This 28-mile trip from Ramsey to Castletown was done in the summer of 2019, as a ‘dry run’ for the 160 mile run across the Outer Hebrides,
The path was opened in 1979 to mark the thousandth year of the Manx parliament, the Tynwald. It can be done in either direction and is a mix of minor roads, farm tracks and country footpaths. It’s not very busy - there were only a handful of people en route. Signage is pretty good for the most part and there were only a couple of places where wayfinding was a problem.
From the pleasant seaside town of Ramsey, you go along the road until you start to clumb Sky Hill and then stay on the ridge, going along the west side of the island’s highest point, Snaefell (620m). The highest point on the path itself is at 450m near Beinn-y-Phott. You then reach the small settlement of West Baldwin before continuing along the eastern side of Slieau Ruy and then descend into the village of Crosby, which has shops, a pub and buses to Douglas and Peel. The second part of the journey is much flatter and uses a number of very quiet roads to reach Ballasalla, which has some beautiful buildings. Finally you travel along the Silver burn and alongside a steam railway into historic Castletown.
Photos from the path itself can be found here ›
The journeys to and from Ramsey and Castletown involve ferries, electric trains and steam trains. All were very enjoyable. Photos here ›:
And of course, it’s well worth looking round the rest of the island while you’re here. The Laxey Wheel, the Snaefell Mountain Railway and Douglas itself are all well worth a visit. Photos here ›: