Start/finish: Douglas Promenade (grid ref SC 383/763, postcode IM1 2HJ).
Location details: The Isle of Man sits just over 60km off the English coastline in the Irish Sea, almost equidistant from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Famous for the TT motorbike race, but just as welcoming to ‘pushbikes’, the 572km sq island provides some excellent riding, with lots of hills, a mountain in the centre and a population of just 85,000.
Getting there: This route starts from Douglas. Ferries run there from Liverpool and Heysham (www.manxferries.com), or you can fly from various airports to Castletown in the south of the island (www.manxflights.com).
Accommodation/facilities: Inglewood B&B in Douglas is very nice, and bike friendly (www.inglewoodhotel-isleofman.com, 06124 674734). See www.visitisleofman.com for more options. There are no refreshment stops along the route but lots in Douglas. For spares and repairs, visit Bikestyle (www.bikestyle.im, 01624 673576) or Eurocycles (www.eurocycles.co.im, 01624 624909) in Douglas. For general cycling info, head to the Manx Mountain Bike Club website (www.manxmtb.com). Competitive types should check out www.manx100.com, www.manxmtbenduro.com and www.manxe2e.org.
Maps and useful books: Ordnance Survey Landranger 95: Isle of Man. UK Breaks with Bikes by Max Darkins (Rough Ride Guide).
Facing the sea, turn left along the Prom, towards the ‘Electric Railway’ sign. Just before you reach the sign, turn left, on Summer Hill. Go right at the roundabout, through two sets of traffic lights on the A2 and over a bridge, heading uphill.
Turn left on a rough track (Garey Road) by a lone house, uphill. Go right on the B20. Turn left just past a lone house and continue to follow this track as it becomes rougher and passes a farm. Go right on the B12, then immediately right again, up the bank into Conrhenny Plantation. Join the singletrack parallel to the road where available. At the bottom corner of the plantation, rejoin the road.
Take the first left, signposted to Glenroy. Keep ahead on the byway, up a long climb. Cross the A18 (part of the TT course, with no speed limit!) at the top, go over a gate and join a grassy downhill. Continue through a gate. At the bottom, go through/over the stream and continue to the road.
Turn right, uphill, and then right again, towards St Luke’s Church. At the church keep ahead, off road, on the Millennium Way. Follow this to the top, then enjoy the fast descent to the road. Go left on the B10. Keep ahead at a lone house, over a cattle grid. Shortly after a road joins from the left, turn left, through a gate on a rough track.
Go left when the track splits (right is the End to End route) and follow a grassy descent all the way to the bottom of the valley. It looks like the main track stays right on top of the hill – you’re looking for the track to the left that drops slightly downhill.
Follow the track alongside a dry stone wall. Go through a gate, down a grassy track and through a field to a gate and tarmac track. Go through the gate, then right on a section of singletrack, which later leads back to the tarmac track. Turn right, downhill, on this.
Go right on another rough track, downhill to the A23. Keep ahead/right on this to cross the A1/TT course. Go left at the old railway line/Heritage Trail. Follow this track all the way back into Douglas and continue along Peel Road to get back to the seafront.
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Routes produced in association with Rough Ride Guide