Making history fun, a new app is being developed that enables walkers to learn as they explore the Isle of Man. Words: Katie Avis-Riordan Photographs: Dr Avril Maddrell
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 100-mile coastal path, the Way of the Gull (Raad ny Foillan in Manx), on the Isle of Man. One of two faith heritage trails to be launched on the island this year will be set along this coastal route.
The app and other digital resources being developed will allow walkers to find out more about the island’s history while they walk, including the ruins of medieval chapels and Celtic-Norse carved stones that are located along the Way of the Gull.
To celebrate the launch, there will be a series of events, including a candlelit pilgrimage walk, music and a photography workshop, with representation from St Olav's Way in Norway, taking place on 10 September.
‘I am Manx and grew up on the island, which remains very close to my heart,’ says the app researcher Dr Avril Maddrell. ‘The app is intended for residents and visitors, for those who want to undertake a pilgrimage walk, those who are interested in the island's Celtic-Norse cultural heritage or those who just want to dip in to segments of the trail for an afternoon out.’
The project aims to make the historic landscape accessible to everyone through interactive resources that include signage, printed and online maps and heritage information, low-impact open-access virtual technology resources via smartphone apps, QR code posts, solar-powered audio posts and in-car CDs.
Dr Maddrell is working with Manx National Heritage, the Cathedral Isle of Man and other local partners for this project.