Isle of Man

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Date of travel

August, 2019

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Travelled with

Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

I spent another two weeks on the Isle of Man with the family in August, based in Port Erin at the south of the Island. We were there the “previous year”: when I covered all the main historical attractions as well as using the steam train and Manx Electric Railway. I gave them a miss this year, apart from Peel Castle and Rushen Abbey which I love.

The weather wasn’t as good this year and we had one day of very heavy and persistent rain – an excellent reason to spend the day at the “Manx Museum”: in Douglas. This had been on the list last year but with two weerks of wall to wall sunshine, it seemed a shame to be inside. It is a verty well worth while visit and much better than “The House of Manannan”: in Peel which is full of visuals but little information. The Manx Museum is the place to go if you want to learn about Manx History.

Since the previous year, I’d had a knee replacement so was able to WALK! this meant that I could now get to places which had been too far from public transport the previous year. I was able to walk to the delightful “St Adamnan’s Church”: with its C6th Cross still standing in the churchyard. Another day I walked to the equally isolated “Old Church of St Runius.”:

“Braddan Old Church”: with its unspoilt Georgian interior and Celtic crosses was another highlight.

I was also able to walk to find the isolated “Cashtal yn Ard,”: one of the largest and best preserved Neolithic burrows in Britain, along with “Ballafayle Cairn”: with the tiny and forgotten “Quaker Burial Ground.”:

The Celtic and Norse Settlements at “The Braaid”: were another highlight.

There is loads of walking on the Isle of Man from the serious long distance routes of “Raad ny Foillan,”: the footpath round the coast. “Bayr ny Skeddan,”: the Herring Road goes from Castletown to Peel. “The Millennium Way”: is a cross country route from Castletown to Ramsey.

There are also many shorter routes which can either be done as a circular or one way using public transport. I did several of these. The climb to the top of “Bradda Head”: was my first and it was wonderful to be on top of a hill again (even though it wasn’t a very high one! The views were superb and this was a highlight of the holiday.

Then there was the “walk”: from Cregneash to the Chasms and onto Port St Mary.

I also walked from Balladoole to Castletown which took me past “Chapel Hill”: which is possibly the most important archaeological site on the Island and then past “Scarlet Point,”: important for its geology.

Another “walk”: I enjoyed was from Castletown to St Michael’s Isle. I was tempted to extend this to include all of the Langness Peninsula but decided the knees weren’t quite that good!

Then there are the Glens which were developed as tourist attractions for the Holiday Makers who were charged to enter. Now they are in the care of Manx Government and free to enter. Visitors can still enjoy attractions like the wonderful Victorian roundabout powered by a waterwheel in “Silverdale Glen.”: The small waterwheel at “Groudle Glen”: has recently been demolished as unsafe, although there are plans to rebuild it. “The Groudle Glen Railway”: still runs although the zoo with polar bears and sea lions is long gone…

Other glens like “Ballaglass”: are all about scenery. This is one of the more dramatic glens with the stream falling down through a series of small waterfalls and gorges. It is particularly impressive after rain.

I had no difficulty in filling the fortnight and still have things on the list for another visit…. If you’ve never been to the Isle of Man, I can whole heartedly recommend it. It is a “wonderful place”: and crams so much into a small area. There really is something for everyone. It is also wonderfully laid back and the people are so friendly and welcoming. “Public Transport”: is so good you don’t actually need a car. And finally don’t forget to say ‘hello’ to the little people as you cross the “Fairy Bridge….”:


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