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July 31st - August 11th 2007
Isle of Man

Our honeymoon was spent in the Isle of Man where we had hoped to walk the 98 mile coastal footpath. Unfortunately the foot and mouth scare caused the Manx government to close every footpath on the island. We only managed a couple of days walking before the closures started, but in that time we managed to see a lot of wildlife and some of the most breathtaking views in the whole of the UK.
We did well for raptors and saw 2
hen harriers, 4 peregrines, a sparrowhawk, and 1 kestrel. We also watched basking sharks feeding on a number of occasions, saw lots of grey seals, a water vole and several new (for us) species of bird, including; twite, little auks and from the ferry home, manx shearwaters.
The island is an incredible place that is 33 miles long by 13 miles wide and within that area it encapsulates all parts of the British isles. There are parts that seem just like Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Kent and Yorkshire to name just a few. The geology changes all of the time and it seems as if the whole place is a nature reserve. Most of the infra-structure including the railways (steam trains and electric trams) and the street furniture is Victorian so you seem to travel back in time too. The IOM also has it's own money, so the feeling of being in a foreign country in a bygone age is heightened.
Seafood is a major highlight of the island with smoked Manx kippers and queenies (small scallops) local delicacies, as well as fresh fish and crabs caught locally. We took full advantage of this especially as the local Tesco sold freshly caught queenies at an unbelievably low price.

On our way to Liverpool to catch the ferry to IOM.

Gill sitting in the remains of a Norse house. What great taste those Norsemen had!

An arty shot of Ramsey harbour

We saw this gurnard caught and then released again.

This was the best year for basking sharks that anyone can remember.

Peel harbour, a favourite place for seals and baskers.

Gill fossil hunting on Port St Mary beach

Shell fossils

The sign for the Raad Ny Foillan, The way of the gull.

A view of part of the coastal path

Stunning views like this are around every corner.

The moorland was in full flower and looked great.


We saw the Hen Harrier close to here

The Milner tower above Port Erin in the south of the island.

Fulmar and chick

The electric tram that services the east coast of the island.

We also came across some ancient Celtic crosses in a churchyard at Maugold head.

The view to Laxey from the highest mountain on the island, Snaefell.