Isle of Man Things to Do Tips by KristaB Top 5 Page for this destination
Isle of Man Things to Do: 61 reviews and 122 photos
Archaeological excavations are continuously going on at the Rushen Abbey, and if you approach them during official Dig hours, they will explain many interesting things about Rushen Abbey and their work.
Since my elder goddaughter has decided to become an archaeologist, we spent quite some time with the experts, and girls also enjoyed playing in this sandbox full of hidden treasures. They found an "ancient" key, pottery pieces and bone.
But those were plastic strawberries
It was one very influential medieval religious site on the IOM. Located 2 miles from Castle Rushen, it was always an extention of political power of the kings.
The Abbey was built in 1134 and was a home to monks, soon developed into a powerful religious institution and educational center. The monks were living under their strict rules, producing their own food and everything they needed, but soon their influence became strong also on the economy of that area. They had plenty of land, and were lending it to farmers.
In 1540. the Abbey was closed and demolition works started. Stones and building material is now part of many buildings in this part of the island.
When I told my friend Bernie that I'm going to visit the IOM, she told me I should have strawberries at Rushen Abbey - she heard lovely stories from her father.
I was very sad to learn that they don't serve strawberries anymore, it is just a museum, rather interesting one, but it would be great if they would serve strawberries as part of their presentation of Abbey history, because this was famous tourist destination since the beginning of 20th century.
More about Rushen Abbey's interesting history on the website:
Some displays at the museum are very amusing. The one depicting the last King of Mann enjoying his dinner was really impressive. There was even a cat sleeping on the bench, and it looked so real. The guide told me that's because he IS real - Goudrum is probably the most famous Manx cat, spending one of his lives as a star of this castle. He couldn't be bothered. What a character. He gets lost sometimes, but people know him so well, they bring him back to the castle.
This high class cat has obviously chosen the bench by the feast table for his favorite place to have a nap!
Look at him posing at the official Castle Rushen website:
Named also "Lady Isabella", after the wife of former governor of the IOM, it is now the largest still functioning wheel of this kind in the world.
The 22m diameter wheel was designed by Victorian engineer R. Casement and built in 1854 to pump water from the Glen Mooar industrial complex.
It was purchased from private owners by Manx Government in 1965. and was completely restored, together with the surrounding area. Climb up the steep stairs and enjoy the view over picturesque village and towards the sea.
Mind your head in certain odd corners - warning signs are well visible.
The Cregneash village is a living monument which depicts the way people lived here in 19th century. You can observe local customs, crafts and daily life of those times, and you may even see famous Manx cats here.
This village is also working on preservation of traditional farming practices and skills - horse-drawn farming tools, wood processing, weaving and spinning, blacksmith's work - all for real, with purpose.
Address: Cregneash, near Calf of Man
Peel Castle is one of major historical sights of the Isle of Man. Located on St. Patric's Isle near Peel, even though it is a ruin, it certainly is an impressive one. It used to be the most important religious and secular place throughout Manx history, especially in 6th century during conflicts between Manx Christians and Vikings.
Unfortunatelly, after the Sovereignty of the English Crown was ensured in 1765, the castle was loosing it's importance and was left to decay.
After visiting Peel Castle, take a walk to the nearby rocky shore, you'll probably meet some seals. They are actually very interested in observing humans - so they act like tourists just like you do.
Address: Peel, Isle of Man
Odin's Raven Viking ship
This is one of the best museums I've ever vsiited, and my kids were enjoying it very much, too.
It presents Celtic, Viking and Maritime traditions of the island, through high-tech suported installations. You are walking from one room to another, and follow the stories presented through sound, video, robotized dummies and even scents that are released into rooms - while visiting the exhibit that depicts kipper factory, the smell is ... authentic!
The House of Manannan Museum was declared British Museum of The Year twice.
Address: Peel, Isle of Man
Impressive, amazingly well preserved medieval castle is dominating the panorama of Castletown.
Its origins can be traced back to Norse Kings of Mann, who fortified this strategic site in order to protect the entrance to the Silverburn River from the sea.
Central stone tower is the oldest, surrounded by courtyard, which was later surrounded with yet another defence wall.
Inside the castle there is a museum presenting the story of the castle, its inhabitants, rulers and the whole island.
It was the seat of Kings and Lords of Mann through centuries, and even in recent history it served as a symbol of power - being used as a prison.
If you are staying in Douglas, this is the first place you should visit, to get a broad overview over history, way of life and monuments on the Isle of Man.
Many interesting arcaeological exhibits, from minerals and skeletons to postcards and modern artefacts.
Since I was determined to visit many museums and historic locations, I decided to become a member of Manx National Heritage to save on entrance fees. You can do that here at the reception desk.
Calf of Man
This small island is located off the south-western tip of the Isle of Man. It is a home to numerous seabird colonies, and of course there is a bird observatory. Actually, the whole island is a bird sanctuary.
I sat on a bench talking to my friend for almost two hours - the view is truly woneful, especially if you love the sea, crashing waves, seals, seabirds, ships ...
Directions: South-western tip of the Isle of Man
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