Laxey owes its name to the Vikings, who christened this spot Laxa - meaning "salmon river" - in honour of the rich salmon content enjoyed by the river in those days. The lower part of the village consists of a harbour and a quiet seafront, but the most interesting part is reached via an uphill walk towards the Electric Train station. This walk leads up to one of the most iconic images of the Isle Of Man: Great Laxey Wheel, or "Lady isabella". This part of the island was home to a thriving mining industry in the 1800s, in fact the Laxey Mines were the deepest mines in the world. The Wheel was used to pump water out of the mines. The wheel still turns today, though for the benefit of visitors, and it sits resplendent in its whitewashed base complete with the island's Three Legs Of Man symbol. The base was sadly missing when I visited earlier this year, but the Wheel still made an impressive sight. There are rides available at certain times on the restored Great Laxey Mine Railway. Near the wheel is Laxey's Electric Railway station, complete with a handy pub for passengers to quench their thirst in while waiting for the train. Laxey is also the starting point for the 4-mile Snaefell Mountain Railway, which whisks passengers to the top of Snaefell, the highest point on the island. The railway operates from the beginning of May.
Map of the area.
|Photo by John Firth, via Wikimedia Commons|