Marhofn 93.05 - May 2003

Previous | Contents | Next

Manx musings

Andrew Hyams

I celebrated passing 500 by treating myself to region 29, the five Manx Marilyns, in March 2003. The best hill on the island is actually its only SubMarilyn. North Barrule is at the end of a long switchback ridge which I tackled from Black Hut (SC405886) on the TT course. On a clear day I suspect you can see southern Scotland and the Lake District, but the haze barely permitted a view of Ramsey.

Snaefell summit clutter (photo: Ann Bowker)

Snaefell summit clutter (photo: Ann Bowker)

I tackled Snaefell from the same place. The map does not show a right-of-way but there is a stile at the back of the car park and some evidence of a path. This is marginally better than the tourist route from Bungalow. The summit is a dreadful clutter: two large comms masts with associated buildings, as well as the tramway terminus and a cafe. A combination of the worst of The Cairnwell and Snowdon.

Day one was completed by a quick trip up Slieau Freoaghane from the car park in Druidale (SC355881). It is worth noting that the right-of-way is incorrectly marked even on the latest (silver) edition of Landranger 95. It joins the by-way ESE of the summit, not at the northern saddle as shown on the map.

South Barrule was up and back in forty minutes from Round Table. Access is also possible from a car park to the east, offering the possibility of a traverse 'given a cooperative driver', to borrow the immortal words beloved by SMC guidebooks.

The last two hills could be done separately and quickly but I combined them into a five-hour figure of eight: Port Erin - Bradda Head - Bradda Hill - Ballaglonney - Port Erin - coast path via Bay Fine, Calf Sound and Bay Stacka - Creagneash - Mull Hill - Port Erin. The cairn beyond a very difficult barbed-wire fence on Bradda Hill is the southern top. The true top is 300 metres on and freely accessible from the coast path.

Mull Hill has been heavily adapted by man (or even Man). It was clearly the site of an anti-aircraft battery. The pill-boxes are higher than various (probably man-made) mounds of earth. While I was visiting them trying to confirm the highest point, someone drove up from Creagneash in a car. The best approach is from the north side where there is a small stone circle. Beware the gorse bushes when venturing off piste.

Three reasons why March is a good time for a Man trip:

Previous | Contents | Next