HistorySeparated from the Isle of Man by a swirling tide, the Calf of Man is a 616 acre nature reserve on an islet. Desolate in winter, the site is beautiful in summer and welcomes visitors to view local wildlife.
The Calf Bird Observatory was desired as far back as the 1930's, but it was not the 1950's that work in this area started. The Islet has a range of wild birds, particularly on the slate cliffs which surround the Calf of Man's coast. Grey seals sun themselves on the rocks and bath in the waters around the islet all year long. A small flock of Manx Loghtan sheep is also kept on the Calf. This rare breed of native sheep has been preserved by the Manx National Heritage since the 1950s.
Few buildings are located on the Calf of Man. There are two early 1800's light houses and a smithy. A replacement lighthouse built in the 1960's. A derelict cottage known as Jane's House and a late 1800's farm house, which now acts as the Calf Observatory, along with a farm yard, water mill and silo. Earlier settlements were known to be on the Calf from evidence of prehistoric Christian Graves and defenses from the late 1600's.
LocationThe Calf of Man is located off the south west part of the Isle of Man. The islet can only be accessed by boat. Special seasonal trips can be arranged from Port Erin and Port St Mary.
Drive to Port Erin or Port St Mary. Arrange transport on a boat to the islet.
Take the No. 1 or No. 2 bus to Port Erin or Port St Mary. Arrange transport on a boat to the islet.
Take the Electric Railway to Douglas and walk to along the promenade to the harbour and on to the Steam Railway.
Take the Steam Railway to Port St Mary or Port Erin. Walk to the harbour and arrange transport on a boat to the islet.
VisitingThe islet is very remote and not always manned. When a warden is in attendance assistance can be sought. There are no public toilet or refreshment facilities on the Calf, though roads and paths for walking around the islet are clearly marked. Visitors can arrange transport to the Calf of Man on special boats during the summer months. This is the best way to visit the islet. Come prepared for wind and bad weather. Consider what you will need for a day out and what can be carried.
Calf of Man Code
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