Dhoon glen is one of the steepest glen in Isle of Man (an island in the Irish sea between UK and Ireland ). Isle of Man is a small island with 80000 population and the isle has many legends associated with fairies . Many folks believe in fairies and some of them even claim fairies have visited them. But when you visit glens, you develop some delusions that may be fairies do exist there. It is because you can see a dense canopy of trees, beautiful wild flowers, tress covered with mosses along rivers and they do look like places for fairies. TO make your imagination wild, some areas have crafted tiny houses and statues, purposely arranged to look like fairy houses. Isle of Man also has a landmark on the main road to airport where people say ” hello” to fairies so that you will not have bad luck on the island. Even the buses have installed personal announcement saying ” Hello Fairies ” when the buses pass that particular landmark.
Dhoon glen is a big glen on the coastal pathway to Ramsey ( northern part of island ). In 1800s, it used to be a popular tourist destination as there used to be a small passenger ship ” Manx fairy ” which ran daily from Douglas to Ramsey and Dhoon bay used to be transit point where tourist could get off the ship in small boats to spend the time on the beach or to wander in the forests surrounding the glen . In late 19th century, around 8000 visitors by sea and further 42,000 visitors by road visited Dhoon glen in a typical season. When electric Tram arrived in 1897 to isle of man, it boost the number of tourists to Dhoon glen and the glen even started charging tourists 1.5 pence per person . Nowadays, Isle of Man does not have many tourists like before and not many people go to Dhoon glen as the steps are quite steep ( 190 steps ) and there are many more open glens in Isle of Man where you can reach easily by car. It also adds extra bonus to Dhoon glen because you can still relax there on your own as it is not a crowded place.
The waterfall half way down the valley is the inner Wooar or Big girl and is one of the highest waterfalls in the island falling over 40 metres ( 130 ft ) in two drops.
We went there in May , 2020 in the evening. In isle of man , you can still see the sun till 8 pm in May as it is spring. We had difficulty to park the car that time as there were more than usual number of visitors as it was on Saturday. You can see the Manx tram station ” Dhoon glen ” at the entrance of the glen. After passing the railway, there is a small landing area with big trees where you can sit and relax.
Then we went down the stairs on the left side. If you turn to right side, you might end up going to the wrong direction. Stairs are made of Manx stone and they are not the nicest stairs as they are uneven . The pathway can be slippery with dry leaves and mud. Before you go to the area of waterfalls, you need to pass through the forest which is so beautiful as the sun rays falling through the leaves.
After passing through the forest, we walked along the pathway in parallel with the river. The flow of water from the river and tweeting of birds were very soothing to our souls.
As it is the spring season, we could see wild flowers along the pathway. The flowers are called blue bells and they look like velvet carpet . Blue bells can have other colours such as white and pink.
We passed through many steps with varying heights and we had to be careful as we could easily slip and fall.
We walked past the waterfall towards the beach. The path has small waterfalls which finally lead to two big drops of waterfall. The total height is 130 feet and it was a bit tiring especially for me as I tend to get muscle ache easily . It took me longer time to arrive beach and it was nice to see my friends were settled at the beach and waving at me.
The beach is ragged and full of pebbles and stones.
I found a big flat stone where I lied down and had a nap as I was very tired at the end of trekking although it was only 2 miles . I looked at the blue sky and thought of my blessings with nature. As usual, I said thank you to the place for having me for a few hours before I left. I will write about other glens as soon as I have enough time. Thank you for reading my blog.
If you come to Isle of Man, Laxey is the exact place you should not miss. Laxey is a small town in the North of the island called Isle of Man where you can learn the lives of miners who worked precariously in the past.
Isle of man is the island in the Irish sea between England and Ireland. It used to be a hard place to live due to unpredictable weather and isolation. A few hundred years ago , a lot of islanders left the island to move to the prosperous countries such as America and Australia. However, discovering minerals such as lead, copper , zinc in Laxy gave a boost of economy and the area became the hub of migrants . Isle of Man exported all these treasure to UK and Wales.
In Laxey, you can go for Laxey heritage trail, I would rather start with the church, where a lot of miners used to go. The lives of miners were very precarious and nobody knew whether they could get hurt at work. Some laborers could be as young as 12 year old. When they got injured or lost their lives, there was no compensation that time and people could be in bed for months out of injuries such as fractures or chronic illnesses related to mining.
The Church shows the faith of the islanders in mining villages. It opens daily from 10 am to 4 pm and there is no entrance fee. But you can give some donation for maintenance of the church. You can also see stories about people inside the church and it will not disappoint you.
Then you can go and see Laxey washing floor where the stones were extracted from the mines and cleansed with water. It is now regarded as community area.
From there you can walk across the road to have a cup of tea at ” Ham and Egg Terrace”. The Terrace was the longest line of purpose built industrial housing under a continuous roof of line on the island in 1860 . It was nicknamed as ” Ham and Egg Terrace ” after most houses started selling tea and meals to visitors in their front rooms. The terrace still maintains its charm after 150 years. The Terrace is next to the statue of Miners.
