There’s a ton of cool and exciting things to do in the Isle of Man, and that’s what I’ll be sharing in this blog post. By the end of the article, you’re gonna have a jam-packed itinerary whether you’re visiting the Isle of Man for a weekend, a week, or even a month.
Can you believe I’ve been living in the Isle of Man for almost two years? I thought it was about time that I shared my first blog about it. Better late than never, right.
I know one person who will be pleased. Natalie grew up on the island and has been on my case to write this article for years. So, here we are – finally. I know we are both excited to share the magic of this island with you all.
You could say that the Isle of Man is one of the few remaining hidden gems of this world. Its beauty and nature are comparable with the likes of Ireland and the Lake District but with only a fraction of the crowds.
With its secluded beaches and enchanting glens, sweeping forests and captivating landscapes, the Isle of Man is a dream for nature lovers. A fascinating and mysterious history adds to its charm, alongside a ton of interesting facts that I’ll save for another article.
But with all that said, let’s jump into what you came here for. Here are 65 cool and exciting things to do in the Isle of Man.
65 Things to do in the Isle of Man – An Insider (Local) Guide
At 221 square miles, the Isle of Man isn’t exactly a big place. You can drive from one end of the island to another in around 30-40 minutes. Still, this is an extensive list, so I thought it made sense to split it up into areas so you can plan your itinerary accordingly.
Further down the article, I’ll be sharing some other helpful information for the Isle of Man. Such as where to stay, how to get around, and anything else I think will be handy to know during your time here.
Things to do in Douglas, Isle of Man
Douglas is the lively capital and largest town of the Isle of Man. When I say lively, I don’t mean lively as in London or Berlin. But lively as in it’s the most populated and built-up area on the island.
Most visitors coming to the Isle of Man stay in Douglas and then venture out on day trips to other parts of the island. It makes sense since it’s where you’ll find most of the Isle of Man restaurants, nightlife and hotels.
There are also some really exciting things to see and do in this part of the island, so let’s get started.
1. Stroll Along Douglas Promenade
Douglas Promenade is the centre point of Douglas town. It stretches for approximately one and a half miles, cradling Douglas beach and attracting a mixture of walkers, runners, and cyclists.
On a nice day, it’s a beautiful spot for a leisurely stroll and a great way to start your trip. Not so much on a windy day, however, when the conditions can get quite treacherous.
2. Look out for the Tower of Refuge.
While walking the prom, look out for the Tower of Refuge – A small castle-looking structure out at sea.
The structure was built in 1832 to provide a warning for incoming ships and a refuge for those in distress. Today it makes for a captivating sight along the Manx coastline.
At certain times of the year, during low tide, you can even walk to the tower. However, I don’t advise it due to how quickly the tide comes in.
There is an annual event, though, when hundreds of people walk over together, so fingers crossed, you’ll be around for that.
3. Learn About Manx History at the Manx Museum
I mentioned earlier that the Isle of Man has a fascinating history. It’s also incredibly diverse, and the Manx are extremely culturally proud people.
With this in mind, the Manx Museum is a great starting point for your trip before you head out and explore the island. You’ll learn of our rich Viking heritage and the wonders of our natural world to the legendary bikers of the TT races.
There’s something for everyone at the interactive museum, and it’s completely free to enter. Don’t miss it!
4. Admire the Rugged Coastline Along Marine Drive
Marine Drive is one of our favourite places to go walking in the Isle of Man. It’s just a short 20-minute walk from Douglas town centre, or even quicker if you have a car. There are a few interesting points to look out for along Marine Drive.
First of all, it forms a part of the ‘Raad Ny Foillan’ (English: The Way of the Gull) – the coastal path that goes all around the island. That means it’s the perfect spot to admire the islands rugged coastline.
You can also see and learn about the islands abundant marine life here. There’s a viewpoint with information boards, and it’s not uncommon to see seals, dolphins, sharks, and whales.
Finally, if you take a drive up on a clear night, Little Ness Car Park is a registered Dark Sky Discovery Site. I’ve had some incredible stargazing experiences throughout my travels, and the Isle of Man night sky is up there with the best of them.
5. Get Enchanted at The Fairy Glen
What you don’t get to learn about at the museum are the legends of folklore, superstition, and witchcraft that also play a huge part in Manx culture. It’s a pity because, in my opinion, that’s the most intriguing part.
