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Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen

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Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen
Author: Vic, Published: 21 Jan 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide star0 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide star0 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide star0 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide star0 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide
Isle of Man, Douglas
Walk Type: Coastal
Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide boot Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide boot Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide
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0018_cloudy_with_heavy_rain Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide Today's weather
16 °C, Moderate rain, Wind: 26 mph SSW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
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A walk of 8 miles on the Isle of Man that packs in a wide variety of terrain and features, where you will experience bracing fresh air along the promenade, a steep climb around the bay, rocky cliffs with a working vintage railway and two very pretty glens with tumbling streams.

This walk packs a great amount into a comparatively short distance with coastal, cliff and glen walks. The walk starts gently along by Douglas Bay, to the Manx electric tram terminal at the end of the Bay. From here the path rises to the steep cliffs with panoramic views over Douglas Bay. A short steep climb is followed by a descent to the pretty cove at Groudle. There is lots to explore here including a small narrow gauge railway lovingly restored by enthusiasts and a former sea lion pen, which was a local attraction many years ago. The route heads on to Groudle Glen, a very picturesque glen with an old water mill, and stream flowing through it all the way. After a short road walk to the village is the delightful Port Jack Glen which leads back onto the promenade.

There are several climbs and descents throughout. There are a few stiles on the way, but all are easily crossed. There are no sheep on this route, but part of the route goes along the bottom of gardens, where the steep cliff path is unfenced, so dog walkers would need to be vigilant for the safety of their pets. Allow 3.5 hours for the walk.

The start of this walk is conveniently close to the centre of Douglas, the largest town and capital of the Isle of Man. It begins on the promenade, opposite the iconic and well-known building of the Villa Marina and gardens. There is plenty of pay and display parking on the promenade, the price of which depends on which part you park and for how long.

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Walk Sections

Start to Electric Railway Terminus
Start to Electric Railway Terminus

Start point: 54.1573 lat, -4.4768 long
End point: 54.1667 lat, -4.4573 long

Start the walk opposite the Villa Marina on the Douglas promenade. Take an initially gentle stroll along the promenade towards Onchan Head. Walk with the sea on your right. After you start walking, you’ll see a signpost which shows the distance to the Manx Electric Railway (1 mile) and to Groudle Glen (3.5 miles). Travel towards the end of the bay to find the Manx Electric Railway Museum and terminal.

From the electric railway station you could get a tram to Ramsey at the north of the Island, approximately 16 miles away, with numerous stops en route.

Electric Railway Terminus to Cliff Path
Electric Railway Terminus to Cliff Path

Start point: 54.1667 lat, -4.4573 long
End point: 54.1706 lat, -4.4448 long

At the end of the bay at the electric railway station, follow the road which starts to climb, with steep cliffs between you and the sea. After 0.25 miles, take a turn off where a loop in the path takes you a little closer to the sea, giving you good views across Douglas Bay. Return to the road after a few hundred yards. Stay with the road closest to the sea and after 0.25 miles take a right turn on a path which goes along the bottom of gardens, and marked by the Raad Ny Follen sign (a seagull on a blue background, signifying the coastal path.)

Cliff Path to King Edward Road
Cliff Path to King Edward Road

Start point: 54.1706 lat, -4.4448 long
End point: 54.1697 lat, -4.4317 long

Follow the path along the top of steep cliffs. Though it is clearly defined, it is unfenced with the inherent risks that this brings (so take particular care, especially with children and dogs). Take the clearly marked path which eventually turns left and upwards back to the road.

King Edward Road to Right Turn
King Edward Road to Right Turn

Start point: 54.1697 lat, -4.4317 long
End point: 54.1774 lat, -4.4264 long

At the top of the cliffs, where you reach the road, turn right and follow this road for 0.75 miles until you come to a signpost for Port Groudle on the right. Take this turn, heading down a hill towards the bay initially. (The picture for this section shows the turn off.)

Right Turn to Groudle Glen
Right Turn to Groudle Glen

Start point: 54.1774 lat, -4.4264 long
End point: 54.1778 lat, -4.4228 long

Near the bottom of the hill, follow the footpath towards the Glen. However, do not go into the Glen just yet. Instead, go to the right and up to the Groudle Railway, being cautious as trains do run along this track. Follow the rail track to the right as far as it goes, to a cafe at the end of the bay. (Don’t rely on the cafe being open as it is only so during the times the train runs, usually weekends and holidays in the summer season). Here you will also see a dramatic view of steep cliffs and a disused sea lion pen. A very short detour takes you down the cliff to look at the rocky coast and the sea lion housing.

The Groudle Railway is a restored railway run by enthusiastic amateurs who have restored a track from the Glen to the end of the headland. The old sea lion pens are where the sea lions were housed and were an attraction years ago. They are now disused, but a path has been built around the area and it is possible to get a closer look.

Take the track back to the railway halt at the start of Groudle Glen.

Groudle Glen to White Bridge
Groudle Glen to White Bridge

Start point: 54.1778 lat, -4.4228 long
End point: 54.1795 lat, -4.4458 long

From the railway halt, take the path, which is well made and maintained, through Groundle Glen. You will see a gurgling stream in the middle of the Glen which the footpath follows throughout.

Do not miss taking a photograph en route of the old black and white watermill with red paddle. Though it is not working at present, it is well preserved and well set in the valley with the stream cascading below it. Along the way you will also see on an attractive carved Manx figure at the side of the stream.

Follow the path throughout the Glen, and eventually take it towards the road at the White Bridge.

White Bridge to Port Jack Glen
White Bridge to Port Jack Glen

Start point: 54.1795 lat, -4.4458 long
End point: 54.1693 lat, -4.4529 long

From the White Bridge, proceed left along the road towards the small town of Onchan. There are several places in the village for refreshments. Turn off left at the first roundabout and take the road (Royal Avenue) down the hill towards the end of the promenade. On the way, you will come to the gates of the Port Jack Glen.

Port Jack Glen to End
Port Jack Glen to End

Start point: 54.1693 lat, -4.4529 long
End point: 54.1573 lat, -4.4767 long

Enter the Port Jack Glen gates and you find a very well maintained glen, with stream in the middle and manicured lawns at the side. Though this is not a long glen it is very pretty and should not be missed.

At the end of the Glen is the road which, in a few yards, joins the promenade. Take the road and turn right onto the promenade. On the return you will get good views of Douglas Bay and Douglas Head in the distance. Retracing your steps from near the start of the walk, you will find yourself back at the Villa Marina where the walk began.

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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 "Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen"

7087_0Hartley19471484004614 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 09 Jan 2017
Ticket office for Manx Electric Railway
7087_2Hartley19471484004614 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 09 Jan 2017
A narrow cliff walk, but caution required
7087_3Hartley19471484004614 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 09 Jan 2017
The stream through the middle of Groudle Glen
7087_4Hartley19471484004614 Douglas Bay and Groudle Glen Walking Guide Image by: Vic
Uploaded: 09 Jan 2017
The entrance to Port Jack Glen. A pretty glen in the middle of a housing area.

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