The Isle of Man is the Irish Sea’s hidden gem
A day trip around the Isle of Man including King Orry’s Grave, the Point of Ayre, Blue Point, Peel Castle, and the Meayll Hill stone circle. Full video at the bottom
If you’re not familiar with the Isle of Man, it’s a green and pleasant island nation in the middle of the Irish Sea. At only about thirty miles long, it has an incredible choice of things to do and see — especially if you’re a fan of beautiful landscapes.
It’s my home but I never take its beauty for granted. I love showing off her fun and quirky things to do and hope you enjoy my tour of the Island. It includes secluded beaches, a viking castle, and pre-historic sites.
Day Trip around the Isle of Man
It took us seven hours and eighty miles to do a full tour around the Isle of Man. A full and action packed day that managed to get in all parts of the Island from the far north, right down to the south.
A day trip around the Island can have you take in diverse and stunning landscapes and fascinating historical sites. For such a calm and peaceful island, it has a long history of conquest, kings, and ancient peoples. You can find traces of them in most communities and one of the best places to learn more about the Isle of Man is the Manx Museum.
The remains of Peel Castle
Peel is the sunset city of the Isle of Man. It’s crescent shaped beach and castle ruins create a stunning foreground to the spectacular light show on the sea behind. Even locals consider Peel a bit of a holiday destination — an ice cream on the promenade and a play on the beach is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.
Peel castle sits on St Patrick’s Isle at the southern end of the beach. Built by vikings in the 11th century, much of the castle has stood the test of time. As has its most illustrious resident, not a person but a ghostly black dog called the Moddey Dhoo.
There’s a charge to enter the castle but it’s free to walk the path around the castle walls. You’ll take in some stunning views over the water and in summer you might even spot basking sharks.
The Western Beaches
From Peel right up to the most northerly point on the Island are beaches. Long stretches of empty sandy beaches. It’s difficult to get to them if you don’t drive or don’t know where to turn off though. The first public place that I’d recommend for a beach day is the Glen Wyllin campsite in Kirk Michael. It’s free to enter and you can drive right to the car park at the end of the road just above the beach. If you need any essentials, the camp site also has a little shop and toilet facilities.
Access to the beach from this point north can be difficult if you don’t know someone who lives along the coast. My favourite public beach entrances are north of Jurby on the A10 adjacent from Leodest road. Then further up the A10 to Blue Point in Smeale.
If you head all the way north, you’ll get to the Point of Ayre. There you’ll find a picturesque lighthouse on a long and open rocky beach. During the summer a lot of the beach is roped off to protect nesting sea birds.
King Orry’s Grave
From the Point of Ayre you can drive south through Ramsey and then along the coast road to Laxey. Take a right on Ballaragh road and you’ll find the first part of King Orry’s Grave just a few houses in on your right. It makes me smile every time to see this 5000 year old stone tomb and monument sandwiched between modern cottages.
There’s an intriguing continuation of the site across the road and behind a cottage. There’s no way to know for sure if the two parts were once connected since the road and houses obscure all traces. What is interesting though is that this second site is also a tomb and the single standing stone used to be part of a circle of stones.
Meayll Hill Stone Circle
If you’re as fascinated by ancient cultures as I am, you’ll want your day trip around the Isle of Man to include Port Erin. High above the picturesque seaside town are the remains of a stunning neolithic stone burial site. Called the Meayll Hill stone circle, it’s a collection of tombs arranged in a circle overlooking the sea. On winter solstice, the sun sets through an opening between some of the stones.
You can get to the circle from either Ballafurt road in Port Erin or where that road ends in Cregneash.
There are a lot more ancient and neolithic places to discover on the Island — here’s some of the places I recommend.
More Isle of Man day trip ideas
This is a short introduction to my Isle of Man day trip but you’ll see a lot more if you watch the video. For even more ideas on things to do on the Isle of Man head over here. I have a lot of Island inspiration in store for you.