Thankfully, there are various attractions around the Isle of Man that honour these unusual traditions and beliefs. One of which is the Fairy Glen located on Summerhill at the far end of Douglas prom.
The glen makes for an idyllic woodland walk during the day with its streams, waterfalls, and tiny fairy homes in the trees. However, at night is when the magic happens, when a stunning lighting display illuminates the area.
6. Ride the Douglas Bay Horse Tram
If you’re looking for traditional things to do in the Isle of Man, you don’t want to miss riding the Douglas Bay Horse Tram.
A Manx staple feature since 1876, the tramway is one of the last surviving tramways in the world. Operational only during the Summer months, you can travel the entire length of the prom in original trams from Victorian and Edwardian times.
And, yes, I know what you’re thinking. I am also sceptical of any touristy stuff involving animals; however, these guys are well taken care of – you can hold me to that.
7. The Manx Steam Train
The Manx steam train is another historical attraction on the Isle of Man and an unmissable experience for anybody coming to the island for the first time.
Since its opening in 1874, the Manx steam train has allowed visitors to take in the exceptional beauty of our island in a relaxed and exciting setting.
You’ll pass through towns, villages, countryside, and coastal views, and there are various stations that allow you to get off and explore the area. Check the timetables, and hop back on the train once you’re ready.
For an even more unique experience, you could try The Dining Car, which offers themed fine dining experiences with menus inspired from all over the world.
8. Take in the View from Douglas Head View Point
Douglas Head provides an unrivalled view over Douglas Bay which extends far into the Manx countryside. It’s a place of tranquillity and one of my favourite places to sit and reflect.
You can get to Douglas Head in around 10-15 minutes from Douglas town centre. It’s home to the Great Union Camera Obscura; however, this attraction only opens on a few select days of the year.
9. Spot the Famous Douglas Head Lighthouse
Follow the steps down next to the Camera Obscura, and it will lead you to the famous Douglas Head Lighthouse. Operational since 1857, it’s considered quite a significant landmark.
The walk down is pleasant, and the lighthouse is pretty impressive if you’re into that kind of thing. However, it’s the next spot on my list that makes this short walk down worthwhile.
10. Discover a Secret Beach
There are many amazing beaches on the Isle of Man; however, this particular beach at the bottom of Douglas Head is one of my favourites.
I call it secret beach as I have no idea of its name, or even if it has a name. But while it is tucked away, it’s not exactly a secret by definition of the word.
What I love most about this beach, however, is that it is very secluded. Even during the Summer, it’s rare to find another person here.
The beach boasts crystal-clear water, great for swimming and snorkelling. And it’s much better than the main Douglas beach, which is, unfortunately, not so inviting.
11. Say Hello to the Fairies on The Fairy Bridge
As you cross the Fairy Bridge on the A5 Port Erin to Douglas road, it’s a local superstition that you must say hello to the fairies. If you don’t, well, they are likely to curse you, and you could end up in all kinds of bother.
Natalie’s Grandad swears that the only two times he failed to say hello to the fairies, he ended up having an accident on his motorbike. So, it’s pretty serious stuff. Even the local buses take part in the tradition, urging visitors to honour the tradition.
Sounds bonkers, I know. But do you want to mess with the fairies? I didn’t think so.
12. Home of Rest for Old Horses
Animal lovers are going to love this next thing to do in the Isle of Man. I mean, what better way to kill a few hours than to pet and feed some retired old horses living their best lives.
The horses work for 15 years on the trams before retiring here. A retirement home for horses – is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard?
It’s only open during the summer and free to visit, but it’s a charity run organisation, so please do leave a donation. There’s also an onsite cafe and gift shop, which is another way you can help support.
13. Stop for a Drink at Douglas Quay
Douglas Quay is one of the most picturesque and atmospheric spots in the capital. It’s where the locals park their boats, and it’s quite amusing checking out all the weird and wonderful names.
It’s especially energetic during the summer when the plentiful bars & restaurants spill out onto the streets. You’ll find teems of people alongside the water edge enjoying a pint and soaking up the sun.
The quay is also the last spot in Douglas to lose the sunlight, which makes up for the lack of beer gardens in the area.
