(1) Nowhere are there better opportunities of spending a holiday fuller of variety of scene and occupation and healthful exercise. You can at a minimum of expense enjoy there, Yachting and Rowing, Bathing, Coaching, Cycling, Golfing, Sea Excursions, Mountaineering, Cricketing, River, Bay, and Deep Sea Fishing.
(2) Its air is pure and healthful, and after spending a few days on the Island, the tourist returns home with a feeling of fresh life and renewed vigour. Hall Caine in "Little Man Island" says-" I do not know a climate at once more genial and more bracing, or scenery more cheerful and heartsome."
(3) Its scenery is wild and beautiful, and varied enough to suit all tastes and preferences; its cliffs and rocks will amply repay those who venture among them, while its lovely glens, with their waterfalls, streams and woods, seem to shut us in from the busy world with all its sordid cares.
(4) The unique position of the Island enables the Tourist to make very enjoyable sea excursions occupying only a few hours, and at a small cost, to Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Ardrossan, Blackpool, Garliestown, Llandudno, and round the Isle of Man. There are also Excursions from Douglas to the English Lakes, Lakes of Killarney, Giant's Causeway, Edinburgh, etc.
(5) The facilities for seeing the beauties of the Island by Coach, Rail, and Electric Trams, are all that could be desired for comfort and cheapness. The roads of the Island are in excellent condition for Pedestrians, Cycling, 'and Motoring.
(6) The history of the Isle of Man is of great interest. It is a distinct territory from England, and is not governed by English Law. Through its own Legislature it enjoys Home Rule.
(7) The Island is the mildest in winter and coolest in summer of all the Health Resorts.
(8) After the Royal Visit to the Island, in August, 1902, the King expressed his admiration for the beauty of the scenery through which they drove, and the'richness of the landscape.
The Queen said: "I had no idea your Island was such a pretty place, and I hope soon to be able to see more of its charms."
"The wandering rover, who all the world over
From country to country has been,
Can discover nowhere with thee to compare,
O Vannin veg villish veen."
SO sings the Manx patriot. But patriots and poets are not to be trusted too implicitly, and more potent evidence of the many charms of the ISLE of MAN is to be found in its increasing popularity with the holiday-malting throngs which year by year wend their way from the adjacent countries to this little wave-kissed isle in the midst of the Irish Sea. The , strain and stress of modern industrial conditions render a brief respite from toil imperative, and the increasing demand of the multitude for rest and pleasure during the brief summer holiday has led many a bright little coasting town and village to- enter the lists as a popular watering-place. Each no doubt has merits of its own, but the Isle of Man has the distinction of possessing the advantages of all within its borders, and it stands unchallenged as the QUEEN of WATERING-PLACES in the eyes of countless admirers. Its equable climate, scarcely equalled even in the favoured spots of the south; its air laden with that mysterious health-restoring "breath of the sea" which we call ozone, invite the health-seeker. Its mountains bravely clad in gorse bloom in the spring, and in the fragrant purple dress of heather in the late summer, are high enough to command wide-spreading views, the like of which it would be impossible to match elsewhere. Its glens are a proverb of Sylvan beauty, embosomed in perennial verdure, sweet scented, carpeted with moss and ferns, overhung by graceful trees whose branches droop to the babbling stream that runs its musical course over boulders and pebbles to the sea. Its sunny bays are fringed with long stretches of golden sand attractive to the' bathers and the child whose prime joy resides in a bucket ` and spade. Again its iron cliffs on the south and western coasts rise in terrible grandeur many hundreds of feet above the sea, and bid defiance to the restless billows which have surged for ages at their feet. What other spot boasts so many and So varied attractions for the lover of nature? Where else can the weary and dispirited find so much to beguile the thought and brace the nerve?
But the scenic beauty which the Isle of Man boasts is reinforced by all, or nearly all the amenities of twentieth century civilisation. The visitor travels thither in fast and comfortable steamers, he is lodged on his arrival in luxurious fashion in hotel or boarding-house, and when he . has spent his day in driving or walking, or touring by electric tramway, he finds in Douglas a bewildering array of amusements to fill in the evening hours.
Many visitors to the little land of HOME RULE know its national sign of the Three Legs, and its pert motto, " Throw me as you please, I stand," but perhaps all are not aware that the Island was and is an ancient kingdom, that it possessed a PARLIAMENT at a time when ENGLAND was destitute of that commodity, and that it has been governed by its own laws from a remote antiquity. The original inhabitants were Gaelic Celts. The Island came successively under the rule of the Norsemen, the Scotch, and the English, and finally the lordship became vested in the EARLS OF DERBY and the Athol family, until, in 1765, it was merged in the English Crown. But its constitutional rights and privileges remain untouched-a monument to English sagacity and magnanimity-and the HOUSE OF KEYS passes laws for this tiny realm as it did in the Middle Ages, Subject only to the consent of Edward VII. It was an appropriate endorsement to Manxland's claim to be Queen of Watering-places, that in the year of his Coronation, His MAJESTY KING EDWARD, when making a health-seeking tour round the coasts of Britain, should have paid a visit to the Isle of Man and that he and the QUEEN should have expressed enthusiastic admiration of its charms and a hope that they might soon be able again, to visit its shores.
OR practical purposes the visiting season of the Isle of Man commences with Whit-week, and lasts to the end of September. In that period some 400,000 tourists visit its shores and the fast and comfortable steamers of the ISLE OF MAN STEAM PACKET COMPANY'S fleet are busily engaged the summer through in plying between Douglas and Ramsey on the one hand and the surrounding ports of Liverpool, Fleetwood, Glasgow, Dublin, and Belfast on the other. By far the largest influx of visitors comes by way of Liverpool, and from the Prince's Landing Stage, twice a day, with frequent extra sailings, ply the largest and fastest of this Company's steamers-distinguished always by the red funnels with black tops, and the Manx Arms (Three Legs) prominently displayed on the steamers.
