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Isle of Man Bottom to Top

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Isle of Man Bottom to Top
Author: Vic, Published: 11 Aug 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide star0 Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide star0 Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide star0 Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide star0 Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide
Isle of Man, Laxey
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Isle of Man Bottom to Top
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide boot Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide boot Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide boot Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide
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A 6 mile linear walk from Laxey to Snaefell on the Isle of Man, returning via the mountain railway. This walk is one of a series of walks which encompasses the unique forms of transport in the Isle of Man as an integral part of the walk. These are: (1) The Manx Electric Railway (sometimes called Tramway), (2) The Snaefell Mountain Railway (sometimes called Tramway), (3) The Manx Steam Railway and (4) The Groudle Glen Railway. This walk focuses on Number (2), The Snaefell Mountain Tramway.

The walk is mainly uphill and goes from the lowest point, Laxey, just a few feet above sea level, up to Snaefell, the highest peak on the Island at 2037 feet. The return leg is via the Mountain Railway which takes you along the dramatic valley of the Laxey River alongside the nearby mountain back to the Laxey centre. The tram you will ride for the return leg is most likely one of the original rolling stock. Some years ago some of the engines were replaced, but the vehicles look like they always did. The scenery hasn’t changed either. The sweeping valley from Laxey provides a view of one of the largest and most attractive valleys on the Island.

The walk is up to Snaefell, and the route skirts the valley, taking in some challenging walking with relentless climbing. You’ll only get on the tram for the return downhill stretch to Laxey. Sheep are spread widely on the Island so it would be wise to ensure that if you bring your dog it is on a lead, is steady towards sheep and is happy to travel on the tram. You will need to negotiate several flights of steps as well as a couple of stiles (wall and fence types). Allow up to 4 hours.

Getting there
There are several means of getting to Laxey, where the walk begins. Firstly by car, and there is adequate free parking next to the Snaefell Mountain Railway terminus in Laxey. Secondly, you could get the bus from Douglas, or elsewhere, to Laxey. Thirdly you could get the Isle of Man Electric Railway from Douglas or Ramsey to Laxey. The return leg for this linear walk is via the Snaefell Mountain Railway, so check timetables before you set out. The website with timetables for the Isle of Man Electric Railway and the Snaefell Mountain Railway can be found at https://www.gov.im/categories/travel-traffic-and-motoring/bus-and-rail/heritage-railways/manx-electric-railway/.

Walk Sections

Start to Ballacollister Road
Start to Ballacollister Road

Start point: 54.2314 lat, -4.4055 long
End point: 54.2282 lat, -4.4072 long

From the tram station, walk towards the main road, with the large church on your right, adjoining the square. At the junction turn left and go along the road for around 100 metres. At the Commissioner’s Office on your left, marked by Manx flags flying outside, you will see across the road, a small set of steps between a shop and a house. The stairs are easy to miss and could be mistaken as a part of the building. What confirms it to be the correct stairway is a route waymarker on the wall. Take these steps. At the top of the steps turn right along a track. At a junction of paths shortly afterwards, turn left and head up. Ignore any markers that take you downwards. You will come to a small road, turn right here. Shortly after you will come to a house with steps to its left. The path is marked by waymarkers. Take these steps, with the house (pictured in the photo for this section) on your right. The climb is fairly steep and some of the ground is pebbly and wet underfoot. After a short distance you will come to another very small road. Cross this and very shortly after you will reach a slightly larger road, Ballacollister Road. Turn right here.

Ballacollister Road to Glen Roy Turn
Ballacollister Road to Glen Roy Turn

Start point: 54.2282 lat, -4.4072 long
End point: 54.2208 lat, -4.4262 long

After 100 metres or so, you will reach a wood on your right. There is no sign, but there is a clear entry for a footpath shortly after reaching the wood. Take the rough path on the right for a very pleasant walk through the wood, avoiding walking on the road. After a short distance you will reach a T junction of paths. Take the right turn which goes down for a short distance before levelling off. The track is well made but does not appear on maps as a path. However it is a forestry track which the owners allow pedestrians to use.

Follow this track until you meet a footpath coming uphill from your right. Join the footpath to go up to the left. This will take you to a picnic area close to the road. Walk out on to the road and turn right. Carry on for about a quarter of a mile until you reach a signpost pointing to Glen Roy on your right. Take this road (shown in the picture for this section).

Glen Roy Turn to Windy Corner
Glen Roy Turn to Windy Corner

Start point: 54.2208 lat, -4.4262 long
End point: 54.2306 lat, -4.4695 long

Follow the road down a long steep hill to the hamlet of Glen Roy. After a bend at the bottom of the hill follow the road as it climbs up. Eventually you will come to a split in the road. The metalled part ends at the drive of a house on your left, but you will take the unmetalled road which goes straight on.

This is an Isle of Man Green Road, which means that off road vehicles may travel it (but rarely do so). It is really no more than a track. Though this track appears innocuous, it climbs consistently from where you join it to where you leave it. In total you will climb approximately 205 metres (700 feet) in a little over 2.5 km (1.5 miles). The scenery as you walk is really beautiful with sweeping hillsides in front of you with the ridge you are going to climb ever present in front of you (shown in the picture for this section).

Eventually you will come to the main road, and a hut next to it, appropriately called Windy Corner. At this stage it is a good place to take a rest in the shelter of the hut, as the next part of the walk also commences fairly steeply.

Windy Corner to The Bungalow
Windy Corner to The Bungalow

Start point: 54.2306 lat, -4.4695 long
End point: 54.2514 lat, -4.4632 long

At the hut on Windy Corner, turn right to take the stile over the stone wall and go up the hill opposite. Take the footpath directly up the hill. After about 400 metres the path divides. Take the right-hand path which continues to climb. It is mot marked on the map of the area, but it is a fairly well used path. Near the top of this part of the hill, you will come to a fence with a stile that leads you across it. Keep high, walking along the plateau, without deviating on any paths or sheep tracks going down (the App's live GPS map will be helpful) until you see the Bungalow Mountain Railway stop adjacent to the mountain road. At this stage you will see more than one track going down to the bungalow.

The photo for this section shows the view from the top looking down on the Bungalow. Make your way down to the Bungalow on the clearest path you can see. At the bottom of the hill, cross the road to reach a car park next to the Bungalow station. To the right of the car park is the gate which you take for the final leg up to Snaefell.

The Bungalow to End
The Bungalow to End

Start point: 54.2514 lat, -4.4632 long
End point: 54.2622 lat, -4.4631 long

The path up Snaefell is clear and well trodden. Follow it up the hill, which starts fairly gently but steepens as the climb progresses. All the time you will see the aerials and mountain restaurant, which you should aim for. The last few hundred metres of the walk are the steepest. The top is a welcome relief. The photo for this section shows the view of the Laxey Valley taken from near the top of Snaefell. The restaurant is well equipped and you can get a range of food there, from snacks to a full meal.

For your return, take the Mountain Railway down the hill and admire the magnificent views as you descend to Laxey.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network Isle of Man Bottom to Top Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and 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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