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Manx Mummies helencw77, Ixia, and LadyIsabella, and any others.

(9 Posts)
TheGashlycrumbTinies Thu 27-Aug-09 20:33:35

Hi, you all very kindly gave me information and thoughts on moving to the IOM.

We went over there for a flying visit last weekend, just to get a feel for the place as DH has been offered a job at Nobles Hospital.

I don't really know what we were expecting, I suppose a bit of Jersey, with more spectacular scenery, and more space. We have been told by lots of people it is a fantastic place to bring up a family and that it is incredibly friendly, which we did find.

We thought that the weekend would be enough of a taster to know if it is somewhere that we could live, but it wasn't. We actually came away with more questions than we arrived with.

So I was wondering if you could help me out with a few?

We do have a young family and really enjoy spending time together as a family, we currently live in a village in the Cotswolds, but are close to Cheltenham, and use it for shopping and entertainment, DD's like nothing better than spending an hour in the bookshops followed by hot chocolate and a pastry.DD 1 is also a member of the Pony Club and I know this is very active on the IOM.

DH and I were, pre DD's, both BSAC divers and that is obviously open to us, and I have found a ceramic studio I could use.

We all like to go out for walks on the beach or in the countryside, and were lucky enough to see seals on the beach in Peel, that almost swung it for us!

We do like to eat out as a family in good places, we found The Garison in Castletown last Sunday, and enjoyed it, my friends who live in Laxey also mentioned the Courthouse in Douglas. But in such a short time we didn't really get the chance to find any others. I'm sure there are lot's.

We also made it to Tynwald Mills (sp) and found the type of shops we like. We liked the area around there, is it St. Johns? and Peel.

So knowing this relatively limited information on us as a family can you suggest places we should go to on our next trip there, the trip will be a make or break one, so any information would be gratefully received.

TheGashlycrumbTinies Fri 28-Aug-09 16:29:32


Ixia Fri 28-Aug-09 22:52:28

Hi, I read your post this morning and I've been mulling over how to reply.

If you like shopping, then Douglas and Tynwald Mills is pretty much it. Although we do have a Waterstones and plenty of coffee houses, so your daughters should be happy

Watersports are very well catered for, there is talk at the moment of an artificial reef being built for diving. If your children are sporty, the Manx government are very keen on promoting sport for children, there are many clubs, the NSC (National Sports Centre)in Douglas has a lovely swimming pool and there is also a gymnastics centre. There' a brand new pool in Ramsey, not had the chance to visit it yet.

Food - I had a lovely meal at The Garrison recently, although they do have a reputation for poor service. We tend not to eat out in an evening as we don't have a babysitter. But this website has good recommendations.


For lighter cafe type meals, I'd recommend The Alpine (fab Sunday brunch and coffee /cake), it's opposite the PO in Douglas centre or The Velvet Lobster on North quay in Douglas.
The Sound is worth a visit, it's in the south of the island , it has a cafe with fabulous views onto the Calf of Man. there's pretty much always seals. Killer whales have been spotted recently (take your binoculars).

There's also the Point of Ayre, which is the North most tip of the island. There isn't actually anything there, bar miles of pebble beach, Arctic Terns and a lighthouse, but it's wild and desolate.

Laxey beach is lovely at low tide, but I guess you've seen that as you have friends there.

Mooragh Park in Ramsey is worth a visit, depending on the age of your children. pack a swimsuit for the kids as there is a water park, plus boating lake, good playground and crazy golf.

You mentioned St. Johns, yes, that's a nice area. There are two schools there, the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (a Manx language school and St Johns Primary. Both are well thought of and both feed the secondary school in Peel, which again has a good reputation. We live in the next village to St Johns.

I'm not sure of the age of your children, but I moved here with a 2yr old and found it quite difficult. There isn't a lot for children of that age, apart from soft play (there are two) or toddler groups. But for school age children, there's a lot more. In winter it can be quite difficult as it's really a case of make your own entertainment.

There are walks in any of the National Glens, which are beautiful.


Health care here is brilliant, but I guess you have inside knowledge there ;).Education is good. There aren't really many security concerns and that's worth a lot. Travel to and from the island can be expensive - complaining about the Steam Packet (racket) Company is a national pastime.