The scene on the LANDING STAGE as we embark is a lively one. As the steamer glides to her moorings, the waiting crowd make for the gangways, and the pleasureable excitement of the good-humoured throng, with its attendant luggage, is likely to infect the observer with the holiday spirit at the outset. ; As the steamer with ever-quickening pace throbs down the broad reaches of the Mersey, the traveller feels that he is fairly on his way. On the left we pass the Eiffel Tower at New Brighton, and a little later, as we emerge from between the line of buoys into the open sea, the similar pinnacle at Blackpool may, on a clear day, be seen.far away on the starboard side. On either side there is something to interest. The huge docks that line the Liverpool shore, the great ocean liners lying in mid-stream, and the countless craft of all sorts and sizes which we pass, impress on us that we are in the full stream of that mighty maritime commerce on which England's greatness has been built up.
How gaily and quickly the time passes. Groups of twos and threes saunter leisurely up and down-deck, or lean lazily on the side of the vessel, gazing at the shining water and the' far-off ships. Ladies are,chatting and working, and solitary individuals here and there are scanning the contents of a 'newspaper, while others, driven by the pangs of hunger which the sea air forces an their notice, find in the cabin ready-laid tables with substantial fare at a most reasonable charge.
What is that like a summer cloud rising out of the sea? It is the first glimpse of our destination, the Isle of Man. And quickly the "summer cloud" resolves itself into something more substantial than vapour, as the hills and general outline of the Manx coast become more distinct.
Soon the bay of, DOUGLAS opens out. before you, a beautiful picture framed in by hills and headlands standing out in purple shadows against the summer sky. The mountains stretch in a continuous chain along the horizon, and their sunlit slopes are diversified by the shadowy valleys which intersect them. On the left-hand DOUGLAS HEAD rises steeply 300 ,feet high, with its lighthouse at its foot. On the right, in the distance, Banks' Howe stretches far into the sea, a bold, high promontory, along which in winter the waves break in never-ceasing fury. Between these encircling areas lies the beautiful crescent-shaped bay of Doug. las. Fine promenades fringe the shore line, along which we see people and carriages moving. Behind these rise the spires and roofs of the town mounting to the top of the low hills on which Douglas is built. Scanning the picturesque outline of the bay, we pick out many features of special interest. The line of prim boarding-houses is broken in the centre by wooded cliffs and gardens. In the centre of the bay the great glass roof of the PALACE reflects he rays of the setting sun. Close by is "Falcon Cliff," a white castellated buildihg perched on the top of the steep brows. Nestling in the corner of the northern shore is Derby Castle, a popular resort for visitors. In the foreground, standing a little distance from the mainland, is an Islet with its miniature "TOWER of REFUGE." Passing Douglas Head Lighthouse, and the Breakwater, we draw alongside the Victoria Pier, where a throng of sunburnt holiday-makers await our coming and receive us with many a shout of welcome.
THE FLEETWOOD ROUTE. AN alternative route to the Isle of Man, established by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, is that via Fleetwood. From Whitsuntide to the end of September there are daily sailings from Fleetwood to Douglas and vice versa. This service is found convenient for dwellers in northern and eastern Lancashire and Yorkshire ; and it is also preferred by some on account of the facility,with which BLACKPOOL may be touched from Fleetwood en -route. On arriving at the large and handsome station of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway at Fleetwood, the passenger finds his steamer for Manxland waiting alongside, and his luggage is transferred from train to boat free of charge. The distance by this route is about 17 miles shorter than by Liverpool From Fleetwood we steam at once into the open sea. Southward the only striking object is the Eiffel Tower at Blackpool. On the starboard side Black Coombe brings to an end the long and rugged range that culminates in Scawfell. If the weather be clear, the outlines of the Manx hills are very soon traceable.
Day Excusion - Douglas to Dublin and Back
DUBLIN TO DOUGLAS ROUTE.-Sea Passage about 4½ hours.
BELFAST TO DOUGLAS ROUTE.-Sea Passage about 5 hours.
GLASGOW to DOUGLAS via ARDROSSAN.-Sea Passage about 7 hours. For particulars of Sailings see announcements in this book.
A BIG PLAYGROUND.
THERE is probably no place in the British Islands where the traveller is more cheaply and efficiently catered for than in Douglas. The hotels and boarding-houses on the sea front, and the numerous establishments in other parts of the town, afford ample choice to the visitor. It may be mentioned, however, as a fact that is often overlooked, that Douglas is not the Isle of Man. Douglas is the big metropolis of the big Manx playground, the centre of life and jollity; but there are many winsome spots in Mona's Isle which may possess peculiar charms for the visitor, and much depends on individual preferences. PORT ERIN is a charming little inlet on the south-western coast, possessing a bracing climate; and PORT ST. MARY close by is a quiet spot with good bathing and boating, which is likely to appeal to families and quiet or elderly folk. CASTLETOWN, the ancient capital, with its old fortress, is favoured by some. PEEL is playfully called " the Western City," and is a quaint old fishing port, but with numerous modern houses for tourists. RAMSEY, the second town of the Island in size and population, has an unequalled stretch of sand, a magnificent bay, and scenery in the hinterland which is second to none. Lastly, throughout the length and breadth of our playground (roughly thirty miles by twelve), there are numerous villages, hamlets, and isolated houses where visitors find excellent accommodation and home comforts.
