The Isle of Man!

Coastal Path Day 4: Port Erin to Dalby,

Go to: Day 1: Douglas to Castletown, Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary, Day 3: Port St Mary to Port Erin, Day 5: Dalby to Peel, Day 6: Peel to Kirk Michael, Day 7: Kirk Michael to Point of Ayre, Day 8: Point of Ayre to Ramsey, Day 9: Ramsey to Laxey Day 10: Laxey to Douglas.
Looking back to Port Erin from the north side, climbing towards Bradda Head. This part of the path passes through a public park and gardens.
A little further on we can look back to the lifeboat station and the Marine Biological Station across the bay where yeserday's walk route descended.
Another look back at Port Erin and across the isthmus to Port St Mary.
Milners Tower on Bradda Head.
A view south from the top of Milners Tower with the Calf of Man in the distance. Although the weather looks gloomy, it was actually quite pleasant walking.

There is a saying on the Isle of Man that if you don't like the weather where you are, either cross to the other side of the island or wait fifteen minutes for it to change! This day was a case in point.

Yet another view looking back at Port Erin - this time from the top of Milners Tower.
Looking north from Milners Tower along this days path.
A final shot to the north west from Milner Tower.
The remains of an old mine on Brada Head with Milners Tower now receding.
Onto a nice easy path upwards amongst the heather... Idyllic!
What a beautiful day! Milners Tower against the Calf of Man in the distance.
Looking forward to a pleasant climb in the sunshine - with a stiffening offshore wind. Then we realised that the path, as in so many cases, runs between the wall and the cliff edge. This looks easy in the photo but, by the time we reaced the wall, the wind was so severe that we decided that to procede would be foolhardy on this day and so retreated for a calmer day.
Another day we continued this path - and wondered what all the fuss had been about previously! This approaching the sumit of Bradda Hill.
Looking across the island yet again towards Port St Mary. We have found this constant review of earlier landmarks quite fascinating.
In the next two photos the look back shows a miniaturised Milners Tower barely visible against the sea.
SWMBO is rather diminished in this distance shot too!
The way ahead. This day's schedule climbs three peaks of increasing amplitude; Bradda Hill 234m, Lhiattee ny Beinn 301m and Cronk ny Arrey Laa 437m.

In the distance, in the lee of the next promontory, is the diminutive settlement of Niarbyl.

Proudly reaching the cairn at the summit of the first peak: Bradda Hill.
The descent to Fleshwick Bay is somewhat steep and consists of a narrow path between bracken - down which we nimbly leapt from rock to rock like mointain goats. Or maybe not :-)
The route of our precipitous descent. See it? A barely visible zig zag through the green on the left.

As we climbed down we had been aware of someone lurking in the bracken near the path. This turned out to be a member of a film crew filming The Decoy Bride who asked us to wait between 'takes'.

No problem. After only a few minutes welcome rest we passed the film cast and crew in a gateway. I was sure I had seen David Tennant (the erstwhile Dr Who). This, we found out later, was true. Quietly, we started our second ascent.

At the bay itself were some of the film crew vehicles.

Yes, David Tennant really was one of those dots amongst the distant group, as we looked back up the valley whence we had come.
As we climbed we looked back and inland towards Fleshwick Plantation and our route down from Bradda Hill on the right.
After a initial steep section from Fleshwick Bay, the climb up Lhiattee ny Beinn is easy along this track.
Looking back again...
Reaching the summit of Lhiattee ny Beinn we look ahead to the summit of the final peak: Cronk ny Arrey Laa
First though we have what looks an easy descent but which turned out to be horrendous scramble down a mobile stone path edged with intractible heather. Rather like walking on marbles!
As we descended, so did the cloud. By the time we reached the distant road the summit of Cronk ny Arrey Laa was completely hidden. Therefore we decided to follow the 'alternative route' via the road on the next stage. We will do the peak of Cronk ny Arrey Laa on another occasion!
Looking back toward The Sheepfold with Lhiattee ny Beinn in the distance and Cronk ny Arrey Laa here to the right.
Reaching the road summit, we bear down the lefthand trackway. Near here also is a convenient path leading straight to the summit of Cronk ny Arrey Laa.
Along a road not too far from here is 'Magnetic Hill'. This section of road gives an optical illusion whereby the road appears to be sloping the opposite way from which it is. Personally I wasn't too convinced - being more fascinated by the huge piles of empty scallop shells deposited along the ditches on the other side of the road!
Although loose stone, this trackway is steady walking as we descend once again, leaving Cronk ny Arrey Laa behind.
Looking forward on the descent toward Kerrodhoo Plantation.
The track gradually diminishes and becomes the sole reserve of sheep - and of course the occasional walker. One thing that has surprised us is how few people seem to do this coastal path. Some days we only saw one other serious walker - but usually we met none! This seems rather surprising - and rather a shame. Just one purpose of this series of web pages is to encourage more visitors - whether walkers or visitors of any sort.
Approaching Burrane, the sheep path seems to become a sheep slide! This is solid rock, well polished by water and multiple bottoms - presumably the sheep regularly frolic down here when no one is watching?
Looking south again, we see the three peaks and the approaching rain clouds!
Turning abrubtly left at the first house in Burrane, we start a minor - but very worthwhile detour - onto the original route of the coastal path. For some reason, the modern route misses out the absolute gem of Niarbyl Bay.
With the cafe above Niarbyl Bay just visible in the distance, we prepare to descend to the beach at Traie Vane.
Hidden on the beach is this little wooden cottage.
This waterfall provides an unusual spectacle as it falls to the beach.
Behind the camera, in this longer shot of the waterfall, we found a dead sheep. Nothing unusual in that you might think, but we later read of the old 'Dalby Outrages' and wondered whether they had returned?
After climbing a set of steps back up from the beautiful secret beach at Traie Vane we wound along the grassy cliff edge towards the cliff-top cafe at Niarbyl.
However, before reaching the cafe, there is one more descent to the Niarbyl settlement itself. This is one of the most exquisite places on the island - where a couple of iconic thatched fisherman's cottages have been restored.
Some fishing still goes on from here.
It is down the winding, narrow road behind these cottages that most tourists arrive. It is up the same road that we leave - but beware of oncoming traffic!
This is the view from one of the rocky outcrops in the bay. These host a fascinating mixture of rock pools and bird life - along with the occasional seal. The roof of the cafe is just visible atop the cliff to the left.
After climbing the hill via the narrow road, there are fabulous views down the coast from where we have come. It is just a magical place.
Go to: Day 1: Douglas to Castletown, Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary, Day 3: Port St Mary to Port Erin, Day 5: Dalby to Peel, Day 6: Peel to Kirk Michael, Day 7: Kirk Michael to Point of Ayre, Day 8: Point of Ayre to Ramsey, Day 9: Ramsey to Laxey Day 10: Laxey to Douglas.