Visitor information for Laxey, Lonan and Maughold
On these pages you will find much of interest for visitors to our region. How to get around, where to stay, what to do and learn something about our heritage and history.
The Manx Electric Railway operates a year-round service along the coast through the whole of Garff from its terminus at Derby Castle, in Douglas to Ramsey. Stop off in Laxey for a detour, also by tram, to the top of Snaefell.
As the Isle of Man is located close to the geographic centre of the British Isles the top of its highest mountain, (621 metres or 2034 feet above sea level), can offer some unrivalled views, weather permitting! It is claimed from the summit one can see seven kingdoms: those of Mann, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, Heaven and Neptune.
The Laxey Wheel
The Great Laxey Wheel or Lady Isabella (as she is also known) is the largest working waterwheel in the world. A brilliant example of Victorian engineering she was built in 1854 to pump water from the Laxey mines. Today a climb to the top is rewarded with panoramic views across the Laxey Valley. The wheel is a fascinating day out for visitors and is open from spring to Autumn. See Manx National Heritage for details.
The Albert Tower, Ballure Reservoir and Lhergy Frissell.
The north of the parish provides excellent walking that takes in the Ballure walks to the sea, the Albert Tower and its magnificent views down to the town of Ramsey, the northern plain and the sea beyond. The tower itself can be accessed via footpaths from the Mountain Road Car Park on the A18, or from Ramsey via Claughbane or Ballure and then via Lhergy Frissell.
There are extensive footpaths around these areas of Maughold which are set out in many guidebooks. An excellent range of walks are described and mapped on the Isle of Man Water Authorities web site.
Ballajora Art and Crafts
The Ballajora Arts and Crafts Gallery is situated just a few yards down from Ballajora Halt on the MER on the A15 between Hibernia and Maughold Village. The work of 15 participating artists can be viewed, and the works displayed reflect Manx local life, landscapes and seascapes. For more details visit the website at www.ballajoraartists.co.im.
Combine a visit to the Gallery with a trip on the Manx Electric Railway, a walk around this stunning area of Maughold, or a visit to the heritage sites like the Celtic & Norse Cross House at Maughold Village.
Corony Play Area
A range of play equipment has been provided above the Corony and Cronk Cardle Estate. There are swings, a play house, springers, and climbing frames, as well as slides and a balance trail.
The picnic benches make it an ideal spot for a safe family picnic.
The location is enclosed and dog proofed, and has spectacular views down the Corony Valley.
The Arboretum is a wonderful destination for those seeking peace and tranquillity.
A place to wander at leisure. The upper path of the Arboretum leads to a viewing area from which there are magnificent views across the Parish sea to Cumbria.
Visit and sit by the Arnhem Oak, grown from a seed gathered in the Dutch town around which the famous Second World War battle took place.
As a result of his bravery in that battle, Manxman, Major Robert Henry Cain, was in receipt of the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to commonwealth forces.
During the Battle of Arnhem from 17 September to 25 September 1944, Major Cain’s company was cut off from the battalion and throughout the whole of this time was closely engaged with enemy tanks, self-propelled guns and infantry. The Major made sure that he was everywhere danger threatened his men, moving among them, and encouraging them to hold out.
By his leadership he not only stopped but demoralized the enemy attacks and although he was suffering from a perforated ear-drum and multiple wounds, he refused medical attention.
After Arnhem, he oversaw the German surrender in Norway, another country with strong Manx connections.
The Arboretum is open every day throughout the year.
Kirk Maughold Cross House
The Island’s largest collection of Celtic and Viking crosses are housed in the churchyard at Kirk Maughold Village. The earliest slabs show Celtic styles, from simple cross designs to the later complicated interlace. Some of the later Norse stones are decorated with a mixture of christian and pagan images.
Ballafayle Cairn & Rhullick ny Quakeryn
Ballafayle Cairn & Rhullick ny Quakeryn
Ballafayle Cairn is a Neolithic burial site and is believed to date from 2000 – 1500 BC. The site consists of a wedge shaped cairn, which contains stones that have been fused by heat and with a dry stone wall on one side. Cremated burials have been found in the cairn. There is a concave bank with standing stones and a paved forecourt.
Speaking of the Cairn in ‘A History of Kirk Maughold (1979)’ William and Constance Radcliffe advise us that:
In startling contrast to the massive simplicity of Cashtal yn Ard is the casual-looking uneven mound of stones and earth on the opposite side of the road from the Rhullick ny Quakeryn. Mr Kermode excavated this cairn in 1926 and classified it as a passage-grave covered by a mound similar to Cashtal yn Ard in style and age. The mound which makes up most of the monument is an assymetrical trapeze, with the wider end to the north-west. In the centre of this end are four upright stones, which have been incorporated into a turf and stone wall curving round to the north corner. Miss A. Henshall considers that there were probably projecting horns forming a forecourt at this end.
Rhullick ny Quakeryn
The road actually dissects the original cairn and vague outlines of it can be found on the western side of the road opposite. This area also forms the Rhullick ny Quakeryn, the Quaker Burial Ground. Here lies the body of William Callow, a Quaker, who at times was exiled from the Island for his beliefs. William was buried here in 1676, but it is likely that other members of his family were also interred here too.
The sites are approximately 2 miles south of Ramsey in the north of the Island.
