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The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road[1][2] or Mountain Road[3] (Manx: Giat y Clieau[4]) is a primary main A-road of 13.35 miles (21.48 km) in length[5] which connects the towns of Douglas and Ramsey in the Isle of Man.

A18 shield

Route information
Length13.35 mi (21.48 km)
Major junctions
South endGovernor's Bridge, Douglas
 UK road A2.svg A2 Governor's Road

Old Road’/(A18) Bemahague Road
A39 Hillberry Road/B11 Avondale Road
A6 Johnny Watterson's Lane/C10 Scollag Road
C22 Little Mill Road
B12 Creg-ny-Baa Back Road
U31 Nobles Park Road
B10 Beinn-y-Phott Road
A14 Sulby Glen Road
D28 Hiberian/Roan Road
UK road A3.svg A3 Lezayre Road
UK road A9.svg A9 Ramsey to Andreas Road

North endRamsey
54°19′14″N 4°23′06″W / 54.32056°N 4.38500°W / 54.32056; -4.38500 (A18 road (western end)) 54°10′18″N 4°28′06″W / 54.17167°N 4.46833°W / 54.17167; -4.46833 (A18 road (western end))
Road network



The Mountain Road is part of Isle of Man TT Mountain Course or TT Course,[6] a road-racing circuit used for the Isle of Man TT and Manx Grand Prix races, which have been held in the Isle of Man from 1911 and 1923 respectively. In the races, it is one-way from Ramsey towards Douglas. The racing is held on public roads closed for racing by an Act of Tynwald (the parliament of the Isle of Man). It is the oldest motor-cycle racing circuit still in use. The highest point of the course is on the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road between the Bungalow and Hailwood's Height at Ordnance Survey spot height 422 metres (1,385 feet) above sea level, with gradients reaching 14%.

The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was described in the publication Classic Motor-Sport Routes as:[7]


A18 Snaefell Mountain Road at Guthrie's Memorial Looking North to the Point of Ayre.

The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road runs from the A2 Governor's Road at Governor's Bridge in Douglas north to Ramsey, and includes the A18 Bemahague Road from Governor's Bridge to Signpost Corner with the A39 Hillbery Road junction. As part of the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course, in reverse direction it passes through Cronk-ny-Mona and the road junction with the A6 Johnny Watterson's Lane and the C10 Scollag Road. The A18 Road then passes Hillberry Corner and the junction with the C22 Little Mill Road, Brandish Corner, Creg-ny-Baa, Kate's Cottage, Keppel Gate, the Windy Corner and the B10 Beinn-y-Phott Road road junction with Brandywell.

Continuing north, the A18 Mountain Road passes over the Snaefell Mountain Railway tramway crossing at the Bungalow and the A14 Sulby Glen Road, Bungalow Bridge, Verandah, Stonebreakers Hut, East Snaefell Mountain Gate, Mountain Box, the Mountain Mile including Guthrie's Memorial, 26th Milestone, the D28 Hibernia Road junction at the Gooseneck, Water Works Corner, Ramsey Hairpin and Whitegates. The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road at its northern end includes two small sections of road previously held in private ownership between Cruickshank's Corner and the road junctions with the A9 Ramsey to Andreas Road and the A2 Douglas to Ramsey Road situated in the town of Ramsey.[8]

Origins and HistoryEdit

A18 Snaefell Mountain Road sign in Ramsey.

The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road was developed in the mid-19th century from a number of pre-existing roads, cart-tracks and bridle paths. This included installation of a number of sheep-gates including the East Mountain Gate, the Beinn-y-Phott sheep-gate at Brandywell and Keppel Gate.[9] The section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road from Keppel Gate northwards to the Gooseneck corner near Ramsey was built on common grazing land that was transferred to the Crown following the sale of the Island's feudal rights by the Duke of Atholl after the Disafforesting Commission of 1860.[10]

As the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road is purpose-built, it reflects typical 19th century highway and railway construction practices, with many small-scale cuttings, embankments and revetments, and follows land contours with purpose-built graded sections intersected by right-angle bends, road junctions and sheep-gates.[11]


The A18 Snaefell Mountain Road has small metal milestones[12] from the period of James Garrow as Isle of Man Surveyor-General;[13] they are numbered numerically from Douglas to Ramsey.

National Geographic Top 10 DrivesEdit

In 2014, the National Geographic magazine nominated the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road as No 8 in the Top 10 Driver's Drives.[14]



  1. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 33 Tuesday 8 July 2008
  2. ^ Government Circular No 169/78 page 1&3 SCHEDULE PART I The Manx International Trophy Rally Order 1978 W. H. VINCENT SECRETARY (1978) Isle of Man Highway and Transport Board. 4 August 1978 "1. ABBEYLANDS, EAST BALDWIN, INJEBRECK, BRANDYWELL 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. The Scholague Road from its junction with the A.18 Snaefell Mountain Road to Abbeylands crossroads...."
  3. ^ Government Circular No 71/77 page 1&2 The Regulation of Traffic (T.T. Races) Order 1977 W. H. VINCENT SECRETARY (1977) Isle of Man Highway and Transport Board. 25 March 1977 "....commonly known as the Mountain Road...."
  4. ^ SLIABH (SLIEAU) IN MAN pages 1 to 6 George Broderick (2003) University of Mannheim "3. Moors or areas of upland Giat y Clieau LE SC4189 (roadway-name from adjacent moor) ‘the mountain road’ (geata an t-sléibhe)."
  5. ^ Government Circular No. 1131. pages 1 to 4 Main Roads B. E. SARGEAUNT, Government Secretary Government Office, Isle of Man 25 February 1926
  6. ^ Isle of Man Centenary TT – ACU/MMCC Official Race Guide page 67 Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure (2007) Mannin Media Group Ltd
  7. ^ Classic Motor-Sport Routes page 57 by Richard Meaden 1st Edition (2007) AA Publishing Ltd ISBN 978-0-7495-5225-1 Oriental Press Dubai
  8. ^ A Gazetteer of the Isle of Man pages 172, 258-262 Leslie Qulliam RBV The Manx Heritage Foundation - Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin (2005) Quine and Cubbon Ltd ISBN 0 951 4539 12
  9. ^ Isle of Man Examiner page 5 dated 5 June 1969
  10. ^ The Isle of Man by Train, Tram and by Foot page 57 by Stan Basnett (1990) Lily Publications ISBN 1-899602-72-0 Walk 10 - Abbeylands and Nobles Park to Laxey
  11. ^ Manx Milestones pages 13–17 and pages 57–58 by Stuart Slack (1st Edition)(2003)The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-58-3
  12. ^ Manx Milestones by Stuart Slack pp56-57 (1st Edition)(2003)The Manx Experience ISBN 1-873120-58-3
  13. ^ Isle of Man Examiner dated 3 May 1913
  14. ^ Manx Independent – Manninagh Seyr page 10 TRAVEL Mountain Road is top 10 Drive Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2014) Johnston Press Publishing – Sheffield Web Thursday 18 September 2014 "The Mountain Road has been included in the National Geographic top 10 Drivers' Drives."
  15. ^ "National Geographic Top 10 Drivers' Drives". National Geographic Online. Retrieved 22 November 2014.

External linksEdit