About Foxdale Village
Kionslieu Farm Cottages are situated on the outskirts of Foxdale Village in the heart of the Isle of Man (see map). The location is ideal for those who enjoy the outdoors and would like a central base from which to explore the Isle of Man. For overseas visitors to our website, the Isle of Man is in the northern part of the Irish Sea.
Our farm cottages are a short walk from Kionslieu Lake, a haven for birds (see Manx BirdLife and bird watching guide), and from Foxdale village where you'll find a shop, pub and Heritage Centre (Foxdale can be seen just beyond the lake in the photo below).
The farm can just be made out by the trees half way down the right side of the picture. South Barrule is in the background, home to an historic Hill Fort and the Kipper and Viking forest cycle trails for mountain bikers (take a video tour). To the left of the picture is Stoney Mountain, known for its bird watching opportunities, while the remains of Glen Rushen mines can be made out on the skyline to the right of the picture.
Walkers and Ramblers
At Kionslieu Farm Cottages you will be surrounded by wonderful walks. We have a selection of books at Kionslieu Farm which give details of various walks from those suitable for families to those suitable for the more energetic!
A short walk on quiet roads and tracks will take you to Archallagan Plantation. This plantation is over a hundred years old and a perfect place for those who love wildlife.
The following is part of a walk through the plantation and gives a most accurate description of the area.
...soon Greeba Mountain comes into view straight ahead and at Eairy Kelly which is the building at the end of the road turn left into Archallagan (meaning a small height) Plantation. Once in the car parking area, we are confronted with three gates. Go through the one on the right and head off downhill into the plantation, soon emerging beside the boundary wall with a superb view out to the right over Cooillingel (low nook). This was also part of the Bishops Barony referred to earlier, and the valley down which the River Dhoo starts to wend its way to Douglas. Almost straight ahead of us is the broad front of Greeba Mountain and the King's Forest.
The little stream we are about to cross is the River Dhoo (the dark or Black River). Once across we continue along the forest track beside the wall for a short distance before following the track sharp left away from the wall and uphill through the forest, which in winter presents a great variety of fungi.
Now we have to be careful as we emerge into a clearing. The track divides and the main track swings right back into the forest, but we take the left fork on the rougher track, skirting the edge of the trees and swinging round in an arc to the left. This part of the forest is by far the most beautiful, with its mixture of deciduous and conifer trees providing an area open enough for small birds.
Just as the track leaves the forest on the right and swings further left and downhill, stop and climb up the bank on the right. There, ahead of us is a lake in the middle of Archallagan Plantation man-made and built on the source of the River Dhoo. It is an ideal place for a picnic.
Having taken in the tranquillity of the area, we have to press on. We have to walk alongside the lake and quickly join the track alongside the forest, walking in the open with the summit of Slieau Whallian in the far distance. The track eventually dives into the trees and we find ourselves in the older part of the plantation, the track now being grass-covered and carpeted with pine needles. We shall follow it, crossing a newer track on the way but now going slightly downhill soon to emerge from the plantation at a gate overlooking Cornelly, or Townshend, Mine, last worked in 1886.
The Jubilee Clock Tower - a well known landmark in the village was built in 1901 as a memorial to Queen Victoria, it is wound by hand and still chimes on the hour.
Bird watchers will find themselves in the heart of the Isle of Man just a short walk from one of the top 20 sites on the Island.
Two dams, Eairy and Kionslieu, are within walking distance of the farm. Whooper Swans used to winter annually on the dams which still attract a variety of wildfowl including Ruddy Duck (winter) and Breeding Tufted Duck (summer). There is a Hen Harrier roost on Stoney Mountain (a 15 minute walk from the farm) starting about 90 mins before sunset (winter). Breeding Hen Harrier, Raven, Crossbill and (irregularly) Short-eared Owl can be found here in the summer.
The MSPCA (Manx Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a 15 minute walk from the farm, here you can view various animals and birds who for one reason or another find refuge at the centre until they can be either re homed if domestic pets or released back into the wild in the case of wild animals or birds. The MSPCA also has a cafe so ideal to pop in if on a walk from the farm
... and more
Interested in Mining? Foxdale was an old mining village and the remains of many of the mine workings can still be seen. The mines railway which once brought lead ore from Foxdale to St Johns no longer runs but the track is now a public footpath. For more information and photographs visit the Manx Museum, a small collection of photographs of old Foxdale can be seen at Kionslieu Farmhouse.
If we can be of any further help do get in touch.