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Roy Cottage offeres self-catering accommodation on Isle of Man – Roy Cottage is located in Castletown on the Isle of Man

Roy Cottage is a traditional Manx cottage, situated on the sea front, in the scenic conservation area of the ancient capital, Castletown. An ideal base to explore the Isle of Man, Castletown is situated in the south, 10 miles from Douglas and the ferry terminal. The island’s airport is 1 mile away and transport links with buses and steam trains for day trips are excellent.Roy Cottage has been lovingly restored as self-catering holiday accommodation

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Pop Up Art Trail!!!

It has been beautifully co-ordinated by local artist & CCOC member, Eve Adams, who runs her business Paint & Thimble – Handmade Crafts By Eve Adams from her home in Castletown.

Eve has worked with so many talented Manx artists to put this trail together in association with IOM Art Festival , Castletown Town Commissioners and Castletown Chamber of Commerce.

You can find a short bio of all of the artists together with an exhibit of their work in windows throughout Castletown this weekend.

The below map can be collected, free of charge, from Castletown Town Hall (Civic Centre) outer foyer all weekend, during Art Festival hours.

Top 10 Natural Beauty Spots on the Isle of Man

Discover the ever-changing Manx landscape, rolling hills and costal scenery by visiting some of the Island’s best beauty spots.

1. Calf of Man

The Calf – named Kalfr by the Norsemen – was once a refuge for Christian monks and hermits. Separated from the mainland by 500 metres of fast moving water, the Calf is a haven for wildlife and marine life.

2. Sound Visitor Centre

The striking glass walls of the Sound Visitor Centre on the southern tip of the island offer visitors an uninterrupted 180 degree view of the surrounding scenery. The ideal lookout towards the Calf, the visitor centre features information displays explaining the history and ecology of the local landscape and seascape. Or you can simply visit the cafe, sit back and enjoy the view.

3. Niarbyl (cafe and Visitor Centre)

One of the locations used in the Manx film industry’s biggest successes of recent years, Niarbyl is located on the west coast south of Peel and is an example of one of the Isle of Man’s many beautiful and unspoilt coves. The thatched cottage at Niarbyl stood in for Ned Devine’s house in the film Waking Ned.

4. The Ayres National Nature Reserve

The Ayres National Nature Reserve on the northwest coast is an extensive area of raised beach and dune habitats with dune slacks, maritime heath and lichen heath. Offshore, seals are often seen drifting in the tide while porpoises pursue shoaling fish.

5. Manx National Glens

The Isle of Man has 18 national glens, both coastal and mountain, maintained and preserved in their natural state by the Government’s Forestry Division. Admission is free and all glens can be accessed by car, with several situated near electric tram or steam railway stations, or on bus routes.

6. Close Sartfield Nature Reserve

Visit the Manx Wildlife Trust’s reserve at Close Sartfield to see more than 100,000 examples of colourful orchid.

7. Tynwald Arboretum

Situated in St Johns, the Tynwald National Park and Arboretum is set in more than 25 acres of picturesque countryside. The park was created to mark the millennium anniversary of Tynwald – the world’s longest running continuous parliament. There is a specially constructed shelter and picnic area, a large duck pond and children’s playground to keep the little ones entertained.

8. Scarlett Visitor Centre

Scarlett Visitor Centre is a hotspot for the Island’s feathered community and you’re likely to see shags, cormorants, gulls, oystercatchers and ducks. You’ll also find a number of nature trails which lead beyond the visitor centre and offer a chance for you to explore the area on foot and see the limestone pavements and volcanic rocks including the Stack close up.

9. Maughold Head

Maughold Head is rich in history with an Iron Age fortification crowning its summit. Nearby are the early Christian monuments preserved in the ‘cross shelter’ in Maughold churchyard. The precipitous cliffs are home to significant colonies of seabirds such as Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Shags. Gob ny Rona, a small peninsula of mostly maritime heath and low cliffs, offers impressive views of Ramsey from the coastal footpath.

10. Ballaugh Curragh

Ballaugh Curragh is an area of special scientific interest and the first designated wetland of international importance on the Isle of Man. It consists of small woods, old hay meadows, ponds, bogs and wet grassland, divided by sod hedges and twisting lanes. Running through the area is a nature trail with signs along the way explaining the ecology of the area.

