Things to do in St Johns

Top Things to Do in St Johns, Isle of Man - St Johns Must-See Attractions

Things to Do in St Johns

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What travellers are saying

  • EESW1
    Lincolnshire, UK4,837 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Although at first sight, there may not seem to be much to see (and you can actually see it quite well as you drive past on the road), this is possibly one of the most important sites on the Isle of Man.

    The Vikings settled the island from the C9th and brought their system of government with them. Known as Tynwald, this is the oldest parliament in the World.

    The word is Norse and means ‘assembly field’. Meetings were originally held in the open air to discuss matters affecting the community. Several small Tynwald sites can still be found around the island. These were small raised mounds were the chieftain and local population would meet to discuss matters affecting the community and administer justice.

    St John’s, with its central location became established as the main site from 1417. The ‘Hill’ is of unknown date and is an artificial four tiered mound about 250’ in diameter and 12’ high. It may have been built on the site of an old tumulus or barrow. It is connected to the C19th Church of St John by a pathway lined by low earth banks.

    Tynwald was important as laws passed were read out and this was the only way to let the common people know what the law was. Every family would make sure that at least one member was present. Anyone could present a petition about a grievance which was handed to the clerk to be presented to Tynwald.

    In medieval times, Tynwald would have also been the site of a fairground with booths, stalls and side shows.

    Although Tynwald now meets regularly in Douglas, there is a ceremonial meeting of Tynwald every year on July 5th. Following a church service, the sword bearer, Lieutenant General and Lord Bishop, followed by Legislative Council and Members of the House of Keys process to Tynwald. The two chairs on the top tier are for the Lord Lieutenant and Bishop, with the Legislative council grouped round them. The Members of the House of Keys are on the middle tier. The title and brief summary of all the laws passed is read out. There is time for people to present petitions and public officials are sworn in before the procession returns to the church.
    Written 29 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • 256CarolG
    Liverpool, UK14 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A lovely day, Excellent tuition for Noobs
    the most Scariest and thrilling time of my life.
    Super views.
    Different terrains Not too hard to cope with being a noob but when you get use to the bumps and the ditches its really fun in a way and with a family its the best.
    Written 9 August 2016
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Nicholas D
    Larne, UK1,119 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Charming country parkland within Isle of Man for visitors to enjoy a nice stoll around an area of garden paths and mature woodland trails. The area has a bounty of sculptures and art work and there are a few areas which show off the immaculate beautiful surroundings where you can sit and watch the day go by. There are also a number of ponds where the ducks paddle back and forth for attention. The only issue I could see was that there is no map at the entrance which makes it very hard to know where you are going or what is in the park.
    Written 21 August 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Silvana M
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing spot to watch the TT. Great food, bar and big screens. Covered area with heating. Food is great and staff couldn't be nicer. Back for a second year and will be back next year.
    Written 8 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • UKTerry
    Harlow, UK1,535 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We found these free gardens (including excellent toilets) by chance as we were driving from Foxdale to St John's on the A40. There is a large car park opposite the gardens adjacent to the Saw Mill. The long narrow gardens follow the course of the Foxdale River which when we visited resembled a stream. The highlight of the garden is the numerous trees which can easily be identified from the numbered identification posts and the corresponding information leaflet which was available on site. Unlike the Manx Heritage sites, there seemed to be no restrictive opening and closing times, as there is apparently no need for staff to be present when the gardens are visited by the public.
    Written 7 October 2015
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • EESW1
    Lincolnshire, UK4,837 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    I'd seen the large sign on the unclassified road opposite Tynwald and went to investigate...

    Cooil y Ree translates as 'Nook of the King' and was opened in 2001. According to one of the websites I found it is a 'parkland area which was developed with the history of the Isle of Man in mind, from its culture through to its future. The walk through the park includes art, features and plantings all linked to the island’s changing culture.”

    Apparently "The park will be further developed with the placement of art, features and plantings to represent the changing culture over time", but I think they have forgotten about this...

    The small viewing area by the sign is supposed to represent the first Millenium because if you turn round, you can see Tynwald (and St John''s Church). Actually most people may not do this and assume the viewpoint is looking down at the vegetation in an overgrown glen.

    A wheelchair friendly path drops down to the bottom of the glen where there is a large open area with grass and what is referred to as the "avenue of Time' (a long tree lined avenue). This is supposed to form an extension to the line of poles linking Tynwald and St John's Church.

    The vegetation on either side of this is supposed to represent the thickets which were gradually cleared during the Celtic and Viking era. They have now reverted to natural scrubland...

    At the end of the Avenue of time is Millennium Point (???) and the Circle of Infinity. I'm not sure what this is and didn't manage to find it , although I must admit I didn't try very hard.

    The 'Art bit' seems to be the splendid Wallaby which is part of the Wallabies gone Wild Trail designed to raise awareness and funds for the Isle of Man hospice.

    I passed a Walking for Health group as I dropped down the ramped trail w3ho were very amused when I asked how long the walk would take as there was no information on the display board. I was told 5 minutes. They weren't far out either!

    Forget about the culture bit and just enjoy this as a very short walk. Access is either by the ramped access opposite Tynwald or from steps by the bus stop opposite the inn. The western entrance is a couple of hundred yards down the A1.
    Written 25 August 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jeninabox
    46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    N&S loved their adventure day and love their weekly sessions at the pool. They have gone from being reluctant to start to it being a highlight of the week. They always come out buzzing and I especially love that it gently encourages them to move out of their comfort zones.
    Written 14 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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