The Natural Wonder of the Manx Glens


The Isle of Man is well known for its many glens. Glen is a word from the Celtic Goidelic language (gleann in Scottish and Irish Gaelic, glion in Manx).  There are many mountain and coastal glens spread around the Isle of Man (Manx Gaelic: Mannin), as many as 120. These beautiful ‘V’ and ‘U’-shaped and often wood sided valleys have been carved over millions of years by glacial erosion and the water that constantly flows toward the sea from the Manx mountains and hills. A series of these glens are known as the Manx National Glens that are preserved and maintained by a department of the Manx government; access is free to everyone. They are noted havens of peace and tranquillity with tumbling waterfalls, deep swirling rock pools and abundant vegetation. Particularly in the 19th century, paths were laid, bridges built, and extensive tree planting carried out that enhanced the natural beauty and gave easier access to those who visited these remarkable places.

Manx people value these glens as much as they do their language and culture and many are listed below. As already mentioned the word glen comes from the Goidelic language. It is important to remember that there are only six Celtic languages spoken in the world today. They are Breton, Cornish, Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. These languages are broken into two groups Goidelic (Gaelic) and Brythonic.  The three Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland (Éire), Scotland (Alba) and Isle of Man (Mannin). The three Brythonic languages are spoken in Cornwall (Kernow), Wales (Cymru) and Brittany (Breizh). The Celtic language of Brittany being the last spoken on continental Europe. However, there are areas around the world where Celtic languages also took root due to migration such as Scottish Gaelic spoken in parts of Canada and Welsh in Patagonia, Argentina. Celtic language classes take place in many places around the world, particularly those associated with the Celtic diaspora. At the end of this article are listed some of the available classes, but there are more out there if you search.

There are many glens to visit on Mannin. You can discover the 18 named Manx National Glens here.

Here are also some suggestions about Celtic Language lessons but there are many more if you search:


Further Reading

Manx Glens by Suzanne Cubbon