Not really sure what else to say.

Feel free to email me ixia at graffiti dot net.

TheGashlycrumbTinies Sat 29-Aug-09 09:19:16

Ixia, thanks very much for your post.

You have given us a few things to go on there.

We don't really worry about going out shopping but we wanted to know what was around if we did, iyswIm. We do the majority of our shopping on the internet, and I've checked the people we use do ship to the IOM.

Our daughters are 4 and 6, the 4 year old is starting school next week. DD 1 does lots at our local riding stables, and they both go for swimming lessons, so these are things that can easily be carried on over there.

As a family we do tend to make our own entertainment, as we live at least 2.5 hours away from family and old friends. We do have a couple of families that we are friends with who have children the same age, and get together every so often. But we are also quite happy driving off for the day to get to see family and friends. I suppose that would now incorporate a ferry trip, or a flight.

We are coming back later in September, our friends in Laxey will be looking after DD's during the day to give us the chance to look at some houses, and a more indepth look at other bits and pieces.

If you had the chance to stay or go what would you do, if DH's job, salary, house stayed the same, would you stay on the IOM, or return back to the UK? Sorry about the interrogation! grin

Thanks so much for the links and recommendations, we will be able to use these in September. Are there regular Manx mumsnet meetups? wink If I do come over we could set them up.

TheGashlycrumbTinies Tue 01-Sep-09 07:57:16


TheGashlycrumbTinies Thu 03-Sep-09 10:04:19


MamaVegas Fri 04-Sep-09 08:28:31

Hi there, new to Mumsnet and just shuffling round the different topics. I am Manx (so biased!) and live here and am in the process of adopting two young children hence my venture into the world of mums!

Can't advise about the difference between moving here and never having left the Island but you do need to understand the difference between being 2 hours from friends and family and having to pre-book boats/flights, being prepared to spend @£300+ every time and then travelling to where you want to get to. Every holiday will need a day adding to the front and to the end due to the need to travel which can be delayed by bad weather or Fly(may)Be. There is also the very high cost of living and activities, with not much competition for services and goods the cost compared with the UK (never call it the mainland!) can be harsh.

However, saying that I've no idea where my house keys are as don't lock my house. If you lose your purse in a street it will be handed into police intact. People still say hello when you are out walking and you don't even have to know them. There are things to do and the community spirit is good if you get involved in local organisations, schools, activities etc. My main family activity however (I hope) will actually be spending time together walking or taking trips to the beach, we do not have the "excitement" of shopping centres or theme parks, it is a much quieter and peaceful existence and as long as you understand and want that, the Island couldn't be bettered (IMHO).

I live in a rural location, but know most of my neighbours and get fruit and veg left on my step from over producing neighbours and in return I have lent power tools, advice and husbands brute strength when needed.

Good luck with your decision.


LadyIsabella Sun 06-Sep-09 14:07:16

Hi BoiledEgg, just spotted your message. I can understand your reservations. When do you have to make up your mind? I would suggest visiting in the winter as IMHO it is rather grim, wet and windy from October to March. Also there is hardly ever snow if you like that kind of thing!

Obviously you do have that 'stepped back in time' aspect (not locking front doors etc) but I feel that has dwindled recently and there isn't much difference (esp in Douglas where I come from) from a small English town.

You seem to have some friends there already, but it can be difficult to make friends and the isolation factor could be a big one- the cost of flights to and from the island has already been mentioned. Also flight routes can change, they recently stopped the flight to Bristol (where I now live) and so we have to travel to Birmingham with additional cost and time to the journey.

Do you work? would you be looking for a job? not sure what the job market would be like.

Sorry, I feel like I am being rather negative! It is a good place to bring up children, but probably no better than the Cotswolds.

TheGashlycrumbTinies Mon 07-Sep-09 21:14:29

Ixia, MamaVegas and LadyIsabella, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply.

I will be adding a proper post tomorrow, I have just spent the last half hour writing one, and the computer "failed to open the page" and all is lost, argh!

I don't have time to re do it now, as DH has just arrived with coffee, and house brochures to look at.

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