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Top 8 Isle of Man Animal Encounters

From magnificent marine creatures, to a huge population of visiting and migrant birds, and wildlife from around the world, you’ll find it all in the Isle of Man!
1. Underwater Wildlife

The Isle of Man has been increasingly recognised for its clear waters and varied underwater wildlife. Dolphins, whales, porpoise and basking sharks frequent the shoreline and many companies on the Island offer diving or kayaking experiences where you can view these creatures up close.

2. Seals

The Island’s waters are home to a sizeable seal population, the vast majority of which are grey (also known as Atlantic Grey Seals). They can be seen in particularly strong numbers at the Calf Sound, where they ‘haul out’ onto the rocks at low tide.

3. Wallabies

It is believed there are now up to a hundred wallabies roaming free after they escaped from the wildlife park 45 years ago. These beautiful yet timid creatures seem to flourish in the Isle of Man’s climate – despite the belief that they prefer hotter weather.

4. Manx Loaghtan Sheep

Manx Loaghtan is a four-horned sheep, unique to the Isle of Man. The sheep are thought to have been introduced in prehistoric times or to have been introduced by the Vikings.

5. Curraghs Wildlife Park

Curraghs Wildlife Park, located in Ballaugh in the north of the Island, is a haven for wetland animals and home to around 100 species – many of which are endangered in the wild. Animals are grouped together with other wildlife from the same county so you can travel the park continent by continent from America to Australia. You’ll find monkeys, kangaroos, pelicans, pandas, lynx, storks, bats, penguins, otters, reptiles and meerkats!

6. Horse Trams

Horse trams, operated by Douglas Corporation, are a common sight on the promenade during the summer months. They started running along Douglas Promenade in 1876. A charity operates the Home of Rest for Old Horses in Douglas where tram horses enjoy their retirement.

7. Mountain Hares

On your walks in the northern hills around the Isle of Man, you may encounter rare mountain hares. It is a separate species to the more common brown hare which can be found in all parts of the island on lower land. However, even the brown hare is relatively rare these days, having declined dramatically throughout the British Isles since the 1960s, with an estimated drop from 12 million to just one million animals.

The mountain hare can be found in northern upland areas among the heather and into the snow line. It is slightly smaller and rounder in appearance than the brown hare, has smaller ears which are held upright and an all-white tail.

8. Manx Cat

The Isle of Man is home to the tailless Manx cat. Many have a small ‘stub’ of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless and it is the distinguishing characteristic of the breed. There are various legends that seek to explain why it has no tail. In one of them, Noah closed the door of the ark when it began to rain and accidentally cut off the Manx’s tail. Another legend claims that the Manx is the offspring of a cat and a rabbit which is why it has no tail and rather long hind legs.

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Top 10 ways to reach new heights on the Isle of Man

Whether it’s by bus, tram or even on foot, setting your sights higher is easy on the Isle of Man. Check out our top 10 list to really elevate your trip to the Isle of Man.

No. 1 – Picnic on the peak – Enjoy your lunch with a different view

Take time out to have a picnic on Douglas Head and enjoy the fresh air. Now complete with benches, BBQ spots and more it makes for a perfect afternoon to sit and watch the hustle of bustle of Douglas beneath you and see the boats arriving in the harbour. While you’re in the area don’t forget to look at the Great Union Camera Obscura, for just £2 entry you’ll see cameras how the Victorian used them.

No. 2 – View the seven kingdoms – A trip up Snaefell will be the peak of your visit.

See the seven kingdoms (England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the kingdoms of Heaven and the Sea) at the highest point – either by a trip on the Manx Electric Railway or by foot if you fancy a challenge. Be sure to check the time of the Snaefell Summit Dining events, a great combination of travelling and dining. So relax, raise a glass and enjoy the stunning views.

No. 3 – Take a walk on the wild side – See amazing sights, cliff edges, wildlife and stunning scenery.

The Raad Ny Foillan or ‘Way of the Gull’ is a demanding but highly rewarding walk along the Island’s coast. The route has a total distance of approximately 95 miles but can be broken into sections for you to pick and choose the areas you wish to explore.

