The Glen Roy river flows through a deep valley into Laxey and was developed in the mid C19th as a tourist attraction for the increasing numbers of tourist arriving by steam ship to the Island. There was a mass programme of tree planting with secluded walks, bowers and rustic seats. Visitors were charged 3d and there was croquet, lawn tennis and bowling greens as well as a boating lake and dance floor. There were open air concerts and night dances lit by gas lamps. A large family home was built at the entrance of the glen with twelve bedrooms for paying guests. This is now a residential care home for the elderly.
No longer privately owned but part of the Manx Government, the glen is now free to enter and still attracts visitors, although the attractions are no longer there. The boating lake has been filled in and is now a grassy paddock with a small playground and is popular with families.
The formal flower gardens at the start of the glen by the Laxey Glen Cafe are still there. Beyond a network of footpaths and bridges lead up through the wooded glen.
This is one of the less well known and less visited glens and, apart from a family in the playground, I was the only person there. The gardens are very attractive and it is a pleasant and easy walk.
Laxey Glen Gardens are entered off the A2 by the impressive Glen House Care Home and there is a parking area near by. The post code is IM4 7AP and the grid reference is SC 432 844.