14. Mann Cat Sanctuary
Another for the animal lovers, the Mann Cat Sanctuary is precisely what it says on the tin. A safe haven for unwanted, disabled and traumatised cats. I’m not crying, you are.
Located just up the road from Home of Rest for Old Horses, you can pop in to see the kitties or admire them from afar on the live webcams. The webcams are watched by people all over the world, including Japan, where they once went viral.
Again, the sanctuary relies on the generosity of the public. So if you do visit or get joy from the webcams, please leave a small donation.
15. Visit the Gaiety Theatre
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ Victorian building? And luckily so, as Douglas is bursting with them.
The most iconic of them all is arguably The Gaiety Theatre – An architectural gem that’s been around since the late 1800s.
It’s still in operation now as an entertainment venue, or you can take a guided tour. Although, I believe the tour only runs during peak periods (April to September).
Fun Fact: Watch out for seat B14 which an old lady allegedly haunts.
16. Onchan Pleasure Park
Perfect for little kids and big kids alike, Onchan Pleasure Park is a massive park located at the North end of Douglas bay.
You’ll find all kinds of attractions here, including a boating lake, go-kart track, playground, crazy golf, and soft play area, to name but a few. It’s a guaranteed fun-filled day out for all the family.
17. Tea & G&T at The Tea Junction
While there is no shortage of cafes and coffee shops in Douglas, The Tea Junction stands out from the rest. It’s the island’s first dedicated ‘tea-room, so naturally, tea is their speciality. However, coffees, hot chocolate, and g&t’s are also hot on the menu.
What’s most appealing about the Tea Junction is the fancy old-fashioned decor and the stylish presentation of their craft. They also serve a wide range of delicious cakes, sandwiches, and salads that nicely compliment the drinks.
18. Cheap Pints at Quids Inn
If you want to experience all the quintessential things to do in the Isle of Man, no bucket list is complete without Quids Inn.
This infamous pub is a locals’ worst-kept secret where drinks are the cheapest you’ll find on the island. Just make sure you’ve got a quid to slot in the turnstile on your way in.
19. Wander the Beautiful Groudle Glen
For a relatively easy hike that’s suitable for all the family, I highly recommend Groudle Glen.
The woodland walk through Groudle is incredibly picturesque. You can follow the stream for 2-3 miles encountering a variety of terrains and attractions. Kids love it, as it feels like an adventure.
You don’t need to be overly fit to enjoy it here, but there are some steep and slippery areas, so be careful. Check out my video for how beautiful this place is during Autumn.
20. Breakfast Served on a Shovel at The Tickethall
Next up, I urge you to try one of the most unusual breakfasts you’ll ever experience at The Tickethall.
The infamous Fireman’s Breakfast is a full english served on a fireman’s shovel – which I’ll admit sounds a little tacky, but the quality of the breakfast itself is second to none.
Located at the steam train railway station, this is an ideal spot to fuel yourself up for the day.
Things to do in Laxey, Isle of Man
Approximately 8 miles or so North of Douglas, you’ll find the idyllic village of Laxey.
There isn’t too much to do here besides a few main attractions, which I’ll list below. But its gorgeous scenery and quaint infrastructure resemble something out of a fairy tale.
I do not doubt that you’re going to love it here, just as much as we do.
21. Take a Swim at Laxey Beach
Laxey Beach is up there as one of the best on the island. It’s one of few beaches that are mostly sandy, and the gorgeous backdrop of Laxey Bay accompanies it.
It’s also coved, so you get that added protection from weather extremities. For this reason, it’s a popular spot for water sports such as paddle boarding and kayaking, as well as swimming.
Weather dependent, of course! Or not… Cold water dips are all the rage these days, haven’t you heard? There are regular cold dip meetups throughout the year on the Isle of Man.
22. Dry Off and Refuel at The Shed
You absolutely cannot leave Laxey Beach without visiting The Shed. It’s the most adorable beachside cafe with views for days and a feel-good vibe that can lift even the darkest of moods.
The Shed is my go-to whenever I’m feeling a little bit ‘meh’. Even during winter, I’ll wrap myself up in the blankets and hot water bottles provided, order something delicious and look out to sea.
It’s the best kind of therapy – Other than cake, of course, and they have plenty of that as well!
