Isle of Man Coastal Path
Raad Ny Foillan - The Way of the Gull; The Millennium and Herring Ways
By Aileen Evans
Guidebook to walking the Isle of Man coastal path, the Way of the Gull (Raad ny Foillan). The spectacular 98 mile route is described in 9 stages and takes in beaches, glens, moorland and rugged sea cliffs. It can be walked in around a week. Two other paths, the Millennium Way (Bayr ny Ree) and the Herring Way (Bayr ny Skeddan), are also described.
SeasonsYear-round walking on the Isle of Man is possible, although spring and summer weather is best. April, May and June are driest; May, June and July are sunniest; July and August are warmest.
CentresDouglas, Ramsey, Castletown, Port Erin, Peel, Kirk Michael
DifficultyMainly coastal walking with short ups and downs. Stages up to 15 miles long.
Must SeePoint of Ayre, historic Laxey, the cliffs and secluded bays and inlets of the south and west and the remote west coast. Sea life and birds.
Raad ny Foillan (The Way of the Gull) is a 98-mile footpath around the Isle of Man. The route description is set out as a circuit and split into stages, with the longest walk being 15.5 miles and the shortest being 7 miles. Any fast walkers may wish to complete two stages per day, while those progressing at a more leisurely pace may decide to amble along and take in the splendid attractions along the way. There are two other walks described in this guidebook. The 23 mile Millennium Way, which follows the ancient route of the kings, from Ramsey to Castletown, and the 14 mile Herring Way, which takes a more traditional route from Peel to Castletown. Both these routes cross the hills of the island's interior and can be combined to make an interesting longer walk.
How to get there
The best time to walk
Tides and times
Maps and compasses
Nature along the footpaths
1 Raad ny Foillan: The Way of the Gull
Stage 1 Douglas to Castletown
Stage 2 Castletown to Port St Mary
Stage 3 Port St Mary to Port Erin
Stage 4 Port Erin to Peel
Stage 5 Peel to Kirk Michael
Stage 6 Kirk Michael to Point of Ayre
Stage 7 Point of Ayre to Ramsey
Stage 8 Ramsey to Laxey
Stage 9 Laxey to Douglas
2 The Millennium Way
Stage 1 Ramsey to Crosby
Stage 2 Crosby to Castletown
3 Bayr ny Skeddan: The Herring Way
Bayr ny Skeddan The Herring Way
Appendix A Glossary of Manx words
Appendix B Selected bibliography
Appendix C Route summary
Appendix D IOM Coastal Footpath accommodation list
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158km footpath around the coast of the Isle of Man
This guide follows the 158km footpath around the coast of the Isle of Man with a few pages at the end to include a couple of inland routes. Author Aileen Evans is particularly interested in plants and other wildlife but comes to this book with a fine pedigree of production of Cicerone guides and a background of outdoor sports. Her climbing allows her to talk about the safety of the varied cliffs. Several decades ago she was one of our top slalomists and she comments on the sea conditions in more detail than is usual in walking guides, noting overfalls, races and tidal flows with their speeds.
Unusually, the maps are arranged to give the direction of travel from left to right across the page so north can be in any direction. Travelling clockwise on the coastal path means that land is at the bottom and sea at the top, perhaps the opposite of what the paddler might prefer. Also unusual are the number of full page photographs, the sea included in a high proportion.
As usual there are details of logistics such as transport there and on the island, weather, accommodation, where to get free parking discs, tides and tidal constants, maps, geology, wildlife and history of the island, giving a brief background to this independent island in the Irish Sea.
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Aileen Evans has spent all her life enjoying climbing, walking and travel. She is author or co-author of several Cicerone guides, mainly to the Lake District, where she and her husband Brian have spent many years walking and climbing.View Articles and Books by Aileen Evans