Travel News

How I conquered the Isle of Man’s summit trails | Isle of Man

How I conquered the Isle of Man’s summit trails | Isle of Man

There’s a magic pool in Ballaglass Glen. Scored deep into the ancient flagstone, amid the oak, larch and beech, it’s fed by a cascade, spangled with shafts of sunlight and probably hides mooinjer veggey – Manx Gaelic for the mythical “little people”. As I slid my tired legs into the numbingly cold water, I felt a sense of exhilaration.

It had been the most glorious of days, tackling my first of the island’s eight new summit walks; between them, these medium-to-challenging routes conquer 25 of the Isle of Man’s 300-metre-plus peaks. The island might not be big – just 33 miles by 13 miles at its longest and widest points – but it has plenty of rugged terrain and satisfying highs.

Home of the mythical mooinjer veggey: Ballaglass Glen. Photograph: Sarah Baxter

And – according to Kate Bergquist, an Isle of Man walking ambassador and the founder of Soul Adventures – untapped adventure. Kate helped create the summit walks to entice hikers away from the coast, to show there’s more to Man than sedate sightseeing and seashore. “The uplands are very different,” she tells me. “You get the big views, of all seven kingdoms: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Man, Sky, Sea.”

I’d taken the ferry from Liverpool to the island to see if I, woman, could master Man in three days, car-free. Day one, on which I met Kate aboard the Snaefell Mountain Railway – which has been joyfully clattering up to the island’s 620-metre zenith since 1895 – was a win. The wind was insistent but the sky clear and blue as we left the train-trippers for the seven-mile north-east summits five peaks challenge route. “She’s a bit juicy,” Kate grinned.

We were following an empty, undulating ridge, bound for pointy North Barrule – at 565 metres the island’s second-highest peak. Along the way we chatted about all sorts, from the reinstating of Manx-language place names on maps to the Moddey Dhoo, a black dog said to haunt the land. We ate Manx bonnag, the most delicious spiced soda bread. And we gazed over everything: the flat northern plains, the ravine-nicked south, the navy chop of the Irish Sea, the distant Lake District.

The mountain railway has been running since 1895. Photograph: Sarah Baxter

Kate is passionate about the benefits being in nature can have on mental health. “No one’s ever felt worse after a walk in a…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Travel | The Guardian…