Isle of Man
The Isle of Man In the heart of the Irish
Sea, off the north west coast of England, lies Britain’s best kept
secret – the Isle of Man.
Just 33 miles long by 13 miles wide,
the Isle of Man is a must for all countryside lovers with its many
different landscapes and breathtaking views. It is said that every type
of scenery found in the British Isles can also be found on the Island:
cliffs, purple mountains, gorse clad valley slopes, sandy beaches and
Walkers can enjoy unspoilt coastal and hillside footpaths, and this
little kingdom is perfect for bicycles, following clearly signposted
routes, which make a series of
cycle tracks throughout the Island.
Those looking for a more gentle means
of exploration can sit back and admire the view on board one of the
vintage transport systems. Steam and electric railways weave their
way coast to coast from
Port Erin in the south to
Ramsey in the north. In the Island’s capital,
Douglas, Victorian horse-drawn trams transport visitors along the
main promenade. But perhaps the most spectacular ride of all is aboard
Snaefell Mountain Railway. Beginning at the old mining village
Laxey – home to the world’s largest working waterwheel – the line climbs
to the Island’s highest point from where it is maintained, it is
possible to see the kingdoms of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Mann,
Heaven and the kingdom of the sea.
Steeped in tradition and ancient
history, the Isle of Man has retained its independence with its own
currency, stamps, government and even language – although English is
spoken everywhere. Strong Celtic and Viking influences survive, indeed
thrive on Mann today, highlighted by the names of the people and places.
Visitors are invited to step back some 10,000 years and retrace “The
Story of Mann” which is brought to life by a series of open air sites
it is not just heritage enthusiasts who enjoy visiting the Isle of Man.
eight quality golf courses and a mild winter climate, the Island is
a must for golfers of all abilities. The Island also offers excellent
water sports facilities, especially
diving and sailing. Special events such as the world famous TT
motorcycle races as well as
car rallies, railways, arts and music festivals are ideal themes
around which to base a visit to the Island. Quality restaurants abound
and national dishes include the famous
Manx kippers, local scallops called Queenies and real dairy Manx ice
Getting to the Isle of Man has never been easier with regular
flights available from a wide spread of regional airports across the UK
and Ireland, while ferry and SeaCat crossings operate from Liverpool and
the best way to explore the island is by car. This gives the freedom to
take in all the main resorts (from Castletown and picturesque Port St
Mary in the south, to bustling Ramsey in the north and Peel in the
west), as well as accessing more secluded spots. But there are other
ways to get out and about; the Snaefell Electric Mountain Railway for
instance, or the Victorian railway and tram systems linking Douglas with
Port Erin and Ramsey. The island also has a wealth of special interest
activities, from fishing and golf to bird watching and walking. For more
information on these, Isle of Man Tourism is happy to help. Please visit
their website at
its modest size, the Isle of Man boasts eight 18-hole and one nine-hole
course. The King Edward Bay offers magnificent views across Douglas Bay,
while Castletown is a beautiful links course which played host to PGA
cup matches against the US in 1979. Pulrose in Douglas is an enjoyable
course and good value for money. Other courses include: a delightful
nine holes at Port St Mary; Rowany in Port Erin; Peel; Ramsey Golf Club;
and Mount Murray Santon, which also has a driving range. Glen Truan in
the north of the island is the latest addition and is proving to be
popular with the locals and visitors alike.
Walking and rambling
enjoy the island's beauty at its best there's probably no better way
then on foot. Choose from long paths such as the Millennium Way between
Castletown and Ramsey or short walks through beautiful glens. Some paths
have been temporarily closed for repair due to flood damage,
particularly Groudle and the Dhoon, so it's worth checking with Tourist
Information. The Bayr ny Skeddan (Herring Road) from Castletown to Peel
was once frequented by Manx fishermen.
Indoor water sports
water sports complex at the National Sports Centre on Groves Road in
Douglas includes a competition pool that is 25m long by 21m across, laid
out in eight lanes. This boasts a floating floor, which can be raised or
lowered as the occasion demands. The serious larking begins in the
separate leisure pool, where you will find a bubble tub, flow pool,
jets, water cannons mushroom sprays and two excellent slides.
are two major angling events each year: the Ramsey Angling Festival,
which sees competitive beach fishing in May; and the Mannin Angling Club
Boat Festival in Port St Mary, August, which has boat and shore angling.
Fishing is also excellent in the Island's rivers and reservoirs. The Neb,
Dhoo, or Sulby rivers can be fished between April and October on a
seasonal license and the reservoirs from March until October. Licenses
for the season are great value, permits are sold at the Island's main
post offices and the Tourist Information Centre, Douglas.
the summer, those who like the action a little faster can try their hand
at jet skis for hire on Douglas and Gansey Beaches most days at very
reasonable rates. Windsurfing is also popular and Derbyhaven in the
south of the Island is a favoured spot.
bikes are a great way to see the Island, you don't need any experience,
just a sense of adventure and a love of the countryside. There are great
views from 1,000ft, where you can see the sea on both sides of the
Island. Enjoy an exhilarating day out on a working Manx farm in the old
tradition with tea and home-made cakes after your ride!