Feeding The Ducks

St Johns ArboretumNow where else in the world could something as classy as “Feeding The Ducks” be considered as entertainment or something to do?! Well we don’t care, a trip to the Arboretum in St Johns to feed the ducks is as much a part of Manx Tradition as saying hello to the fairies. Besides it is a very pleasant (and cheap) way of spending a few hours on a sunny afternoon.

The Arboretum in question is actually situated right next to Tynwald Hill, it is also known as the Tynwald National Park, it was opened to mark the Millennium Anniversary of Tynwald. It’s actually a very pretty spot with large numbers of ducks and other water fowl present in the large pond. The pond is surrounded bu numerous species of trees and well worn paths provide a guide around the grounds including the bridge that splits the pond in two. If you follow the path to the right of the pond you’ll find a small children’s playground half way up the hill and then further up the hill a shelter which has been known as “The Witches House” for as long as I can remember. As well as excellent views over the Church and Tynwald Hill the flat grassy area around here is great for a picnic. There are also benches dotted around the lower part of the Arboretum in case you get tired and need a rest.

Bringing some bread with you is a must and the ducks are extremely friendly so you’ll find no shortage of takers looking to get in on your bread action. It can get quite muddy in certain parts of the park so wellies are probably a good idea if there’s been rain around when you plan to visit. The Arboretum car park is directly of the main road passing through St Johns and there are usually plenty of spaces available. Being on one of the main roads there are also no shortage of buses that pass by and the nearest stop is within not much more than 100 yards. Access is free and the Arboretum is open all year around. Whilst you are there you might want to have a look for the Geo-Cache that is hidden in a certain area of the park.

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