Last of the Festive Vibes: Go West

The Christmas Lights, Peel. So many bobble hats.

Christmas is almost here. Hurray! Which means, conversely, it’s almost over too. Booray! If you listen closely you can almost hear the sound of Noddy Holder weeping as that final royalty cheque comes in. Poor Noddy.

Noddy Holder.

The chestnuts are having their final roast, Elf on the Shelf is driving parents ever-closer to murder and the herald angels are sick of singing the word ‘Hark’. In fact, here’s Gabriel now. What’s that, Gabriel?

“It’s not even a word, lads!”

Cheers, Gabriel.

Soon you’ll be cocooned in the warming comfort of your own home, watching Christmas films and gorging on so many selection boxes you wish you were dead. Until you get to that point, get outside! Soak up the festive atmosphere like a big old yuletide sponge. The night-time merriment of The Dog’s Nollick in Peel awaits. But until then…

The Dog’s Nollick. Where there’s a pun, there is victory.

Westwards? What have you got for us then you sultry minx?

The Sunset City. Let’s be having ya.

Take me down to the sunset city where the castle is closed and oh, what a pity.

Peel is a lovely town to walk around. To amble. To stroll. A township fit for a browse, one might say. If one were a Victorian city gent, in any case. Even on a chilly winter’s day, there’s so much character and history to enjoy. Nowhere exemplifies this more than the Old Bonded Warehouse. This antiques store is brimming with character and is easily somewhere you could lose yourself in. Three floors of curiosities, oddities, hidden gems and lost treasures will transport you to a time that only exists in your mind. It’ll also keep you sober which can only be a good thing.

The unrivalled beauty of Fenella Beach may not be at its shimmering best in the winter months but there’s something about that sea air. As soon as the fresh scent reaches your nostrils there’s only one possible option. Get yourself warmed up with an ice-cream. Davison’s get in my belly! Is it really Christmas without two scoops of Honeycomb ice-cream? We think not.

Ice-cream: That winter warming treat.

You ignore the sideways glances that come your way and you march on along Peel prom. Like an absolute boss. Sure, you might be regretting not getting Rum ’n’ Raisin but other than that, life is pretty sweet right about now. Time to inject some culture into your eye-sockets.

The House of Manannan is where our heralded Sea-God lays his mythical head. Listen to conversations between the fisher-folk, read the earliest written account of the Isle of Man and resist the urge to hop aboard Odin’s Raven Viking ship. This isn’t Oxford v Cambridge, mate.

Manannan’s first school photo. Ahh, so cute.

Sadly, the imposing fortress that is Peel Castle is closed for essential winter maintenance. Which we can only assume means it is being readied for battle or the Moddey Dhoo is haunting the bejesus out of it.

Peel Castle: Get it invaded.

Before the main event…more on that shortly…

Curragh’s Wildlife Park is open throughout the festive period. Otters don’t celebrate Christmas you fool! It’s always worth checking out the Penguins, Meerkats, Red Pandas or our personal favourite, THE GIANT GUINEA PIG OF WONDER. Sorry, we’ve just been informed the correct name is Capybara. Huh. We prefer our name for it. Still, it’s a great day out if you’re up for something different. Bonus for those of us with children is the bouncy pillow makes a fine surrogate parent. Result.

Behold! The Giant Guinea Pigs of Wonder!

Once you’ve wrestled your smart phone out of that pesky wallaby’s pouch, you can return to Peel. For food! For booze! For god and country.

A cheeky one in The Whitehouse, The Highwayman or The Peveril will be just what the doctor ordered. Note to self: Change doctor.

When you need a new doctor.

Food wise, you’re going to need refuelling. Do you plump for the festive carvery at Sunset Lakes? They do have brisket after all. Or do you sample the fresh seafoody delights of The Boatyard? It’s a quandary because…well, you’re in Peel and it would be rude not to get a chippy. The gods demand it. Peel Fisheries Chippy has beckoned you in with its siren song. Flock to it my sweet, flock.

By now you should be a glorious mixture of shopped out, mildly merry and full of hearty nourishment. Basically, you’ve hit optimum Christmas mode. Time to engage.

The Dog’s Nollick is where you need to be tonight. It’s been running most weekends in December and getting everyone in the festive spirit. Listen to live music with your friends, drink yourself some mulled wine and bask in those fading festive vibes round the fire. Foraging Vintners will keep you suitably lubricated and when the late night munchies kick in — don’t pretend they won’t — Black Dog Oven have the wood-fire pizzas to round off your night.

Mike Wade: Ballagh by day, Black Dog by night.

Well, as Jim Morrison once crooned, “This is the End”. Whilst he was banging on about the futility of existence and the hovering grim spectre of death, we don’t really mean that. We’re simply saying it’s over. Literally. There’s no more. This is the last of our four part blog series. Cheers.


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