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Isle of Man One Stop Guide Issue 4


Keep in touch with the

Isle of Man To find out more about the Island go to

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© Department of Economic Development 2013. All details are correct at time of going to press. E&OE. PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS: Seb Rogers, Ron Strathdee, Andy North, James Brew, Emma Cooke, Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man Transport, www.iomtt.com


The Small Kingdom

with a Big Story If this is your first visit to the Isle of Man, get ready for a rich journey of discovery. Nestling between England and Ireland, the Isle of Man is a world apart. A haven of beauty, character and fascinating contrasts, the Island packs a wealth of unique sights and experiences into its small, sea-bound shores. Here, you will follow in the footsteps of the first Neolithic settlers and the ancient Celts, and discover the legacy of the Vikings, still alive today in Mann’s landscape, culture and government. You will learn about the seafaring nation which gave rise to smugglers, mutineers and naval heroes, and learn about the way of life of Manx crofters and miners in centuries gone by. This is a place of extraordinary historical landmarks - from the world’s largest working waterwheel, Lady Isabella, to Castle Rushen, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval fortresses. A place where working Victorian steam trains and electric trams co-exist with the world’s most famous and thrilling motorcycle road races.

And then there’s the enduring beauty of the landscape itself, which has inspired numerous artists, photographers and writers over the centuries. It’s also a mecca for wildlife and outdoors enthusiasts, with mile upon mile of unspoilt, varied countryside just waiting to be enjoyed. Whether you prefer a round of golf, a day of fishing, a long coastal ramble or a challenging mountain bike ride, you’ll find opportunities right on your doorstep. In fact, whatever your interests and however you like to relax, you’ll find what you want right here in the Isle of Man. From the Point of Ayre to the Calf of Man, the Isle of Man is packed with ways to unwind, have fun and make the most of your time. And if you can’t do it all in one holiday, then you’ll just have to pay another visit - there’s always more to explore. We hope you enjoy your stay in the Isle of Man, take home wonderful memories to treasure and come back soon. Failt erriu gys Ellan Vannin welcome to the Isle of Man

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For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


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Contents 4

The Best of the Isle of Man

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The Island Year

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Directory - Attractions - Tours - Activities - Shopping - Arts & Culture - Eating Out

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Suggested Itineraries

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Wildlife Watching

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Getting Around

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Towns and Maps

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Notes

Remember to stay in touch with the Isle of Man, simply ďŹ ll in the freepost card on the back cover and send it back to us!

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The Best of the

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With so much to see and do, where do you start? Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a quick low-down on some quintessential Isle of Man experiences to tick off during your visit.



LIVING HERITAGE:

Must-do: Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Cregneash Village, the Manx Museum and the Great Laxey Wheel & Mines Trail are all sights worth setting aside several hours apiece for. See also: The quirky and fascinating Nautical Museum (Castletown), and the iMuseum (Douglas) for a wealth of local history.

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Pick up a Holiday Pass for unlimited (seasonal) access to all Manx National Heritage sites.

The Great Outdoors Must-do: A sea kayaking excursion along a scenic stretch of coastline or an exhilarating mountain bike ride in the hills. See also: Coasteering, geocaching and diving are amongst the many varied adventure pursuits you can enjoy in the Isle of Man. If you want to take part in organised adventure activities, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s helpful to browse opportunities and book in advance (see Adventure Sports Centres - pg 24).

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For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766




VINTAGE RAILWAYS: Must-do: Journeys on the Isle of Man Steam Railway, the Manx Electric Railway and the Snaefell Mountain Railway are, of course, an essential for any heritage transport lovers. See also: Try to make time for the Groudle Glen Railway and the Great Laxey Mines Railway, two lovingly restored pieces of local history. The Isle of Man Steam Railway runs many special â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;themedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; journeys throughout the season - keep an eye out for one that takes your fancy. Visit www.iombusandrail.info

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NATURAL WORLD: Must-do: A wildlife-spotting boat trip in summer for encounters with whales, dolphins, basking sharks, seals and birdlife. See also: Explore the ďŹ&#x201A;ora and fauna of Ballaugh Curragh, a protected area of wetland famous for its biodiversity - and wild wallabies.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave home without your binoculars!

 MOTORSPORT :

Must-do: It goes without saying that the Isle of Man TT and the Festival of Motorcycling are unmissable for any road racing fan. Both festivals have their own unique character and attractions. See also: Modern and classic car rallies staged in the Manx countryside, plus more motorbike road race action on the Southern 100 circuit.

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For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766




Food and Drink Must-do: A tour of Moore’s Kipper Yard in Peel to discover the centuries-old smokehouse traditions. Sample Manx Queenies - a delicious, renowned and affordable delicacy in an Island restaurant or café. See also: Okells Brewery Tours shed light on the making of pure Manx ales and porters in a fun and fascinating way.

U<DUG H S S L .  ªV H U R 0R Farmers’ Markets selling a huge range of local produce take place throughout the year. Take a look at an events guide to find out more.

Complete the road race experience by getting tickets for the TT Grandstand - the ultimate heart of the action.

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TIME TO RELAX

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Must-do: Take a wander through one of the Island’s beautiful national glens, plan a day of sea, reservoir or river fishing or brush up your game on one of the Island’s many excellent golf courses. See also: Brightlife outside of Ramsey offers a range of treatments and therapies to revive and restore the mind, body and soul. Worth taking time out for. Visit www.brightlife.com

Really want to wind down and relax? Why not pack a picnic, find a secret beach and while away the day!

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For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


The Island Year Whatever the weather and the season, there’s always plenty going on in the Isle of Man. Our Island is a hive of cultural activity, sporting challenges and popular annual events - some of them colourful and unique to the Isle of Man! Take a look at events guides when you arrive to see what’s happening during your stay. In the meantime, here’s a few highlights you might like to consider. Culture Musically minded? From the Big Wheel Blues Festival to the Mananan Opera Festival, the Isle of Man draws internationally acclaimed artists year on year. Folk traditions are celebrated annually at Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’), a celebration of song, dance and the spoken word from the six Celtic nations. For theatregoers, there’s the longrunning Easter Festival of Plays, a competition between several top theatre companies in the beautiful setting of the Gaiety Theatre. In September, the Manx Litfest takes place an event warmly anticipated by booklovers.

Every year, Manx National Heritage run a packed programme of history and culture-orientated events, lectures, exhibitions, guided walks and workshops. Go to www.manxnationalheritage.im for more details.

Sport By far and away the Island’s bestknown sporting event is the Isle of Man TT Festival, the legendary motorcycle races, which attract visitors from all over the world. There’s much more in store if you’re a motorsport fan: the Festival of Motorcycling, the Southern 100 and several car rallies. A world away from high-octane races - but hugely popular nonetheless - are our annual Darts and Bowls Festivals.

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The Isle of Man has a seriously strong athletic tradition, reflected in numerous annual triathlons, fell runs, road races and endurance events. The Easter Festival of Running is a good introduction, a weekend of races and fun social events. Good at walking long distances? Why not tackle the ultimate endurance event, the Parish Walk? From small beginnings, the 85mile non-stop road walk now attracts well over 1,000 entrants. Another race whose fame has spread is the mountain bike ‘End 2 End’ - places on this tough but enjoyable challenge are snapped up well in advance. If you prefer road cycling to mountain biking, there’s the Isle of Man CC (Cycle Challenge), an annual cycle sportive, established in 2012, which allows solo and team riders to tackle laps of the iconic TT course.

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If this all sounds a bit too gruelling, the Isle of Man Walking Festival offers routes designed to suit even the most leisurely pace and take you through some of the most stunning scenery the Island has to offer. For inspiration, see any one of the Isle of Man Active Guides available to download from www.visitisleofman.com/ activeguides or alternatively, pick up printed guides from the Welcome Centre. The five guides - to Cycling, Walking, Mountain Biking, Angling and Active and Outdoor - give you all the information you need to get off the beaten track and discover the Isle of Man’s wild side.

Lifestyle In the summer months, the Isle of Man comes alive with a host of annual events, ranging from the traditional to the rather more unusual, and with

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


elements to appeal to all ages.

live music and street entertainment.

The Southern and Royal Agricultural Shows bring together the farming community with craftspeople, musicians, charities and much more. In a similar vein, the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival is a popular platform for all the producers and food artisans who have given the local food movement a massive boost in the last few years.

If you think the Viking Longboat Races in Peel (friendly but fiercely competitive time trials in the town harbour and bay) look like fun, wait til you see the World Tin Bath Championships in Castletown!

Port St Mary’s Queenie Festival, although dedicated to the star of Manx seafood, is about much more: marine conservation and sports, Manx folk music and customs, and simply having a great time! If you enjoy the weekend, you’ll probably want to check out the Port Erin Beach Festival, too.

At the end of October the Island celebrates Hop tu Naa, a unique celebration of the Celtic New Year’s Eve, whilst in December several New Years Day dips take place. The largest and longest-running one taking place in Peel. In recent years, some bold-hearted souls have taken to doing several dips in a row, all for a good cause. Keep up to date with what’s on at www.visitisleofman.com/whatson

Castletown and Peel still stage long-running town carnivals, familyorientated events with processions,

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To be listed in the Directory contact the marketing team by email:

Directory Things to see and do... This comprehensive directory will help you plan your visit, wherever your interests lie. Please note that a number of visitor attractions are seasonal or have limited opening times; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always worth checking opening hours and dates in advance.

Look out for... Free entry Serves food

dedmarketing @gov.im

Page 14 Attractions 14 15 18 20

Historic Interest Museums Nature & Beauty Spots National Glens

Page 21 Tours 21 21 22 23 23

Boat Charters Fishing, Nature-Watching & Sightseeing Sightseeing with a Difference Food Tours Cultural Tours

Page 24 Activities 24 24 25 26 26 27 28 29 30 30 31 31 31 32 32 33 33 34

Active & Outdoor Adventure Sports Centres Cycling Angling & Fishing Geocaching Golf Heritage Railways Horse Riding Children Mountain Biking Walking Long Distance Paths Motorsport Watersports Diving Sailing Wildlife Encounters Recreational Parks & Centres

Page 35 Shopping Page 36 Arts & Culture Page 38 Eating Out

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Attractions skills and customs which characterised the crofter’s way of life. Castle Rushen Step inside the cottages Castle Street, to find out about how the Castletown, IM9 1LD crofters lived through an T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 engaging experience that E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im includes domestic skills and craft demonstrations Situated at the centre of as well as stories of their Mann’s ancient capital, rugged, self-sufficient Castletown, Castle Rushen is one of the best preserved lifestyles. Around the medieval castles in Europe. village see Manx animal Its origins lie in Viking times, breeds including Loaghtan when Norse Kings created a sheep and Manx cats, discover traditional farming stronghold at the entrance practices and take time to to the Silverburn River. The castle was then developed by observe the biodiversity unique to this part of the successive rulers between the 13th and 16th centuries, island in its ever-changing seasonal environment. serving as a garrison, a www.manxnationalheritage.im prison and a strategic site for the Kings and Lords of Mann. Its limestone bulk Great Union Camera still dominates the skyline Obscura today. Interactive displays Douglas Head, throughout the castle bring Douglas, IM1 5BY to life the sights, sounds T: +44 (0) 1624 621733 and smells of the past. www.manxnationalheritage.im E: kellys.eye@manx.net One of the few remaining camera obscuras in the Cregneash Village British Isles, this Victorian (Creg y Shee Tea Rooms) gem on Douglas Head dates Howe Road, back to the 1890s. It fell into Cregneash, IM9 5PX disrepair in the 1990s before T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 the Isle of Man Government E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im acquired and restored Step back in time at it. This charming curio, Cregneash to experience the which holidaymakers once peace and natural beauty of used to spy on amorous this traditional Manx crofting couples on the headland, village. Settled on an upland is now equally popular plateau, in the shadow of with modern-day visitors. Meayll Hill and overlooking www.visitisleofman.com/ the Calf of Man, Cregneash placestovisit/heritage/ cameraobscura was one of the last strongholds of the traditional

Historic Interest

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Great Laxey Wheel and Mine Trail Wheel Hill, Laxey, IM4 7NL T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im An iconic landmark, the Great Laxey Wheel (or ‘Lady Isabella’) is the world’s largest working waterwheel. A work of engineering ingenuity, it was built in 1854 to pump water from Laxey’s lead and zinc mines - 1,500ft below ground. The mines closed in 1929 but Lady Isabella continues to turn. Visitors can climb the wheel to enjoy views over the valley from the platform at the top. Walking the picturesque trails around the wheel gives an insight into the mine workings and Laxey’s industrial heritage. www.manxnationalheritage.im

Milntown Estate and Gardens (Milntown Restaurant)

Lezayre Road, Ramsey, IM7 2AB T: +44 (0) 1624 812321 E: milntown@manx.net Milntown Estate, which stands in the shadow of Sky Hill, dates back to the 16th Century. It was once the seat of the powerful Christian family, whose most famous members are Manx Nationalist hero William Christian (Illiam Dhone) and HMS Bounty’s Fletcher Christian. Take time to explore the historic house and 15 acres of beautiful

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


gardens and woodland. www.milntown.org

Peel Castle West Quay, Peel, IM5 1TB T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im Standing on the rugged mass of St Patrick’s Isle, Peel Castle is one of the Island’s foremost historic sites. The oldest structures within the castle walls date back to the 11th Century, when the castle was the ruling seat of the Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, while the ruins of St German’s Cathedral date back to the 13th Century. A major archaeological programme which began in 1982 unearthed many compelling finds, the most famous of which was the Norse grave of the ‘Pagan Lady’. In summer, the grounds provide the atmospheric backdrop for annual performances of Shakespeare by visiting theatrical companies. www.manxnationalheritage.im

Rushen Abbey

interactive museum and stroll through the gardens. For younger visitors, why not follow the family friendly monks for fun things to do, dress up, throw a pot and enjoy ‘Monky Business’ around the Abbey. www.manxnationalheritage.im

The Old Grammar School Chapel Lane, Castletown, IM9 1LE T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im Offering a fascinating insight into the Island’s educational history, the Old Grammar School formerly St Mary’s Chapel - was used as a schoolhouse from around 1570. It was saved from demolition by the Manx Museum in 1950, and sympathetically restored, retaining many Victorian furnishings and fittings. The main wing of the building is thought to be the oldest roofed structure in the Isle of Man. www.manxnationalheritage.im

(The Abbey Restaurant)

Mill Road, Ballasalla, IM9 3DB T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im The picturesque ruins of the Island’s only Cistercian monastery, founded in the 12th Century, are a window onto a long-ago way of life. Learn about archaeological work on the site through an

The Old House of Keys Parliament Square, Castletown, IM9 ILA T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im In the heart of Castletown, ancient capital of Mann, you will find the Old House of Keys building, a former home of the Manx Parliament (Tynwald).

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In 2000, Manx National Heritage began a conservation programme and the building has now been restored to its 1866 appearance. In the debating chamber, visitors can ‘vote’ on the crucial issues which once faced Manx political figures. An intriguing glimpse into the history of the Isle of Man’s democracy. www.manxnationalheritage.im

Museums A.R.E Motorcycle Collection Main Road, Kirk Michael, IM6 2HD T: +44 (0) 1624 878242 E: tonyeast@manx.net Located at the Old Vicarage in Kirk Michael, this is one of the finest private collections of vintage motorcycles on the Island. The collection includes Triumph, AMC, BSA, Vincent and Guzzi motorcycles. Visitors are welcome at weekends during the summer months. Admission is free, but donations to the Friends of the TT Riders Association are gratefully received. www.aremuseum.com

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while the adjacent Coffee

Grove Museum of Victorian Station, housed in Peel’s Life and Café former railway terminus, (Grove Conservatory Tea Room)

Andreas Road, Ramsey, IM8 3UA T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im The Grove, on the outskirts of Ramsey, was once the genteel summer retreat of 19th Century Liverpool shipping magnate Duncan Gibb and his family. It has been preserved to provide an insight into domestic life in the Victorian era. The house is filled with original furniture and fittings, while outbuildings house early agricultural equipment, including a horse-powered threshing mill. Relax in the gardens or enjoy a lunch or afternoon tea in the Grove Conservatory Tea Room. www.manxnationalheritage.im

House of Manannan (The Coffee Station)

Mill Road, Peel, Isle of Man, IM5 1TA T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im Situated at head of Peel Harbour, this acclaimed interactive museum thoroughly explores the Island’s Celtic, Viking and maritime heritage. Hugely popular and accessible to visitors of all ages. Allow at least two hours to tour the museum at a relaxed pace. There is an excellent gift shop selling crafts, collectables and gifts,

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is ideal for refreshments. Open all year round. www.manxnationalheritage.im

iMuseum Kingswood Grove, Douglas, IM1 3LY T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im Opened in 2011, Manx National Heritage’s digital archive resource (a short walk from the Manx Museum) allows free access to thousands of Manx historical records as far back as the 1700s. These include: baptism, marriage and burial records; newspapers and publications; census and war memorial records; and over 3,000 photographs and artworks. A must for local history enthusiasts and anyone on the trail of their Manx connections.

to visitors. The museum, which has a gift shop and serves refreshments, is Open Easter to end of October – Sat, Sun, Tues and Bank Holidays. November – Easter, Sundays only. www.jtmiom.im

Leece Museum The Old Courthouse, East Quay, Peel, IM5 1AR T: +44 (0) 1624 845366 E: leecemuseum@manx.net Founded in 1984 by the late Mr Eddie Leece, the Leece Museum displays a wonderful collection of objects, photographs and documents from Peel in days gone by. The museum building, on the quayside in Peel, is the town’s old courthouse, whose many original features include the ‘Black Hole’ - a forbidding cell where wrongdoers were once incarcerated.

www.manxnationalheritage.im

www.peelonline.net

Jurby Transport Museum

Manx Aviation and Military Museum

Jurby Industrial Estate, Jurby, IM7 3BD T: +44 (0) 7624 490093 E: jtminfo@manx.net Sited in a WW2 hangar on the former Jurby Airfield, Jurby Transport Museum houses a large collection of public, commercial and privately owned transport. As well as restoring vehicles, the volunteer-run museum unfolds the Island’s transport history

Ronaldsway, Ballasalla, IM9 2AT T: +44 (0) 1624 829294 E: iramsden@talk21.com The museum is situated at the airport, giving a great close-up view of passing aircraft. Once inside, visitors regularly compare it to Dr Who’s “Tardis” because it really does seem to be much bigger than it looks from outside and it is

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


packed with something of interest for everybody. You will discover the story of the Manx Regiment - the British Army’s best anti-aircraft unit of World War II. You can see photographs of the Regiment’s guns in action and examine the uniforms and equipment used by its men. The star exhibit is a self-propelled Bofors anti-aircraft gun, one of only four in existence, which represents the weapons used by the Regiment from D-Day onwards. Four airfields and many military installations, including some top secret ones, made the Island a hive of activity during WW2 and a host of photographs and memorabilia bring to life the surprisingly rich civil and military aviation history of the Isle of Man. www.maps.iofm.net/museum

Manx Museum (Bay Room Café)

Kingswood Grove, Douglas, IM1 3LY T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im The award-winning Island’s ‘Treasure House’ (Thie Tashtee Vannin) in Douglas is your introduction to 10,000 years of unique Manx heritage. Amongst the many highlights are the National Art Gallery and a natural history section, which kids will love. There are lectures, exhibitions and workshops

at the museum all year round. Round off your tour with a visit to the Bay Room Café, which serves delicious snacks and meals. www.manxnationalheritage.im

Manx Transport Heritage Museum Mill Road, Peel, IM5 1TB T: +44 (0) 1624 842448 E: m.knight@manx.net This diminutive museum in Peel is packed to the rafters with a huge variety of transport exhibits and artefacts. From a model train to an electric motorbike, you’ll find much to surprise and delight. The museum is also home to the P50, the world’s smallest road legal car, which was manufactured in Peel in 1964. Admission is free and the museum is open from Easter to September, on weekends and bank holidays. www.visitisleofman.com/ placestovisit/museums/ manxtransport

Nautical Museum

being discovered in 1935. Museum highlights include a replica stern cabin and sailmaker’s loft, a gallery reflecting the history of the Manx fishing industry, and Captain Quayle’s wonderful architectural quirks. The life of this colourful character alone is well worth exploring. In autumn 2014, Peggy will be moved for the first time in over 200 years for essential conservation work to ensure her future survival. www.manxnationalheritage.im

Port Erin Railway Museum Station Road, Port Erin T: +44 (0) 1624 836855 E: heritagerailways@gov.im Port Erin is the most southerly stop on the Isle of Man Steam Railway. When you alight, you can head straight to the Railway Museum, located just yards from the station platform and step back in time. The museum tells the story of the Island’s steam railways, from 1873 to the present day. As well as a large display of memorabilia, you’ll find perfectly preserved steam engines and carriages, including those brought into service for royal visits in 1963 and 1972. Open when the Steam Railway is operating.

Bridge Street, Castletown, IM9 1AX T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im This handsome Georgian building, situated on Castletown harbour (2-3 minutes’ walk from Castle www.visitisleofman.com/ Rushen) is home to George placestovisit/museums/railway Quayle’s 18th Century armed yacht ‘The Peggy’. The Peggy had been concealed in a cellar for 100 years before

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Liverpool safemaker William Milner (the tower is built in the shape of a lock), who was a generous benefactor in the town. From the tower, you Ayres Visitor Centre can see as far as the Calf of & Nature Trail Man and the southern hills. The Ayres, Lhen Road, The family-friendly Bradda Bride, IM7 4BF Glen Café & Restaurant T: +44 (0) 1624 844432 makes an excellent place E: enquiries@manxwt.org.uk to relax on your journey The Ayres National Nature back down the headland. Reserve, covering several www.braddaglen.com miles of sand and shingle beach and windswept dunes, is internationally recognised Cooil y Ree Gardens for its wildlife and rare native St Johns flora: over 780 species have The Cooill y Ree gardens been recorded at the reserve. are a three-acre area of Birdwatchers should keep an outstanding beauty which eye out for Terns, Stonechats, opened in 2001. Cooil y Lapwings and Linnets. Ree is Manx Gaelic for Marine wildlife around the ‘Nook of the Kings’, an Ayres is rich, too - not only appropriate name given seals but Basking Sharks the proximity of Tynwald and several species of whale Hill, where the Manx have been sighted off the Parliament gathers once a coast. The Visitor Centre is year for a formal ceremony. open from May to September The landscaped gardens, and admission is free. A planted with a vast array of guided walk with the Ayres native and non-indigenous Warden is recommended. plants and shrubs, are a www.manxwt.org.uk pleasure to stroll through on a summer’s day.

Nature & Beauty Spots

Bradda Glen

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(Bradda Glen Café & Restaurant)

Garey ny Cloie

Bradda East Road, Port Erin, IM9 6PJ T: +44 (0) 1624 837713 The winding coastal footpath through the trees up to Bradda Head, with its sweeping views over Port Erin Bay, is a fine place to walk, picnic and do a little nature-watching. At the summit of Bradda Head is Milner’s Tower: erected in 1871, it is dedicated to

Hope Road, St Johns Situated on the road from St John’s village to Foxdale, Garey ny Cloie is a beautiful woodland garden with a huge variety of exotic tree species. In springtime, the shrub borders of Azalea, Dwarf Rhododendron and Camellia add colour to the collection of Japanese flowering cherries. In autumn, the Japanese Maple puts on a spectacular

crimson display. The grounds are open to pedestrian visitors all year round, and there is ample parking.

Milntown Estate & Gardens (See Historic Interest - pg14)

Niarbyl Café and Visitor Centre ( Niarbyl Café, Dalby)

Niarbyl Road, Dalby, IM5 3BS T: +44 (0) 1624 843300 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im Niarbyl, in the west of the Island, is an area of outstanding beauty and one of the Island’s most important geological sites: the tail of rocks leading out into the Irish Sea are a reminder of a fusion of continents which took place over 140 million years ago. This wild shore is an excellent vantage point for spotting marine wildlife, particularly Basking Sharks. See the thatched fishermen’s cottages which featured in the hit film Waking Ned, and follow the coastal path to the secluded White Beach. Niarbyl Café, perched above the bay, is a great visitor resource and a popular eatery. www.manxnationalheritage.im

Scarlett Visitor Centre Scarlett Point, Castletown, IM9 1TB T: +44 (0) 1624 844432 E: enquiries@manxwt.org.uk A short, level walk from Castletown centre, Scarlett is

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


a rugged stretch of coastline known for its striking, fossilrich limestone formations. The area is teeming with birdlife and a great spot to go rockpooling with your children. You can take up the Raad ny Foillan (‘Way of the Gull’) through Scarlett - if you fancy a hearty walk on to Gansey, The Shore Hotel is a good place to stop for refreshments, with great views over Bay-nyCarrickey. Scarlett Visitor Centre is open 2pm to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday between May and September. www.manxwt.org.uk

Sound Visitor Centre and Café (Sound Café)

Sound Road, The Sound, IM9 5PZ T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im One of the most stunningly scenic locations in the Island, The Sound is a magnet for visitors and residents alike. The Visitor Centre and Café offers panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs and sea, and makes an ideal pitstop if you’re walking the coastal path from Port St Mary to Port Erin. The turbulent tidal races that separate the ‘mainland’ from the Calf of Man, once treacherous to many a vessel, are popular with kayakers and divers. The islet of Kitterland which sits between The Sound and the Calf is a popular ‘haul-out’

spot for seals - it’s common to see them sunbathing on the rocks in their dozens. www.manxnationalheritage.im

The Calf of Man Barely one square mile in size, The Calf of Man is a beautifully tranquil place. It has been a bird observatory since 1959 - its only human residents two wardens who live there from March to November - and the large numbers of native and migratory birds make it a must-visit for birdwatchers. Day trips by boat and overnight stays at the farmhouse are hugely popular. The waters around the Calf are described by many scuba divers as amongst the best dive sites in Europe. The seabird population includes Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Gannets and Manx Shearwaters. The Calf of Man is also Isle to two Robert Stevenson lighthouses, built in 1818. *- although access to the calf is free, the charter boat travel to the Isle will be charged. Book an overnight stay via www.visitisleofman.com/ accommodation or +44 (0) 1624 648015 www.manxnationalheritage.im

Tynwald National Park & Arboretum Main Road, St Johns The 25-acre park adjacent to Tynwald Hill was created to celebrate the Millennium Anniversary of Tynwald; the

grounds were planted with trees from the seventeen parishes. The paths through the trees offer gentle walks and there are plenty of spots just perfect for a picnic. Children will enjoy the playground area, and feeding the resident ducks.

Dark Skies The Isle of Man has long been recognised as having dark night skies, a valued attribute of the rural character and tranquillity of the Island. On a clear night the night sky of the Isle of Man is simply stunning when many astronomical sights can be seen through the naked eye and even more can be discovered through a telescope or binoculars. The Manx Night sky is an amazing experience that will astound even the most experienced stargazer. Home to currently 26 of the British Isles Dark sky discovery sites, it has some of the darkest skies in Europe. With the naked eye you can easily see the Orion Nebula –over 1500 light years away, our Milky Way Galaxy, and one of the Milky Way’s companion galaxies the Great Andromeda Galaxy whose light has been on its way to us for about 2.5 million years. With the aid of binoculars or a telescope the heavens will open up even more spectacular sights. For more information go to www.visitisleofman. com/darkskies

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My favourite place: Ballaglass Glen in the spring with the Beech trees and the Bluebells. National Glens

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture looks after most glens: Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St Johns IM4 3AS T: +44 (0) 1624 801263 E: defa@gov.im Here is the full list of National Glens for you to explore - start ‘glen bagging!’

North/North-East

Ballaglass Glen Ballure Walk Bishopscourt Glen Dhoon Glen Elfin Glen & Claughbane Woods Lhergy Frissel Tholt-y-Will Glen

West/North-West

Bishopscourt Glen Glen Helen

The Island’s seventeen coastal and mountain National Glens are jewels in the Island’s wild landscape. From the dramatic Dhoon Glen, with its long, tumbling waterfall, to the springtime blaze of bluebells in Ballaglass Glen, each has its own distinctive source of beauty. The glens offer a wonderful way to get away from it all and are a paradise for walkers, artists, photographers and nature lovers. The terrain and ease of access varies significantly from glen to glen - not all are suitable for people with limited mobility - and we recommend stout footwear at all times.

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Glen Maye Glen Mooar Glen Wyllin

South/South-West

Colby Glen Bradda Glen & Headland Silverdale Glen

East/South-East

Groudle Glen Laxey Glen Molly Quirk’s Glen & Bibaloe Glen Port Soderick

For more information visit www.gov.im/defa

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


Tours Boat Charters Whether you want to go sea fishing, spot Basking Sharks, whales and dolphins, or simply take in the Island’s stunning coastal scenery from a new perspective, there are many options open to you. The following are wellknown, reputable charters catering to all interests.

Pleasure Cruises MV Karina T: +44 (0) 1624 617436 MV Karina is a classic passenger vessel, built in 1946, which offers daily coastal cruises from Douglas in the summer months. Destinations include Laxey, the Dhoon and Derbyhaven, and passengers can either return on the Karina or book a one-way journey and travel back by steam train, electric railway or bus. These cruises are an ideal opportunity for wildlife spotting, while a guided commentary offers points of interest along the way. The Karina can also be booked for private parties and accommodates 100 passengers. www.iompleasurecruises.com

Fishing, NatureWatching & Sightseeing

Wildlife Tours

T: +44 (0) 1624 678788 E: wildlife@manx.net With a maximum of six people per tour, the Ballaugh Curragh knowledgeable team at 31-acres of wetland, Isle of Man Wildlife Tours meadow and woodland in guarantee a personal the north-west, is an area introduction to the Isle of of remarkable biodiversity. Man’s nature highlights. Teeming with a myriad of The tours revolve around animals, birds and insects, short walks in different it’s also renowned for being Island locations: The home to six different orchid Ayres, Ballaugh Curraghs, species. Manx Wildlife Trust, Peel, Niarbyl, The Sound, who manage the Curragh Derbyhaven and Langness, reserve Close Sartfield, offer Laxey, Ballaglass, guided ‘orchid walks’ when Maughold and Ramsey. the meadows are in full www.iomtours.co.uk bloom. www.manxwt.org.uk/whats-on

Gemini T: +44 (0) 1624 832761 Bob Taylor’s 12-passenger vessel takes in the magnificent stretch of coastline from Port St Mary to the Calf of Man.

Pegasus T: +44 (0) 7624 428948 The 12-passenger boat Pegasus offers trips down the west and south coast of the Island.

Go Mann Adventures T: +44 (0) 7624 480129 E: afoxon@iom.com Go-Mann Adventures offers the chance to get really close to the Isle of Man landscape, exploring it at walking pace and understanding its geology, archaeology, history and wildlife as you go. Guided tours can be arranged for short walks, half days or full days with local guide Andrew Foxon. www.go-mannadventures.com

Shona Elizabeth T: +44 (0) 1624 843814 Established in 2010, Colin Gerrard runs morning, afternoon and evening trips from Peel.

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Go Further Calf of Man Calf of Man Landings arranges regular day trips to the Calf from Port Erin from Easter until the end of summer (also ferrying passengers who have overnight stays booked). The trips are dependent on weather conditions, so it is always advisable to keep an eye on the forecast and prepare for the unexpected! 7th Wave Sailing Activities Centre in Port Erin also offers sightseeing RIB trips around the Calf but does not land.

Hannah Louise T: +44 (0) 1624 836028 The skipper of Port St Mary-based Hannah Louise (IB Boat Charters), Ian Ball, not only runs sightseeing and fishing trips but also caters for dive parties (up to 12 people) and offers day trips to Ireland.

Manx Sea Quest T: +44 (0) 7624 450688 Bobby and Marlyn’s 11-metre, Peel-based RIB is equipped for all-weather cruising. As well as scenic trips around the Island, which of course hold the prospect of exciting marine wildlife sightings, the Manx Sea Quest also goes to popular visitor destinations in Northern Ireland and the UK on day excursions.

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Sightseeing with a Difference If you want to make your method of sightseeing as memorable as the activity itself, why not hop on an open top bus, a trike or even a Segway?

Manx Macabre Tours T: +44 (0) 7624 466094 E: b.quilliam@hotmail.com Take a private tour with ghostly guide Barry Quilliam, through the streets of Douglas, Castletown or Castle Rushen, to uncover the dark local history, the paranormal and ghost stories hidden within the towns. www.manxmacabretours.com

Isle of Man Trike Tours T: +44 (0) 7624 492444 E: enquiries@ iomtriketours.com Offers a variety of tours, including the TT Experience and a Trike and Rail combination. Hold on tight, wrap up warm and enjoy the ride! www.iomtriketours.com

Pedego Electric Bikes Low Wood, Union Mills, IM4 4NP T: 44 (0) 1624 851949 E: info@pedegoisleofman. co.uk Pedego electric bikes allow you to discover the natural beauty of the Isle of Man,

without the struggle of having to pedal up large hills, they are extremely comfortable and easy to use. Sit back and enjoy the feeling of gently being pushed along, hugely fun and available in a variety of colours, makes perfect entertainment for anyone aged 14 years and older. www.pedegoisleofman.com

Mann Sightseeing Tours T: +44 (0) 7624 464017 E: mst@manx.net Steve Dugdale of Mann Sightseeing Tours takes visitors around Douglas on a double decker bus purchased from Jurby Transport Museum; get to know our capital better with knowledgeable guides as you enjoy a leisurely tour of the town. www.mannsightseeingtours.com

Segway Tours T: +44 (0) 7624 252525 E: tours@segway.im Isle of Man Segway Tours promise that you’ll “see the Island in a new way”. With a top speed of 12mph and a variety of terrain to cover - on and off road, town and country - you’re definitely guaranteed a unique experience. www.segway.im

Isle of Man Ghost Tours T: +44 (0) 7624 466094 E: info@iomghosttours.com The historic, winding streets of Douglas, Peel, Castletown

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


and Ramsey are alive with strange and often chilling echoes from the past. Isle of Man Ghost Tours bring to life ghoulish characters and incidents from Manx history (and myth) with a dramatic flourish and bucketloads of conviction. A fun night out for groups - but stick together and don’t look back! www.iomghosttours.com

Food Tours Bushys Brewery Mount Murray, Braddan, IM4 1JE T: +44 (0) 1624 611101 E: bushys@manx.net The ‘young’ rival (Bushys was established in 1990) to Okells, Bushys’ bitters, milds and stouts have a large and loyal following. Its two pubs - The Rovers Return in Douglas and The Bay in Port Erin - are also popular spots. Find out the full story on a guided tour. www.bushys.com

Moore’s Traditional Curers Mill Road, Peel, IM5 1TA T: +44 (0) 1624 843622 E: desmonds@manx.net Manx Kippers are famous the world over for their intense flavour and succulence. At Moore’s Kipper Yard in Peel, the herring are smoked over oak chips in a centuries-old tradition. Come and see how it’s done, and taste the results for yourself.

Okells Brewery Kewaigue, Isle of Man, IM2 1QG T: +44 (0) 1624 699400 E: mac@okells.co.uk This award-winning brewery has been producing fine ales - draught and bottled - for over 150 years. On a fun, informative tour around the brewery in Kewaigue (outside Douglas), you’ll discover the many complex processes which go into the creation of Okells’ delicious beers. www.okells.co.uk

Hooded Ram Brewery Tours Hills Meadow, Douglas, IM3 1LE T: +44 (0) 1624 612464 E: info@hoodedram.com The Hooded Ram Brewing Company is based in the Isle of Man, crafting fine ales to meet the tastes of the most discerning real ale fan. The newest and smallest brewery on the Isle of Man started brewing in September 2013 with pre-booked tours available. www.hoodedram.com

The Original Manx Fudge Factory Balthane Industrial Estate, Ballasalla, Isle of Man, IM9 2AU T: +44 (0) 7624 244201 The family-run Fudge Factory in Ballasalla create mouth-watering fudge, toffee, chocolate and more.

On a factory visit, you can learn all about how the confectionery is made and taste a few samples of the 21 fudge flavours. www.manxfudgefactory.com

Cultural Tours Inside Tynwald Legislative Buildings, Finch Road, Douglas, IM1 3PW T: +44 (0) 1624 685520 E: library@tynwald.org.im Tours of the main Isle of Man Government buildings in Douglas are held regularly on Mondays and Fridays. What goes on behind the scenes of the World’s oldest continuous parliament? How is the Manx Government structured and how does it operate? This is a great chance to find out. www.tynwald.org.im

The Gaiety Theatre Harris Promenade, Douglas, IM1 2HH T: +44 (0) 1624 694552 E: brian.murray@gov.im The Gaiety Theatre, designed by Frank Matcham and beautifully preserved, is recognised throughout the British Isles as a Victorian masterpiece. Tours given by knowledgeable theatre staff during the summer months lay bare the life and secrets of the Gaiety, from its social history to the wonderful Corsican Trap. A richly rewarding experience. www.villagaiety.com

www.manxkippers.com

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Activities Active & Outdoor Surestrike Ten Pin Bowling (Café within the bowling alley)

Queens Promenade, Ramsey, IM8 1ET T: +44 (0) 1624 812444 E: surestrike@manx.net Surestrike Bowling on Ramsey seafront is the Island’s only ten pin bowling facility, with ten lanes and a state of the art scoring system. Also on site are a gym, a children’s play area and a bar and grill for refreshments. www.surestrikebowling. webs.com

Adventure Sports Centres

Ape Mann Adventure Park South Barrule Plantation, IM2 6PP T: +44 (0) 7624 494252 E: apemann.im@gmail.com A fun family-orientated adventure centre opened in early 2013, Ape Mann Adventure Park is situated in South Barrule Plantation, surrounded by great mountain bike and walking trails. There are rope courses for children of all ages - featuring zip wires, Tarzan swings, scramble nets, log walks and swings - and off-road peddle carting through the trees.

Ardwhallan

Ardwhallan Outdoor Education Centre, West Baldwin, Douglas, IM4 5EU Adventurous Experiences T: +44 (0) 1624 853711 E: p.melling@doe.sch.im Ballabrooie, Patrick Road, St Johns, IM4 3BR This excellent outdoor education centre, specifically T: +44 (0) 1624 843034 E: info@adventurousexperiences.com geared to schools and registered youth groups, This St John’s based offers a range of activities adventure centre is best including watersports, known for kayaking and assault courses, walking coasteering excursions trails and mountain - both a fun, exciting way biking. Situated in the to explore the Island’s beautiful West Baldwin rugged coastline at sea valley above Injebreck level. Also on offer is gorge reservoir. Dormitory scrambling, rock climbing, accommodation available. abseiling, hill navigation, team building and bushcraft. www2.sch.im/groups/ adventureed/ Catering for everyone from absolute beginners, individuals and groups.

Pick u p you Active r FREE and O utd Guide for e oor detail xtra s.

Clay Pigeon Shooting Meary Veg, Old Castletown Road, Santon E: secretary@iomclays.com The Isle of Man Clay Pigeon Shooting Club, situated in Santon (just five miles from Douglas), welcomes visitors in groups and individually. Test your skills over two Skeet ranges, two DTL ranges, one Double Trap range and one ABT range. There’s also a fully-equipped clubhouse. www.iomclays.com

Hot Rocks Climbing 4B Middle River Industrial Estate, Douglas IM2 1AL E: hotrocksclimbing@ manx.net Hot Rocks Climbing in Douglas, opened in 2012, offers over 2,000 square foot of indoor climbing walls. The facility includes lead climbing, top-rope climbing, a bouldering cave, traverse wall, finger boards and more. An all-weather adventure experience, it’s the perfect introduction to an exciting sport. www.hotrocksclimbing.com

www.adventurousexperiences. com

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For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


I love the fresh air, the dramatic weather and the fact that I am always near the sea. The Brewery Paintball Company New Castletown Road, Braddan T: +44 (0) 7624 495875 Not far from Douglas, this paintball site offers highadrenaline fun for groups of 12 and more. Ideal for hen and stag parties, team building and sports clubs. www.brewerypaintball.com

The Venture Centre Lewaigue Farm, Maughold, IM7 1AW T: +44 (0) 1624 814240 E: contact@adventurecentre.co.uk The Venture Centre in Maughold has been offering outdoor pursuits to people of all ages for over 30 years. Activities include abseiling, assault courses, air rifle shooting, archery, gorge walking, kayaking and sailing, all in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Overnight accommodation is available if you want to make a weekend of it. www.adventure-centre.co.uk

Pick u p your FREE C with 6 ycling Guid guide complete s e dr elf to hel outes and m p you aps e x beaut y and plore the div the M anx co ersity of un by bik tryside e.

Laser Mayhem

Cycle Hire Isle of Man

Watertrough Park, South Barrule Plantation, IM4 3AS T: 44 (0) 7624 234555 E: info@laser-mayhem.com Using state of the art military grade laser guns fitted with real red dot laser sights that fire a harmless beam at an incredible 400m. You and your team mates will be provided with a full mission brief and then you can do battle in a purpose built battle field using many different and challenging scenarios. Laser-Mayhem is suitable for visitors aged six and over.

15 – 17 Michael Street, Peel, IM5 1HB T: +44 (0) 1624 842472 E: info@cyclehire.im Cycle Hire Isle of Man, run by Simpsons of Peel, offer allterrain mountain bikes for adults and children over 12. Both offer reasonable rates and an excellent service.

www.laser-mayhem.com

Cycling The Island’s diverse terrain and network of winding paths, roads and Green Lanes makes for excellent cycling experiences. You will find plenty of route suggestions in locally available guides. The Isle of Man Cycling Guide features six self-guided routes, each accompanied by instructions and a handy map. Download your guide from www.visitisleofman. com/activeguides or pick up a print copy from the Welcome Centre. If you don’t have your own bike with you, four local hire companies will set you on the road.

www.cyclehire.im

Erin Bike Hut 32 Church Road, Port Erin, IM9 6AQ T: +44 (0) 1624 835484 E: sales@erinbikehut.im Based in Port Erin, Erin Bike Hut offer a cycle hire service that includes everything from road bikes to ‘29ers’ to kids bikes and trailers. There is also a local delivery and collection service from £5 per bike. www.erinbikehut.im

Outdoors Ramsey Albert Road, Christian Street, Ramsey, IM8 2EL T: +44 (0) 1624 819032 E: enquiries@ outdoorsramsey.co.uk Based in Ramsey and offers an all Island drop off and collection service available at an additional cost. Bikes are available from £10.00 per day. www.outdoorsramsey.co.uk

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comprehensive information on sea and inland fishing is available on the Isle of Man Government’s Department The Isle of Man is excellent of Environment, Food for both freshwater and sea & Agriculture website fishing. As well as a number visit www.gov.im/defa/ of fast-flowing rivers, there fish. Further useful are eight reservoirs (two information can be found of which are fly-fishing at www.manxshorefishing. only). Be sure to arrange com and www. your licence beforehand. manninanglingclub.co.uk You can go sea fishing from breakwaters, beaches and Geocaching rocky stretches of coastline. Alternatively, book your The Island’s great expanse place on a fishing charter or of countryside makes it hire a specially adapted sea ideal for geocaching, an kayak to increase the variety energetic, family-friendly of your catch. The most activity. There are said to be

Angling & Fishing

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over 600 caches hidden in all sorts of locations. Using GPS devices, geocachers hunt for containers hidden by fellow geocachers; on locating a cache, the finder signs a logbook and reinstates the cache ready for the next geocacher. www.geocaching.com Pick FRE up your E An Gu gl what ide to dis ing co you c wher an ca ver e rang . You wi tch and ll e both of locati find a ons fresh fo sea fi water an r d shin g.

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


Golf

Tee Off: The Island’s Golf Courses Castletown

With no fewer than nine excellent courses, offering a warm welcome to players of all abilities, the Isle of Man is the perfect place to hone your game. As well as being situated amidst some of the finest scenery the Island has to offer, each has its own unique strengths. A number of courses have their own driving ranges, hire facilities and even instruction from experienced players.

T: +44 (0) 1624 822211

Mount Murray (Santon) T: +44 (0) 1624 695330

Peel T: +44 (0) 1624 842227

Port St Mary T: +44 (0) 7624 349650

Isle of Man Golf Tours T: +44 (0) 7624 231223 E: info@ isleofmangolftours.com If you want to make the most of the Island’s golfing opportunities while you visit, let Isle of Man Golf Tours organise things for you. With years of knowledge and expertise under their belts, the team will put together the perfect itinerary for you, including taking part in local competitions, should you wish. From a single round package to a full holiday (with a host of other fun outdoors activities and tours thrown in), Isle of Man Golf Tours will ensure you have a fantastic time. www.isleofmangolftours. com

Douglas T: +44 (0) 1624 675952

Rowany (Port Erin) T: +44 (0) 1624 834072

Ramsey T: +44 (0) 1624 814736

Glen Truan (Bride) T: +44 (0) 1624 880359

King Edward Bay (Onchan) T: +44 (0) 1624 672709

Regarded by many as the Island’s premier course, Castletown Golf Links’ breathtaking location, on Langness peninsula, is hard to beat. A game here is a must for any serious golfer. Part of the Mount Murray Hotel & Country Club complex, this is a well-featured course set in 200 acres of countryside. The uphill aspects keep golfers in good shape. A highly varied, 5,874 yard heathland course on the outskirts of the ‘Sunset City’. Peel Golf Club was established in 1895 and is today highly popular with residents and visitors. The only 9-hole course in the south of the Island, Port St Mary’s 5,770 yardage offers a highly satisfying game. Great sea views from the highest part of the course and a friendly clubhouse. Douglas Golf Course was famously designed by Dr Alexander (Alister) MacKenzie, who also designed the Augusta National in Atlanta, Georgia. A superbly varied course within minutes of the town centre. A par 70 course which gets tougher as it goes along and you move into rugged heathland. A sense of achievement and fabulous views easily compensate for this. A sheltered, relatively flat 5,982 yard course overlooked by historic Sky Hill. Established in 1891, Ramsey Golf Club is a perennial favourite. The Island’s most northerly course, Glen Truan is an 18-hole moorland course overlooking Ayres Nature Reserve. A warm welcome is extended to beginners and ‘pros’ alike. A short but challenging hilltop course, with views over Onchan Head and Douglas Bay. Watch out for a number of blind holes, which have pushed up many a score!

Find out more at www.visitisleofman.com/golf

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Heritage Railways Douglas Horse Trams Strathallan, Douglas IM2 4NR T: +44 (0) 1624 696420 E: pcannon@douglas.gov.im The world’s oldest surviving horse trams date back to 1876, with many of the original cars still in use, and apart from a hiatus during WW2, has operated almost continually. The 3 foot gauge tramway runs along Douglas Promenade from the Manx Electric Railway terminus at Derby Castle to the Sea Terminal. The horses, known as ‘trammers’, begin service when they are roughly four years old and have an average working life of 15 years before ‘retiring’ to the Home of Rest for Old Horses (See Wildlife Encounters - pg 33). Runs from May to September.

enclosures where sea lions and polar bears were a Victorian visitor attraction!). At Christmas time, the special Santa and Mince Pie trains are a perennial hit with youngsters.

Manx Electric Railway

www.ggr.org.uk

(Laxey Station Café)

Isle of Man Steam Railway (The Tickethall Restaurant)

Banks Circus, Douglas, IM1 5PT T: +44 (0) 1624 662525 E: heritagerailways@gov.im The Island’s oldest Victorian rail system, dating back to 1874, takes you on a wonderfully journey through time - and some of the Island’s loveliest countryside. Running between Douglas and Port Erin, the trains stop along the way at Port Soderick, Santon, Ballasalla, Castletown, Ballabeg, Colby and Port St Mary, with four further request stops for convenience. Groudle Glen Railway The full journey to Port (Sea Lion Rocks Tea Room) Erin takes approximately Groudle, IM3 4EA one hour. Throughout the year, the Railway organises T: +44 (0) 1624 670453 Restored and run entirely by a number of special themed rides for grownvolunteers, this miniature ups and families, tying railway shows what can be achieved with limited means in with events at various heritage destinations. and endless enthusiasm! www.iombusandrail.info The line runs through the pretty glen and out round Groudle headland. At the Pick up terminus, you can enjoy of the Isle ys refreshments at the Sea a w il a Man R Lion Rocks Tea Room e for mor le b ta e (named after the cliffside d Tim n a tion informa es. train tim

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Is Expl land orer ticke Pic t Expl k up an orer Islan unlim ticke d t to ite tram d bus, tr enjoy ain a trave n your l during d visit.

Derby Castle, Douglas, IM2 4NR T: +44 (0) 1624 662525 E: heritagerailways@gov.im The Manx Electric Railway first opened in 1893, running originally from Douglas to Laxey and extended to Ramsey in 1899. Its 17 miles of track constitute the longest narrow gauge vintage railway system in the British Isles, and the oldest original tramcar dates back to 1893. The journey from Douglas to Ramsey introduces you to stunning views all along the northeast coast and on a fine day, a ride in one of the service’s open cars truly blows away the cobwebs. A collection of photographs at the Ramsey terminus tells the story of the railway. Alight at Laxey to connect with the Snaefell Mountain Railway. www.iombusandrail.info

Orchid Line Miniature Railway Wildlife Park, Ballaugh, IM7 5EA T: +44 (0) 1624 897323 Operated by Manx Steam and Model Engineering Club, this railway is located within Curraghs Wildlife Park in Ballaugh. Opened

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


in 1992, the railway track was originally 550 feet long but eventually extended in 2000, to over 3,000 feet. The ride is a real treat for kids, completing a fun day at the Park. Trains run, weather permitting, most Sundays and bank holidays from Easter to October.

Port Erin Railway Museum (see Museums - pg 17)

Snaefell Mountain Railway (Summit Hotel Restaurant)

Laxey Station, IM4 7NY T: +44 (0) 1624 662525 E: heritagerailways@gov.im Established in 1895, the 3.5 foot gauge railway winding from Laxey Village up to the summit of Snaefell famously took just seven months to complete. At the top of the Island’s only mountain, 2036 feet above sea level, it’s said that you can see seven kingdoms: Mann, Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Neptune and Heaven! A tram stop at the half-way point known as ‘The Bungalow’, overlooking the TT Mountain Circuit, has ample parking space for motorists. The summit restaurant offers an ideal place to relax awhile before your descent.

This miniature, volunteerrun railway brings to life a part of Laxey’s industrial past. In the late 1800s, the Great Laxey Mine was one of the most profitable mines in Britain, employing over 1,000 men, women and children. In 1877, the pony-drawn tramway wagons carrying ore from the mines to the washing floors were replaced by steam locomotives and it’s these engines, named ‘Ant’ and ‘Bee’, which you can ride today. The quarter-mile track runs from the washing floors in the valley, under the main road and up towards the Laxey Wheel. Trains run from Easter until September. www.laxeyminerailway.im

Horse Riding Ballachurry Equestrian Centre

The Great Laxey Mine Railway

Ballachurry, House, St Judes, Kirk Andreas, IM7 2EN T: +44 (0) 1624 878547 E: info@ballachurry.co.uk Family-run Ballachurry Equestrian Centre can be found in the peaceful rural location of St Judes, near Ramsey. Tuition in several disciplines is available for riders from 4 years to 83 years! A safe, friendly learning environment with a great reputation, Ballachurry also offers beach and river rides.

Mines Road, Laxey, IM4 7NY

www.ballachurry.co.uk

www.iombusandrail.info

Ballahimmin Equestrian Centre Little London, Cronk-y-Voddy, IM6 1BB T: +44 (0) 1624 878547 E: ballahimmin@gmail.com Situated in rolling countryside at Cronky-Voddy, Ballahimmin offers fantastic off-road trekking up into the hills. All treks are supervised by experienced guides, and everyone is welcome, from beginners (full instruction is given) to advanced riders. Riding and jumping lessons are also available. www.ballahimmin.com

Pennybridge Stables Pennybridge Stables, Kirk Michael, IM6 2HD T: +44 (0) 1624 878859 E: pennybridge444@ hotmail.com Run by qualified, enthusiastic staff for nearly 20 years now, Pennybridge Stables in Kirk Michael is approved and recommended by both the Association of British Riding Schools and the British Horse Society. Novices and experienced riders are both welcome, and bookings can be made for private, semi-private and class lessons. Choose from a range of options, including beginner lessons, pony days and countryside hacks. www.pennybridgestables.co.uk

T: +44 (0) 1624 861706

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I love cycling up Slieu Whallian just before dusk and watching the sun set from the top. Children

Manx Fun Farm Whitebridge Road, Onchan

Curraghs Wildlife Park Wildlife Park, Ballaugh, IM7 5EA T: +44 (0) 1624 897323 E: curraghswlp@gov.im In addition to the huge variety of animal encounters on offer at the Wildlife Park, there’s a playground, an indoor soft play area and a miniature railway - the Orchid Line - for children to enjoy. Curraghs often organise family-orientated events such as craft workshops and wildlife walks - check out events listings before your arrival. www.gov.im/wildlife

Fun Factory Onchan Park, Onchan T: +44 (0) 1624 678122 E: funfactory@manx.net The Fun Factory in Onchan park has a unique play area with interactive, imaginative soft play facilities such as an aerial runway, ball feeders, volcano and more. Something for all ages, from toddlers upwards. There are also ‘mums and tots’ sessions, featuring soft play, arts and crafts to keep little ones entertained while parents relax. Onchan Park also has an outdoor play area, a boating lake with motor and bumper boats, kiddie cars, crazy golf, bowls and tennis courts. www.funfactoryiom.com

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T: +44 (0) 1624 679399 The Manx Fun Farm outside Onchan is home to Laserblast, a hi-tech adventure challenge which is fun for the whole family. The game takes place in a large arena lit by ultra-violet lights and complete with special effects. Pit your wits against your opponents in a game of nerve and skill!

rides, a giant inflatable slide, farm animals and more. There’s a picnic site, covered kitchen and recreation area, and space for tents, caravans and awnings. www.sillymooscampsite.co.uk

Mountain Biking

The Isle of Man is recognised as one of the top mountain biking destinations in the British Isles, with mile upon mile of rugged terrain, wild www.manxfunfarm.com tracks and hills to test your mettle. Cyclists of all levels Shorties Pirate Adventure of fitness and ability will find trails to suit them, over Alexandra Road, peaks, through plantations Castletown, IM9 1TE and along the coastline. T: +44 (0) 1624 829592 The Isle of Man Mountain A pirate-themed soft play Biking Guide features eight adventure centre in the self-guided trails, each heart of Castletown. As accompanied by instructions well as pirate-themed and a handy map. Download soft play for children up your guide from www. to the age of 10, there’s visitisleofman.com/ children’s football and a activeguides or pick up a café where parents can relax and unwind. Children’s print copy from the Welcome Centre. parties are catered for.

Silly Moos Campsite Ballakillingan Farm, Churchtown, Lezayre, IM7 2AL T: +44 (0) 1624 812368 E: moos@manx.net Silly Moos Campsite at Ballakillingan Farm outside Ramsey is a great destination for families, with hiking trails on the doorstep, and plenty to keep young kids occupied and entertained: the Maize Maze, garden games, tractor

Pick up your FREE iking Mountain B mplete co 8 Guide with ut ro es and self-guided y diverse jo en maps; autiful trails with be and countryside s. ew vi l ta coas

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


South Barrule Mountain Bike Trail, a 1km route winding through a hillside plantation, is a great introduction for riders from age 8 upwards. The Heritage Trail, a level 10.9 mile ride along the former railway line from Douglas to Peel, is also suitable for the whole family. Fancy something more challenging? The evocatively named Witches Barrel and Hells 8 are amongst the tougher routes to tackle. The Manx Mountain Bike Club, have mapped out a number of plantation trails varying in length and difficulty. www.manxmtb.com

(see Cycling pg 24 for Bike Hire Companies)

Walking The Isle of Man is a walkers’ paradise, with an incredible variety of terrain packed into its modest size: you’ll encounter windswept uplands, lush glens, rolling countryside and dramatic cliff, sometimes within the space of a short drive or even a half day of walking. There are simply hundreds of public footpaths and trails criss-crossing the landscape - the annual Isle of Man Walking Festival, which offers a programme of guided walks to suit all interests and abilities, provides an excellent starting point for first-time visitors. If you prefer to go your own way, maps,

guides and reference books with suggested routes are widely available from the Welcome Centre, Island bookstores and some Manx National Heritage outlets. The Isle of Man Walking Guide features seven self-guided trails, each accompanied by instructions and a handy map. Download your guide from www.visitisleofman. com/activeguides or pick up a print copy from the Welcome Centre. Manx Activity Trails have created a wide range of walking routes (as well as cycling and driving trails) designed to help you make the most of the Island’s countryside. www.matsmaps.com for more information.

Long Distance Paths Millennium Way The Millennium Way, running through the heart of the Island from Ramsey to Castletown, is another fine scenic trek. At 25 miles, it’s also quite a challenging one (although not for the seasoned walker). It was established in 1979 to celebrate the Millennium year of Tynwald. Once known as the Royal Way, it is ancient highway, even mentioned in the 13th Century Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles.

Pick up y Walk our FRE E i n g Guid 7 sel e f and -guided with ma ro to su ps with utes walk it all s a abili ges and ties.

Raad Ny Foillan The Raad Ny Foillan - which means ‘Way of the Gull’ in Manx Gaelic - is a 95 mile footpath hugging the Island’s coast. The route runs through beaches, roads, fields and clifftops, affording lots of wildlife spotting opportunities and insights into the Island’s heritage along the way. The section running south from Port St Mary to The Sound is particularly rewarding, taking you past The Chasms, Sugarloaf Rock and majestic Spanish Head. If you don’t fancy tackling the whole stretch, exploring it a section at a time can be equally rewarding.

Motorsport Grandstand Karting T: +44 (0) 1624 898106 E: gkkarting@gmail.com Motorsport enthusiasts will love the go-karting circuit at Jurby, which features a floodlit 425 metre track, transponder timing, big screen readout and a heated spectators’ gallery. The track has straights, hairpins and a pit lane, so there’s plenty to put even the experienced karter through their paces. There’s a variety of packages

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available, from the fun to the more competitive, and team challenges make for a fantastic group day out (Karting moves to Douglas during the winter).

- remember your camera! Groups of up to 6 people can ride on a single outing. Back at the farm, there’ll be delicious homemade refreshments to finish.

www.grandstandkarting.co.uk

Trail Riding Motorcycle Adventures T: +44 (0) 7624 202557 E: mail@ motorcycleadventures.im What better way to pay homage to the Isle of Man’s unique motorsport heritage than with a bespoke motorbike hire holiday? Motorcycle Adventures offer personally tailored packages to suit your exact requirements and budget, including travel and accommodation. Join in with optional guided tours and excursions or explore the winding roads at your own pace. www.motorcycleadventures.im

Enduro Mann Trail:

Quad Bike Trail Rides

T: +44 (0) 1624 803003 E: enduro-mann@ clagmooar.com

St Johns, IM4 3LJ T: +44 (0) 1624 801219 A quad bike ride from Ballacraine Farm at St Johns up into the surrounding hills is a fun, novel way to discover this pretty part of the Manx countryside. No experience is needed, as your quad guide will set the pace of the ride according to the capability and confidence of the riders. The trail rises to over 1,000 feet, with a wonderful view of the east and west coasts of the Island

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Countryside trails suitable for off-road vehicles (plus mountain bikes and horse riders) can be found all over the Island and vary hugely in character. These Green Lanes, clearly marked with a sign displaying a motorbike and horse, are mostly easily accessible from public roads - you can be off the beaten track in no time. Choose your own routes or sign up for an organised trip Enduro Mann Trail Holidays offer a variety of packages, with all the background information you need.

www.clagmooar.com/trailriding

Trike Tours (see Tours - pg 22)

Watersports Coasteering, kayaking, sailing, kite-surfing, diving, open water swimming. If you have a passion for the sea, you’ll find no end of opportunities to indulge it in Manx waters! Whatever marine sport

you’re into, you’ll find the local dive, sailing and paddlesports clubs friendly and welcoming to people looking for ideas and advice. In addition to this, there are a number of companies offering organised, guided experiences.

Diving Discover Diving T: +44 (0) 1624 833008 E: info@discoverdiving.im Port St Mary-based Discover Diving own and operate the only purpose built diving support vessel in the Isle of Man. The 40ft ‘Endeavour’ will carry your dive group (up to 12 passengers) in safety and comfort to your dive site, where some of the best diving in the British Isles awaits. Discover Diving is the Island’s only full-time professional dive centre, and also offers equipment sales and hire. www.discoverdiving.im

I Dive Isle of Man T: +44 (0) 7624 417325 I Dive Isle of Man offer a huge range of PADI courses and train everyone from children and adults trying diving for the first time, to experienced divers looking to brush up their skills. The friendly Ramsey-based team train small groups to maximise the value of the tuition. They can also arrange extras such as equipment

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


I love the coconut smell of gorse and honey, the smell of heather and turquoise seas with seals and Basking Sharks. hire, boat charters and accommodation for visitors. www.idiveisleofman.com

Wildlife Encounters

Isle of Man Diving Holidays Curraghs Wild Life Park T: +44 (0) 1624 833133 E: info@isleofmandivingholidays Formed in 2003, Isle of Man Diving Holidays offers a comprehensive dive holiday package to visitors: two 4-star self-catering properties suitable for up to 12 divers; two dive boats; and a dive centre offering refills, repairs and servicing, equipment hire and more. The dive centre is located on the inner harbour of Port St Mary, the main launch site for the south of the Island. PADI, BSAC and all other dive associations are all welcome.

(Café onsite)

Wildlife Park, Ballaugh, IM7 5EA T: +44 (0) 1624 897323 E: curraghswlp@gov.im The park’s natural wetland environment is a haven for endangered wildlife from around the world. There are more than 100 species of birds and animals, of which many rare species form part of international breeding programmes. Animals and birds are displayed in geographical walk-through enclosures replicating their natural habitats. Other www.isleofmandivingholidays.com attractions include a nature trail and butterfly trail of Manx wildlife, the Rainforest Sailing Theatre and the Orchid Line miniature railway. The park 7th Wave café offers refreshments Strand Road, IM9 6HF and picnic areas in which T: +44 (0) 1624 836366 to relax. A long-running E: jen@7thwave-iom.com family favourite. 7th Wave in Port Erin is an www.gov.im/wildlife RYA Recognised Training Centre, offering dinghy Home of Rest for Old sailing, powerboat and Horses shorebased courses. (Café onsite) Sit-on sea kayaks are also available for hire during Richmond Hill, the summer months. From Douglas, IM4 15H absolute beginners to more T: +44 (0) 1624 674594 experienced sailors, 7th Set in 92 acres of Wave will help you to make countryside a short drive the most of Manx waters. from Douglas, the Home

of Rest is volunteer-run and supported entirely by generous contributions. Founded in 1950, it’s a tranquil sanctuary for elderly horses (including retired ‘trammers’ from Douglas Horse Trams) and donkeys. The animals really enjoy visitors and always welcome an apple, carrot or a bag of feed, available from the onsite shop. You will also find an interesting museum and good, homebaked food in the café. www.iom-horseshome.com

Mann Cat Sanctuary Main Road, Santon, IM4 1EE T: +44 (0) 1624 824195 Situated on the main road in Santon, Mann Cat Sanctuary provides a rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming service for cats in the Isle of Man. Committed to animal care and welfare, the Sanctuary has a policy of never turning away a cat or kitten, no matter how elderly, sick or injured. A registered charity supported entirely by donations, the Sanctuary is now home to several hundred cats, which live freely alongside donkeys, chickens, ducks and a sociable parrot! Open to the public on Tuesdays and Sundays, it’s an inspiring place to visit. www.manncat.com

www.7thwave-iom.com

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bubble jets, whirlpools and slides (the shallowest part is suitable for very small tots, under supervision). Outside is an athletics Mooragh Park stadium with a running (Lakeside Café) track, a tarmac raceway, Park Road, Ramsey, IM8 3AR and the Bowl Stadium, T: +44 (0) 1624 810100 the site of many major Mooragh Park, just a short Island sporting events. walk from Ramsey centre, www.gov.im/sport/nsc has excellent leisure facilities, notably a 12 acre Noble’s Park boating lake which hosts a St Ninians Road, wide range of watersport Douglas, IM2 4BE activities throughout T: +44 (0) 1624 696330 the year - try canoeing, Noble’s Park - named after kayaking, dinghy sailing or Victorian philanthropist rowing. Around the lake, Henry Bloom Noble, who you’ll find tennis courts, gifted the park to Douglas a bowling green, a BMX town - offers an array track, a crazy golf course and children’s play areas. In of activities for kids and addition to the lakeside café, grown-ups. Tennis and netball courts, a bowling the Mooragh also has lots green, skate park, BMX of great spots for a picnic. track and children’s playground all lie within National Sports Centre its grounds. There’s also (Café onsite) a restaurant and function Groves Road, venue at the heart of the Douglas, IM2 1RB park. Its close proximity to T: +44 (0) 1624 688588 the TT Grandstand means that Noble’s Park buzzes E: dccl@gov.im The National Sports Centre with life during the TT and Manx Grand Prix festivals. in Douglas is the main www.douglas.im hub of Manx sporting and leisure activity - in 2011, many of the Commonwealth Onchan Pleasure Youth Games events were Park held here. Indoors, you’ll Onchan Park find a full-size sports hall, T: +44 (0) 1624 675564 squash courts, a gym and E: admin@onchan.org.im spa suite and bowling A popular, well-maintained facilities. There’s also a family facility, Onchan competition and training Pleasure Park has its own pool (25 metres), and a boating lake complete with leisure pool with flumes, bumper and motorboats,

Recreational Parks & Centres

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go-karts, a crazy golf course and a good-sized children’s playground. There are also squash and bowls facilities, tennis courts and an amusement arcade. To the rear of the park is Onchan Raceway, home of the Isle of Man’s stockcar racing scene since 1969. Throughout the season (which begins in April) local and visiting drivers race Formula 2s, Ministox, Hot Rods and Bangers - fast, furious and fun for spectators.

Silverdale Ballasalla, IM9 3DS T: +44 (0) 1624 823474 Surrounded by acres of beautiful woodland, Silverdale is an idyllic spot for family outings. Its crowning feature is a water-powered Victorian merry-go-round with brightly-painted wooden horses, which is believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world. There is also a boating lake, a grassy field for ball games, sunbathing and picnics, a restaurant and a gift shop. The Craftworks Studio next door is a great place to get creative with ceramics and paints; the team offers workshops and caters for birthday parties. It’s well worth taking a walk through Silverdale Glen to Rushen Abbey - on the way, you’ll pass the Monks’ Well (make a wish!) and a packhorse bridge dating back to the Middle Ages.

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


offering everything from fun sessions for mums and tots There are three swimming to lane swimming for adults. pools outside Douglas: in All have onsite cafés and Peel (25 metres), Castletown excellent general facilities. (25 metres) and Ramsey (20 www.northernswimmingpool.com metres). These community www.westernswimmingpool.im pools cater for a variety www.southernswimmingpool.im of users, with schedules

Swimming Pools

Start your journey at the Welcome Centre; for information and the tickets you need to explore the Island.

Shopping The Mill was founded by a Lancashire silk weaver in 1881, with the support of eminent Victorian author, critic and artist John Ruskin. It is now the last working mill in the Isle of Man, family-owned business which holds fast to tradition. Managing Director John Wood is the Island’s only commercial pattern weaver, producing a wide range of Tynwald Mills nestles amidst goods. These include Manx Strand Street tartan clothing, accessories Running parallel to Douglas trees and green fields in and gifts and items woven Promenade, Strand Street is the St Johns countryside. from the wool of the Island’s the capital’s main shopping Home to a large number of lifestyle outlets, you can native Loaghtan sheep. area. You’ll find many high pick up everything here www.laxeywoollenmills.com street retailers alongside lots of smaller, independent from clothing, furnishings, homeware and jewellery to shops. In recent years, You can find a great pet supplies, gardenware, a number of excellent mixture of local shops in children’s toys and games coffee shops have opened many of our town centres and gourmet foods. There up in and around Strand such as Peel, Ramsey, Port is an outdoor play area to Street, so you’ll find plenty Erin, Castletown, Port St keep children entertained, of places to relax after a Mary, Onchan and Laxey. and two cafés on site few hours’ shopping. offering meals and snacks.

Tynwald Mills St Johns, IM4 3AD T: +44 (0) 1624 801213 E: stephen.bradley@ themillshop.co.im Was there ever a prettier location for a retail centre?

www.tynwaldmills.com

Laxey Woollen Mills Glen Road, Laxey, IM4 7AR T: +44 (0) 1624 861395 E: sales@ laxeywoollenmills.com

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Arts & Culture Gaiety Theatre An ornate, atmospheric gem, the Gaiety is one of the finest examples in the British Isles of the work of Victorian theatre architect Frank Matcham. First opened in 1900, the theatre was the subject of a 10-year restoration project completed in 2000 and work continues to be lovingly maintained. The Gaiety presents a year-round programme of theatre, music, comedy and talks; many illustrious performers have trodden its boards in the last centenary. The theatre is also home to the only surviving ‘Corsican trap’ or ‘ghost glide’ in the British Isles - possibly the world. Contacts see tours pg 23

Villa Marina Villa Marina, Broadway, Douglas T: +44 (0) 1624 600555 E: enquiries@ villamarina.gov.im The original Villa Marina Royal Hall and Gardens opened in 1913. In 2001, it underwent major rebuilding and refurbishment, which was finally unveiled in 2004. The centrepiece of the modern complex is the magnificent Royal Hall, which seats 1,500 and is the Island’s foremost entertainment venue - from chart bands to comedians to dance competitions, there is always something taking place in the Hall. The Promenade Suite and

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the Villa Marina Arcade are also used as versatile music venues, while the Arcade is also home to the Island’s mighty Wurlitzer organ. The attractive gardens have been used for everything from open-air concerts to the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. www.gov.im/villagaiety

Cinemas Broadway Cinema Villa Marina, Broadway, Douglas T: +44 (0) 1624 600555 E: enquiries@ villamarina.gov.im Part of the Villa Marina complex, the 154-seater Broadway Cinema offers a lively mix of the latest blockbusters, family viewing, lower-key releases and old classics. Matinee and evening screenings. www.gov.im/villagaiety

Erin Arts Centre Victoria Square, Port Erin, IM9 6LD T: +44 (0) 1624 836658 E: information@ erinartscentre.com Established in 1971, the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin has established itself as an important cultural venue, hosting an incredible variety of events: concerts, lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops and more. The Centre is home to the Mananan, Oboe, Viola and Opera

Festivals, all prestigious and long-running events. www.erinartscentre.com

Palace Cinema Central Promenade, Douglas, IM2 4NA T: +44 (0) 1624 682773 E: info@palace-cinema.com The Palace Cinema, set just back from Douglas Promenade, has two screens, allowing for multiple screenings during busy times. The Palace shows a good percentage of the latest releases, and has been operating for many decades now. www.palace-cinema.com

Peel Centenary Centre Athol Street, Peel, Isle of Man, IM5 1HQ T: +44 (0) 1624 845146 In a building dating back to 1877, the volunteerrun centre excels as a community space and an entertainment venue. The 200-seater main auditorium has seen a huge variety of acclaimed bands and musicians in recent years, particularly in the world, folk, jazz and country genres. The Centre is also home to local movie club Films in Peel, Inspiration Theatre Company and panto veterans Peel Pantaloons. www.centenarycentre.com

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


Galleries Hodgson Loom Gallery Glen Road, Laxey, IM4 7AR T: +44 (0) 1624 861395 Situated on the upper floor of Laxey Woollen Mills, this young gallery showcases a wide variety of artwork and photography, predominantly by local artists. During the TT and Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling, the space is traditionally used to exhibit a huge collection of motorsport photography. Relax in the in-house café after browsing.

Isle Gallery Tynwald Mills, St Johns, IM4 3AD T: +44 (0) 1624 803338 Isle Gallery, situated in the courtyard area at Tynwald Mills, St Johns, features a carefully selected range of work for sale by highly talented local artists and craftspeople.

Open from Wednesday through to Sunday.

National Art Gallery Manx Museum, Kingswood Grove, Douglas, IM1 3LY T: +44 (0) 1624 648000 E: enquiries@mnh.gov.im The National Art Gallery in the Manx Museum houses works by a number of significant Manx artists, including Archibald Knox, William Hoggatt and John Miller Nicholson. A real window onto the Island’s social and cultural history.

their development. As well as regular exhibitions (mostly local, with a visiting collection every now and then), the Sayle is home to an artist in residence, whose creative work in-house gives an insight into artistic processes. www.saylegallery.com

Genesis Gallery

39 Victoria Street, Douglas Isle of Man, IM1 2LF T: +44 (0) 1624 622070 E: info@genesisgallery.im An exciting art gallery www.manxnationalheritage.im offering beautifully framed Limited Edition and Original Art work together with Sayle Gallery Harris Promenade, Douglas, Sculptures and Books by collectable and award Isle of Man, IM1 2HN winning artists such T: +44 (0) 1624 674557 as Fabian Perez, Doug E: mail@saylegallery.com Hyde, Sherree Valentine The Sayle Gallery, situated Daines and many more. in the Villa Marina Opening Hours: Monday to colonnade area on Douglas Saturday 10:30am - 6pm. Promenade, is geared to showcasing the work of Island artists and supporting

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Eating Out Taste Isle of Man Taste Isle of Man is an independently assessed, quality assurance scheme designed to help you choose from the many great places to eat and drink in the Isle of Man. Tasteassured eateries carry the scheme symbol so are easily identifiable. Pick up your free copy of the Taste Isle of Man directory at the Welcome Centre or check out www.visitisleofman. com/taste for more details.

Local Producers Certain distinctly Manx products - such as Kippers, Loaghtan meat and Queen Scallops (‘Queenies’) are popular exports, as well as

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being enjoyed in the Isle of Man. However, when you visit the Island, you will also discover a wonderful array of homegrown goods which are the result of a flourishing local food movement. From mushrooms, herbs and oils to fresh bread, handmade fudge and apple juice, you’ll be able to pick up plenty to whet your appetite at the farmers markets and retail outlets such as Mostly Manx. The Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival, as well as traditional summer events such as Tynwald Fair and the Royal and Southern Agricultural Shows, are also great showcases for local producers.

Farmers Markets Isle of Man Farmers’ Markets is an affiliation of like-minded people working hard to promote the growing, making and selling of Manx food and products. Buying from the markets not only helps to support the Manx economy, it also means you get to taste the freshest produce, created sustainably and without ‘food miles’, and to meet the people involved in a traditional community environment. www.iomfm.co.uk

Pick your up FR copy of t EE Isle he Tast o e dire f Man ctor y.

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


Top 10 Local Foods An essential part in any holiday is sampling the local produce and signature dishes. You’ll discover that, in the Isle of Man, we love making the most of food and drink that’s served up in the same place it came from - right here! Honey Manx bees are some of the healthiest in the world thanks to the fact bees cannot be imported into the Isle of Man. The current Manx bee population stems from the ancient bees that have populated the Isle of Man for over a millennium. Needless to say, the honey they produce is delicious with its own characteristic taste, aroma and texture.

Confectionary Beautiful, hand-crafted chocolates from Davison’s and Cocoa Red, wickedly good fudge and toffee from The Original Manx Fudge Factory...what better excuse than a holiday to indulge your sweet tooth?

Elderflower ‘Keshal’ This Manx champagne is made in small quantities at the Apple Orphanage on the west coast of the Island. As their name suggests, they also make fresh juice and cider from 100% local fruit.

Real ale The Island’s two main breweries, Okell’s and Bushys, produce a range of great quality ales and stouts, available bottled and on draught. Purity laws in force in the Isle of Man ensure a clean, superior flavour.

Ice cream

Ice creams produced in the Isle of Man are made Manx cheese from the finest natural The Isle of Man ingredients, making Creamery, a co- them no less naughty operative of small but certainly nicer. Manx dairy farms, Bonnag produces a range of award winning cheeses A traditional made wholly with milk Manx scone, from local herds. wholesome

and satisfying. Widely available in Island tearooms - enjoy it plain or with pure Manx honey.

Loaghtan lamb The meat of the native Manx Loaghtan sheep is rich, gamey and lower in fat than ‘regular’ lamb. A Loaghtan burger is, like the animal itself, just a little bit different.

Queenies Smaller and more succulent than King Scallops, Queen Scallops - ‘Queenies’ are sustainably sourced from Manx waters. They’ve even given rise to a festival - the Queenie Festival, our annual celebration of the sea.

Manx kippers One of the Isle of Man’s most famous exports and powerfully flavoursome! Whole herring are slowly smoked over oak chips in a centuries-old tradition. To see how it’s done, take a tour of Moore’s Kipper Yard on the quayside in Peel.

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Suggested Itineraries - by foot

Walkabout Footstep Tours of the Island’s Historical Towns From here, walk up Athol Steet, the main artery of If you’re up for a bracing Douglas’ financial district. hill start, follow the road Towards the end, turn up up to Douglas Head from Westmoreland Road - a South Quay. On a fine little way up, on the left, day, you’ll be rewarded is St George’s Church, the with a panoramic view of burial place of William the bay, the town and the Hillary. Crossing over hills beyond. Here, you’ll the road from the church also find the Great Union entrance, walk along Camera Obscura (open Hill Street to the main May - September), one Isle of Man Government of only four remaining in building, locally known as the British Isles. Look out the ‘Wedding Cake’. This for the statue of William is home to the House of Hillary, founder of the Keys and the Legislative RNLI. In 1830, he took Council, the two houses part in the rescue of the St which make up Tynwald George, which foundered parliament. From here, in Douglas Bay. He went you can walk along Finch on to build the Tower Road and up through of Refuge on Conister Kingswood Grove to the Rock as a storm shelter iMuseum and the Manx for wrecked mariners. Museum, both ‘mustReturning back down the visits’ if you’re interested hill, take a wander from in Island history. On South to North Quay, at leaving the Manx Museum, the neck of which you’ll descend Crellin’s Hill and find the main Isle of Man turn left down Church Steam Railway station, a Road Marina; this brings striking red-brick building you out onto Douglas topped with gold cupolas.

Douglas

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Promenade. A little to your left is the beautiful Gaiety Theatre - a guided tour is highly recommended. Cross over to the seafront and stroll through the Sunken Gardens, enjoying the Victorian hotel facades along the way. Behind these hotels runs Strand Street, Douglas’ main shopping area: here, you’ll find a number of cafés to relax in after your walk.

Castletown The ancient capital of Mann, Castletown is steeped in history and incredibly picturesque. The old part of the town is very compact, making it easy to take in the sights in a short space of time. Walking along the riverside as you come into town from the Douglas direction will allow you to soak up the sight of Castle Rushen, which dominates the townscape. Bear left at the harbour bridge and

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


you’ll come to the Nautical Museum, home to the 18th Century smuggling boat, the Peggy. Following this road around to the left will take you to Castletown promenade and beach, where you’ll be able to enjoy views of Langness peninsula. A walk along the promenade will also take you to Hango Hill, where Manx nationalist figurehead was executed in 1663. To go into town, however, simply cross the swingbridge - the entrance to Castle Rushen is just yards from here. After a tour of the castle (allow a couple of hours), you might also like to visit the former House of Keys, set back from the road a little way up from the main castle entrance. To the right of the Keys building, through a narrow gap, walk through to the Old Grammar School, another key Manx National Heritage site. Returning to the town square, you can wander through the old streets and back down to the harbour. If you wish to extend your visit, however, exit the square on to Queen Street and follow the road out to Scarlett, a rugged stretch of coast rich in fossils and wildlife. This is part of the Raad Ny Foillan (Way of the Gull), leading south to Gansey and Port St Mary.

Peel The traditional fishing port of Peel is much-loved for its quaint character and dramatic sunsets, which light up the sandstone silhouette of Peel Castle on St Patrick’s Isle. Within the walls of Peel Castle stand the ruins of the original cathedral of St German, while the present-day cathedral, which dates back to late Victorian times, stands higher up in the town; because of these cathedrals, local people sometimes refer to Peel as a city, even though it is only a small town in size! Kick off your visit with a trip to House of Manannan, which is located on the quayside, over the road from the popular Creek Inn. Offering a completely immersive journey into the Island’s past, the House of Manannan is worth setting aside at least a couple of hours to explore. It also marks the site of the former Douglas to Peel steam railway terminus: you can still follow the railway line (two miles to St Johns or ten miles to Douglas, if you’re feeling energetic!) on foot or bicycle by turning left outside the House of Manannan and following the River Neb upstream from the harbour. If you’re staying in town, however, pop into the

Manx Transport Heritage Museum (open Easter September) to discover more about the old rail network and the unique Peel P50 car, invented in Peel by Manxman Cyril Cannell. Where the neck of the harbour meets Mill Road, you’ll find Moore’s Kipper Yard, a traditional, working smokehouse take a tour and pick up some delicious kippers, seafood or smoked bacon. Doubling back down the quayside, you might want to visit the Leece Museum, a tiny treasure house of local history. Cross the swingbridge for an exhilarating walk along Fenella Beach (which takes its name from a Walter Scott heroine) and round Peel Castle walls. A tour of the castle itself should not be missed, if you’re visiting between Easter and September. Have a bite to eat at the much-loved breakwater kiosk and while you do so, look out for Grey Seals off the breakwater - when people are fishing, and when the boats come in, they’ve never far away. Finally, make your way to the promenade (retracing your steps back over the swingbridge) and treat yourself to a Manx ice cream - no visit to Peel is complete without one!

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Suggested Itineraries - by Tram & Rail

The South by

6WHDP

No trip to the Isle of Man is complete without a trip on one of the Island’s heritage railways systems. Be transported back to the days of steam and electric and enjoy the Manx countryside at the easiest of paces.

Start your day at the award winning Manx Museum in the capital of Douglas and discover 10,000 years of unique Manx heritage presented through film, galleries and interactive displays. Hop on the Victorian Steam Railway which departs from Douglas and be sure to stop off at Castletown, the Island’s ancient capital, to explore the local shops and restaurants. Here you can visit the striking medieval castle, Castle Rushen, a building of huge historical significance built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Interactive displays skilfully replicate sights, sounds and smells of the past. The Old House of Keys, Old Grammar School and the Nautical Museum are also situated in Castletown and well worth a visit.

steam trains, original carriages and equipment. Finally, take the steam train back to Douglas and relax in one of the many restaurants situated around Douglas Quayside. Please check opening times and railway timetables. More information for each attraction can be found in the directory.

If you fancy taking your trip a bit further, re-board the steam train and travel down to the picturesque coastal town of Port Erin to discover the history of the Isle of Man Steam Railway at the Railway Museum. The museum boasts fully refurbished

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For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


The North by Electric Start your day by taking a trip on the Manx Electric Railway for some of the finest views of the east coast of the Island. This vintage railway was first opened in 1893 and is recognised as the longest narrow gauge vintage railway system in the British Isles. Disembark at the village of Laxey and climb to the top of the Great Laxey Wheel, the largest working waterwheel in the world. Otherwise known as the ‘Lady Isabella’, the wheel was built in 1854 to pump water from Laxey’s lead and zinc mines. Take some time to wander the pretty streets of Laxey before returning back to the tram to continue your journey to Ramsey. If you have a little more time, Laxey Station is also the starting point for the unique Snaefell Mountain Railway.

Before you return to Douglas you might even have time to stop off at the Grove Museum, a preserved Victorian house situated on the outskirts of Ramsey or Milntown Estate and Gardens, an impressive historic house which is set in 15 and a half acres of beautifully maintained gardens. Please check opening times and railway timetables. More information for each attraction can be found in the directory.

Ramsey is the Island’s second largest town and boasts the largest number of sunshine hours of all the Isle of Man’s major towns. Ramsey’s jewel is the 40 acre Mooragh Park – a pristine leisure facility with a large boating lake, cafés, bowling green, tennis courts and children’s playground – all interspersed with beautifully manicured gardens.

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Wildlife watching Ayres Visitor Centre and Nature Trail The Ayres National Nature Reserve, covering several miles of lichen health, shingle beach and sandy dunes, is famous for its wildlife, rare flora and nesting birds. The Ayres coastline is also a great place to spot marine wildlife. The Visitor Centre is open May September (free admission).

Scarlett Visitor Centre and Nature Trail Just south of Castletown, Scarlett’s rugged limestone and volcanic rock formations are a great place for rockpooling, fossil-hunting and birdwatching. The Visitor Centre, which tells you more about the area’s geology and wildlife, is open May - September (free admission).

Nature Reserves The Manx Wildlife Trust offers a series of year-round guided Wildlife Walks through their reserves. For more information, contact them on +44 (0) 1624 844432 or visit www.manxwt.org.uk

Marine Wildlife While a boat trip naturally offers the best chance of marine wildlife encounters, there are plenty of good vantage points around the coast for sightings and permanent binocular sites let you take a closer look. Expect to see several species including: Basking Sharks Where:

All around the coastline but most commonly sighted along the west coast around Peel breakwater and Niarbyl Bay

When:

May - September

Harbour Porpoise Where:

Seen close to shore at Kallow Point (Port St Mary), The Sound and Niarbyl Bay

When:

All year round

Bottlenose Dolphins Where:

East coast, especially Marine Drive and Douglas Bay

When:

October - March

Risso’s Dolphins Where:

South-east coast from Douglas to The Sound

When:

April - August

Minke Whales Where:

West coast (summer), especially Niarbyl Bay; east coast (autumn/winter), especially Marine Drive, Laxey Bay, Bulgham Bay

When:

June - December

Grey Seals

44

Where:

The Sound; Peel; The Ayres; Maughold Head; Langness

When:

All year round

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


Basking Sharks The basking shark (Manx name Gobbay Vooar - big mouth) is the second largest fish in the world. The Isle of Man is fortunate enough to have a large number of them from May to September and it is recognised as an international hotspot. Sightings are most common on the west and southwest coast of the Island. Although the largest recorded basking shark was 13.7m long (longer than a bus), most people only see the fins and nose projecting above the surface. Headlands are good locations for observers. Diving birds are a good indication that sea life is abundant in an area.

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Basking sharks, whales, dolphins and porpoises are all protected under the Manx Wildlife Act. For fantastic images and stories of basking sharks in Manx waters visit www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.com and don’t forget to log on and report any sightings you may have.

45


Getting Around At just 33 miles long and 13 miles wide you’ll find getting around the Isle of Man easy. The Island has a comprehensive public transport network, which includes the steam railway and electric tram, as well as a reliable and regular bus service. Multi-journey tickets are available on all public transport offering excellent value for money. Timetables Timetables are available from the Welcome Centre in Douglas Sea Terminal and main bus and rail stations, they are also available from www.iombusandrail. info or please call +44 (0) 1624 662525.

Multi-Journey Tickets To help make your stay even more enjoyable and affordable, multi-journey tickets are available. Island Explorer Tickets (Unlimited Travel on scheduled sevices of the Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway, Douglas Horse Trams and Buses (except Manx Express)), Heritage Explorer Tickets (as Island Explorer but including entry to all Manx National Heritage Sites) and Saver Tickets (Unlimited Travel on scheduled bus services (except Manx Express) Holiday Pass (14 days admission to all Manx National Heritage Attractions) are available from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, main bus and rail stations and selected ticket agents. To obtain tickets in advance of your visit, please call +44 (0) 1624 662525.

46

Individual jouney tickets are Taxis available from the bus driver. Taxi ranks are present directly outside the entrance Car Hire of the Sea Terminal and There are several car hire airport buildings. Taxis are companies on the Island available to meet flights should you wish to hire a and sailings and most car. Clean driving licences destinations are covered are required. Driving in the by fixed tariff charges. Isle of Man is on the left, as in the UK; seatbelts must Useful numbers be worn and the Horse Trams that run up and down Isle of Man Weather: 0900 624 3300 Douglas promenade can (premium rate) only be overtaken on the left. Please note it is illegal Ronaldsway Airport: to drive any vehicle whilst +44 (0) 1624 821600 using your mobile phone.

Car Parking There is free parking available in designated spaces in all the main towns; however, there is a time limit to how long you can stay. Parking Discs are required to display in the windscreen showing the time you arrived. These discs are widely available – your hotel may have a supply but if not you can obtain them from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal in Douglas, or on the Steam Packet ferries. Car hire companies will provide these in each car.

Isle of Man Steam Packet: +44 (0) 1624 661661 Noble’s Hospital: +44 (0) 1624 650000 Ramsey Cottage Hospital: +44 (0) 1624 811811 Manx Emergency Doctor Service (operates out of hours): +44 (0) 1624 650355 Accident and Emergency: +44 (0) 1624 650040 Police, Ambulance, Fire or Coastguard: 999 Free Wi-Fi access is readily available on the Island at the Sea Terminal, airport, libraries and many cafés and hotels.

For more information call +44 (0) 1624 686766


Information for visitors There are a number of visitor information points located around the Island offering advice and help to visitors as well as printed literature which you can take away. Your first port of call should be the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal in Douglas. It’s open all year between Monday and Saturday from 8am to 6pm. For more information telephone +44 (0) 1624 686766. You’ll also find information points located at the following places: Ronaldsway Airport: +44 (0) 1624 821600 The Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust (seasonal opening): +44 (0) 1624 862007 The House of Manannan in Peel: +44 (0) 1624 648090 Ramsey Town Hall: +44 (0) 1624 810146 Port Erin Commissioners’ Office: +44 (0) 1624 832298 The Old Grammar School in Castletown (seasonal opening): +44 (0) 1624 648000

Information for the disabled The Isle of Man offers a warm welcome to visitors with disabilities. A DisabledGo guide which provides information on accessing attractions, restaurants and local businesses is available from: www.disabledgo.com/en/org/isle-of-man-government Extra help is available for visitors when travelling to and from the Island. Please check with your chosen airline or the Steam Packet Company before booking your visit. It’s also advisable to check with your accommodation provider before booking if you have special requirements to ensure they can be fulfilled. Wheelchair access is available on public transport. Please book in advance if using the Steam Railway or Electric Railway and note there is no wheelchair access on-board the Snaefell Mountain Railway.

47


Towns and Maps Ramsey The second largest town on the Island set against the magnificent backdrop of the North Barrule hills. Ramsey boasts an impressive working harbour and masses of sand and shingle beach. Some suggested things to see and do are: Mooragh Park • Manx Electric Railway • Milntown Estate & Gardens • Grove Museum • Jurby Transport Museum • Ayres Nature Reserve

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Laxey The picturesque village of Laxey has been a popular destination with visitors since the Victorian times. The village is set in the beautiful deep valley with the famous Great Laxey Wheel dominating the valley and in the village you’ll find many magnificent sites and attractions set in beautiful landscape. Some suggested things to see and do are: The Great Laxey Wheel and Mines Trail • Great Laxey Mine Railway • Laxey Woollen Mills • Snaefell Mountain Railway • Dhoon Glen

49


Peel Pay a visit to the aptly named “Sunset City” where you’ll be awarded stunning views of the sun setting, a glimpse of the Mountains of Mourne, and some of the best ice cream in the Isle of Man! Located on the west coast, Peel is a thriving Manx fishing port with a marine heritage that spans hundreds of years. Some suggested things to see and do are: Peel Castle • House of Manannan • Leece Museum • Manx Transport Museum • Traditional Kipper Factory • Tynwald Hill • Tynwald National Park & Arboretum • Tynwald Mills • Niarbyl Visitor Centre

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Castletown A visit to the Isle of Man isn’t complete without a trip to the ancient capital of the Isle of Man, Castletown home to Caste Rushen. Castletown has many heritage attractions and traditional cobbled streets overlooking a tidal harbour where numerous boats are moored. Some suggested things to see and do are: Castle Rushen • Old House of Keys • Old Grammar School • The Nautical Museum • Scarlett Visitor Centre • Manx Aviation & Military Museum • The Original Manx Fudge Factory • Rushen Abbey

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Enjoy your visit!


Telephone - +44 (0) 1624 686766 E-mail - tourism@gov.im www.visitisleofman.com


Isle of Man One Stop Guide Issue 4