No. 4 – Ride the mountain – Let the wind flow through your hair

Travel along the Mountain section of the world famous Isle of Man TT course. Explore it for yourself in your car or on a hired bike…or if you fancy sitting back and relaxing while you take it all in why not take a Trike Tour.

No. 5 – Take the plunge – For a blood pumping experience

If you like to get that adrenalin flowing, why not (with expert guidance, of course) join a group and experience coasteering, an exciting combined rock and water activity, along a section of stunning coastline. Adventurous Experiences and The Venture Centre both offer coasteering trips all around the Island including a special view of Peel Castle not seen by many.

No. 6 – Unleash the inner Tarzan in you – Climb trees, hang from ropes and whiz down the zip-line

Travel through the trees on the maze of rope and wires in one of the Island’s largest plantations, South Barrule with Ape Mann Adventure Park. Plus new for 2014, a high rope course, and with the zip wire you’ll soon forget where (and how old) you are. The adventure park also includes one of the UK’s highest sets of Monkey tree climbing hardware which is a challenge for anybody with a head for heights.

No. 7 – Conquer new heights – Enjoy the Manx coastline from a different perspective

Test yourself mentally and physically against the craggy cliffs which provide a stunning backdrop to climbing and abseiling sessions with The Venture Centre or Adventurous Experiences. Or if the weather turns, try the indoor climbing centre with over 2000 square foot of climbing wall! For complete beginners, seasoned outdoor climbers, bouldering geniuses or anything in-between, visit Hot Rocks Climbing wall and enjoy overhanging sections, vertical walls, traverses, bouldering caves and more.

No. 8 – Go wild in the country – Get away from it all and watch the wildlife in action

Located at the Ayres, Ballaghennie boasts a viewing platform where you can catch diving Gannets, Oyster Catchers, plus many other birds and marine wildlife, and if you’re lucky you might spot an inquisitive seal too. A site of major ecological significance, parts having been designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest and as a National Nature Reserve. The shingle beach provides a great walk and leads to the marked Nature Trail which winds through the marram dunes and onto the expanse of heath with its extensive lichen flora.

No. 9 – Climb the world’s largest working waterwheel – For breath-taking elevated views

Standing at over 72 feet high the wheel, which is also known as Lady Isabella, has been one of the Isle of Man’s most popular tourist attractions for well over 150 years. Try counting how many stairs it takes to get you to the top and then enjoy the rewarding view of Laxey and the surrounding mines, don’t forget to wave to those at the bottom for a great photo opportunity.

No. 10 – Enjoy entertainment from ‘The Gods’ – Choose from shows, bands, comedians or Ghost Tours!

Finally before you depart the Isle of Man take a tour with the ‘Gods’ of the Gaiety and find out all the amazing history of this ancient Victorian Theatre. The Gaiety Theatre is a jewel in the Manx heritage crown. Steeped in history and tradition, the Gaiety is one of the finest remaining examples of work from the legendary theatre architect, Frank Matcham. Not for the easily spooked, Isle of Man Ghost Tours offer a Gaiety Theatre Experience tour to discover the tales of The Man in Grey, the strange going’s on in The Gods and the lady who haunts seat B14

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Rushen Heritage Trust Summer Exhibition

A recent exhibition organised by members of Rushen Heritage Trust, focusing on the hey-day of tourism in the south of the Island, attracted a large number of visitors to Port Erin; many of whom reminisced about those halcyon days.
Situated in St Catherine’s Church Hall, a stone’s throw from Port Erin Bay, the organisation’s volunteers had brought together a wealth of information and memories describing how visitors entertained themselves in Port Erin, Port St Mary and beyond.
The main thrust of what was on offer revolved around an extensive array of outdoor events, which afforded visitors a range of activities to keep them rooted in the south of the Island.
These were simpler, less complicated times, when they were more inclined to relax in a deckchair on the beach, or challenge a member of the family to a leisurely game of ‘pitch and putt’.
Paddling pools and Beach Missions kept the younger generation busy, whilst their elders may be more inclined towards a game of bowls, or a round of golf.