23. Take the Electric Railway to Snaefell Mountain
Standing at over 2000-feet high, Snaefell Mountain is the islands tallest point. It’s also the only place in the British Isles where you can see the ‘seven kingdoms’ – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Heaven and the Sea.
It’s possible to drive to the base of the Snaefell and hike to the summit. It takes around 20-40 minutes, depending on how fit you are. Alternatively, you can take the Snaefell Mountain Railway, which departs from Laxey periodically between April & September.
However, you choose to get there, be sure to add Snaefell to your list of things to do on the Isle of Man. The views are astonishing, and there’s even a little cafe up there where you can grab a cuppa and take it all in.
My only recommendation is that you try to visit on a clear day. Otherwise, you’ll be lucky to see your hand in front of you, let alone any of the seven kingdoms.
24. The Great Laxey Wheel
No trip to Laxey would be complete without at least a glimpse of The Great Laxey Wheel. It is the largest working waterwheel in the world and was once used to pump water to the Great Laxey Mines.
It’s pretty staggering the size and engineering that went into building the wheel. You get tons of information when you visit. The 90-step climb to the top is a bit steep but worth it for the breathtaking views.
25. Dhoon Glen
The Isle of Man glens are a genuine blessing on our tiny island. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky we are to have so many incredible places of nature at our fingertips.
Located between Laxey and Ramsey, Dhoon Glen is a bit out of the way but undoubtedly one of the most impressive. The rugged landscapes and majestic waterfalls feel almost tropical and always remind me of Bali.
The hike down to the glen is challenging and steep at times. Not ideal if you’re unsteady on your feet. But if you can make it, you’ll come out to a remote bay overlooking the sea. It’s a real hidden gem!
Things to do in Castletown, Isle of Man
26. Explore the Medieval Castle Rushen
If you’re at all interested in history, castles, Vikings and all that other cool stuff, you’re not going to want to miss out on visiting Castle Rushen.
Constructed in 1200AD, This is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the world. It’s located slap bang in the middle of Castletown square, just opposite the co-op! Not a sight you see every day, that’s for sure.
Admire from the outside or pay to go inside where you can learn of its medieval history and enjoy unrivalled views over the south of the island.
Castle Rushen is only open periodically during April and October, so it’s worth checking the opening times before you visit.
27. Stand Where They Burned Witches at the Stake
Yes, you read that right, and no, it’s not a joke nor a myth. Alleged witches were barbarically burned to death in Castletown square in the early 1600s.
This was during a time when outsiders regarded the Isle of Man as a centre for witchcraft. If you happened to be Manx, people would be afraid of you. Today, the Smelt monument in Castletown Square reads:
“The Ancient Market Crosse, on this site until early in the 18th century, stood the market cross. In the year 1617 Margaret Ineqane and her son were condemned to death for witchcraft, and burned to death at the stake close to the Crosse”
It’s unclear whether Margaret and her son were the only ones condemned to death, but there’s reason to believe there were many more.
28. Visit a Real Vampire Grave
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, I spring this on you. Anybody would think I’m trying to scare you off.
You can find the vampire grave at Malew Church, Ballasalla. Mr & Mrs Hassal were believed to be vampires and were buried here back in the 1850s.
For those brave enough to visit, you’ll find iron stakes in every corner and chains to hold them down.
While this is undoubtedly one of the more unusual things to do on the Isle of Man, you’ve gotta admit it’s pretty damn interesting! Just don’t forget your garlic.
29. Live Bands and Pizza at Secret Pizza
Secret Pizza is a breath of fresh air on the Isle of Man culinary scene. It’s quirky and trendy yet still manages to appeal to a diverse customer base of all ages.
The food is no short of amazing – by far my favourite pizza on the island. It’s also a great venue with some epic artwork by a local artist.
Look out for band nights and themed nights when the venue really comes alive. I can’t recommend this place enough!
30. Enjoy a Cocktail at the Blind Badger (If you can find it)
Recently opened on the Isle of Man, The Blind Badger is the islands first ever speakeasy bar. Never heard of a speakeasy bar? Well, allow me to elaborate for you.
The term ‘speakeasy’ comes from the prohibition days when bars had to be hidden in clever and obscure places so the police wouldn’t find them.
