A train to the summit? Yes, please! Welcome to Snaefell, the Isle of Man’s highest point at 2036 feet (621 m) of elevation. It boasts views of the Isle of Man, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the heavens, on a clear day.
All aboard! It’s time to hop on the train for an adventurous journey to the island’s tippy top to spot the “Six Kingdoms,” the namesake of our Geocache of the Week (GCK4J3).
Welcome to the Isle of Man, a British Crown Dependency home to rugged coasts, vast countryside, and stark hills. Uniquely positioned amongst the British Isles, the island is fewer than 100 miles (160 km) from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. With a history and heritage distinct from the rest of the UK, this unique 33 x 13 mile (53 x 21 km) island also hosts an amazing landscape worthy of exploration.
The backdrop for our Geocache of the Week, the Isle of Man’s highest point, Snaefell, rises from the island’s center as though pulled upwards by invisible strings. Geocachers begin their journey at Laxey, a restful seaside community and the start of the Snaefell Mountain Railway. “All aboard!” shouts the conductor as you grab your belongings for the journey to the top!
As the carriage climbs upward the wind whistles past the windows as you emerge from a dense fog. The fog and wind add to the excitement as you disembark for the brief walk to the cache. If you get winded from the climb, consider a rest at the nearby café and a hot chocolate bearing the Manx triskelion, a symbol of the island dating back hundreds of years.
Once you’re ready, make the short climb from the station to the top of Snaefell. With each passing step, excitement grows to see the spectacular view and join more than 750 geocachers in whose footsteps you follow. Finally, when you’re arm’s length from the island’s radio towers, you know you’re in the right place! At long last, the clouds clear, and the sky’s rich blue deepens; you’re nearly at the GZ!
Feel the windswept grass beneath your feet as you get closer to the posted coordinates. Begin your search for the cache and closely examine each rock and ridge to ensure you don’t miss the cache hiding just from view. Steady your feet as you search; Snaefell is windy year-round and home to some of the British Isles’ strongest gusts. At long last, there’s the cache!
Once you’ve signed the logbook and traded SWAG and trackables, take a moment to observe the sights in every direction. The geocache’s name, “Six Kingdoms,” refers to England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Heavens, all visible right where you stand. Take a final deep breath in to admire the view one last time. Be sure to replace the cache exactly where you spotted it; the howling wind will blow the cache away if left unattended!
With the cache replaced and your spirits high, you spot another train approaching the Snaefell station—It’s your way home! The Six Kingdoms slowly fade from view as the Manx coastline appears closer and closer. With this remarkable journey complete, you turn your attention to the map of other caches on Man. One down, so many more to discover.
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.