Boating, fishing, bird watching (the feathered variety) and cycling were also great favourites, along with special excursions to the Calf of Man and exciting coach trips to other Island destinations.
The once popular Traie Meanagh open-air baths, situated in what was advertised as one of the sunniest and most sheltered creeks in Port Erin Bay, attracted scores of spectators to watch talented divers perform at the sea water pool.
Both Port Erin and Port St Mary are also remembered for their selection of hotels such as The Belle Vue and the Balqueen, amongst others, and a range of eateries to satisfy hungry visitors; the most well known probably the distinctive Collinson’s Cafe, now in private ownership.
Chapel Bay, Happy Valley and Port St Mary Town Hall also figured in the exhibition along with the picturesque Breagle Glen and Bradda Glen.
Valerie Caine
© July 2016
(Courtesy of the Southern Chronicle)

Isle of Man kayaker’s close encounter with basking shark

A kayaker has filmed a close encounter with a 23ft (7m) basking shark off the south coast of the Isle of Man.

Craig Whally said he came across the plankton-eating fish while he was exploring caves near an area known as Fleshwick on Monday.

He said he feels “shocked and privileged” adding: “I saw a big fin so I just sat there waiting for it and it came back about three times.

“The water was so crystal clear it was amazing – it was at least seven metres long (about 23ft) – it was big.”

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Discover Mars and the Manx night sky

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wanted to find out more?

The Community Farm at Wallberry Farm on Old Castletown Road will welcome Howard Parkin, expert astronomer and founder of AstroManx, this Friday (April 8 2016) for an evening entitled ‘Mars, Exploring the Red Planet’.

Roy Cottage offers Self Catering Accommodation in Castletown, Isle of Man. Conveniently located near the airport and perfect as a base for walking, sightseeing and train journeys. Roy Cottage – bringing news for the visitor to the Isle of Man.

Mr Parkin will present an indoor talk on Mars and then head outside to a telescope where he will reveal more about Mars and the Manx night sky in spring.

The educational farm, a project by The Children’s Centre, is right next door to one of the island’s ‘Dark Skies’ sites at Port Soderick. The evening will begin at 7.30pm and finish at 10pm.

Tickets are £15 and include soup and hot drinks.

They can be bought via www.thechildrenscentre.org.im/events/, by emailing farm@thechildrenscentre.org.im or by calling 431617 or 631930. Tickets can also be purchased from The Children’s Centre on Woodbourne Road, Douglas.

Castle Rushen Clock Face restored

Castle clock has its new face restored

Castle Rushen’s iconic clock has regained its face. Manx National Heritage made the most of fine weather today and abseilers from the Venture Centre reinstated the clock face.

The face was removed in October for restoration; the sign writing in gold and redecorating was done by local company JCK Ltd. The cost of this aspect of the work, including its installation, was £5,000.

Chris Weeks, objects conservator at MNH said the face dates from the 1980s. He said:‘It is is not an historic object in its own right.’ He added the design on its face probably follows the original as it has been copied numerous times over the centuries.

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

The face complements a newly restored clock mechanism which is very historic. ‘Thanks to carbon dating we can date it to 1577 plus or minus 20 years,’ he said. ‘So the attribution to Elizabeth I on the face means it’s possible she does have a connection. She had direct control over the island temporarily for a short number of years (at that time).’
He added the restoration project has ‘stretched us quite lot’. He said: ‘It was technically very challenging … to keep it running after all those years is gratifying.’

Their research highlighted how special the clock is, said Chris. MNH intends to update information on the clock in the castle’s clock room within a year.

The clock isn’t wound yet, however, but will be ticking from February 6 2016.

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New Display for Castletown’s Nautical Museum

NAUTICAL MUSEUM IN CASTLETOWN REFRESHED WITH NEW DISPLAY

Museum to reopen on Saturday 4th July 2015

Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture, is refurbishing parts of the Nautical Museum in Castletown.

Until recently, the museum which opened in 1951 was home to the ‘Peggy’, the oldest schooner in the world. Built in 1791, the boat was rediscovered in the 1930’s entombed in her original boat cellar, where she had lain for over a century since the death of her inventive owner George Quayle.  His marvellous and eccentric boat house still poses many questions to architectural historians regarding Quayle’s methods and intentions.

Roy Cottage offers Self Catering Accommodation in Castletown, Isle of Man. Conveniently located near the airport and perfect as a base for walking, sightseeing and train journeys. Roy Cottage – bringing news for the visitor to the Isle of Man.

