Saturday, 18 January 2014

I'm going to the Isle of Man!


            The Sound, Isle of Man         Source:Wiki Commons

I was disappointed at not being able to do the Elbe river cruise I was allocated but I've got a lovely one on the vintage railways of the Isle of Man.

I've wanted to go there for a while after seeing films made there but have to admit I don't know a lot about the island. So I've started a bit of research.


It's a British Crown Dependency and like Jersey & Guernsey it's self governing but they are not part of the UK, The Commonwealth of Nations or the EU. Facts I didn't know. It even has its own flag!




The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea between Ireland and the British Isles and is 33 miles long and 13 miles wide. In 2012 its population was 85,284.

Legend has it that the Irish Giant Finn MacCooill in a battle threw a chunk of earth towards Scotland. It landed in the Irish Sea & it became the Isle of Man.

Now I'm not sure about the legend but it looks a lovely island with a very varied landscape. Its coastline is about 100 miles with some long sandy beaches in the north of the island and rocky cliffs with sheltered bays around the rest of it.

There are lots of things to see and do around the island. With over 10,000 years of history there are ancient monuments, lots of heritage sites, castles, forts, mines as well as parks, nature reserves and wildlife attractions. We'll have a Heritage Pass included in our tour so it will mean we can visit as many places as we like, if we have the time! 

I also found that there are Dark Sky Sites for stargazing. Due to the natural tranquility of the Island there is little light pollution and on occasions you can see the Northern Lights!

Apart from all those things & the lovely scenery there's the railways! We are going on their horse drawn trams which are apparently known locally as Toast Racks! Now when we go on holiday I'm very reuctant to use transport provided by horses as I always worry about how they are treated. Well I checked this one out and it looks like they are very well cared for. They even have a sanctuary, the Home of Rest for Old Horses, where when they retire, usually after about 15 years, the horses are looked after.

Next we go on the Snaefell Mountain Railway which dates from 1895 and is the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles. It takes us to the summit of Snaefell, 2036 feet!

We also travel on a 17 mile journey on the Manx Electric Railway from Douglas to the harbour town of Ramsey in the north east of the island. It's the longest narrow gauge vintage railway in the British Isles and we'll be travelling in the oldest working tramcars in the world!

Another railway we'll be travelling on is the Isle of Man Steam Railway, the island's oldest Victorian rail system which uses restored heritage carriages. Well it all sounds great to me and I hope to get lots of photos. I'll let you know how I get on in May. 

17 comments:

  1. It sounds wonderful...I have friends living there but have never been myself. I love trains though..who did you book through? Look out for the manx cats as well!

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    1. As a cat lover I'll definitely keep an eye out for the Manx cats. Just hope I don't see any strays or I'll be tempted to bring one back home. Don't think they have quarantine for animals coming from IoM!

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  2. I love the idea of a Home of Rest for old Horses. I wonder if there is a place that offers a Home of Rest for old dogs? Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a large island where old or unwanted domestic pets could be sent to live out their final days in loving luxury and freedom? Well we shall now look forward to May when your travel will begin. Is that really the flag for the Isle of Man? Very interesting.

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    1. It certainly would Annie. It could become a great tourist attraction.

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  3. Oh, how beautiful. I think of your part of the world as being very, very green. I've been listening to an audio tape about John Paul Jones' attacks along the English coast during the American Revolution, and it makes me want to see those places.

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    1. Thanks Snowbrush. Hope you are feeling better. I have to admit I didn't know anything about John Paul Jones. Had a quick look & I had no idea that he was Scottish! Also read about his venture around the East coast of England from Leith down to Newcastle. Think they got the bit wrong about the idea being to block the transport of coal from London! The coal was mined in the North & transported down to London. Maybe just a slip of the pen!

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  4. that does sound wonderful. I have never been to the Isle of Man. Can't wait to hear all about your trip.

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    1. Thanks Gill. I can't wait to get snapping. We'll have Heritage passes so we can go to any Heritage site free!

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  5. Wow that sounds like fun! I've never been but it looks beautiful. I can't wait to hear all about it. Don't forget your camera, you always take such good photos!

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    1. You're so kind Joey. Must remember to buy a spare disc for the camera!

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  6. Please take me with you!!!

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    1. No problem Patsy. There's no weight restriction on the ferry! I can easily sneak you aboard in my case.

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  7. Its been so long since I"ve visited you....but will come back today with a cup of tea and stay awhile. Smiles from frigid Pennsylvania.....Maggie Ann

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  8. It sounds wonderful, and such a gorgeous photo!

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  9. This sounds really interesting. I can't wait to see all your photos and stories.

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  10. I've seen films about the Isle of Man recently and it does look fascinating. Do hope you enjoy your trip Winifred, look forward to reading about it. A x

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  11. You have certainly done your homework Winnifred. Two of my neighbours are from the I of M. Lovely place.

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