Now the idea is more or less the same. You’ll have to search for clues on their Facebook page if you want to get in.
Things to do in Port Erin, Isle of Man
No Isle of Man itinerary is complete without a trip to the south of the island, where the views only intensify the further south you go.
If you don’t mind being away from the hustle & bustle of Douglas, I’d even advocate staying here. Particularly during the Summer months as the beach is by far one of the best on the island.
Keep reading for some unmissable things to do in and around Port Erin.
31. Head Over to The Calf of Man
The Calf of Man is a 2.50-square-kilometre island just off the south coast. It is separated from the Isle of Man by a narrow stretch of water called the Calf Sound.
With just two residents who act as caretakers for the island, it is one of the British isles most isolated islands.
Since 1959 the unsuspecting island has been a bird & wildlife sanctuary. On good days you’ll see many species of birds and a variety of marine life, including seals and dolphins.
To get to The Calf of Man, you can take a short boat ride from Port Erin or nearby Port Mary. During the summer you can even stay overnight, which is a one of a kind experience.
32. Eat at the Sound Cafe
Located at the very southern tip of the Isle of Man, just across the water from the Calf of Man, is the unmissable Sound Cafe.
This popular venue boasts incredible floor to ceiling windows, so it’s a great spot to grab a bite or a drink and appreciate the panoramic coastal views.
If you’re lucky, you’ll even see some of the marine life I mentioned above. We’ve seen dolphins and seals on many occasions at this very spot.
If you grab some food here, you won’t be disappointed. I can recommend the fish and chips, the scones as big as your head, and pretty much any of the cakes.
33. Try to Spot some Basking Sharks
From mid-May to mid-August every year, the Isle of Man becomes a basking shark hotspot. They congregate here to feed on the plankton that concentrates on the ocean surface on dry and sunny days.
Doing these conditions, it’s not uncommon to spot them hanging around the south and south-western coasts of the island. You can find many encounters on YouTube with locals swimming or kayaking among them.
Sometimes they are even seen frolicking close to shore, so keep your eyes peeled. After all, it’s not every day you get to see the second largest fish in the world.
34. Visit the Fascinating Cregneash Village
Visiting Creagneash Village is easily one of the most interesting things you can do here on the Isle of Man. It offers a rare glimpse into what farming communities would have looked like hundreds of years ago.
What’s truly fascinating about this site is that the people living there today still run the village as they did in the 19th century. They live in traditional cottages and houses, maintain their farms with horsepower, and use traditional methods in their everyday life. They all work together to preserve an important part of Manx history.
At Creagneash, you’ll also get the opportunity to meet some of the islands’ native animals, including Loaghtan sheep, shorthorn cows, and the infamous Manx cats with no tails.
Again this is a seasonal attraction; therefore, it’s wise to check the website for opening hours before planning your visit.
35. Port Erin Beach
As I mentioned earlier, Port Erin is one of the best beaches on the Isle of Man. A picturesque cove of golden-white sand and pristine water, sheltered by tall cliffs, it’s a firm-favourite among locals and tourists alike.
A lot is going on around the beach during Summer. You can rent kayaks or paddleboards, pick up ice cream, or enjoy drinks & food at the various bars and restaurants. You can also catch some pretty incredible sunsets here.
36. Twilight Paddle Boarding in Port Erin Bay
For a truly magical experience in the Isle of Man, consider signing up for a twilight paddleboarding session with Port Erin Paddle Boards. It claims to be the only experience of its kind in the whole of the UK, which I can believe as I’ve not seen anything like it before.
What’s unique about this experience over your typical paddleboard session is the LED lights fixed to the bottom of the board. Once the sun goes down, the lights illuminate the water in a beautiful halo of colour. You’ll get to admire the coral reef and maybe even see marine life swimming underneath. How magical!
If you don’t fancy the night session, they offer all kinds of SUP experiences, including private & group sessions, adventure tours, and yoga sessions.
37. Walk to Milners Tower on Bradda Head
You can’t miss Milners Tower. It’s the first thing you notice from Port Erin beach. At a glance, it looks like a long and strenuous walk to get to it. However, in reality, it’s only around 60-minutes. So as long as you’re not afraid of a little strenuous hike, it’s well worth doing for the views alone.
