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Port Erin and Cregneash

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Port Erin and Cregneash
Author: Vic, Published: 10 Jan 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide star0 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide star0 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide star0 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide star0 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide
Isle of Man, Port Erin
Walk Type: Coastal
Port Erin and Cregneash
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide boot Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide boot Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide boot Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide
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IMPORTANT NOTE: Dogs are NOT allowed on this walk due to Manx Authority regulation.

This is a circular walk of 7 miles from Port Erin on the Isle of Man passing close to steep coastal cliffs, and follows up with an inland route through the historic village of Cregneash. This walk is one of the most pleasant on the island. It is a fairly challenging coastal walk with several steep climbs and descents. The photograph above is of the land which makes up the first part of the walk, giving a good view of how the walk passes over several hills, from a sea level start and back to sea level part way through. The views throughout are spectacular.

The initial direction is towards the Calf of Man, a separate small island. The footpath stays close to the coast where the views down the cliffs and out to sea are beautiful. Look out for the many seals which live in the area and spend resting time on the rocky island shore. The route continues out along the Spanish Head to the most southerly tip of the main island, again with excellent views, where Castletown, Port St Mary and the island of Langness come into view. The walk then passes The Chasms, steep fissures in rocks that go down some distance (definitely not an area to take pets or young children). After the Chasms the route turns inland to the heritage village of Cregneash, where some of the buildings and past ways of life are preserved. There are several village houses on display and look out for the unusual Lochlan sheep in the area. In spring you may catch a glimpse of the fields being ploughed by powerful workhorses. Finally, the route descends back to the quay at Port Erin.

There are several steep climbs and descents and the total height climbed over the course of the walk is 1530ft. There are a few stiles on the way, but all are easily crossed. As noted above, there is a Manx Authority regulation that dogs are NOT allowed on this walk. Allow 3 hours for the walk.

Nowhere is far from anywhere in the Isle of Man. Port Erin is the start and is found at the south west of the Island. If you are coming by car, there is one main road there from the capital, Douglas, one main road from Peel, and one from Castletown (the nearest town). Car parking is free, plentiful and on the quay at the start. Bus transport is good and there is even a steam train from Douglas during the holiday season. Times are available from the ManxTourist Board offices, from the Tourist Board website or from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal in Douglas.

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Walk Sections

Start to Headland
Start to Headland

Start point: 54.085 lat, -4.769 long
End point: 54.0837 lat, -4.7712 long

The walk commences close to the end of the quay at Port Erin, near to a red brick building. However, the first 30 yards of the walk are not immediately obvious, as the route is a path behind the red brick building (backing on to steep ground). There is a footpath sign adjacent to the start, and when you get up to the sign, the path becomes clear. Take this path. It is a short steep climb behind the building. At the top of this hill, go through a gate and then turn right on to the headland.

The route climbs steadily alongside the cliffs. Keep a grass field on your left, with sharp cliffs on your right. In this section the route does not go directly through any cultivated land, which, when present, will be on your left. The footpath is clearly walked. It is firm, passes over grass, heather and rocky outcrops, and goes close to cliffs, with excellent views of the rocky bays (with the inherent need for safety close to these unfenced paths). Views of the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland are in view on a clear day. There are many seabirds along the route, and abundant choughs with their distinctive call. Basking sharks and seals can be seen at times.

Waypoint 1 comes up within a quarter of a mile of the start, and you know you will be on track for the rest of the walk when you reach it. It is at the corner of a fenced field, close to the cliff edge, and marked with a blue and white sign for Raad Ny Follan (‘The Way of the Gull’, a Manx Coastal Path.)

Headland to Calf in View
Headland to Calf in View

Start point: 54.0837 lat, -4.7712 long
End point: 54.073 lat, -4.786 long

The walk here is fairly close to rocky sea cliffs. Follow the fairly well trodden path, which meanders around the various rocky areas with several steep undulations. Waypoint 2 is a point on the path when the island off the coast, the Calf of Man, becomes totally in view.

The Calf is a smaller island off the Isle of Man, and boasts 3 in-use lighthouses, so dangerous are the waters to shipping around the south of the island.

Calf in View to The Sound Wooden Stile
Calf in View to The Sound Wooden Stile

Start point: 54.073 lat, -4.786 long
End point: 54.0645 lat, -4.7936 long

Follow the path along the coast, still keeping the cliffs on your right and cultivated land on your left, until you reach a large wooden stile (Waypoint 3), which gives access to the area close to the Sound, with good vision of the Calf of Man and the Sound area around it. There is a large café restaurant at this area, it being a major tourist attraction for people to see the Calf of Man.

