Author Archives: BFC

Isle of Man The Extraordinary Story

Explore the Outdoors

As farmers we have a special love for the outdoors and we highly recommend you spend as much time outside as you can during your stay.

We are quite proud of Ballacamaish Farm. We’ve done a huge amount of work since we first bought it in 1976 (ask to see the photos, you won’t recognise the place!) and the grounds are now home to all sorts of local wildlife. There are two wooded areas close to the house which guests are encouraged to explore and we also offer tours of the farm if they are planned in advance.

There are plenty of walks that take you into the heart of the Island or along the scenic coast but if you really want to get off the beaten track then catch a boat from Port Erin and head across to the Calf of Mann. It’s a small Island (620 acres) off the Southern coast of the Isle of Man but it’s a bird conservatory with some stunning views that offers you the chance to really get away from everything. There are only two seasonal residents on the Calf of Mann so the only people there will be the people who you shared the boat trip with.

The Island also has one mountain (just, it’s about 10m higher than the cut off point for mountain status) Snaefell. The mountain can be climbed by those looking for a challenge or you can reach it via the Snaefell Mountain Railway, the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles, starting either in Douglas or Laxey. If you want to make it a full day trip, you can get the steam train from Port Erin into Douglas, hop on a horse tram and then catch the railway to the summit. There is a small café so you can grab a hot drink and admire breath taking views of the “Seven Kingdoms”: Mann, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, the sea and heaven!

Get out and explore during your stay, there are plenty of places on the Island to help you escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

 

 

the great laxey wheel with viaduct on sunny day - isle of man

Deeply rooted heritage

Ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, the Isle of Man has a rich history steeped in Celtic mythology.

If you want to learn more about the history of the Island there is a fantastic tour you can take during your visit: The Story of Mann. The trail takes you to various historical sites including castles, forts, churches, Tynwald (the site of the longest continuous parliament in the world) and museums such as the House of Manannan.

Some of our favourite places to visit are Castle Rushen (which is one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval castles), the slightly more weathered Peel Castle (which has the advantage of being located on one of the Island’s nicest beaches, and near one of our best Fish and Chip restaurants), the House of Manannan (which offers an excellent highlight reel of the Island’s history from the first Vikings landing on our shores to the present day) and the Laxey Wheel which is the world’s largest working waterwheel.

The Sound, which is located to the South of the Island and overlooks the Calf of Mann, an even smaller Island off the coast, serves a brilliant cream tea and is a 5-minute drive from Cregneash which is a working example of a typical 19th century Manx village. While you’re there you will probably catch a glimpse of a local breed of sheep, Loaghtan, which are descended from primitive sheep once found across Scotland and the Hebrides but are now endangered…they also have four horns.

There’s a lot of history to cover in one visit, so we suggest sticking to the Story of Mann for a whistle-stop tour of the Island’s history or talking to us for some suggestions on the best places to visit.

Isle of Man

Wine and Dine

One of the best things about going on holiday is getting to try the local food and there are a number of restaurants nearby that are worth a visit.

If you’re looking to stock up your cottage for the week the local town of Andreas is only a mile and a half away and has a well-stocked shop and a pub that serves hot food in the afternoon and most evenings. However, if you really want a taste of the Isle of Man then you need to head to one of the bigger cities, Peel or Douglas, and check out the selection of excellent seafood restaurants on offer. Being an Island these restaurants offer seafood as fresh as it gets, prepared by chefs who understand and love their local produce.

Alongside these seafood specialists there have been a number of new restaurants in recent years that have popped up, offering a fine dining experience to rival any European capital. There are also some really great cafes and tea rooms always just a walk or a short drive away. Just to make things easier, we’ll leave you a copy of the “Taste Isle of Man” in your cottage. It’s updated annually and lists all the best places to satisfy your hunger, whatever you’re in the mood for!

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.

Anatole France

‘Sport’ for choice

Whether you are an avid sportsman or just enjoy a walk through the countryside, the Isle of Man has plenty to offer.

The Isle of Man is known for its natural beauty with a diverse landscape containing everything from mountains to glens and a coast that stretches for 100miles. To give you some idea of what you can do to stay active we thought we’d list just a few of the things you could try during your visit.

Cycling: The Island is famous for its cycling (even more so now that Mark Cavendish has won an Olympic Silver Medal!) and there are plenty of routes to choose from whether you want to get off road and explore the countryside or follow a more well-travelled coastal route. Ballacamaish Farm is situated close to the Green Lane starting in Ballaugh and there is a local company that will deliver rental bikes to our door so you don’t need to worry about the logistics of getting your bike across the water! Isle of Man tourism has a detailed guide that contains all the basic information you need to get started.

Walking: If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground then you can still explore the beautiful landscape, just at a more leisurely pace. There is a walk for everyone on the Isle of Man; rolling hills, 17 hidden glens, quiet moorland and isolated beaches all crowned by stunning views wherever you look. We can provide the details of some of the more popular walks but all the routes are well sign posted, so strike off and explore some of the most beautiful countryside in the United Kingdom.

Golf: The Isle of Man offers far more than its fair share of exceptional courses with eight 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course all within easy reach. Not to miss is the Castletown Golf Links which offers the unique experience of being surrounded by the Irish Sea on 3 sides, and was ranked in the top 300 of Rolex’s 1,000 Best Golf Courses in the World. The lack of queues and the stunning surroundings mean that whether you agree with Churchill or not the Island’s golfing facilities offer a fantastic day out.

Watersports: Being a small Island in the middle of the ocean gives us some pretty fantastic options when it comes to watersports both above and below the water. Rent kayaks and explore the coastline, dive below and explore a 140ft steamship or just join a guided boat tour and catch a glimpse of the diverse aquatic wildlife which calls the Island’s coast home.

If none of the above take your fancy there is a near endless list of alternatives from Segway rental to archery, from horse riding to fishing – there really is something for everyone. There are a huge range of activities for you to explore during your visit and we are always happy to help you plan your ideal break, so feel free to chat to us!