I’d recommend saving this for a clear day when you can see all the way over to Ireland. Also, be sure to check the wind levels, as high winds can make walking here tricky and dangerous.
38. Visit Port Erin Railway Museum
Port Erin is the most southerly stop on the steam railway, and if you make it that far, it’s worth popping in the museum for a gander.
Inside the museum, you’ll discover the history behind the steam railway, alongside preserved engines and carriages from its earlier days.
39. Enjoy a Glass of Fizz at Foraging Vintners
Foraging Vintners winery is a must-visit on any trip to the Isle of Man. Not only to sample their speciality craft wines but to enjoy the unrivalled view over Port Erin that their prime location provides.
There’s an interesting back story behind the production of their craft wines. They don’t use grapes at all and instead use various other plants and ingredients to create unique and delicious concoctions.
I can vouch for the sparkling rhubarb wine, which is delightful.
Things to do in Peel, Isle of Man
We are heading north along the west coast now to Peel. Peel is another beachside town with a gorgeous beach and many attractions and amenities to entertain the entire family.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect to see and do in this area of the island.
40. Check out the Peel Castle Ruins
If there’s one thing that makes Peel stand out from the other beachside towns on the island, it’s the Peel castle ruins. Dominating the view from Peel Beach, the ruins make for one of the most awe-inspiring beach settings I’ve ever encountered.
The impressive fortress has a rich and fascinating history. Constructed by the Vikings in the 11th century, it was once home to Viking warriors and kings. As a result, it has been the site of many historical finds, including jewellery and silver coins, now on display in the Manx Museum.
Of course, you can admire the view from the outside for free. Many vantage points allow you to take a closer look. However, you can also pay to wander the grounds, which I recommend. Included is an educational audio guide, which will help you better understand its history.
Fun Fact: Locals believe that the castle is haunted by a black dog called ‘Moddey Dhoo‘. Listen out for the piercing howls that echo through the castle walls!
41. House of Mannanan Maritime Museum
You probably won’t be surprised to hear by now that the island has a legendary sea god – his name is Mannanan. The legend goes that every time it’s foggy on the island (which is often), it’s Mannanans’ cloak camouflaging the island from enemies at sea.
At the House of Mannanan, you can learn about the island’s Celtic, Viking and maritime past. The museum takes you on a journey through the ages, with various characters sharing stories and superstitions from the islands’ past.
Visiting the House of Mannanan is one of the most compelling and educational things to do here on the Isle of Man. Even the little ones will love it, as there are lots of interactive sections to keep them entertained.
42. Take a Stroll Around Peel Marina
With its various fishing boats and sailing boats, Peel Marina is a beautiful spot for a gentle stroll. On a hot summers day, it almost reminds me of those charming little harbours you get in France or Italy.
You’ll find a few nice restaurants and pubs around the outside with outdoor seating so you can sit and enjoy the view.
43. Watch the Sunset from Peel Hill
We call Peel the ‘sunset city’, and not without good reason. This west-facing beach town sees some mesmerising sunsets, and one of the best places to enjoy them is from Peel Hill.
Located next to the marina and across from the castle ruins, you’d struggle to miss Peel Hill. You can tell just by looking at it that some gorgeous viewpoints await, so you’ll inevitably want to climb up there.
Of course, it’s gorgeous at any time of day, but especially during sunset when the weather is good. It’s an excellent spot to overlook the castle ruins and spot marine life such as seals and dolphins.
44. Explore the Coastline with Adventurous Experiences
You already know that the Isle of Man coastline is one of the best in the UK. And with Adventurous Experiences, you’ll get to experience it in a unique and unforgettable way.
Experiences include coasteering, sea kayaking, and gorge scrambling, with each providing a challenging yet rewarding adventure. We’ve done coasteering around Peel Castle in the past, and it was incredible.
If you consider yourself an adrenaline junky, this is an Isle of Man experience you won’t want to miss.
45. Enjoy a Davisons Ice Cream on the Rainbow Benches
While in Peel, do not miss the opportunity to try the local Davisons ice cream. Honestly, it’s up there with one of the best luxury ice creams I’ve ever had. With over 100 flavours to choose from, you’re going to feel like a kid in a sweet shop.
