Walking from Glen Maye to Peel

The Isle of Man’s west coast

The air is moist and fresh as we make our way through Glen Maye in the Isle of Man. This is one of several beautiful glens dotted around the island. Walking amidst the trees, with a peaceful stream below, feels amazingly isolating. Not another soul can be seen or heard. The only sounds are the tricking of water over rocks and pebbles, the subtle rustling of wind sweeping amongst the leaves and the monotonous shuffle of our steps plodding along.

Shadows jump around below the canopy of trees and sporadic bursts of sunrays shoot down like numerous torches on the lookout. Water excitedly cascades down moss-covered rocks – tumbling into the stream below and gently moving onwards with the current.

Coming out of the glen, we make our way towards the sea, winding downwards towards a grey, pebbly beach that is hidden amongst the cliffs.

After taking in the beautiful surroundings, we begin to climb up the rocks, following a narrow, grassy path. The route is exposed and then it encloses and we are burrowing our way through tunnels of woodland.

Before long, we are out in the open; following the edge of the cliffs with the Irish Sea to our left. We have joined onto part of the Isle of Man’s extensive network of coastal walks, which go around the whole of the island.

This particular leg goes all of the way to Peel, and that is where we are heading. The sky is bland and whitewashed, but this does not make the scenery any less engrossing.

The sea is calm with the odd fishing boat on the horizon and the cliffs alternate from being rugged, steep and harsh to soft flowing hills covered with grass and grazing sheep.

Then there is the odd curious cow behind a historic looking stone wall, characteristically chewing away and staring at us blankly as we shuffle past its field.

The path we are following is evidently becoming overgrown, with wild grass encroaching on either side. The trodden path is almost hidden – visible with careful steps.

Keeping my eye on the ground, I spot a dead rat and exclaim this fact. I later discovered that it is bad luck to say ‘rat’ out loud on the Isle of Man. Apparently, you should say ‘longtail’ instead.

Why is this? According to folklore, fisherman and seafarers would avoid saying ‘rat’ aboard for fear it would bring bad weather and poor fortune.

This appears to be a widely known superstition on the island.

The route is part of the Isle of Man Coastal Path (Raad ny Foillan) – a 95 mile trail around the coast. It is a great feeling being right on the edge – literally.

This place probably looks the same as it did a thousand years ago. There are no signs of modern times. Just nature in its purest form: silent and spectacularly beautiful.

What I really like about the Isle of Man – particularly its west coast – is that it is so unspoilt and quiet.

The tiny island – known as the jewel of the Irish Sea – is the perfect getaway from the stress of working life. My lungs were cleared of smog and my usually over-wired head was now as calm as the ocean.

 

An isolated pebbled beach between the cliffs

After a two-hour hike, Peel Castle appears in the distance. This castle was originally constructed by the Vikings during the 11th century and is attractively located on an islet.

Walking amidst the castle’s ruins was a great end to the walk. Peel Castle has a long and interesting history and it is also extremely picturesque.

It only costs a few pounds and there is the option to take an audio tour, if you want to delve further into the history.

Before leaving, we grab a bite to eat and have a quick whiz around the House of Manannan – a museum exploring the Isle of Man’s fascinating Viking history.

Then we jump on a bus back to Glen Maye to pick up our car and drive back to the capital, Douglas.

The Isle of Man is also a great place to enjoy a variety of adventure activities such as watersports, rock climbing and coasteering.

 

Have you ever visited the Isle Of Man or would you like to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. December 21, 2011 / 19:42

    Wow that looks beautiful, would love to see that for myself one day!

    • December 22, 2011 / 18:23

      Thanks Claire, it really is a beautiful island. I never expected it to be so stunning, as was just visiting my boyfriend’s parents over there first of all. Now, we try and go every year :-)