Isle of Man Attractions

The Isle of Man offers visitors a choice of local attractions with a choice of a number of interesting places to discover. The scenic landscape and coastal scenery on the islands offer the perfect tranquil break along with museums, gardens, historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. The Isle of Man’s location in the Irish Sea between Belfast in Northern Ireland and Liverpool in England means it is easily assessable from the UK mainland by air and sea making it an convenient alternative short breaks destination.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to the Isle of Man, these include:

The Old House of Keys located in Castletown, upon arrival everyone is greeted at the door by the secretary of the House of Keys and moved into a small area outside the Chamber. The House of Keys is opened and all the tourists and public take a seat. There is a list of items to be voted on before each member, but that is taken in turn. There is a speaker who leads the proceedings; there are good audio and video presentations throughout the debates. This provides an opportunity to see how democracy developed on the island sometimes ahead of their neighbours in the UK and the effect that political decisions have had and can continue to have on the Manx nation.

Castle Rushen is a well-preserved medieval castle that was created during the Norse period in the 12th century. The castle has an interesting history; it was once conquered by Robert the Bruce and later became the home of the Viking King Magnus, in addition to several kings. Visitors can tour the castle and see period displays with figures in costume and historic furnishings. The Castle is at Mann's historic capital, Castletown, and is among the best preserved medieval castles in Europe. The Castle was developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th centuries. Filled with history and character a visit there makes for an interesting one.

The Grove House is located close to Ramsey and was developed in the mid 19th century by Duncan Gibb. Mr Gibb was a shipping merchant from Liverpool and developed the house as a summer retreat for his family. It is a modest sized Victorian villa that has a series of period rooms containing mainly original furnishings and fittings, has a costume room, and other general displays which include the possessions of some three generations of the family. There is adjoining farmland and at the rear there are early vehicles and agricultural equipment these include a restored horse-powered threshing mill.

The Manx Museum is located in Douglas and boasts something for all ages inside the national museum. Visitors can see the Film Theatre to watch a short presentation about the history of the Isle of Man. Then visitors can see the National Art Gallery, where you can look around the exhibits and admire the art on show. The majority of the Manx Museum is interactive thus allowing visitors to sample visual, audio and exhibit items, which are of interest to them. There are exhibition rooms that have interactive material catered for children. There is a cafe for refreshments and Heritage shop close by. A visit here gives a good insight in to the history and culture of the Isle of Man.

Snaefell is the only mountain on the Isle of Man and there are two ways up the mountain one is by walking and the other is by going up to the summit (2036 ft) by the Snaefell Mountain Railway. This is single-track and runs for four miles from Laxey to the summit. The railway was built back in 1895 and at the steepest part of the track has an incline of 1 in 12 and caliper brakes grip a central rail to help control decent. There is one stop midway on the journey for those who wish to join the train half way. During the journey, visitors are treated to the great scenery of the area. Indeed on a clear day, Manx tradition stipulates you can see no less than six kingdoms from here, these being England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Mann and the Kingdom of God. There is a Summit Cafe that provides welcome refreshments.

The Manx Electric Railway was first opened back in 1893 and is a narrow-gauge tramway that runs from Douglas to Ramsey. All the trams running currently are still original they were built between 1893 and 1906. The route from Douglas to Ramsey has stops at places like Onchan, Groudle, Baldrine, Balla Beg, Fairy Cottage, South Cape, Ballaglass, Cornaa, Ballajora, and Ballure, there are many others and stops can be requested by passengers by notifying the conductor of any required stops. The full journey takes around 90 minutes to complete and offers visitors some truly stunning views of the countryside and sea along the way. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available from which to enjoy your trip.

The Isle of Man is a walkers paradise, there are many footpaths to offer visitors, these include the long distance Raad ny Foillan (Road of the Gull) coastal footpath and the Island-long Millennium Way, others include Bayr ny Skeddan (Herring Road) and the old Railway Lines. In addition there are shorter paths that run through towns, villages and the countryside. Walkers can book the walks they wish to participate in. There are walks and social events during the Isle of Man Walking festival can be booked too, the festival is in the summer and exact dates should be checked to confirm the details. There are ghost walks at night around Peel, which has a great castle on the rocks by the sea.

Theatre fans can try the Villa Marina and Gaiety Complex that presents a year round programme of theatre, entertainment, film, arts and music. At the Villa Marina there are major shows in the Royal Hall during the Summer Season. Summer Cabaret is in the Promenade Suite from the end of July to the end of August. There is also family entertainment and there are several shows daily. Children can be kept amused in the indoor Children's Adventure Play Area. Located in beautiful Gardens visitors can relax and bask in the sunshine in summer. At the Gaiety Theatre there are summer shows in July & August.

It is recommended that prior to visiting the Isle of Man; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming.

The Isle of Man with its tranquil environment offers visitors an interesting alternative holiday and short breaks destination. There is plenty for visitors to discover on the islands, visitors can explore away from larger crowds, there are a number of charming towns and villages including plenty of picturesque locations and a scenic landscape to enjoy. There is the towns of Douglas and Castletown on the island both offering visitors a good base from which to explore the area along with their own town attractions.

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