There is no sight more enchanting than waterfalls, with their impressive balance of power and beauty.  Part of the Isle of Man’s impressive landscape is the many winding glens, where the cascading water soon creates one of these awe-inspiring and serene natural wonders. Due to the small size of the Island, you are never far away from an impressive waterfall and with a variety of locations and terrains, you can be sure to capture a glimpse of them on your visit.

Dhoon Glen
 

With 190 steps down one of the steepest glens on the Isle of Man, the Dhoon Glen waterfall is not for the faint of heart! Known as the Inneen Vooar, or ‘Big Girl’, the waterfall is located halfway down the deep valley and falls over 130ft in two drops, making it one of the highest waterfalls on the Island. The trip down to the waterfall is renowned for its rugged beauty as you travel along the old cart road through a dense canopy of trees beside the stream that leads down to the shore. It is not a glen for gentle strolls however, there is a small café at the top of the glen where you can reward yourself with tea and cake after you have completed the steep ascent back up.

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Glen Maye
 

Just south of Peel, you will find the spectacular Glen Maye gorge and waterfall. Popularly translated from the old Manx into Glen Mea, or ‘luxuriant glen’, it is easy to see why it earned this nickname. The long and sheltered woodland walk begins high on the hill and winds down through the trees and ferns to the Rushen River and the magnificent waterfall it flows from. There is a bridge high above the waterfall, where you can listen to the water rushing beneath you and enjoy views over the glen that winds down through greenery towards the shore. Alternatively, you can take the steps down to the viewing platform that stands over the pool at the base of the waterfall where you can get close to the waterfall and stand in the small, hushed hollow closely surrounded by water and greenery on every side. From there, you can closely follow the crystal clear waters through the woodland down to the rocky beach where you will find stunning views out towards Ireland and stand beneath the towering rock cliffs of Patrick.

The steps may be steep down to the waterfall (so take care underfoot) but you are richly rewarded with the spectacular view from the bottom and the unique feeling of tranquillity and seclusion provided by the viewing platform.

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Spooyt Vane
 

Meaning ‘white spout’ in Manx Gaelic, the magical Spooyt Vane waterfall is located in the West of the Island in the isolated but tranquil Glen Mooar valley. After stopping on the road to Peel, the waterfall can be found via a short walk along the Monks Road through the woods that will take you back to nature.

With the ruins of St Patrick’s Keeill and the priest’s cell from the 8th century on the way, this peaceful and beautiful spot is almost hidden away from the world in a mystical little hollow, so you are guaranteed some peace and solitude to enjoy some me-time and admire the waterfall. The waterfall is one of the highest on the island and leaps in three stages from the ledge above down through the trees and walls of rocks to the pool below. Though seemingly hidden away, this waterfall is easily accessible and the short route is perfect for walkers of all abilities.

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Glen Helen
 

Perhaps the best known of the Island's glens, Glen Helen is on the Western side of the Island, just north of Ballacraine on the famous TT course. The attractive name Glen Helen was chosen from the Greek myth of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the known world, to reflect the splendour and magnificence of the setting. A tree-lined route will take you from the car park along the paths beside the rivers Neb and Blaber for three quarters of a mile, where you will find the two rivers merging to form the striking Rhenass waterfall. There is a small bench on the bank beside the waterfall where you can take a seat to catch your breath or a higher level of rocks near the falls where you can sit back and let yourself relax as you listen to the powerful rhythm of the falling water.

Due to the meticulous tree planting of the original owner, Mr John Marsden, the area around the waterfall is deliberately open to fully appreciate the phenomenon and enhance the contrast between the sheltered canopy of the wooded glen and the powerful waterfall right at the heart of it.

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  1. Gingertwin
    As a small boy I lived in the Isle of Man for 5 years and learnt to love the beauty and mysticism of the glens. Since then I have always dreamt of returning and visiting the wee people that line in the Manx glens. Now in my 80s I hope and look forward to o doing just that. You CANNOT know the Isle of Man unless you have visited those beautiful glens and experienced their charm.

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