Isle of Man: A Wild & Ancient Heritage
18 May — 25 May 2022 | 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: continue to Scarlett for visits to old lime kilns and quarry (spring squill, flowers).
Colden Hill (raven, snipe, stonechat) followed by Douglas for Heritage Museum (artefacts relating to the island’s long history). Free evening in either Douglas or Castletown.
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.
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).
Morning: visit by boat to Calf of Man (weather permitting) for seabirds and history. Afternoon: village of Cregneash (a living illustration of a farming and crofting community in the 19th and early 20th centuries). Please note today’s itinerary is weather dependent and might be adjusted to include alternative visits if it is not possible to visit the Calf of Man.
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).
Tour disperses after breakfast.
18 May — 25 May 2022
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"He is extremely knowledgeable and delightfully enthusiastic, while at the same time making everyone feel included, whatever their level of knowledge"
ACE customer on a previous tour with Kevin Hand
This tour includes several walks, some of up to two and three miles, often over rough terrain. Minibuses or additional walks will sometimes be required to access certain sites. While options will be given for those who would prefer not to do the full walks, participants should have a good level of fitness and be prepared to be flexible. They should also feel comfortable negotiating uneven steps and occasionally dark interiors, and getting in and out of boats during a possible visit to the Calf of Man. Please note facilities on the Calf of Man are very limited.
Cost of £1875 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches (one packed), six dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: return travel, travel insurance, single room supplement £175, double room for single use supplement £245.