The Old Fairy Bridge – Douglas, Isle of Man - Atlas Obscura
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Douglas, Isle of Man

The Old Fairy Bridge

This hidden bridge is where local children leave gifts and messages for the island's fay folk. 

Residents of the Isle of Man are well acquainted with the legend of the Fairy Bridge on the A5 between Ballasalla and Newtown. Local superstitions state that those who do not greet the bridge’s fey inhabitants with a jovial “Hello, fairies!” as they pass over it may fall prey to their malicious, mischievous whims.

Even the local buses relate this warning in a pre-recorded message as they draw close to this fabled spot. However, there are few locals that are aware that this oft-frequented tourist trap is not the original Fairy Bridge, and even less that know of the old bridge’s location.

To find the old bridge, you must embark on a quest that begins with those innocent hearts that still believe in the magic and the existence of fairies: the children of Kewaigue Primary School. Fay-touched children who visit the bridge leave offerings of small gifts or trinkets to invoke the blessings of the fairies, while others write letters wishing for luck on an upcoming exam, the well-being of their family, or for a new Xbox.

These tokens are left in small nook in the crumbling facade of the bridge, and are mysteriously spirited away by some unknown agent. When you visit, be sure to bring a gift to leave behind, and remember to say, “Hello, fairies!” You wouldn’t want to be impolite.

Know Before You Go

The children of Kewaigue Primary are often reluctant to divulge the location of this wondrous, sacred grove, but enough clues have been scrounged up over the years to assist adventurous locals and tourists in finding it. Set out from Kewaigue Primary, and walk northwest on Kewaigue Hill road, looking for a dirt track on the left side a few hundred feet from the school, framed by a stone wall covered in vines. Follow this oft-muddy pathway for approximately 1km, until you reach a low bridge fording a shallow stream. Turn to your right, and follow the stream to the bridge, a few hundred feet ahead. 

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