Isle of Man: A Wild & Ancient Heritage
19 May — 26 May 2021 | Tour Director: Kevin Hand
• From rugged coastal heathland to dramatic mountain views, explore the geology and landscape of this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
• Discover a diversity of seabirds, plant and marine life – including some of Europe’s largest hen harrier and chough populations
• Human and natural history intersect as we learn more about the island’s Celtic, Viking and early Christian past
conservationist, ornithologist and environmental consultant
Tour assembles 1815 at the George Hotel, Castletown, for seven nights. 1830 welcome and introduction to the tour.
Morning walk in and around Castletown including the bay area and Langness Peninsula (Herring Tower, Derby Fort; only UK site for lesser mottled grasshopper). Optional visit to Castle Rushen (one of the best preserved medieval castles in Europe). Afternoon visit to Scarlett for visits to old lime kilns and quarry (spring squill, flowers).
Dalby Mountain Moorland Nature Reserve (heather moorland with adder’s-tongue fern, bog asphodel and variety of birdlife). Afternoon: Niarbyl (beautiful sea views) and Ballaugh Curraghs Ramsar wetland site (royal fern, bog myrtle, hen harrier, feral red-necked wallabies).
Ramsey and Maughold for slate cliffs and seabirds, including Maughold parish church (ancient Celtic crosses). Afternoon: Point of Ayre walk (dramatic sand dune landscape with rare lichen coastal heath, possible migrant birds) and lighthouse.
Colden Mountain (raven, snipe, stonechat) followed by Douglas for Heritage Museum. Free evening.
Morning: village of Cregneash for sightings of early activity at seabird colonies (kittiwakes, fulmar, black guillemots) and coastal chasms (fascinating geology). Afternoon: Port Erin for walk to Bradda Head (choughs, fulmars) and Milner’s Tower (built in 1971 in the shape of a lock and key, in memory of local philanthropist William Milner).
Please note today’s itinerary might be adjusted to include a visit by boat to the Calf of Man, weather permitting.
Whole day excursion via Tynwald Hill (ancient parliament site) to Peel: Leece Museum (fascinating collection relating to local fishing and boat building industry), St Patrick’s Isle (Manx Natural Heritage tour of castle and old cathedral).
Tour disperses after breakfast.
19 May — 26 May 2021
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This tour includes several walks, some of up to two and three miles, often over rough terrain. While options will be given for those who would prefer not to do the full walks, participants should have a good level of fitness. They should also feel comfortable negotiating uneven steps and occasionally dark interiors.
Cost of £1795 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches, six dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: return travel, travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £245, single room supplement £175.