a smithy. A few yards beyond this, turndown to the left. A lane leads to the shore - Garwick. By no means miss this. Now, keep to the cliffs all the way to the Crescent, on Douglas Bay. Rather a long walk say eight hours from Ramsey to Douglas. Quite solitary, except just about Laxey and from the Crescent in to Douglas.
If you slept in Laxey, walk to Douglas as above. Have a car out to Braddan Church, and let it take you on to Injebreek, in Baldwin Glen. Return to sleep in Douglas.
ONE CAUTION. Don't chaff the country people. Remember, the race is mainly Celtic; and you will readily, but (I think) only to your disgust, elicit a coarse echo of your own fun. Talk to them quite simply and kindly, and you will like them very much. It makes all the difference.