The Isle of Man!

Coastal Path Day 5: Dalby to Peel,

Go to: Day 1: Douglas to Castletown, Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary, Day 3: Port St Mary to Port Erin, Day 4: Port Erin to Dalby, 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.
Unusually, this day was wet nearly all day - and when it wasn't wet it was grey and damp!

Leaving Niarbyl, the coastal path leaves the coast for a couple of miles and follows the road. This is easy walking and, had the weather been better, would have given excellent views across the sea to Ireland. But not on our day! Here we are out of Dalby and looking back at the promontory fort at Boirane. Also along herecan be seen the earthworks which made up an early-warning coastal (communications/radar?) system.

Looking ahead from the same point we see the hills toward Peel around which we will walk later.
Heading toward Glen Maye, the path leaves the road at last and we follow an intresting zig-zag path toward the coast and the glen.
At this point you can head down and cross the footbridge, and climb again the other side, or divert up the glen itself to view the waterfall, visit the pub etc. In view of the weather, we chose the short route on this occasion.
The glen is very steep sided, but very beautiful...
...especially the higher you go.
Having ascended the other side of the Glen, we look back down the coast toward the point at Niarbyl.
Despite ongoing spectacular views down to the sea, this section of the path, near Traie Cronkan has a much better surface than some of the previous sections. Therefore it shouldn't be so much of a problem to those with a fear of heights.
Around Gob Ny Sharray the path crosses into the fields...
...and then at Gob Ny Chassan out again - but the path is protected by a fence...
...and then back into the field at Dreem Long...
...before the Coastal Path joins up with the Herring Way at Knockaloe.
Around Corrins Hill, the joint path route is a very easy walk. This was very enjoyable, despite the poor weather, and the photo shows the line of the path - almost horizontally as far as the next distan bend...
...which is shown here. Still very easy going - and remains so almost to Peel.
Looking back the way wehave come, you can see the horizontal line of the path. We saw a seal here both above, and swimming below, the water which is crystal clear. Also along here are a number of caves at the foot of the cliff which the sea crashes into.
After rounding Corrins Hill, the path passes a coll, through which you can look down into the Neb valley. This is the hinterland to Peel and the visible route from the lower left, up throug the trees and off to the right, is the route of the former steam railway line from Douglas to Peel. This is now mostly a 'multi-user path' but it would be so much better, and so very useful, if this line could be re-opened to enhance the Isle of Man transport system.
Looking a little further back towards Corrins Hill and its radio station, we see further back across the island in the direction of Douglas - a mere 10 miles away.
The peak of Corrins Hill - up the side of which we have climbed so gently.
From a little further on we get our first proper view of Peel Bay and can see all the way up the coast to Jurby Point. This is the next day and a half's walking. At this point the official coastal path bears off downhill to the right but we decided to continue staight on (now on the Herring Way) to view Peel from Peel Hill.
Sweeping round a little further with the camera, we see Peel power station and another view up the Neb valley.

The town of Peel itself is rather fine. In the lower section of the town, you can see the semi-tidal harbour. Even in the rain there is a magnificent view from here - of St Patrick's Isle surmounted by the exquisite Peel Castle.
There is a path around the outside of Peel Castle - below the walls. Its best to find this from the cafe on the pier by going through a highly dubious looking hole in the wall...

Three quarters round is a good view of the causeway linking the isle to the island - if you see what I mean!

Here is another, wider view of the causeway and harbour entrance, with Peel's fine beach beyond.

In the distance to the left, behind the large building at the far end of the prom, lies our route tomorrow.

Peel Castle is rather special - and very extensive.
The full tour takes you around all its history and development. It has been used as not just a castle but also as a monastic settlement throughout many centuries.
On the seaward side of St Patrick's Isle - below the castle walls - we saw this group of people waiting in the rain. We then realised the lifeboat was on it's way in - towing a small yacht...
Here the lifeboat has cast off the yacht - which can be seen making for the harbour wall.
The next few photos show the lifeboat retrieval. The crew seemed to have abandoned the use of the expensive looking trailer with sophisticated launch mechanism we had seen fail the previous year.
The slippery plank system - basically similar to the roller system that the Egyptions allegedly usd to move stone for the pyramids.
Rollers would be no good here because the boat would end up back down the ramp!
Planks from the back are dragged round to the front and reused under the bow...
...and again...
...and again...
...and again...
...and again - obviously with considerable help from the tractor that the Egyptians missed out on... several centuries!
Also against the harbour wall at Peel in 2009 was this rather fine tug.
Something of a classic! Note the lifeboat slipway and boat house immediately on the right above it right below the walls of Peel Castle. Also note Peel Hill rising out of shot to the left.
Seals seem fond of Peel harbour and regularly make an appearance. They seem quite tame and we have seen three at a time in there, idling the time away.
Making a visit in 2010 were these three replica Viking-style longships. These were moored in the neck of the harbour near the semi-tidal gate between the inner and outer harbour.
In the murky weather they looked really quite spooky against the backcloth of Peel Castle
Close to, it seems that these versions were designed just to be rowed rather than sailed.
In the House of Mannanan museum - which is a fully interactive exhibition of Isle of Man seafaring history - there is a wooden replica which was actually sailed from Norway a few years ago to commemorate those early Viking voyages.
There is some real water in there, and better than usual mannekins, to create quite a powerful exhibit.
Ironically, part of the exhibition is housed in a remnant of the original terminus for the Peel to Douglas steam railway - just across the courtyard beyond the windows.
Go to: Day 1: Douglas to Castletown, Day 2: Castletown to Port St Mary, Day 3: Port St Mary to Port Erin, 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.