Isle of Man Part 6: Niarbyl Bay – A Piece of Paradise

A little piece of paradise in the Isle of Man can be found at Niarbyl Bay. Along with beautiful sea views of the Calf of Man and, on a clear day, Northern Ireland’s Mountains of Mourne, this location is also of geological importance. This tiny corner of the world is home to the Iapetus Suture – one of several ancient geological faults caused by the collision of continents hundreds of millions of years ago.

The Iapetus Suture, referred to locally as the Niarbyl Fault, is visible in this photograph to the right.  The ridge in the rocks represents the separation of ancient landmasses, predecessors of present-day North America and Europe.

The Niarbyl Fault also marks what remains of the Iapetus Ocean that disappeared when three separate lands joined together to form one big mass around 600 million years ago. This ocean was believed to have been a precursor of the Atlantic and was therefore named Iapetus, who in Greek mythology was the father of Atlas, after whom the Atlantic Ocean was named.

Niarbyl Bay is located on the Isle of Man’s south-west coast. Situated besides the picturesque cliffs is Niarbyl Cafe. This is a lovely spot to enjoy the views and some tasty fresh seafood – including Niarbyl’s famous crab. From the cafe, it is a short walk down the hill to Niarbyl Beach. The beach is covered with large pebbles and seaweed, and quaint cottages can be seen in the surroundings. Niarbyl is linked to the island’s network of coastal paths, providing further opportunities to explore and discover isolated beaches and interesting historical sites.

Have you ever visited the Isle of Man? What were your favourite locations?











  1. January 11, 2012 / 16:52

    I haven’t but I really want to after seeing your pictures and reading your posts! Looks amazing!

  2. January 12, 2012 / 18:36

    Hi Claire, you should go. Jumping on a ferry from Liverpool only takes two and a half hours. Easy Jet fly there now as well, I believe.

  3. Brooke Bennerup
    July 9, 2012 / 18:31

    I have seen a lot of the world and the Isle of Man, small as it may be, was one of the best, if not the best vacation I have ever had. I had to go to see the motorcycles (which I learned to enjoy for my man) but he learned to love the place, as did I, for it’s sheer natural, spectacular beauty. I live in a nice villa in Tuscany but would trade it any day for a cottage in Laxey or Peel or wherever!

    • July 10, 2012 / 20:15

      It’s a very unique island and one of my favourite places also! Laxey is just gorgeous :-)