The Isle of Man!

These web pages are an appreciation of much that is wonderful in and around the Isle of Man.
If you have never been, think of all the best bits of Great Britain and put samples of all of them in an island - roughly the shape of Nottinghamshire, but a bit smaller. We have lost count of the number of times we have visited something new and just gone "Wow!".
Here, however, are some tasters -- designed for walkers and/or bygone railway afficianados - but mostly accessible by all from nearby roads.

This column contains walks we have done on the Isle of Man - including designated walks such as the Coastal Path and the Herring Way. This column contains other walks - mostly along disused railway lines - including other features found along the way.
The Isle of Man Coastal Path: the "Way of the Gull"
The "Way of the Gull" is "Raad na Foillan" in Manx gaelic. This is over 90 miles - but there is much more to it than just walking round the coast!
Day 1: Douglas to Castletown
Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary,
Day 3: Port St Mary to Port Erin,
Day 4: Port Erin to Dalby,
Day 5: Dalby to Peel,
Day 6: Peel to Kirk Michael,
Day 7: Kirk Michael to Point of Ayre,
Day 8: Point of Ayre to Ramsey,
Day 9: Ramsey to Laxey
Day 10: Laxey to Douglas.

The Herring Way: the "Bayr ny Skeddan"
The Herring Way (in Manx gaelic the "Bayr ny Skeddan") and is a rather shorter walk (about 14 miles) across the island from Peel to the earlier island capital of Castletown.

Firstly the former railway route from Douglas to Peel
The Isle of Man Railway: Douglas to Peel
and the Knockaloe Branch

The former routes from St Johns to Ramsey or Foxdale.
The Manx Northern Railway: St Johns to Ramsey"
The Foxdale Railway
'Under construction'!

Other IoM railways:
The Glenfaba Brickworks Tramway
The Douglas Head Railway
The Ramsey Pier Railway

Useful, external IoM railway links:
(NB. Links to specific lines on above pages)
Disused IoM Stations - with much history of lines.
'D.J. Norton Photos' - excellent 1960 images
Manx Electric Railway Soc. - facebook page
Douglas Southern Electric Tramway
Marine Drive History
IoM Data File
The fictional island of Sodor!

Important Preamble!
Fairy Bridge - where every trip to the Island should start. Do this before you make camp, go to Tescos or anything else. Make your peace with the fairies and ask for them to guard over your presence and make them an offering accordingly. Its only fair. So what if you don't believe in fairies? Do it anyway, just in case!
Fairy Bridge - examining the offerings (and I don't mean the wife!)
The actual bridge
Just one of many ribbons and trinkets
Only after you've been to Fairy Bridge should you go to your campsite or hotel. We recommend this one very highly.

And so to the walks...

Generally, photographs actually on the routes will be on the left. Photographs on the right, however, will be of other places of interest arond the island. Some within easy reach of the walks - some not so near - as you will see.

For example, stuck incongruously by a farm gate at Ballafreer - near Glenlough - is 'The White Lady of Ballafreer'. Nobody seems to know the origin of this curious figure.
Glenlough campsite, as well as being fairly central to the island, is a great place to watch the weather change. Here (at its busiest during TT fortnight 2006) we see rolling cloud creep sinisterly over the western mountain range. Racing was stopped shortly after!

It was also supposedly near here that John Martin draw inspiration for his vast, magnificent painting "The Plains of Heaven" - which hangs in the Tate Gallery.

On the hill range to the south of Glenlough are the remains of ancient settlements at Braaid.
Here are the remains of iron age hut circles...
06062008-013-braaid.jpg long houses...
06062008-020-braaid.jpg well as superimposed Roman occupation!
For the uninitiated, heading out of Heysham, across the Irish Sea to "The Island!". This is on board the Ben-My-Chree. Note the lorry containers on the deck below. This outward journey takes about 3 hours.