Once you’ve made your mind up on a flavour, head to the cute rainbow benches on Peel Promenade and enjoy while appreciating the astonishing views before you.
Things to do in Ramsey, Isle of Man
For our final Manx town on this list, we are heading all the way North of the Island to Ramsey.
Despite being just 13-miles from Douglas, you’ll rarely catch a Southerner in this neck of the woods. To them, a trip to Ramsey is like going on holiday.
Being from London, this always makes me laugh. I’d spend more time commuting one way to work than it does to make a return trip to Ramsey.
But anyway, here’s what you can expect if you dare make the gruelling trip to Ramsey – the second largest town on the island.
46. Get Your Tan On at Ramsey Beach
I told you that the southerners of the island treat Ramsey as a holiday. And you can’t blame them when Ramsey is statistically the sunniest part of the Isle of Man.
It’s bizarre but true. It can be raining cats and dogs in Douglas, but Ramsey will have glorious sunshine.
Naturally, this makes Ramsey Beach a prime sunbathing spot. Admittedly, it’s not as nice as Peel beach or Port Erin beach; however, it’s fairly sandy with a gentle slope down to the sea, so it’s still more than acceptable.
47. Catch a Glimpse of the Northern Lights
You’re not sure if you read that right, are you? Northern Lights? Isle of Man? Has this woman lost the plot? But nope, I’m entirely sane, I promise. Well, maybe not entirely, but anyway, I’m going off track again.
While most people associate the likes of Lapland and Iceland as being the best places in the world to see the amazing northern lights, they also occasionally appear here on the island.
There have been sightings of the Northern lights all over the island. However, it makes sense that it’s most common in the North and out of the way of any light pollution. Keep an eye on the Aurora app for signs of any activity.
48. Stroll Along the Promenade to Queen’s Pier
A walk along the promenade behind Ramsey Beach makes for a pleasant stroll. You can start at the North Beach and work your way south, where you’ll eventually cross over the Sulby river and onto the South Beach.
It’s at the South Beach that you’ll find the Queen’s Pier. At 2241 metres, the pier is one of the longest in the UK.
Unfortunately, the pier closed down in the early 90s after over 100 years; however, a restoration project is now on the way, which is great to see. We hope to see the pier back in action in the not so distant future.
49. Fun Activities at Mooragh Park
If you are looking for some fun activities to do in the Isle of Man, Mooragh Park is well worth visiting. There’s a vast body of water that’s quite nice just to walk around. Or you can hire a boat and go canoeing, kayaking, or peddle boating.
Other attractions at Mooragh Park include a crazy golf course, tennis courts, a BMX track, workout machines, and a Costa cafe.
50. Milntown House & Gardens
Milntown Estate is the Isle of Mans most historic estate. Founded in the early 16th century, it carries a rich history which you can discover via a tour. Though, it’s arguably the 15-acres of scenic gardens that are the significant drawcard here.
Featuring all kinds of impressive flora and fauna, ponds, sculptures, and woodland walks, the gardens make for an idyllic spot on a warm & dry day. There’s also a well-regarded cafe where you can enjoy light lunches, cakes, and teas with wonderful views of the gardens.
Other Things to do on the Isle of Man
Some of the best and most unusual things to do in the Isle of Man are outside our major town areas and dotted randomly around the island.
So, if you have the time, be sure to add a few of the following recommendations to your Isle of Man itinerary.
51. Experience the TT Races
Come on; you knew it was coming. I couldn’t possibly write a list of things to do in the Isle of Man without including the legendary TT races.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then I’m sorry, but what? Generally, it’s the only thing about the Isle of Man that people have actually heard of.
In short, the TT races are a 2-week annual motorbike event where competitors race across the island at speeds in excess of 200mph. With fatalities reported every year, it is considered the most dangerous motorsport event in the world.
If you want to come to the Isle of Man for its solitude, the TT races are not the time to do it. Almost 50,000 people from all over the world come to the island to experience this one-of-a-kind event. That’s over half of the Manx population.
But if you want to experience the island as you’ve never seen it before, that’s what TT is all about. The island comes to life with events and festivities happening throughout the two week period.
Keep in the know through the events Facebook page. And be sure to make your travel arrangements way in advance.
52. Explore the National Glens
I’ve mentioned a few of the glens throughout this list already; however, with 18 mountain & coastal national glens across the island, there’s plenty for you to discover.