This area is a favoured feeding and resting area for the numerous seals in the area, and you will usually see plenty at all times of the year. The Calf of Man is not currently inhabited but there are three lighthouses on the island, and several tracks around it. It is possible to hire a boat, in calm weather, from Port Erin to take you to the Calf for a few hours, where the walk around the island is worthwhile.

The Sound Wooden Stile to Hill Top
The Sound Wooden Stile to Hill Top

Start point: 54.0645 lat, -4.7936 long
End point: 54.06 lat, -4.78 long

Proceed along the path through the grassy area close to the Sound, which is clearly marked with footpath signs, and follow it towards a steep hill further around the headland. Along the path and near to the sea, take care crossing a rather rickety stile. Follow the path across a small field to a gate into a bracken field close to the headland, and then go up the hill on the marked path. One area of the hill you will climb is so steep that people have cut footsteps into the ground, which help the climb.

Take the well-marked path to the next rocky headland, Spanish Head, where there are dramatic views out to sea, as well as views of the coast around the southern part of the Island of Castletown and Langness peninsula further around the coast. Waypoint 4 is a cairn marking the high spot of the hill, (pictured).

Hill Top to The Chasms
Hill Top to The Chasms

Start point: 54.06 lat, -4.78 long
End point: 54.0624 lat, -4.7633 long

On Spanish Head there are several well-trodden paths that are not necessarily marked on an OS map. Follow the chosen route to take you close to the southerly point of the peninsula. It’s advisable here to follow the GPS marked route to stay on track. However, if you wandered off track it wouldn’t be serious, as your next aiming point (a dark, two-storey building on the next hillside along), is in view from Spanish Head, so you can get on track without much difficulty. On the way you pass closely to steep and sheer cliffs. The ground on the Head is sound and fairly safe, and you should follow the chosen route close to the edge of the cliff, with the obvious care for safety.

After you have walked along the Head continue on the path which follows the contours around the headland, past steep and exposed cliffs towards a steady climb to the next point of interest, the Chasms, Waypoint 5.

Your aiming point for this part of the walk is a dark, two-storey building close to the cliffs near the top of the climb. Approximately 100 metres before the hut, go over a stile across a wall, then on to the building. In front of it, go right through a gateway which leads in to the Chasms. This is not an area for small children and care should be taken when walking around the area. The Chasms are large faults in the cliff, with deep fissures going down many feet. Paths around are well trodden and clear but there are no fences to protect people. However, the area is not dangerous if a small amount of care is exhibited.

The Chasms to Cregneash
The Chasms to Cregneash

Start point: 54.0624 lat, -4.7633 long
End point: 54.0691 lat, -4.7685 long

From the Chasms, take the marked steep path which initially climbs inland, towards Waypoint 6, the village of Cregneash. At the top of the hill, near a rust-coloured farm building on the left, cross a stile and proceed on to a small track, past two single-storey buildings on the right. Follow this track as it descends to the village, where it becomes a small road. When you enter the village take the left hand fork, passing the tea rooms on your right.

The village has many of its houses preserved in the original condition when they were built. It is a Manx Heritage site. There are also Lochlan Sheep, a rare breed, with their distinctive long horns, roaming in the area and in pens. At the appropriate time of the year, usually autumn or spring, the nearby fields are ploughed using large plough horses.

Cregneash to End
Cregneash to End

Start point: 54.0691 lat, -4.7685 long
End point: 54.085 lat, -4.7678 long

Keep on the minor road through Cregneash. Pass the church on your right, and go on to the junction with the A31, Howe Road. Turn left. After 30 yards take a right turn along a small road. Alongside this road, after approximately 500 yards on the right and up a hill along a path, is an ancient burial ground, the Meayll Hill Circle. (It isn’t on the walk track but you may feel it is worth a visit if you are interested in ancient history, and it requires only a minor deviation.)

From this path junction continue along the road in the direction of Port Erin for 0.75 miles, until you take a left turn along a private road, named Darrag. After 50 yards or so, turn right along a short road in between houses. Follow this small road past a square block of houses, following the road as it turns left past the houses. As the road finishes, continue along a narrow footpath which brings you back to the quay. On reaching the quay turn left, then take a short walk along the quay, which returns you to the car park where the walk began.

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network Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author Hartley1947 and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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4 gallery images for "Port Erin and Cregneash "

7056_0Hartley19471484084732 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 10 Jan 2017
This shows the Calf of Man, with the fast flowing tidal race between the headland and the island. Seals congregate on the rocks in the picture.
7056_1Hartley19471484084732 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 10 Jan 2017
This monument at the Sound denotes the efforts that local people made to rescue a ship foundered close by
7056_2Hartley19471484084732 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 10 Jan 2017
This is taken from Spanish Head, looking towards the derelict house at the entrance to the Chasms.
7056_3Hartley19471484084732 Port Erin and Cregneash Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 10 Jan 2017
This shows the descent from the Chasms to the ancient village of Cregneash

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