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Karina Cruise to the Lost Resort of Port Soderick

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2010

On the very damp and sombre morning of August 23, 2010 your web master took a trip on Laxey Towing Company's KARINA from Douglas to the lost resort of Port Soderick around three miles to the south of Douglas. Once a popular day-trip destination for holiday makers to the Isle of Man it was once linked to Douglas by railway, electric tramway and funicular railway and also by sea.

The Douglas Southern Electric Tramway which ran along the Marine Drive and connected with Port Soderick via a funicular railway closed to the public on the outbreak of World War II and never reopened. Trains still call at Port Soderick from Douglas on the Isle of Man Railway, the station being some distance away. However. the Laxey Towing Company still operate occasional summer sailings from Douglas keeping the sea-link, reintroduced in 2001, going.

Once hundreds of visitors would arrive at this once thriving resort each day on August 23, there were just two passengers one of which was your web master! Following WWII there were various attempts to revitalise the resort the last attempted ended in 2001 when the hotel later renamed "The Anchor" closed. For some years it had been operated by a celebrity chef. There were various attractions on the site at various times including Oyster Beds (the oysters had to be imported), cafes, gift shops, paddling pool, play area, funicular railway and coastal walkways which extended north and south of the resort, The southern walkway has long been washed away though metal uprights and masonry viewing platforms can still be seen. Much of the northern walkway remains in position but has been closed for some years as it is now in a dangerous state. 

Views of the KARINA and promenade. An attempt to improve the stony beach by importing thousands of tonnes of sand in thee 1960s ended in failure when it was carried away by winter storms!.
End of the road!Remains of the southern walkway.A reminder of the Oyster BedsThe former amusement arcade building
Ornamental entrance to the northern walkway and part of the remaining section.Remains of funicular lower station.

Port Soderick is well worth a visit for anyone interested in the Industrial Archaeology of the tourist industry - one day a developer will sweep it all away - visit while you can and preferably arrive by sea as thousands of visitors did before!

Time to return to Douglas  "Waders" and "Anchor" - signs of past times

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