- By car – The A2 from Ramsey and then the B19 to Ballajora. At the crossroads of the A15 turn right along a narrow road which will lead to the site.
- By bus – Route 16 from Ramsey to Ballajora and find the narrow road at the crossroads of the A15. Walk till you pass the site.
- By tram – Take the Electric Railway to Ballajora. Walk along the A15 till you come to the cross roads, then straight ahead along a narrow road leading past the site.
Reayrt Chalse Charlie’s View
Reayrt Chalse Charlie’s View
This site was created in memory of Charles Kerruish, following his death in 2003.The area is part of Ballafayle, the farm where Sir Charles was born, lived and worked throughout his life.
It is bordered by Ballafayle Cairn (2000 to 1500 BC) a Neolithic burial ground and, across the road, Rhullick ny Quakeryn (1676), a Quaker burial ground.
To the North you can sometimes see the Scottish Mountains, to the East the Cumbrian Mountains and to the South, Snowdonia.
Across the bay you will see Maughold Lighthouse, built in 1914.
The Ravens depict Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory or Mind) who, in Norse mythology, flew all over the world to bring information to the Norse God Odin. A raven is incorporated in Sir Charles’ Coat of Arms in order to recognize our Scandinavian heritage.
The poem is an excerpt from “Epistola ad Dakyns” by the Manx National Poet T E Brown.
To the West of this part of the memorial, on a rise adjacent to the Quaker Burial Ground, is a bench in memory of Sir Charles’ wife Margaret, nee Gell (1918-1970). From this vantage point Ballaglass Glen, Cashtal yn Ard (another Neolithic Burial ground) Snaefell, Clagh Ouyr and North Barrule can be seen.
Ballanette Nature Reserve
The Ballanette Reserve is owned by Stewart Clague and is used as both a private house for Stewart and his family, but also as a corporate headquarters for the company, including a visitors’ centre/training facility.
The estate includes a series of lakes with at least one bird watching hide. The coastal footpath runs behind the estate and goes back over Clay Head, giving access to some excellent views across to Laxey and Garwick Bays, whilst Lonan Old Church is a short stroll, and also offers some excellent photo opportunities.
Ballanette is in Baldrine – going north from Onchan towards Baldrine, go past the Liverpool Arms, another 300 yards further takes you over some tram tracks, and about 250-300 yards after the tram tracks, you will see a lane on the right hand side just as you start to enter Baldrine. The lane is marked “Lonan Old Church” and the entrance to Ballanette is down the lane on the left hand side, past some houses. The entrance is quite discreet, marked as “private road – no through road”.
The National Glens
The National Glens at Dhoon, Ballaglass and Ballure provide excellent woodland walks alongside tumbling rivers and waterfalls. The various maps and guidebooks can provide an excellent way in to exploring these areas.
However for an excellent range of information on locations, flora and fauna, the Commissioners recommend visiting the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website, particularly these pages.
The Maughold Venture Centre
Located in the Lewaigue area of the Parish, the Centre offers family and corporate adventure holidays within its outdoor activity camp and a range of outdoor pursuits and courses. The outdoor activity camp has been run by the same family for nearly three decades.
As well as family adventure holidays, The Venture Centre is a great place for corporate entertainment, scout groups and school parties.
The Centre also has a self catering bunkhouse which offers excellent value accommodation on a self catering basis. Meals can be purchased from the Centre, or from Ramsey town centre which is 1.5 miles away
With a wide range of activities from abseiling to kayaking, these adventure holidays will enable you to see Ellan Vannin from a different angle.
The Centre can be easily accessed by car, by the Manx Electric Railway, and by the number 3 bus services which run frequently between Douglas and Ramsey.
For further information visit their website www.adventure-centre.co.uk
Other Leisure Activities in Maughold
Maughold provides fine walking country with a mixture of Glen walks, coastal and mountain walks available. Many of these walks pass close to ancient sites and keeils such as Cashtal yn Ard and Keeil Voirrey. These are well worth a visit.
Particularly recommended are walks from Maughold Village to the Head itself, or along the Section of the Raad Ny Foillan that takes in the Maughold Brooghs and the coastline to Port Mooar.
For most walks sturdy footwear is recommended as most of the pathways are earth or grass. Please take particular care when walking on the coastal footpaths or at Maughold Head.
Please keep to the designated footpaths and ensure that dogs are kept under control at all times especially during lambing time.
Laxey Mine Railway
This restored railway runs along the tramway that once carried lead and zinc ores from deep inside the Great Laxey Mine.
The railway’s terminus is located at the Valley Gardens which was once the site of the Great Laxey Mine’s Washing Floors. Passengers travel in a tiny carriage, hauled by a replica of one of the original steam engines, through the Island’s only railway tunnel and along the line which once carried wagons loaded with the metal ores. See laxeyminerailway.im for details of operating times.
- Tourist Information Points
- Holiday accommodation in Garff
- Public transport around Garff
- Eating out
The Laxey & Lonan Heritage Trust shop and visitor information centre on Mines Road opens daily in the Easter holidays and from mid May to September: 10.30am to 4.30pm, telephone 01624 862007.
The Trust also offer guided walks during the season exploring aspects of the heritage of the area.
Information may also be obtained on week days from the Commissioners Offices at 35 New Road.