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“Lots for the children”
Review of Rushen Abbey

Rushen Abbey
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Rushen Abbey was gifted by King Olaf I for use as a monastery in 1134. Today the remains of the Abbey sit in the peace of the Abbey Gardens. The Abbey tells its story from medieval times to the present day and includes a great range of interactive activities for visitors of all ages.
Iver, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Lots for the children”
Reviewed June 25, 2014

Very welcoming and helpful staff. Lots for children to do and good for the adults to wander in the beautiful gardens

Visited June 2014
2 Thank GoodHolsNeeded
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Children's playground and rude, dishonest staff!”
Reviewed June 25, 2014

Firstly, I was very disappointed at the child and toddler-centric nature of this supposed attraction. I was extremely underwhelmed by the whole experience. Secondly, and most annoyingly, the staff cheated my wife and I out of £10.00. On arrival, we informed two members of staff, including a woman on the admission till, that we had come for a 1pm Sunday dinner booking at the adjoining Abbey Restaurant, and that we had planned to go around the Rushen Abbey attraction after lunch. However, having arrived a little early, we enquired if we could look around some of the Abbey, then go to lunch, and then come back afterwards. She said, "Yes, no problem" and then proceeded to charge us £5.00 each for the entry ticket. After having an unimpressive lunch at the hands of the rude staff of the Abbey Restaurant (see separate review), we finished off going around the scant remains of this most boring of Abbeys (and I speak as a professional and postgraduate-qualified freelance historian). However, we were given 'Complimentary entry to the Abbey' tickets in the restaurant, which are available to all diners there. So we went straight back to the Abbey admission till to be told by two other till staff (the original staff had disappeared) that we couldn't have a refund and that the restaurant was a separate business! I tried in vain to appeal this on the grounds that we had been very upfront about our intentions and that the witholding of the important piece of information that Abbey restaurant diners get complimentary tickets was tantermount to lying. We left annoyed and feeling lied to and unnecessarily fleeced of ten pounds for a rubbish tourist attraction. The ticket staff should at least let members of the public know upfront that there is no need to pay entry if they are going to dine, as long as they are prepared to wait until they have dined BEFORE visiting the Abbey (which we would have done if the Abbey staff had been as honest and upfront with information as we had been). An absolute disgrace and a complete waste of a good day.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank NeilWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManxNationalHeritage, Public Relations Manager at Rushen Abbey, responded to this review, July 1, 2014
Thank you for your feedback in relation to Rushen Abbey. We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your visit.

Manx National Heritage takes visitor feedback seriously and we are always anxious to deliver the best possible product and service to our customers. Our staff members at Rushen Abbey provide an excellent level of service and unfortunately there appears to have been an oversight on this occasion.

We can only apologise for this and would hope that we can put it right. If you could be kind enough to contact me directly at Lynsey.Clague@mnh.gov.im, I will happily resolve your complaint.

To provide you with some feedback in relation to visitor experience, we recently completed an extensive review of all Manx National Heritage sites, preparing an Audience Development Plan for each of attractions.

Our research findings indicated that Rushen Abbey previously lacked appeal to the family audience & we have since taken steps to address this. Continuing to operate lacking in appeal to the family audience was not an option for us, particularly as we seek to inspire children to become fascinated by their heritage.

In doing this, we sought proposals from professional creative companies with a proven track record in the design and provision of exhibition interpretation, with a particular emphasis on interactive play equipment. Other than making the site more attractive for families, we have not taken anything away from the original experience at Rushen Abbey & all of our original interpretation remains in place for our more traditional audience.

We aimed for the scheme to deliver a positive and recognisable change in experience for younger visitors to Rushen Abbey, whilst at the same time continuing to ensure it appealed to our existing audiences. On the whole, we have received excellent feedback.

Manx National Heritage consider the Abbey to be a beautiful site, with a far reaching history. We interpret this through presentation of life at the Abbey from the 1180’s to its days as a school for girls, jam factory, fruit garden, the days of Bee Gee’s and 1980s days of disco.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Douglas, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Changed Emphasis has Not improved It”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

The religious and historic nature of this site has been severely downgraded and it's now far more like a children's playground. I strongly support making such sites child and family friendly but this transformation is just plain silly and counterproductive, A dreadful shame.. .

Visited May 2014
Thank Norman M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Kiddie Zone”
Reviewed May 8, 2014

Child-free adults are not the target customers of Rushen Abbey. Much of the site is geared up (or should I say dumbed down) to match the short attention span of today's youngsters. Other than the church tower, very little remains of the abbey; the ruins of its sister abbey, Furness, near Dalton in Cumbria, are far more extensive. The gardens are pleasant enough but small and, in spring, probably at their least interesting. A destination solely for families, I would suggest.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“'Rushen Abbey' (Manx Heritage). Monks of the Sauvignac Order.”
Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile

Rushen Abbey came under Cistercian control and was developed as the Isle Of Man's seat of religious power housing the main body of knowledge and literacy for the island.
It was gifted by King Olaf 1 for use as a monastery in 1134. Today the remains of the Abbey sit in the peace of the Abbey Gardens. The gardens are well looked after and when more plants come into bloom in the year, it will be even more beautiful in the sun, as it was today.
I had quite a long chat with the two ladies that worked for the Rushen Abbey Manx Heritage. They were extremely cheerful and helpful. When I spoke to them about my Manx background and family, they reminded me of where people used to dance in the Abbey, had strawberries and cream and also where the originally entrance used to be situated. I was only a child when I last visited the Abbey. 'Happy memories'.
May I give a suggestion to visitors to the island. It would be wise to try and visit Rushen Abbey on a fine day, only because of walking around the gardens and the ruins. Before you enter the gardens, there are plenty of displays, and information to digest on the history of the monks and the Abbey. Further information can obtained off the website to browse at your leisure. There are quite a few activities to keep the children amused as well.
I believe the Abbey Restaurant is worth a visit also.
Go on, enjoy the experience and learn about our Manx Heritage. You will not regret it.

3 Thank ttiom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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