Could it be our age? Did people feel sorry for us?  These are the questions David, Ted and I ( Geoff ) asked ourselves after a three day visit to the Isle of Man, to walk, paint and explore.

Perhaps it was because of our age that we felt the need to ask the questions but we quickly concluded, that it was nothing to do with who we were but that there was an overall natural friendliness radiating from the islanders – and certainly from the people we met – that was refreshingly genuine.  In fact they had time to talk.  Which reminded me of a poem by Robert Frost, the famed, three times Pullitzer prize winner American poet, who wrote in conversational tones about things close to our hearts. The wonder of nature – trees – flowers – woods – paths – the weather and more.

The poem is in fact called `A time to talk`

When a friend calls me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don`t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven`t hoed,
And shout from where I am, 'What is it?'
No, not as there is time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod; I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

On top of this friendliness, we experienced three acts of kindness during our visit, which will also remain in our memory before we talk about the variety of scenery on offer in such a comfortably small area.

Act 1: The Good Samaritan in Port Erin

Walking along the Coastal path from The Calf of Man to Port Erin, we experienced extremely strong winds on the cliff tops, so much so that we were continually blown over.  David finished up in an uncomfortable bramble bush and scrambled out with a scratched face and cut hands and I was blown against a barbed wire fence and ripped my hiking jacket.  On arriving in Port Erin I spotted a RYA Sailing Centre called 7th Wave.  I went in to ask if they had any tape to cover the tear in my jacket.  To my surprise, the owner told me take it off and that he had tape and would iron it on, there and then.  He refused payment for this service – such a kind act.

Act 2: Warmth at Port St Mary

It was decidedly chilly before we commenced our walk from the Port – a coffee was needed before embarking on the trek around the southern part of the Island.  A few steps in front of us was the Albert Hotel. It was closed but as we were hovering in the entrance, deciding what to do a young lady approached us. She enquired what we wanted and explaining that we were after coffee, she invited us in, rather than let us walk right across town to the nearest coffee shop.  A lovely welcoming gesture.

Act 3: A Right Tilley at St John's

David left his Australian style 'Tilley' hat on the bus as we alighted at St Johns to start our walk to Peel. Many hours later when we had completed our walk and sightseeing in Peel, we spotted the same bus and driver parked up on the promenade.  David rushed over to see if his hat was still there.  It wasn`t, so explaining to the driver his predicament, the driver immediately rang his company.  He then told David someone would ring him back in due course.  The following morning, while still in our Guest House, David received a call from the Isle of Man transport company to say that his hat had been retrieved and could be collected from Ramsey.  That was our destination the following day after visiting Snaefell Mountain.  David was finally re-united with his 'Tilley', at Ramsey lost property office and all lived happily ever after – thanks to the kindness of the bus driver and Company to ring him back.

Due to the size of the Island, it is possible to see so much, in such a short visit.  It really is an ideal destination for short breaks and if one obtains an 'Isle of Man GO Explore Heritage Card' it can be a huge bonus and value for money, providing access to Historic sites, Museums and every means of Transport.

Ted, David and I have walked together for over three years around Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Lake District but recognise, that this was one of our most enjoyable adventures, due to the variety and number of walks available, the dramatic coastline, the quirkiness of the Victorian transport, the historic sites and I am starting to ramble, which is exactly what we did and we were not disappointed. 


4: Port Erin to Niarbyl Raad ny Foillan
Walking Route
Evening Light on Cronk Ny Arrey Laa

Grading: Strenuous Distance: 15 km / 9.5 miles This section of the Raad ny Foillan is particularly spectacular in mid to late summer when the surrounding heather and gorse are in full bloom. with plenty of uphill climbs you'll find mesmerising views throughout.

Calf of Man
Boat returning from the Calf of Man

Located amidst spectacular scenery half a mile off the southern tip of the Isle of Man, the Calf of Man is a small island extending to approximately 600 acres. An ideal destination for birdwatchers to visit, with it being home to a number of species of birds, including a number of seabird colonies and thousands of migrating birds on route.

The Sound
The Sound overlooking the Calf of Man

At the Island's very southern tip is one of the most scenic places in the British Isles. Abundant with wildlife and natural wonders, this area is a hotspot for seals sunbathing on the rocky Kitterland, a small rocky islet.

Railway Ramble: Port St Mary, The Sound, Port Erin
Walking Route
Railway Ramble: Port St Mary, The Sound, Port Erin

Grading: Moderate Distance: 12.2 km / 7.6 miles Take a steam train ride to Port St Mary to join the spectacular section of the Raad ny Foillan to Port Erin. This outstanding coastline boasts a varied selection of marine and bird life.

7th Wave
Watersports Centre
Manx Youth Sailing Squad training at 7th Wave in preparation for RS Tera National and World Championships

RYA Training Centre recognised for dinghy sailing, powerboating and shorebased courses all in Port Erin, for adults and kids, families and corporate groups. We also offer kayak hire. Our shop is on Strand Road, specialising in watersports equipment including wetsuits, buoyancy aids, swimwear, beach toys, sunglasses, masks, snorkels and loads more...

Snaefell Mountain
Snaefell Mountain

Snaefell is the highest mountain and the only summitt higher than 2,000 feet on the Isle of Man at 2,034 feet above sea level. Plan your trip to the top of Snaefell with the Snaefell Mountain Railway. Opening times, map, prices and what's nearby.



  1. Annie
    A very enjoyable encounter of the isle of man, through the eyes of someone else. As a regular visitor to the island, I can agree wholeheartedly on the stories that you wrote about. Everyone is so friendly, that it is always a wrench to leave, but comfort in knowing that I'll soon be back. So pleased too, that other folk feel the same as I about the island.

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