This route makes use of two footpaths from Little London, a humorously named hamlet in the west of the island. I have looked these paths on the map and have been meaning to do this loop – with a short diversion to the top of Slieau Ruy – for years, finally getting around to it this week.
There are several lay-bys on the minor road to Little London near the even more minor road to the pony trekking stables along which the route starts. This lead steeply down the lane to a small bridge over the stream which will go on to join the Blaber River and flow through Glen Helen.
After just a few metres another stream needs to be crossed, this time on a few slippery stepping stones. On this occasion it had been raining overnight and there wasn’t really a way to avoid wet feet.
We followed the lane uphill past the interesting tholtan of Ballasayle.
At a gate and stile we turned left along the footpath which is a hard going for a few hundred metres until a gate onto a heathery path through the sparse conifers is reached.
Very pleasant walking took us to another gate and the large track along which the mountain bike End2End heads south from Brandywell to St Johns.
This track is crossed and the heathery path continued, eventually reaching a sheepfold and then a steep climb up onto the Lhargee Ruy ridge.
Great views back along the route over Lamb Fell to the west.
Once on the ridge we turn south towards the summit of Slieau Ruy, a fine view point for the surrounding hills and right down to Langness.
After some lunch we then retraced our steps to the head of the path and then onto the top of Lhargee Ruy – a small cairn to the left of the path, not the prominent cairns further north.
After heading back over to the path and past the cairns on the knolls we raced the large metal signpost which looks so out of place on the hills. The path back to Little London splits form the main track to Brandywell here and follows the hillside, past a nice stream in a gully, through some trees and again crosses the End2End track. Through the gate, through more trees to the top of the farmland.
Here an ingenious stile crosses a fence and a wall.
We followed the edge of the field down to a track and then the Little London Road and turning right returned to the car.
This walk really does feel quite remote at times and crosses the empty centre of the island. The chances of meeting anyone else along here a fairly small.
Including the usual relaxed lunch break this walk took us just over three hours and was 11km long.