DOUGLAS is the capital of the Island, and the natural headquarters of the tourist army. The great pride of Douglas is its fine series of promenades, which reach from the Victoria Pier on the south to Banks' Howe on the north, forming a continuous marine parade unequalled in its way by any similar., construction in the kingdom. The Victoria Pier is built of concrete, at a total cost of over £100,000, and provides landing accommodation at all states of the tide. To the south is the old Red Pier sheltering the inner harbour. The outer harbour is protected on the opposite side by the Battery Pier, a structure ,365 yards long, completed in 1879 at a cost of over £100,000. Steam ferry boats -ply between the Victoria and Battery Pier, taking passengers to and from DOUGLAS HEAD. Leading from the Victoria Pier to the upper town. is Victoria Street, an important thoroughfare formed by the demolition of part of the mazes of Old Douglas. It passes into Prospect Hill and Bucks Road, and the whole route is equipped by a cable tramway. The Loch PROMENADE is one of the most imposing and best built promenades in the kingdom. Proceeding northwards, we come to the Harris Promenade, where the broad parapet is flanked by parterres of grass and ornamental trees, and a pavilion is provided as a retreat in wet weather. There is also a band-stand, where music and entertainments are dispensed during the season. On reaching the CENTRAL PROMENADE we arrive opposite the bathing grounds, but the whole stretch of shore forms, of course, a useful playground for the children, and along the whole length of the Parade seats are placed for the convenience of those more leisurely inclined. The QUEEN'S PROMENADE is handsomely fringed.by a strip of verdure, and conducts the visitor to the roadway which winds along the edge of the cliffs to the summit of Banks' Howe and Onchan-Harbour. Douglas Head is a sort of Park under the control of the Corporation, and is a favourrte resort for Douglas visitors. Its situation on the hill top is unrivalled. Amusements of all kinds are in full swing during the day. Nigger minstrels entertain the festive throng with the accustomed programme; there are numerous stalls for the sale of knick-knacks, and exhibitions of phrenology, lightning photography, and all the other paraphernalia of an amusement fair. The Warwick Revolving Tower on the Head is a remarkable structure in steel, which passengers ascend by electric lift to gain a commanding view many miles in extent-over land and sea. Just below the cliffs is the popular bathing creek of Port Skillion, one of the finest open-air diving and swimming places in the kingdom.
From Douglas Head a magnificent Marine Drive extends for a distance of three miles to Port Soderick. In many places the solid face of the perpendicular cliff has been blasted away to form the roadway. An ELECTRIC TRAMWAY follows the course of this remarkable drive, and the views which are obtained of these stupendous cliff's along the route are very impressive. At Walberry and the Horse Leap two terrific precipices are crossed.
On the opposite side of the bay, Howstrake Drive is an increasingly popular rendezvous. The beautiful view of the bay, and the health-giving and appetite-producing breezes which blow freshly in the face of the pedestrian, are welcome to those who come from all inland towns.
At Port-e-Chee, distant about a mile from Douglas, on the Peel Road, there are the excellent links of the Douglas Golf Club. Another links are situated on the breezy uplands in the rear of the Fort Anne Hotel.
Douglas has two admirably constructed theatres, the Grand in Victoria, Street, and the Gaiety facing the Harris Promenade, and first-rate companies occupy the boards during the summer season. Dancing and variety entertainments are to be indulged at the PALACE, which is a commodious structure standing in its own grounds in the centre of the sea front; and at DERBY CASTLE, also surrounded by fuchsia-decked gardens. Other buildings of interest in Douglas are the Town' Hall in Ridgeway Street, with the Free Public Library adjoining; the Government buildings in Prospect Hill, where the MANX LEGISLATURE meets; the Court House in Athol Street, where the Law Courts are held; and the splendid new offices of the Isle of Man Banking Company, built of granite, with beautiful marble-lined interior. There are five churches, and numerous denominational places of worship. The resident population of Douglas is slightly over 20,000. The town possesses an excellent water supply and drainage system.
Public Baths, Victoria Street.-These have recentlybeen presented to the town by the trustees of the late Henry B. Noble, at a cost of about £10,000. They are now being considerably altered, so as to make them of the most complete and modern kind.
THERE are many interesting excursions which may be made from Douglas. It is really remarkable how far afield the tourist may get, and return at night to his point d'appui in Douglas. Particulars of the nautical excursions which may be undertaken at inexpensive rates are given in these pages. There are trips throughout the summer to Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, Blackpool, Llandudno; Garliestown, Round the Island, any one of which forms an ideal way of spending a healthful, interesting day. But it is the land excursions in Mona's Isle which we have now to deal with, and here again the tourist has a wide choice. The railways and electric tramways open up many interesting journeys, and hundreds of attractive cars ply by road to the various centres of attraction.
Kirk Braddan.-This is one of the most popular drives, and walks in the neighbourhood of Douglas. On Sunday morning during the season many thousands of visitors betake themselves to the historic old churchyard, where service is held in the open air. The best route for the pedestrian is to cross Douglas Bridge, and pass through the beautiful Nunnery Grounds. The trees and flowering shrubs in early summer make this a really delightful route. The placid waters of the Douglas river wend their way between dense groves of rhododendron. Fur. t6er on we pass through a stile, and after crossing the Pulrose Meadows, gain the Saddle Road, which, after skirting the beautiful grounds of Kirby, winds down to Kirk Braddan. The homeward journey may be taken by, the main road passing the Quarterbridge. .. Injebreck.-Quite of a different type is the,drive from Douglas up West Baldwin Valley to Injebreck, about seven miles ' distant, where the mountain glen is furnished with beautiful larch and other trees, and some fine views are obtained peer hill and dale. The new RESERVOIR of the Douglas Corporation forms a lake here about half a mile long, and adds another charm to the diversified landscape. The traveller, by striking off to the left by Sir George's Bridge, may return to Douglas by another and equally interesting route.
The list ofeligible drives and walks which may be undertaken from Douglas might be prolonged indefinitely. The best routes are indicated very clearly by the announcements which appear along the car-stands on the Promenades. The vehicles are handsome and well horsed, and they are driven to alb, parts of the Island. The most popular route of all is, the Long Drive to Ramsey. We call on the outward journey at Glen Helen (described elsewhere), and return by way of Laxey. The drives to Port Erin, via Rushen Abbey, returning by Castletown; to Peel and Glen Meay ; and the mountain drive to Ramsey, are also capital excursions.