From there , you can walk towards Laxey wheel ” Lady Isabella “. Entrance fee is 8 GBP and it can be free if you have purchased the annual ticket for heritage trails .If you are not afraid of height, you can climb up the stairs to see the panoramic view from the top of the wheel.
Lady Isbella is the largest wheel in the world and it was created to remove water from the mines into the river.
I have also walked inside the mine and I was not comfortable knowing the suffering of miners ( cold , wet and dark inside the mines). we met a very nice gentleman who told us how fragile our society became. ( I am sure he is referring towards us ). In a nutshell, we have a better life obviously compared to 100 years ago, but still we cannot convince ourselves that we are content and happy. I am feeling a bit embarrassed right now.
From Laxey wheel , you can also stroll along the Laxey beach where you can simply relax and watch some people either swimming in the sea or walking around . There is a shop called ” the shed ” at the end of Laxey beach and it is a nice cafe.
If you are interested to walk around, you can also walk in Laxey village or stroll along a row of shops just beside the road.
Some houses are very pretty and located just beside the stream.
There are some wild flowers on the trail too.
In Laxey, there is woolen mills where you can purchase some expensive wool products such as kilts, jumpers , hats. You can see the woolen mill at the end of the village.
Just beside the main road, you can also see The flour mill where has been the source of bakery . The mill was constructed by the same engineer who built Lady Isabella. Prior to that, the local people had to bring their corns to Lord’s mills to grind in 17th and 18th century.
After going to nearby places, there is some prehistoric stones near Laxey called ” King Orry’s Grave”. It is at least 30 minutes walk from Laxey wheel and just beside the Minorca train station. Only MER ( Manx Electric railway ) can arrive this and please do not be confused with Snaefell railway which only goes up the snaefell mountail. Here is the information how to go to King Orry. ( credit to https://www.transceltic.com/isle-of-man/king-orrys-grave )
On the East coast of the island in Minorca near the village of Laxey.
By car – Minorca is near the village of Laxey where the B11 crosses the A2 which is the road between Ramsey and Douglas.
By bus – Routes no. 3, 3A, 3B, and 3C from Ramsey and Douglas. Take the nearest stop to Minorca, then walk along the A2 to the site.
By tram – Take the Electric Railway to the Minorca stop. Walk along the B11 to where it crosses the A2.
This site is the largest known Megalithic tomb on the Isle of Man and is said to belong to King Orry, an almost legendary character revered by the Manx as their greatest king and founder of Mann. This mythical figure is based on King Godred Crovan, a Viking warrior who created the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles upon his arrival on the Island in 1079. But at actual site, it was mentioned that King Orry was never buried there and at the time of excavation, only one skeleton remain was discovered. The tomb was abandoned in neolithic time. According to the painting at the site, it seemed like the tomb was immediately next to the beach and it was assumed that people gathered around the tomb and did a lot of activities such as dancing and eating.
King Orry was credited for the introduction of the island’s legal system and his arrival on the island is seen as the starting point of Manx history . He was also responsible for founding the Crovan dynasty, his descendants who ruled in Mann and the Isles for almost two centuries. ( Information credit goes to http://www.visitisleofman.com ). King Orry’s grave was separated into two parts and one of them is behind the private house, however, visitors are allowed to visit freely.
Last but not least, you can visit Snaefell mountain which is the island’s only mountain, its summit is 2036 feet ( 621 metres ) above sea level. The name Snaefell comes from the Norse meaning ” snow mountain “. To reach the summit of snaefell, you can either take Snaefell railway or climb from bungalow station ( which is situated on the mountain road to Ramsey ).
Snaefell railway was opened on 21 August 1895 and carried 900 visitors on the same day. It has been a popular tourist activity even after introduction of competition from motor buses. The journey can either starts at Laxey train station ( 12GBP for return ) or at the bungalow station ( 8GBP for return ).
At Bungalow station, you should get off and observe the statue of Joey Dunlop . He was named as ” King of the Mountain ” as he won TT for 26 times. TT is a motor cycle race in Isle of Man which has been operating since 1907. TT attracts a lot of bike lovers all over the world.
For the first time, I climbed snaefell by riding on the tram. I went there with my friend Glenn and we had a good time on the train. I felt like we were back at least a century back as the tram is very old and rattling . It was so much fun.
At the top of the mountain, there was a cafe called ” summit cafe ” where you can purchase breakfast, lunch and dinner .
Meals are not sold on the tram. But you can book one of the special dining events held at the Snaefell summit cafe such as sunset dinners ( suitable for couples ), seven sunday lunch and Pie in the Sky, featuring stargazing and supper with the island ‘s Astronomical society.
It is a belief that you can see seven kingdoms from summit of Snaefell such as England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the kingdoms of heaven and the sea.
In Celtic times, the domain of “otherworld ” was to be found in the heavens above Snaefell. More recently in late Vitorian times, an observatory was established at the summit of Snaefell to enable astronomers to study the stars from the highest point on the island.
My boyfriend was worried when I decided to climb Snaefell. 2000 feet does not mean the height from the base, it simply the height from the sea level and the mountain is manageable even for someone like me who does not do regular exercise.
