5 free things to do on... the Isle of Man

Date Posted: 26/09/2012

The Isle of Man offers groups a variety of free excursions.

Situated in the middle of the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is blessed with an extensive coastline, attractive natural landscapes and unspoilt beaches, and plenty to offer groups for free.

1. Make a wish on Fairy Bridge

Fiercely proud of its diverse culture, heritage and folklore, this sea-bound kingdom has a captivating story to tell.

Legend has it that the island’s name comes from the Celtic sea god Manannan Mac Lir, who protected the land from invaders by shrouding it in a cloak of mist.

On an island full of folklore, you never know what will be around the next bend or hiding in the shadows of wells, caves and bridges.

Fairy Bridge in Santon is said to be a hideaway for fairies, and it is considered bad luck to pass over the tiny white stone bridge without saying hello. Passers-by even leave little messages on the trees next to the bridge, in the hope that their wishes will come true.

2. Climb to the top of Snaefell

Located in the north of the island, Snaefell is the Island’s only mountain, standing at 621 metres above sea level. Walking groups can tackle Snaefell as part of a trek from numerous starting points.

There is a well-worn local saying that from Snaefell, on a clear day, one can see seven kingdoms: Mann, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, and rather more fancifully, Neptune and Heaven.

3. Visit the Manx Museum

Recent years have seen developments with the use of modern display techniques in the museum galleries, which include archaeology, geology, art, social history, folk-lore, maps and natural history.

For group travel organisers looking after people interested in history and architecture, the museum is also responsible for the many ancient monument sites throughout the island.

4. Visit the Glens

The Isle of Man is a natural garden, with over 40 per cent of its land unpopulated and uncultivated.

Seal spotting is a popular pastime amongst visitors to the island.

If you’re feeling energetic, pay a visit to Dhoon Glen near Ramsey, which is one of the steepest. It’s recognised for its rugged beauty, 190 steps, and the highest waterfall on the island, which falls over 40 metres.

Glen Maye, near Peel, also has an enchanting waterfall that leads out to the sea, Tholt y Will, which lies in the shadow of the Snaefell Mountain.

Look closely at Bishopscourt Glen in Kirk Michael and you’ll find a small cave with a carved seat, which is believed to have been used for rest and meditation purposes.

5. Explore the Sound

The Sound coastline in Port St Mary is home to an abundance of coastal birds – including kittiwake, guillemot and puffins - which can be found nesting in the cliffs, on the sandy beaches and in the coastal grasslands and the salt marsh.

The waters around the Sound and Calf of Man, and uninhabited islet just off the coats, are full of wildlife, with seals often surrounding the small rocky inlet known as Kitterland.

Further out into the water, it’s not uncommon to see dolphins and basking sharks gliding through the water.

The walkers among you can also appreciate the coastal footpaths which lead to Port Erin or Spanish Head, Cregneash and the Chasms in Port St Mary.

For further group travel information visit www.visitisleofman.com.

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