A less hackneyed route, but one which may be heartily recommended, is that by way of the Cooil to Dreemlang or the " Plains of Heaven," returning either by way of Rushen Abbey or Mount Murray. This route may be varied and extended by going through Foxdale, driving over South Barrule and the Round Table, and returning to Douglas via Glen Meay and St. John's. See Cycling and Walking Tours for further particulars.
MOTOR CAR RACES.-The main roads in the Island are kept in excellent order, and their capabilities are shown by the fact that the last two trial races for British motor cars competing in the International Race for the Gordon Bennett Cup were held in the Isle of Man.
THE Manx Electric Railway runs through Laxey to Ramsey, opening up some new and intgresting scenery. Leaving Douglas, the first point To alight at is' Groudle, a pretty little wooded glen, -ending in a little bay or creek on the shore. Here there is a miniature railway which conveys passengers down to the Sea Lion Rocks, where these curious creatures may be seen disporting themselves in their native element. The sides of the glen are clothed with trees and ferns, and the pretty stream forms pools and cascades. The upper part, called Lhen Coan- (Lonely Glen) is especially pretty. Garwick Glen, though less frequented, is a pretty place, and where it debouches on the shore there is some rock scenery highly esteemed by artists, and a remarkable cave, which, according to Sir Walter Scott's " Guy Mannering," was once the haunt of a noted smuggler. '
LAXEY is a straggling mining village situated in one of the largest glens of the Island, extending from Snaefell to the sea. The Big Wheel (721 feet in diameter), used for pumping water from the lead mines, is a notable object. The scenery round about is interesting, and the Glen Gardens are well worth a visit. The Great Laxey Mines, from which lead, blende, copper, and silver are extracted, extend to a depth of about 1,800 feet, and at one time great for. tunes were made from them.
At Laxey, Electric Cars run to the summit of Snaefell Mountain, -- where a view is obtained over the whole Island, and often the shores of England, Ireland, and Scotland are visible.
DHOON AND BALLAGLASS. Proceeding northward still, the main line to Ramsey opens up some delightful scenery, which is too little known to the ordinary visitor. The Dhoon Glen is very wild and picturesque. The stream falls over a precipice of about 6o feet, and then after a short break, takes another leap Of 70 feet. The river stands out as clear as silver against a background of ferns and mosses broken by patches of coal-black rock. Glen Mona is also very pretty. Ballaglass Glen was a favourite haunt of the Rev. T. E. Brown, the Manx poet, and there is a concensus of opinion amongst artists and photographers that it affords more pictorial possibilities than any of the other glens. The stream is small, but its rocky course forms a series of very enticing cascades. Passing over the shoulder of North Barrule, and through the beautiful scenery in and about Ballure Glen, the electric car enters RarnSey.
THE people of Ramsey are justly proud of their town and its surroundings, and they have been enterprising enough to do all that is possible t0 render the place attractive to visitors. The town is in direct steamship communication with Liverpool, Glasgow, Whitehaven, and Belfast, besides being in daily connection with Liverpool via Douglas. The most precious possession of Ramsey is its spacious bay, which affords good anchorage in most conditions of wind and sea, and unusual opportunities for safe yachting and fishing. The town is much frequented by families during the summer season, and the society and mode of life are quite different to Douglas in the- season. The bathing facilities are of the finest. Recently there has been erected on the north shore a fine OPEN-AIR BATH constructed of concrete, and furnished with elaborate dressing-rooms for both sexes. The MOORAGH PARK is a very pleasing resort where many an hour may be pleasantly whiled away. Rowing and sailing can be enjoyed on the lake with perfect safety.
The exceptional benefits of Brine Baths are now generally recognised for many complaints, and the following analysis of the Manx brine compares most favourably with that of other well-known English resorts.
ISLE OF MAN
POINT OF AYRE
Sodium Chloride (salt)
The brine is conducted from the Point of Ayre Saltfields (6½ miles from Ramsey) in iron pipes to the Ramsey Hydros that are equipped for the purpose.
The boarding and lodging-houses are quite equal to all demands, and the charges are, on the whole, somewhat below those in Douglas. The RAMSEY GOLF LINKS are at Milntown, a charm. ing locality on the Lezayre Road about a mile from the town.
Visitors who make their headquarters at Ramsey are, as a rule, an athletic lot of people. They have, an enthusiasni for boating, cycling, golf, and walking exercise, and develop a wonderful amount of tan and freckles in a very short time. The country round about is very tempting.
The village and church of Maughold and MAUGHOLD HEAD, which forms the southern limit of Ramsey Bay, lie within three miles of the town.
The most commanding feature of the Ramsey scenery is NORTH BARRULE, which rises to an elevation of 1,842 feet, on the south side of the town. From its summit a wide-spreading view is obtained which verbal description would fail to portray. Quite a number of picturesque valleys open out along the slopes of the mountains and the foot of the hills. One of the prettiest is BALLURE GLEN, which is reached from the main road to Douglas by a path close to Ballure Bridge. Here, ensconced between the wooded slopes, are the three reservoirs which supply Ramsey with its water. After ascending to this point, the tourist, by striking a path on the right, can reach ALBERT TOWER. It was from here that the Prince Consort' viewed the charming scenery of the north of the Island.
There are two other interesting glens which ' trend northward from Barrule, viz.: GLEN AULDYN and the ELFIN GLEN. The former is the larger, and is noted for its beautiful scenery. The Elfin Glen is a smaller but very pretty retreat shaded by trees. The walk round " Claughbane " is also a favourite with the inhabitants and summer visitors. It leads off the Lezayre Road on the left about a mile from Ramsey. Another delightful walk may be taken in an opposite direction. Leave the Lezayre Road about a mile from the town, and turn down to the right over the Sulby River, by a pretty dale, and up the hill side till you join the Jurby Road.
