Ballasalla Things to Do
Silverdale Glen is in Ballasalla and as well as the woodland it also has a picturesque boating lake and a childrens play area, complete with a water-powered carousel and a large green space for ball games and picnics. . At the glen there is also a restaurant, gift shop and a Craft Studio where you can paint pottery creations. When walking in the glen look out for Monks Bridge, which links the glen to the Rushen Abbey, and the Monks Well (make a wish), there are also a few small waterfalls along the route (which has paths). The glen is open all year and admission is free, although there is a charge to hire the boats.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
The Abbey is in Ballasalla, a short distance from Castletown, and is a fantastic place, it is one of my favourite visitor sites on the island. It was originally a home for monks of the Sauvignac Order in the 12th century, though it later came under Cistercian control. At the abbey you can learn about Christianity on the Island and what life was like for the Cistercian monk community that lived here. You will be able to visit rooms that are set up as they would have been,including a prayer area, where you can have a quiet moment or read the monk's prayer book, food storage, with examples of what they ate and a writing desk, where you can practice your calligraphy (they do have some templates if like me you are rubbish at it). There are plenty of other interactive areas and exhibits: have a go at arranging mosaic puzzles, building a archway (harder than you think) or for kids they have sheep "rocking horses".
Outside you are able to walk through the remains of medieval buildings, which have been labelled to give you a very good idea of the layout of the abbey, and see where archaeological research has revealed traces of more buildings below ground. You can even try your hand at some archaeology of your own in the example digging area with brushes and trowels (great fun, would definitely recommend, also my cousin -3yrs- thought it was fantastic). Have something to eat in the Abbey restaurant (should probably book first) or take a stroll through the Abbey Gardens where you will find more remains and can follow the footpath to the 14th century Monk’s Bridge in the nearby Silverdale Glen (which is also great -separate review)
Also the lady running it when we went was so friendly and was walking round to see if we wanted to know anything, were okay. And she seemed genuinely pleased that our family were getting involved with all the interactive stuff and really enjoying our visit.
The Abbey is open daily from April to November from 10am - 4pm and 10am - 5pm during the summer season (May to August). Adult admission - £5 and Children - £2.50.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
1 Hotels in Ballasalla
The Manx Steam Railway goes from Douglas to Port Erin and operates between March and November. Ballasalla is quite small but is still a main stop on the railway line.
The stops are as follows: Douglas (start/end), Port Soderick (stop), Santon (request), Ballasalla (stop), Ronaldsway (request), Castletown (stop), Ballabeg (request), Colby (stop), Level (request), Port St Mary (stop), Port Erin (start/end).
The A5 which is the main route to the south of the island from Douglas to Port Erin goes right through Ballasalla.
There are fairly regular buses to Ballsalla from Douglas, Castletown, Port St Mary and Port Erin (#1 & 2) at 2 or 3 an hour. Buses to Peel are less frequent (the #8 goes between Peel, Castletown and Ballasalla)
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