The boat was recently transported to a workshop where she will undergo a comprehensive research, assessment and conservation programme lasting several years. The Nautical Museum will remain open without the Peggy and will feature a dedicated Quayle Gallery which will tell the personal story and history of George Quayle and his family including a scale model of the ‘Peggy’ herself, made by Mr John Gawne of Fistard in 1949.

A remarkably comprehensive Quayle family archive has survived, documenting the construction of the vessel and its boathouse. It offers fascinating insights into the life of George Quayle, who was at various times an MHK, a banker, a soldier and, it is alleged, a smuggler.

Manx National Heritage has reproduced some of the more significant documents in two leather bound volumes, which are styled on a 1780’s prayer book from the nearby Bridge House, the Quayle family residence, which will form part of the new display.  It will feature George’s handwritten account of his perilous voyage across the Irish Sea from Cumberland to Castletown in 1796, during which his comrade Captain Bacon was reduced to bailing out his own boat with his wig box.

Recent archaeological investigation and archival research of the building has established that the site was home to possibly the earliest slipway in the British Isles, and that Quayle subsequently replaced this with a unique private dock, which may have functioned as a sea lock. An excavation of the dock in 2014 revealed a number of finds which will form part of the new gallery including a leather pistol holster, a flintlock pistol mechanism, some coconut shell drinking cups and what is believed to be an eighteenth century microscope.

As well as the new display and artefacts, the museum will also feature an interactive area designed to appeal to families, including the opportunity to try on Georgian style fashions.  Visitors will be able to promenade in a polonaise or parade as a Captain of the Manx Fencibles, while learning about the Quayle story. A set of 18th Century costumes have been tailored by local costumier Penny Nuttall for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages. Visitors will also be able to experience the toys enjoyed in a wealthy Georgian household, sort their jib from their mainsail and learn about the lady behind the ‘Peggy’ in a time of ingenuity and intrigue.

As well as the new gallery, work is also being undertaken to upgrade parts of the building including new outer timber barn doors for the new shop front and a large glazed timber framed screen of the boat cellar itself, providing views onto Quayle’s dock.  Recently the Manx National Heritage team removed accumulated layers of white wash on the front of the building, which had been subject to weathering and was flaking off, which revealed the original door frame and lintel of the 18th century building.

Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:

“The refresh and review of the Nautical Museum, which is being informed and guided by a comprehensive conservation management plan, is giving us the chance to study in detail and try to understand and interpret how this complex structure was built and functioned.”

He continued:

“We feel that it is important to keep this landmark site open in Castletown while we repair and conserve the Peggy before returning her to her rightful place and in doing that we intend to develop interesting content to allow visitors to explore the remarkable story of the building and the Quayle family which represents an integral strand of the history of Castletown itself.”

The Nautical Museum is scheduled to reopen on Saturday 4th July.

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World Tin Bath Championships take place in Isle of Man

The event, which attracts huge crowds, has been running since 1971

One of the Isle of Man’s strangest sporting competitions, the World Tin Bath Championships, has celebrated its 44th anniversary.

Hundreds of people gathered around Castletown harbour to watch brave competitors race their customised bathtubs over a 400m course.

The winner is either the first to cross the finish line or the one who covers the furthest distance before sinking.

Competitors use the decorated tin baths like small paddle boats.

About 100 competitors from the British Isles, Europe and the United States vied for world titles this year.

The event has been running since 1971 and last year featured in the Daily Telegraph’s top 10 weirdest festivals, ranking alongside Cornwall’s Nudefest and Finland’s Wife Carrying World Championships.

Image caption The event was voted in the top 10 weirdest festivals by the Daily Telegraph in 2014

Organiser David Collister said: “People just like to have fun and the spectators come because they like to see people get wet and they like to see people sink.

“It’s two hours of family fun and slapstick entertainment involving household tin baths that your granny will have used in front of the fire.”

Mr Collister said the event, run by the Castletown Ale Drinkers, has raised more than £150,000 for local charities since it began.

Last year’s men’s champion Lee Cain was not defending his title. His brother, Nick Cain, 40, won the men’s 2015 trophy.

The ladies winner was Erica Cowen who won her 16th title.

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