The Isle of Man – Day 8

Our last day on the island.

As our ferry was not leaving until 3pm we managed to fit in a visit to the Laxey Wheel, and Peel Castle, both opening to the public this morning for the first time in months.

The Laxey Wheel is the largest water wheel in the world. It was designed to pump water from underground so that the miners could work safely.

Peel Castle was originally built in the 11th century by Vikings.

Looking out over the beach and harbour.
Overlooking the bay with all the scallop shells.

After lunch we headed back to Douglas to board the catamaran, Manannan, back to Liverpool

Our stay on the Isle of Man was over, but after dinner with family in Wallasey, we drove to Bangor in Wales to continue our travels.


The Isle of Man – Day 7

We were up and away early this morning ready for our boat trip around The Calf of Man. When we arrived at Port St Mary we received a text from Steve to say that the trip had been cancelled due to the wind! We went to the breakwater to see the boat and met Steve there. He and his father have been doing trips in the same boat for 40 years.

Port St Mary
When I saw the size of the boat I was quite relieved the trip was not going ahead!

We drove to the Calf of Man, and it was, indeed, very windy!

We carried on to Douglas and saw the Grandstand at the starting point of the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorbike races. The race covers 37 miles of public roads, with bikers doing average speeds of 135 miles an hour! The race has not taken place for two years due to Covid.

After lunch in Douglas we drove to St John’s to see Tynwald Hill. The word Tynwald is of Viking origin, meaning Parliament field. On 5th July every year the Manx Parliament meet here and new laws are claimed. This parliament is over 1000 years old and is the oldest parliament in the world with an unbroken existence.

We drove back to Peel and sat by the beach with an ice cream.

The tide was in.

Later, in the evening, we went back to the beach.

The tide was out.

The sand was absolutely covered in scallop shells.

We also saw jellyfish.

Tomorrow is our last day on the island …… but not the last day of the holiday!

More to come,


The Isle of Man – Day 6

We had a drive across the hills seeing some of the sights we glimpsed from the tram yesterday.

The largest reservoir on the island, the Sulby Reservoir, opened in July 1983.
We carried on into Ramsey.
A steel arched swing bridge, opened in 1892, 64m long, crosses the River Sulby at the entrance to the harbour.

We watched the bridge swing open.

We had lunch overlooking the bridge, then drove to Laxey. Due to Covid the Laxey wheel has been closed to visitors until now. Today it was open for a private group but on Friday it opens to the public, so we will be back!

We tried to visit the Knockaloe Centre, just down the road from our cottage, but found this notice on the door …

Tomorrow is our last full day on the island. Fingers crossed for a calm day tomorrow!


The Isle of Man – Day 5

Although today dawned very foggy we stuck with our plan and drove through the fog across the hills to Douglas. We got on a tram on the Manx Electric Railway to the end of the line at Ramsey, 17 miles of stunning scenery.

After a light lunch at Ramsey we got the tram back to Laxey, roughly half way back.

At Laxey we got the Snaefell Mountain Railway to the highest point on the island.

We passed the Laxey Wheel, the largest water wheel in the world.
At the summit
The view
We passed a lead mine
Back on the Manx Electric Railway we headed back to Douglas.
We returned to our car and drove back to Peel ….
… for a walk along the beach.

It turned out to be a beautiful day after a cold and misty start at 13°, ending up a sunny and warm 24°.

More to come …


The Isle of Man – Day 4

Today started off a bit showery so we drove to Castletown to visit Castle Rushen, one of Europe’s best preserved mediaeval fortresses. The spiral stone staircases are worth the climb for the views at the top!

Three baby seagulls can be seen on the top of the tower.

The rooms contained sights and sounds (but thankfully not the smells) of castle life!

We drove back to Peel and had a lovely lunch in ‘The Creek’ pub by the harbour.

Creek fish pie

After lunch we popped across the road to The House of Manannan, an interactive museum that uses video, audio and authentic recreations to bring the island’s Celtic and Viking history to life (and this one did include smells!).

Part of the museum is housed in the old railway station building.
The kipper display was very fishy.
Through the window can be seen the pub we had lunch in.
This recreation actually passes through the window to the room behind.

Tomorrow looks to be a lot brighter so we will be off up Snaefell.

Hope you are enjoying the photos


The Isle of Man – Day 3

We drove to the northernmost tip of the island – Point of Ayre. We couldn’t go on the pebble beach as the Arctic terns were nesting.

Then we continued on to Ramsey, the second biggest town on the island.

The tide was in so there was no golden sand!
Ramsey harbour
Mooragh Park and boating lake, built in 1887.

We went to Groudle Glen, a popular Victorian destination, with a lovely walk down into the Glen, followed by a short trip on a little steam train to Sea Lion Rocks.

Sea Lion Rocks station at the end of Groudle Glen

We saw some seals.
Outside Groudle Glen we saw a tram on the Manx Electric Railway. Maybe another day ….

The Isle of Man – Day 2

This morning we drove to Port Erin to catch the steam train to Douglas.

We used our ‘Go Explore’ tickets which allow unlimited travel on all trains and buses for a period of 5 days.

At Douglas station we saw the platform for Isle of Man pupils of Hogwarts.

We visited the Manx Museum before getting the train back to Port Erin.

Manx cats have no tails, this one is an exhibit in the museum.
The beach at Port Erin

We had a drive to the southern end of the island, pausing to allow a herd of cows to go past!

A smaller island, the Calf of Man, is situated at the southern tip. More about this later in the week hopefully.

Back at our cottage we had time for a laze in the hot tub before dinner.

More tomorrow,


The Isle of Man – Day 1

We left Liverpool this morning on the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company catamaran.

We arrived in Douglas two and three quarters of an hour later after a very smooth crossing.

Arriving at Douglas

We drove across the island to Peel and had a look round before heading to our barn conversion cottage near the little village of Patrick.

Peel Harbour
Hawthorns Cottage at Ballacallin Court
Living accommodation is on the first floor …
… to take advantage of the amazing views.
Peel Harbour with Peel Castle in the background.

After a fish and chip supper, overlooking the sea, we walked round the outside of the castle.

Bye for now, more to come tomorrow