In October we took a long weekend and visited the Isle of Man. The IoM is located in between Ireland and Great Britain. It’s not part of the United Kingdom, but the Queen is the Lord of Mann, you don’t need a passport to get there from the UK, they use the Royal Mail, and the Manx pound is exactly equal to the British pound.

We took the Steam Packet ferry from Liverpool. The ferry company has been operating since 1830. The ride over was rather rough. We shouldn’t have been surprised considering the piles of barf bags strategically placed around the cabin.

After arriving in Douglas we settled in to our accommodations and set out in search of CAMRA pubs.

Waking up the next morning we paid a visit to the museum to learn about Manx history and the TT Races before setting off towards Laxey to see the world’s largest working waterwheel.

We stopped for lunch at the Shore Hotel brewpub near Laxey harbor.

After lunch we took a path from behind the pub towards the Laxey Wheel. The wheel, known as “Lady Isabella”, was built in 1854. It pumps water out of the adjacent mines.

After the excitement of the Wheel we headed to Peel Castle. The castle is in ruins, but was pretty big and had great views of the Irish Sea. We could see all the way to Ireland!

We spent that night in Port Erin. Port Erin sits right on a bay surrounded by rugged coastline. The town has definitely seen better days as there were lots of gorgeous looking buildings all boarded up and crumbling. Luckily the Bay Hotel is still serving up pints of Bushy’s “ale of Man” and we had a relaxing, tasty dinner.

The next morning we went on a walk from Port Erin, down around the tip of the island to see the Calf of Man, then back up the other side of the island to Cregneash. The coastline was gorgeous. And we saw a seal!

Cregneash is a picturesque traditional Manx village that is now a living museum. We had tea and wandered around looking at the rare four-horned Manx Loaghtan sheep and tail-less Manx cats.

On the way back to Port Erin we visited the Meayll Stone Circle and a nearby WWII direction finding station.

After our hike we drove to Castletown, the former Manx capital. Castle Rushen, the castle that gives Castletown its name, and the adjacent pub are pictured on the Manx five pound note. This makes the Castle Arms (aka the “Gluepot”) the only pub to feature on a banknote!

Castle Rushen still has a roof and several rooms inside are made up to look like they would have during the castle’s heyday. The castle is currently inhabited by terrible looking mannequins.

A fun, very Manly trip!

Full Album