The high road itself leading to Sulby is over-arched with trees, and affords passing glimpses of the pretty scenery on either hand. Another favourite excursion is to the Point of Ayre, about eight miles. A road branching to the right at the end of Parliament Street crosses the Sulby River, and runs through
KIRK BRIDE to the northern sea limit of Manxland. At the extremity of a level heath we come to the Point of Ayre Lighthouses. There are extensive salt-beds here, and the brine is conveyed to Ramsey by pipes. Looking seawards; excellent views are obtained on a clear day of the South Coast of Scotland, only fourteen miles across, also the Cumberland shore. Through ANDREAS VILLAGE to Ramsey a pleasant return journey can be made.
THERE are three railway lines in the Island, viz.:
1st Southward, Douglas to Port Soderick, Castletown, Port St. Mary, and Port Erin;
2nd, Westward, Douglas to St. John's and Peel; and
3rd, Northward, St. John's to Kirk Michael and Ramsey. There is a branch line from St. John's to Foxdale. The railway station in Douglas is at the end of Athol Street. A few words of description will be given to the wayside stations, and the more important centres will be dealt with separately.
ON the southside line, after passing Port Soderick we enter the beautiful wooded glen of Crogga, and the next stations is Santon. A walk of a mile and a half to the shore of Port Grenaugh will repay the trouble. At Cass-na-Howin there is some striking rock scenery, and the walk may be continued with a detour to cross the Santon River to Ronaldsway and Derby Haven. Ballasalla is the station for Rushen Abbey, an old Cistercian monastery, of which few vestiges now remain. Instead, we have a modern hotel, and immediately adjoining some fruit gardens, tomato houses, and vineries. From Ballasalla an easy walk takes us past King William's College to Derby Haven, and thence to Fort Island and the Point of Langness. GOLFERS will find on Langness about the best links in the Island.
The next station on the line is CASTLETOWN, formerly the capital of the Island, and renowned for its ancient CASTLE RUSHEN, one of the finest and best preserved specimens of Edwardian fortresses. Many interesting legends are associated with this old castle. It was formerly the residence of the Earls of Derby when Lords, of Man, but in modern times, and until very recently, it was used as the chief Manx prison. Within a mile of Castletown stands King William's College, the most important educational establishment in the Island. In an opposite direction a walk along the shore brings us to Scarlet Point and the Stack of Scarlet, the boss-or top of an extinct volcano. In this district the geologist will find many interesting phenomena. Leaving Castletown we come to Colby, where there is a pretty glen and good trout stream. This is a good point from which to climb South Barrule and explore the southern hills generally.
THE southern district of the Island embraced by Port St. Mary and Port Erin is extremely picturesque, and well deserves the larger share of attention which in recent years it has been receiving from summer tourists. The characteristics of this district render it popular. to a class of visitors to whom the boisterousness and unconventionality of Douglas are distasteful. The attractions of the district are of the natural order, and visitors staying there spend their time in climbing the hills, in boating, fishing, and bathing. By rail the two places are only three-quarters of a mile distant from each other, but following the coast line there are four miles of -rugged cliffs and indentations between the two ports, which offer tempting opportunities for adventure and discovery. PORT ST. MARY is situated at the western corner of Poolvash Bay, and is well sheltered by the Mull hills from the prevailing winds. The former prosperity of the place depended upon the herring fishery, which has now fallen into decay. Along the " Chapel Strand " there is a capital bathing ground, and on the brows above modern houses have been erected for the accommodation of the many families who come to visit this enjoyable resort. On the " Cronk," the little hill which flanks the port, golf links have been laid out. These are not only excellently adapted for the sport itself, but the ground commands a wide view over land and sea. Boating in the quiet waters of the bay is also in great vogue, and the bolder spirits make excursions as far as the Carrick Rock in the centre of the bay, ar the Calf Islet and the Chickens Rock, where splendid cliff scenery is to be seen, and capital sport in sea fishing to be had. Black Head and Spanish Head are two prominent headlands in this locality which are best viewed from the sea, but the tides are very strong, and the presence of a boatman or two with the party is essential to safety. The cliffs and waters swarm with sea-fowl of various kinds, such as cormorants, sea parrots, razor bills, etc., whose evolutions are full of interest as they dash from their resting places on the rocks and speed their way over the waters seeking their prey.
The Calf Isle is about five miles in circumference, separated from the mainland by a narrow rock-strewn channel, exceedingly difficult of navigation. On the Calf Island there are two lighthouses, now abandoned, being superseded by a powerful light on the Chickens Rock, an isolated reef about a mile to the eastward.
The walk along the sea-shore from Port St. Mary is also full of interest. The proper path to be taken skirts the rocky shores of Perwick Bay, and after passing through Glenchass ascends the hill side until it reaches the summit of Black Head, a beetling crag which drops with a perpendicular descent to the sea. Spanish Head is next reached, and here a halt should be made to view a curious natural obelisk called the Sugar Loaf, a great pillar of rock detached from the side of the cliff and surrounded by deep green water. The crags and CHASMS Of this district are very grand and awe inspiring. Owing to the lower cliffs being undermined by the action of the sea, the level bed of rock has become cracked with fissures of enormous depth, in some of which the water can be heard roaring below. From the Chasms a path leads over the moorland to the typical old Manx village
Of CREGNEISH. Pursuing the path which wends its way on the. left, we round the shoulder of the hill and begin to descend to Port Erin. The views all along this road are wonderfully fine, and almost defy description; there are no more beautiful panoramas of land and seascape to be seen anywhere.
