Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom
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Approximately 4 Hours
Meals not included
Start your day by traveling across the center of the island to Tynwald. The Vikings established the Manx parliament here in the 10th century. Remarkably, this system of self-government has remained in place for over 1,000 years -- it is the oldest continuous parliament in the world.
Tynwald Hill is the focal point of Manx independence. Legend has it that the hill contains earth from all seventeen of the island's parishes. Stop here and to take photographs.
You then continue to Peel, on the west coast of the island -- dominated by the ruins of an ancient Celtic cathedral and the pink sandstone walls of a castle that dates from the 14th century. Peel has flourished over the centuries, partly because it has provided services for the castle and cathedral, and partly because in the 19th century it was the main fishing port for the island.
A recent addition to the town has been the House of Manannan -- a multi-million-pound heritage center, which explores and interprets the long and fascinating history of the Isle of Man. The Island's great mythological sea god, Manannan, welcomes you to his kingdom. Manannan's ability to shroud the island in a cloak of mist to defend it from its enemies means that today you are able to explore an historic landscape that is unique in the British Isles. You will see how the Celts and Vikings lived, what they wore, how they farmed, what they made and how they spoke. Stroll through the wattled-wall roundhouse and listen as a Celtic Chieftain tells, in audio surround, how old Pagan traditions will be changed with the coming of Christianity. View the replica of Odin's Raven -- a Viking vessel from Norway, with her crew just returned from the crushing defeat at the Battle of Clontarf in the year 1014. The Forest of Masts is a bustling scene in a traditional Manx harbor at the turn of the century, with rope splicing, knotting, net and sail-making activities. Stroll along a typical fishing village street where fascinating individuals from Manx history reflect on their maritime connection. Ever been inside a kipper factory? Enter the kipper yard exhibit to voices strong with the local Peel accent, fires smoldering, kippers curing -- a real insight into this important historic industry. In more recent times, the lifeline of the island across the Irish Sea was the Steam Packet Company -- conveyor of goods and people to and from the island. Models of two of the old ships are on display. You can even try your hand at docking the Lady of Mann in Douglas Harbor.
Following your visit to Peel and the House of Manannan, return across the island to Douglas.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes.