Douglas and nearby Laxey
Starting in Douglas at the Manx Museum you will find artefacts and treasures unique to the Isle of Man. Discover the Island’s 10,000 year history through Celts and Vikings, wartime internment and its holiday heyday. Find handmade and bespoke Manx inspired gifts and souvenirs in the museum shop. (allow up to 2 hours for your visit)
500m along on Kingswood Grove is the iMuseum, a digital archive of objects, photographs, newspapers and records. A fully searchable library of resources at your fingertips. (allow from 1 – 4 hours for your visit)
In walking distance of the museum, on the promenade are the Gaiety Theatre, Villa Gardens and Sayle Art Gallery. May to early September you can ride the horse tram along the seafront. (1 hour)
At the end of the promenade is the Douglas stop for the Manx Electric Railway. On a fine day the scenery on the coastal route to Laxey is breathtaking. A ride on the Laxey Mine Railway is another must do. Then take the footpath to the world’s largest working waterwheel, The Great Laxey Wheel or Lady Isabella as she is also known. (2-3 hours)
In Laxey Village visit the harbor and seafront. Don’t miss the Woolen Mills where the famous Manx Tartan is produced using traditional methods. (1 hour)
From Laxey you can take the Mountain Railway to the Snaefell summit or Electric Railway to Ramsey for more spectacular coastal scenery.
Also nearby Douglas –
Groudle Glen Railway
The north of the Island is particularly known for its agricultural and industrial heritage.
Ramsey known by the Norse as ‘Wild Garlic River’ due to the abundance of wild garlic. Also, since a visit in 1847 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, ‘Royal Ramsey’. Invasions came on Ramsey’s shores in 1079 by King Orry and in 1313 by Robert the Bruce.
Visit Milntown House, the grand home of the Christian family from the early 16th century. Check for times of house tours. There are 15 acres of gardens, orchards and woodlands in the grounds of this beautiful house.
Visit The Grove. Here the lifetime possessions tell the story of the Gibb family from Victorian times. The Gibb sisters lived out their days at the house until their deaths in the 1970’s. The Grove is a time capsule of their lives with much to stir nostalgia. (1 hour)
Jurby Transport Museum homed within a World War II hangar built in 1940 on the former Jurby airfield. The museum houses a collection of road transport vehicles and artefacts of local relevance.
Also in Jurby –
Jurby Church Manx Stone Crosses and Viking burial sites
Visit the Island’s ancient capital, Castletown by Steam Railway. With four historic sites to see you could spend a full day here. Take your pick from Castle Rushen, the Old House of Keys, Old Grammar School or the Nautical Museum.
Make a stop off at Rushen Abbey in Ballasalla. The remains of this ancient monastery rest in peaceful gardens alongside The Abbey Restaurant.
At the southern tip of the Island is the Sound Café. Enjoy panoramic views across to Kitterland and the Calf of Man. Indulge in some seal spotting with a spot of lunch.
Don’t miss, Cregneash, home to Loghtan Sheep, pigs, Shorthorn cows and working plough horses. Traditional craft demonstrations take place most days. For an afternoon expedition follow the country lanes to Meayll Circle or the Chasms. Enjoy some freshly made Bonnag at the Creg y Shee Tea Rooms.
Visit Peel, famous for its thriving fishing industry and Manx kipper smokehouses. On the way make a stop at Tynwald Hill at St. John’s home of the Norse Parliament for over 1,000 years. The annual parliamentary ceremony takes place at Tynwald Hill on July 5.
At Peel explore the town’s narrow higgledy-piggledy streets, working harbour and modern marina. Make time for visits to the ancient fortress of Peel Castle and to the Celtic, Viking and maritime House of Manannan.
Also in Peel –
Manx Transport Museum
Manx Wildlife Trust
At House of Manannan, learn about the Island’s seafaring connections: Battle of Trafalgar, Mutiny on the Bounty, smuggling and Manx Vessels at Dunkirk. (2 hours)
The Nautical Museum in Castletown, home to the world’s oldest yacht, The Peggy. The boathouse reveals the eccentricity and interests of its infamous designer Captain George Quayle. (1 hour)
Spanish Head is named, according to legend, for a wreck from the Spanish Armada. Stone lintels were quarried here and used at Castle Rushen for flooring and at Cregneash as lintels over the chiollagh, the large open hearth. (2 – 4 hours)
Other places with nautical connections –
Discover the tales of tragic shipwrecks at The Sound.
Leece Museum, discover Peel and its life as busy Manx fishing port in days gone by.