PORT ERIN has sprung into notoriety, during the last decade or so, as being one of the most desirable localities for the visitor in search of health and recreation. The bay is a beautiful inlet walled in on either' side by precipitous crags. On the north is Bradda Mountain, terminating in a bold cliff surmounted by Milner's Tower. To the south are the cliffs and rocks known as the Castles. From this point a breakwater was erected in 1875 at a cost of £71,000, but it is now almost entirely demolished by fierce storms. As a BATHING-PLACE, Port Erin is unrivalled in the Isle of Man. Besides the beautiful sandy shore there is an artificial bath built for mixed bathing under the shelter of the cliffs, which is much patronised. Another noteworthy institution is the Marine Laboratory, Fish Hatchery, and Aquarium, which stands near the root of the Breakwater, and is open to the public at a nominal charge. Interesting experiments are here being made by the Manx Government, in conjunction with the Liverpool Marine Biology Committee, with a view to replenishing the adjoining seas with edible fish artificially hatched. The air of Port Erin is more bracing than that of some of the other parts of the Island, and medical men strongly recommend it for those affected by chest troubles. There is a fair GOLF LINKS on the high ground overlooking the bay. The hotel and boarding-house accommodation in Port Erin will be found entirely satisfactory. On the surrounding hills many delightful walks may be taken. That along the coast to the Chasms has already been mentioned. An alternative ramble may be taken along the breezy heights of Bradda. The walk to Fleshwick also opens up some bold coast scenery. The Carnanes and Cronk-ny-Irey-Lhaa are two hills which rise precipitously from the sea to heights varying up to 1,200 feet. By following the road past Rushen Parish Church and ascending the hill side, the pedestrian gains a well-known summit called the Round Table. For the stouter sort a walk to Peel by way of Glen Meay is a fine experience. The route is sometimes called the Gladstone Road, because it was traversed by the " Grand Old Man." on foot when he visited the Island about a quarter of a century ago.
THE western line of railway follows the central valley, which intersects the Island from east to west, and through which at one time the sea flowed. For half the distance we trace the Dhoo or Black River nearly to its source, and shortly after passing St. John's we join the Neb river, which flows down from Glen- Helen. After leaving DOUGLAS we cross the Glass River just above the point where it joins the Dhoo or Black River. (The combined names give us Douglas.) On the sloping ground to the left is the beautiful park and residence of Kirby, the seat of Sir William Drinkwater, a retired Manx Deemster; On the right is an extensive meadow surrounded by wooded banks called Port-e-Chee (Harbour of Peace), in allusion to the far-off time when its beautiful sward was washed by the waters of the Irish Sea, which then extended as far as Castle Ward, an ancient fortification higher up the stream. The train hurries on past KIRK BRADDAN on the left, and passes through a deep valley until Union Mills is reached. This is a pretty little village which derives its name from a manufactory which has been in turn devoted to making woollen cloths, the manufacture of flour, and now a dyeing establishment. If we have an hour to spare there is one walk in the locality which opens out a panoramic view second to none in the Island. On leaving the station and turning to the left, you ascend the hill for a distance of about a mile, gaining a point of vantage from which the whole chain of Manx mountains is viewed in one glorious sweep.
The next station is CROSBY, a rural hamlet nestling in a wellwooded district. A capital tour accomplished from here is to ascend the road on the north side of the main road, and passing over Greeba Mountain, to descend into GLEN HELEN, regaining the railway at St. John's. On the other side of the railway, by climbing the steep hill in front of you, and turning to the right at Kirk Marown Old Church, you come to Archallaghan, where there is a fine Government plantation of young trees.
The walk may be profitably pursued by way of the Earey to Foxdale Lead Mines, and the return by way of St. John's. Leaving Crosby, the next feature of interest is GREEBA CASTLE, the residence of Mr. HALL CAINE, the famous novelist, picturesquely perched on the wooded spur of the mountain on. the right.
St. John's is the station at which most tràvellers alight for Glen Helen, if they do not drive thither from Douglas by the main road. Cars are in waiting at the station, and the drive up the winding sylvan glen is a very beautiful one. As we ascend, the scenery grows more wild and interesting, and at a bend in the road about three miles from St. John's station we come in sight of Swiss Cottage, a picturesquely-built restaurant situated at the entrance to the Glen ,proper. This is one of the favourite resorts of tourists, and out-door amusements for young and old are provided on the pretty paddocks. Proceeding up the Glen we find our-selves amid delightful sylvan scenery.
The river flows down its rocky boulder-strewn bed with musical splash. After following the woodland path for over a mile, we ` come to the waterfall, which is greatly admired. By mean's of a winding footpath we can ascend the stream to a higher point where several pretty cascades are to be seen. The return to Swiss Cottage should be made by the path on the opposite side of the stream to that formerly taken.
Before leaving St. John's the visitor should note the peculiar stepped mound on the village green. This is Tynwalsl Hill, from which the Manx laws newly passed are' promulgated every 5th of July with quaint, old-fashioned ceremonies.
PEEL is situated at the mouth of the River Neb, and possesses a large and well-sheltered harbour. The fishing fleet has greatly dwindled from its old-time proportions, but there is still a considerable industry here, and the movement; of the red-sailed boats are a source of interest to visitors. Gaining the sea front, we find that a fine marine promenade skirts the margin of the bay. On the eastern shore there is an open-air swimming bath, and pleasure boats and yachts are available for those who are nautically inclined.
But the greatest attraction of Peel to the great bulk of its summer visitors is undoubtedly the venerable ruins of the ancient -
CASTLE and CATHEDRAL, which are situated on an islet about 7,} acres in extent, on the south-west horn of Peel Bay, connected with the mainland by a causeway The Cathedral is dedicated to St. German, the legendary succeQsor of St. Patrick in the Manx episcopacy. The oldest part of the present building is the choir, ascribed to Bishop Simon (1226-1247). The other parts are con
siderably later. The roof is gone, and several ancient buildings, including the episcopal palace, the Governor's residence, and several military towers, have been wholly or partially destroyed. Several of the Manx bishops are buried here, and there are many interesting traditions connected with these venerable ruins. The buildings are all enclosed by a wall believed to have been, built by Henry, .third Earl of Derby, in 1593, PEEL CASTLE plays an important part in Sir Walter Scott's romance, " Peveril of the Peak," and it was here that the Earl of Warwick was imprisoned in the reign of Richard IL, and the Duchess of Gloucester in that of Henry VI.
