The Isle of Man!

Coastal Path Day 3: Port St Mary to Port Erin,

Go to: Day 1: Douglas to Castletown, Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary, Day 4: Port Erin to Dalby, Day 5: Dalby to Peel, Day 6: Peel to Kirk Michael, Day 7: Kirk Michael to Point of Ayre, Day 8: Point of Ayre to Ramsey, Day 9: Ramsey to Laxey Day 10: Laxey to Douglas.
Port St Mary has an excellent harbour. It is big enough to have its own lifeboat. More pictures to follow. Leaving the harbour though is this terraced area and shelter. Curiously, it is reminiscent of the limekilns we saw as we left Castletown. However, it is also reminscent of a number of similar shelters at Skegness on the east coast of the mainland - so maybe it captures a style of the same era rather than just a local mindset?
Rounding the corner we get a closer look at the southern uplands - which we will climb later in the day.
Passing the golf course, we look back onto our first cliffs of the day near The Sheephole.
Looking forward across Perwick Bay toward The Anvil. Our path can just be made out, climbing very gradually about half way along the slopes.
Another look back at the Sheephole
The path between cliff top and golf course
Along the Collooway on that slow climb across the hills.
Looking back at Port St Mary.
The view back along the route of yesterday's walk.
The Sugar Loaf by The Chasms.
Black Head from The Chasms
Approaching the Chasms.
One of The Chasms. An area of rock criss-crossed by 200 foot deep crevices. Fantastic for the sure-footed bird watcher or geologist. Potentially very dangerous for the careless - but fabulous for anyone else.
The derelict Isle of Man 'local shop for local people'? Now a shelter if caught by bad weather.
The Chasms are really worth a bit of time exploring - but do take care!
Note the complete lack of safety fences!
You have been warned!
Just visible on the ledge lower down here is another iron age hut circle. A wonderful sheltered position - and a fine vantage point.
The path leading over the hill behind the shelter is the shortest access route for those people wanting to visit the ancient settlement of Cregneash. However, if you are walking with a dog, then you are advised to wait visit Cregneash via a shorter 'dog friendly' detour which dog walkers must take later to avoid a short section of path.
Moving past The Chasms and a last look back at The Sugar Loaf.
Rheboeg with Black Head in the distance.
'Exactly what it says on the tin'. Typical Isle of Man no-nonsense signage. We love it. Fortunately in this case it was not the path we wanted, so we turned left around Black Head.
This is the view back - generally toward the chasms - and the way we had come.
This absolutely stunning view (which the photo really does not do justice to) is on Black Head, where the path round the edge takes an abrupt right-angle turn. Just as well really!

The lighthouse on the Calf of Man can just be seen from here.

Another view back - from the same vantage point as the previous photo.
The Calf of Man is a small island - now an uninhabited nature reserve - just off the extreme south tip of the Isle of Man itself.
The straits between the Calf and Man itself are subject to extreme flows which small craft struggle though - and larger craft have come to grief!
Black Head is a fine clear area of grass and heather crossed by narrow paths. We even found a small lizard enjoying the sun. This is the view looking northwards - up the middle of the island. In a couple of days we should be heading up the hills to the left. Creig Neash is visible in the distance.
This view is from the same point but looking back the way we have come up the east side of the island.
Approaching The Sound we descend a winding rocky path. On the left, on the edge of the main island, is another promontory fort.
In a typical Isle of Man quirk, we change from wide open heathland to a narrow cleft between the rocks as we continue to descend.
A memorial to Sir Percy Cowley - founder of the Manx National Trust
Moving still toward the Sound, a look back gives another view of the promontory fort (Burroo Ned) on the right - and the route of our descent from Black Head in the distance.
This is The Sound proper. Another memorial here. This is the most southern point on the main island and the Calf of Man is in the distance with a much smaller rocky outcrop in between. The tides really rip through here. Despite this, small vessels regularly battle their way through rather than make the detour all the way round the Calf - which is now an uninhabited wildlife sanctuary.
Looking back here the way we have walked, you can see the grass roofed visitor centre (and useful cafe!). Also visible is the roof of a bus. This is quite literally 'the end of the road'. Dog walkers must take a slightly different route back from here - making it easy to visit Cregneash, as previously mentioned.
Cregneash is an old village - part of which has been restored as a museum to show how islanders previously lived. It is a 'working museum' through which one may wander freely but there are volunteers working in period dress who explain life for the fishermen and farmers.
Also on the 'dog friendly' route is this system of burial chambers at Mull Hill. The town of Port Erin is in the valley below.
Starting north on the west side of the island near Ghaw ny Kirree.
Passing the head of one of several rocky inlets near Ghaw ny Kirree
Looking back toward the sound from near Aldrick
Similar to the previous photo from a bit further on. The Calf of Man can be seen isolated.
Aproaching Port Erin - seen from a point known as 'The Castles'.
The first of three photos taken as a panoramic view across Port Erin....
...up the centre of the island...
...and across the isthmus towards Port St Mary
After scrambling down the grassy morthern edge of the hills, we reach the outer harbour edge of the deep inlet that protects Port Erin.
There is a working lifeboat station here - which one can visit. Note the distant light house at the extreme furthest left of the distant beach.
Reaching the main harbour. Note the light house again - right next to yet another convenient cafe!
I'm not a great fan of personalised number plates - but I liked this one :-)
The steam railway from Douglas terminates here.
Here also is a small railway museum, shop and cafe.
A real-life jellyfish on the beach at Port Erin.
Go to: Day 1: Douglas to Castletown, Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary, Day 4: Port Erin to Dalby, Day 5: Dalby to Peel, Day 6: Peel to Kirk Michael, Day 7: Kirk Michael to Point of Ayre, Day 8: Point of Ayre to Ramsey, Day 9: Ramsey to Laxey Day 10: Laxey to Douglas.