Located partway between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man encompasses rugged landscapes and picturesque harbour towns in the middle of the Irish Sea. It’s famed for its annual cross-country motorcycle race, the Isle of Man TT, and is home to the oldest parliament in the world, the High Court of Tynwald.
Things to do in Isle of Man
Medieval castles, historic waterwheels and a rich Viking heritage - the Isle of Man offers all this and more.
Explore the capital. Ride one of the horse-drawn trams along the promenade of Douglas for magnificent views across the Irish Sea. Discover the island’s fascinating Viking past at the Manx Museum and visit the famous Great Union Camera Obscura on Douglas Head, which also boasts a lighthouse dating back to 1857.
Visit Castletown. Once serving as the island’s capital, Castletown is home to the former royal residence of Castle Rushen, which houses a Celtic crucifix from the Calf of Man. Learn about life in the Victorian period at the Old Grammar School and browse model ships at the Nautical Museum before visiting the parliament’s former seat at the Old House of Keys.
Tour Peel Castle. Perched atop rocky St. Patrick’s Isle, this red sandstone castle was once the fortress of the 11th-century Viking King, Magnus Barefoot. Admire the 11th-century Round Tower and marvel at the Cathedral of St. Germanus’s choir before exploring a replica Viking longhouse at the House of Manannan.
Photograph the Lady Isabella. In the charming resort town of Laxey is the Lady Isabella, a 22-metre-high waterwheel built in 1854 to pump water out of the lead mines. It stands as the largest working waterwheel in the world and forms part of the Great Laxey Wheel & Mines Trail.
Getting around Isle of Man
Isle of Man Airport is the main gateway to the island while regular ferries connect to Liverpool, Heysham, Belfast and Dublin. Buses connect towns and villages across the Isle of Man, although hiring a car is the most popular way of exploring the island.