In the immediate neighbourhood of Peel some interesting walking tours may be taken. The bold sandstone cliffs at the east side of the bay, with the Naval Reserve Battery on its" summit, is inviting; and on the other side the heather-clad heights of Peel Hill may be explored. On the highest peak is a square tower known as Corrin's Folly. An old gentleman and his family, who had an objection to ordinary interment in a churchyard, are buried here, and tablets in the walls of the tower perpetuate their memory.
Peel possesses an excellent Golf Links situated about threequarters of a mile from the town, alongside the road from Douglas. The spécial virtue of these links to golfers lies in the fact that, being on sandy soil, they are playable after wet weather when other links on the Island are impossible.
Peel is a convenient point from which to visit GLEN MEAY, a typical wild Manx glen, possessing a pretty waterfall. The glen abounds in the tender lovelinèss which is always associated more or less with the Manx glens, and it emerges in a pretty creek on the sea-shore. It is reached by the road running south, which passes through Patrick Village, and the distance is about four miles.
BREAKS off from the Western line. at St. John's, gives access to the best scenery of the central and northwestern districts of the Island, and finally conducts us to Ramsey. Kirk Michael is the first important point in the journey
northwards, and here a goodly number of visitors enamoured of rural quiet, and simple, healthful surroundings, find a desirable place of abode during the summer months.' The old-fashioned, straggling village is backed by the high hills of Sartfell and Shen Freoghane. The country side is full of quiet beauty, the land being extremely fertile, and wild flowers grow in abundance. Glen Willan is close at hand, and several other little valleys lead to the sandy sea-shore. Near the parish church in - the centre of the village are some remarkable runic crosses. About a mile and a half from the station in the direction of Ballaugh is Bishop's Court, the residence of the Bishop of the Isle of Man,' situated in a fine wooded domain.
Ballaugh is at the mouth of a wild, steep glen leading into the mountain range. The old church and village to the north of the line are interesting, and the flat, boggy land called the Curraghs, covered in summer with flowers and ferns, displays to us a new feature of Manx scenery. Numerous roads of a fair character intersect the northern plain of the Island, which we are now in sight of, and the level country is very suitable for cycling.
Sulby Glen.-Rounding the shoulder of a steep hill, we come to this station, and here again visitors who prize rural sights and sounds, and those who are fond of trout fishing, find a locality to reside in second to none. The glen extends in a j northerly direction right to the foot of Snaefell Mountain, and j then winds westerly into the wild, mountainous region of Druidale. The prospect all along is wild and changeful. About four miles from the station is Tholt-e-Will, where there are some pretty woodlands and tiny waterfalls. The ascent of SNAEFELL can be made from this point, and the walk continued by the mountain road over Park Llewellyn and North Barrule into Ramsey.
If we continue our journey by rail to Ramsey we pass through some of the best scenery in the Island. On the right a succession of hills and glens are passed, the conical tree-clad height of Sky Hill being conspicuous. On the left a fertile pastoral country extends for miles around, the view being closed on the north by the Bride Hills. Several fine residences dot the parklike country through which we pass into Ramsey.
IN a hilly country like the Isle of Man, which has a backbone of mountains running through it from end to end, the roads are of course steep in places, but there is nothing in the gradients on the main highways to deter the cyclist, and by keeping always as near as possible to the coast he gets the benefit both of the more level margin dipping from the mountains to the sea and of the grand cliff scenery which is the feature of Manxland. In the opinion of many, . Ramsey is a bettér cycling centre than Douglas, inasmuch as it has a fine stretch of level country and good roads behind it, and is away from the superabundant wheeled traffic of the season. On the other hand,
Douglas is better situated for a comprehensive tour, embracing all the best scenery. The best cycling or walking excursions are r.-Douglas to Castletown, Port St. Mary, and Port Erin.-Route: Cross Douglas Bridge, pass Nunnery and keep to the left where the road divides at a water trough about a mile further on. Visit Port Soderick, and on rejoining road, continue straight on to Ballasalla, where detour should be made to Derby Haven and Fort Island, whence a good road leads along the margin of the bay to Castletown. Leave Castle--- town by Malew Street and follow shore to Port St. Mary, thence turn to the left at Four Roads, which leads to Port Erin. About 16 miles.
2:-Port Erin to Peel.-Turn to the left at Four Roads and to the right at Rushen Church. Proceed as far as Cross-Four-Ways at Malew. Take a left hand road climbing gradually up Silverburn Valley, along Eastern breast of South Barrule, until you reach Foxdale mining village at the summit. Thence it is a long descent to St. John's, just short of which branch off to the left and take Patrick Road to Peel. About rg miles.
3.-An alternative , route-very beautiful scenery but more difficult-is by the ROUND TABLE. From Port Erin return on the Douglas Road to Colby, up hill to the Round Table Inn, then descend practically all the way to reel. Two stiff hills at Glen Meay and Glenfaba, near Peel. About 15 miles.
4.-Peel to Ramsey (19 miles).-Follow the high road to Douglas as far as Ballacraine, from which point a perfect road leads to Glen Helen (3 miles). A steep ascent to Cronk-y-Voddy, then down hill to Kirk Michael and a nearly level road to Ballaugh, Sulby, and Ramsey.
5.-A pleasant change is to go from Peel to Michael, by coast road via Glen Cam and Glen Willan, joining the main road at Michael. Clean, fair road for wheeling.
6.-Ramsey to Douglas.-The direct route (16½ miles) ascends from Waterloo Road the long, steep hill of Shen Lewaigue. At the Dhoon the glen should be explored; thence the road gradually falls to Laxey, then gradual ascent to South Cape. Nasty dip and bend at Garwick, then no more trouble until the White Bridge-a rather long, steep descent. At the end of Onchan village bear to the right for upper Douglas, or make steep, winding descent of Burnt Mill Hill to Promenade.