Even with this tiny achievement, I have to say that I am happy to have been at the summit of Snaefell by climbing.
In isle of Man, there are many Glens you can walk along the pebbled streams or rivers. In winter, trees in Glens are baren but loaded with lots of ferns and moss. In summer, wild flowers like Daffodils blossom and you can see more colors.
Today we came to Glen Maye which is situated in south of Peel. There used to be mining which was abolished after 1870.
The footpath is quite wet and slippery. Glen Maye is surrounded by Rushen river and the waterfall is bigger than any part of island.
I am amazed at how clear the water is. If it is not icy cold, I might jump in. My boyfriend said ” you cannot jump in national property and it is not allowed”. But I am sure I will do it one day in the summer.
Here are photos of Glen Maye
And I wana put a few photos of Dhoon Glen here as well between Laxey and Ramsey.
The place can give you serenity.
There is also a glen called Groudel glen which was quite famous for it’s natural charm as well as for sea lions and polar bears which were imported from America . The railway was constructed and open to the public in 1896. It was stated that 18 stones of fish was required to feed sea lions per week. Only two of them survived until after the first world war. Please see this link for further information.
I went there before the closing of electric railway and it was quite remote and not many people were there. I needed to catch the last train and didn’t have enough time to walk entire length of the glen. It was peaceful and romantic. I was alone that time and was amazed at the ferns and trees. The orange color autumn leaves were everywhere and the place really looked like a fairy place.
I will update this post quite frequently as I still have to visit many more glens, most probably in the summer.
According to my dad, I have 30% chance of being hit by cars or YBS ( Yangon buses) if I choose to walk in Yangon. He is quite right as our neighbour died while he was crossing the road being hit by a speeding car. He left two young kids behind.I think I have similar chance of getting injuries by Road traffic accident if I choose to be in Yangon buses driven by careless drivers. Some of them even do not have license according to my friends.
By the way, Yangon is the capital of Myanmar, my country which is situated in South East Asia near to India and China. We used to have lots of trees and spacious pedestrian pavement which were demolished by excessive urbanization and improper town planning. There are still lots of trees but not on the road like before. When you walk, you just walk on the roads where cars, trishaws and bicycles pass you. The problem is I like walking and I can do contemplation while walking. Today, I wanted to see my aunt whom I have not met for more than a month. It was 12 km distance and I decided to walk.
I live in Suburban area of Yangon and my walk does not represent the popular areas where foreigners visit. But I think you might want to see how does Yangon looks like. Right? And its really interesting when you open your mind and see people differently. For example a trishaw driver who was carrying blocks of ice passed the road without waiting for the cars. And luckily all the cars screeched. He did not want to melt the ice with the expense of his own life. People are struggling to earn enough for living. Still, they are warm and nice and ofcourse insane, sometimes.
Their life is hard but its better to focus on others sometimes. I walked in a shop on the way to buy food. Suddenly a lady around my age walked in, gave money for food and left. She was only ten steps out of the shop that the owner told me ” Do you know she married a guy 20 years younger than her. That guy is only twenty and has two kids. I am sure he is a free rider marrying a woman around his mother age”. I was speechless and not willing to listen to a story of stranger especially in negative view. I was silent and embarrassed by their rudeness. Then the husband chimed in ” if you marry late, you end up marrying badly”. I wanted to tell them there are lots of wonderful people who maried late and perfectly slipped into a happier life. Yes, even I can say one of my beloved person married someone twenty plus years younger than her and they are still crazy about each other after seven years. yeah, if they are more open minded, I might have told them these stories. There are always atypical cases out of stereotype. There are always people who do not want to conform like me. I wondered what I can do in case if I decide to marry. I might elope or invite less than ten people. Haha. I was bemused and tried hard to do straight face when they mentioned about unmarried women. They are quite fun actually. I have started to listen to people instead of hearing them. And my opinion has changed tremendously. I do not know whether it is good or bad
Now, where I am heading instead of talking about walking. Here are some photos I took on the way.
People are always repairing the road at one side which makes walking more difficult. But I am stubborn and I like challenges. So, I walked on even at the muddy areas.
Then there are lots of food stalls, various shops with different prices as if all people eat outside. However, most Yangoners cook to save money especialy if you have family. Food is cheap though.
And I love food hawkers who display food on the roadside. I encourage that kind of small business.
Then there are lots of shops on the roads, baby shops, electric shops , cosmetic shops and car showrooms.
Then it started to drizzle after ten km and I still walked on. Then I saw a trishaw driver passed me and I called him out. I just wanted to give him money as it was raining and he had no passengers.I carried umbrella but I like walking under the rain. I could have walked another one km easily on my own..
But I got on the trishaw and gave him money happily at the end of my trip. He was happy too. That is the reason my friends label me as the craziest person. I am cray cray and do things out of randomly.
And the money I gave him is almost the same as taxi fare. But I did not bargain as life is hard for them.
Now I am at my aunt house and enjoying my time with her. May be I might not walk many times more in Yangon until our Mayor starts planning safe environment for pedestrians.
real live experience regarding travels, meeting strangers and daily life.