7.-From Ramsey, pleasant cycling runs may be taken to the Point of Ayre, Ballaugh, Sulby, etc.
8.-An interesting day's run is from Douglas to Ramsey, via Glen Helen and Kirk Michael, and back from Ramsey by Laxey. Distance about 40 miles
9.-Or from Douglas to Ramsey, via Snaefell Mountain Road, and back to Douglas via Laxey. Distance about 31 miles. For Bicycle, etc., Rates by Steamer, see page 4.
IT is the ambition of every tourist, before saying farewell to Mona's Isle, to circumnavigate its shores, and during the visiting season steamers of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company sail on various days of the week " Round the Island." Comfortably ensconced on the spacious deck of our steamer, we review the whole of the varied coast-line as it passes in a moving panorama before us, and each minute some object of special interest re-awakens our attention. The pleasant breezes blow soft on our cheeks, and the sea of many changing hues is rippling at our bow, or rushing away in confusion from the eager paddle-wheels in great masses of foam as white as snow. On shore the green slopes come gently to the water's edge, or, anon, great precipices frown overhead, and sea-fowl circle round the storm-worn cliffs with eerie cry. The calm sea reflects a wonderful green as it flows through deep caves or washes the base of the cliffs; the most barren rocks above water-marls are aglow with strange coats of purple or orange-coloured lichen.
After rounding Douglas Head, rugged cliffs extend as far as Port Soderick. Passing closely one precipitous wall after another, we appreciate their height and stern grandeur more clearly than ever before.
Opening out Port Soderick Glen, we have a pretty scene, with the finely situated mansion of Crogga in the background. About a mile further south is St. Anne's Head, and from thence going southerly, the land recedes to form Derby Haven Bay Right ahead a narrow neck of land runs out far into the sea called Langness. Near its extremity we see Fort Island, which derives its name from an old stronghold built by James, seventh Earl of Derby. There are also on this islet the relies of an old mediaeval chapel. At the extreme point of Langness, which is a most dangerous point for shipping, a lighthouse is erected, and a signal is given us as we pass.
Having rounded this promontory, we open out Castletown Bay. The isolated building on the eastern side of the town is King William's College-a noteworthy public school; ' while Castletown clusters round the ancient Castle of Rushen in the north-western corner of the bay. Beyond the level and fertile plain which stretches before us, we see the southern hills of the main chain of the Manx mountains.
Scarlet Point, the next feature on the coast, will appeal strongly to the geologist, the phenomena being most striking.
The Stack of Scarlet, a great boss of isolated rock lying off the point, is the hardened and choked up vent of an extinct volcano. We have by this time opened out a fine bay. At the furthest extremity is Port St. Mary, a fishing village, and a favourite resort for artists and families attracted by the boating and bathing facilities. After passing Port St. Mary point the whole character of the coast is changed into huge headlands, Black Head and Spanish Head being passed in succession. The curious Sugar Loaf Rock should be noted, and the Chasms which penetrate the cliffs just beyond.
Here we leave the coast of the Island proper, and make a circuit of the Calf Islet, which is separated by a narrow rock- - strewn channel. Away to the left, on the Chickens Rock, is a fine lighthouse, erected at a cost of Cioo,ooo, and on the Calf Islet itself there are two disused lighthouses of smaller size. Rounding the Calf, we make our course along the Island's western shore, and Port Erin, a charming creek ensconced between two bold headlands, claims our admiration. On the northern side Bradda Head rises sheer from the sea to a height of 390 feet. A few minutes' sail brings us opposite Fleshwicka cove between two steep hills coming down to the water's edge -noteworthy as being the place of Dan Mylrea's banishment in Hall Caine's " Deemster." Proceeding northwards, a succession of headlands slope almost perpendicularly to the sea. Niarbyl, with its group of Manx cottages, is a fine landscape, often depicted by artists, and Contrary Head is another bold headland passed ere we reach Peel Island, and catch a passing view of the ruined castle and the cathedral church of St. Germain. After leaving Peel behind, we pass several little creeks, and then skirt a steep sandy shore which extends as far as the Point of Ayre. The coast along here is less interesting, and we have leisure to observe the distant view.of the Mull of Galloway, and probably the Irish mountains as well. Passing the Point of Ayre, the Cumberland coast and mountains are seen on our left.
Skirting the low sandy shore, we find ourselves fairly in Ramsey Bay, a fine open expanse of water bounded on the south by. a picturesque shore, terminating in Maughold Head. The large building to the north of Ramsey is the Ramsey Hydro'. In the centre of our picture we have the town of Ramsey " shining by the sea." Behind it is Ballure Mount, with Albert Tower on its top, and still further in the rear North Barrule rises boldly against the sky. Maughold Head and the adjacent cliffs form one of the best "bits" of our excursion. Port Mooar, Port Cornah, and Dhoon Glen are little inlets through which we catch a glimpse of beautiful little glens leading up to the northern highlands. Bulgham Bay, further south, exhibits gigantic cliffs descending into the green depths below; and rounding the headland, we open out Laxey Bay and Glen, with Snaefell in the distance. Then we come under the shadow of Clay Head, the haunt 'of sea-birds and jackdaws. Passing the creek of Groudle and Onchan Head, we steer across Douglas Bay. We have made a circuit of the little Manx kingdom, and have seen many of its prettiest aspects. Sail about 411 hours.
THE COMPANY'S TELEGRAPHIC ADDRESSES ARE
"Steamers, Douglas, Man." I " Lamont, Glasgow."
"Steamers, Ramsey, Man." " Williames, Belfast."
" Orfords, Liverpool." " Lindsay, Greenock." ' Nelson, Whitehaven."
E Fitted with Electric Light. P Paddle. S Screw.
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© F.Coakley , 2011