I make sure to visit a glen at least twice a week when I’m here. It’s one of my favourite things to do on the Isle of Man, and with natural wonders such as waterfalls, rock pools and woodland walks, it’s impossible to get bored.
As mentioned on this list, some of my favourites are Summerhill Glen (The Fairy Glen), Groudle Glen, and Glen Dhoon. But check out the Isle of Man website for a complete list.
53. Walk, Walk, and Walk Some More
For those who enjoy the outdoors and walking or hiking, you’ll be in your element here on the island. There are a variety of trails and terrains that allow you to explore our diverse natural world in the most immersive way possible.
There’s something for everyone, from stunning coastal paths to idyllic nature walks and challenging hikes through the mountains. Use walking apps such as All Trails or Komoot to help plan your route.
If you’d like to get off the beaten path and explore some of the hidden gems of our island, do so with Go Mann Adventures. Tell your guide what you’d like to see, or allow them to curate a personalised tour just for you.
54. Explore the Island by Mountain Bike
With its diverse terrain of rugged forests, off-road trails, and challenging peaks, it’s no wonder that the Isle of Man is a prime location for mountain biking. You get to experience the very best of what the island has to offer this way, including areas that are rarely seen by those travelling by car.
A mountain biking adventure in the Isle of Man can be as challenging or as relaxing as you please. There are a wide variety of cycle trails all over the islands’ forests and countryside. So whether you’re an experienced mountain biker or riding as a family, you’re guaranteed a great experience.
If you travel to the island by ferry, it’s possible to bring your own bike with you. Alternatively, you can rent one from a local bike shop. To help plan your route, check out Trailforks or pick up a mountain bike trail map from the Douglas sea terminal.
55. Enjoy a pint of Bushy’s
You haven’t experienced the islands in its entirety until you’ve had a pint of Bushy’s. Brewed right here on the island, Bushys is the local ale of man and adored by locals and visitors alike.
The award-winning ales and beers are available throughout the island in various pubs and restaurants, but you can find a complete list on the Bushy’s website.
56. Track Down the Wild Wallabies
Here we go again, another random fact about the Isle of Man that makes no sense at all. Yet, it’s true; there are wild wallabies here.
These elusive creatures, usually associated with regions such as Australia & Tasmania, escaped a local wildlife park some decades ago. Unable to catch them and with no predators on the island to hunt them, it’s believed there are around 120 of them now and growing.
Taking the ‘wallaby walk’ in Curragh gives you the best chance of seeing them. But they’re shy little creatures, so it’s not always easy to track them down.
57. Visit the Point of Eyre
The Point of Eyre is the islands most northern point. It’s marked with an iconic looking lighthouse that also happens to be the oldest on the Isle of Man.
There’s nothing much to see in these parts, which is kind of the point. It’s a secluded and unspoiled coastal area that attracts a wide variety of birdlife and the occasional seal.
With no light pollution for miles, here would be one of the best places to see the Northern lights and stargaze.
58. Check Out the Reservoirs
Alongside our endless beaches and coastlines, the Isle of Man is also home to various still water reservoirs. Here’s just another prime example of how diverse and exciting our natural world is.
The reservoirs are ideal locations for gentle walks, picnics, and enjoying some tranquillity. Please do not try to swim in them. There could be dangerous currents or machinery lurking beneath the surface.
Reservoir fishing is also a popular activity here; however, you’ll need to have a relevant license and be aware of the local restrictions.
59. Watch the Night Sky from a Dark Sky Discovery Site
I know I’ve touched on this sporadically throughout the article, but I have to repeat it: The Isle of Man provides some unbeatable stargazing opportunities.
I’ve been lucky enough to see the night sky at various locations all over the world. And honestly, the Isle of Man is up there as one of the best.
On a clear night, at one of the 26 dark sky sites on the island, you can easily spot the milky way and various other astronomical sights that light up the sky like glitter.
*You tube Video*
60. Explore the Islands Forests and Plantations
Another of my favourite things to do in the Isle on Man is to explore the Islands various forests and plantations. With staggering pine trees and other jaw-dropping tree species, some locations look like they belong in Canada. It will blow your mind.
Places such as Tholt-Y-Will, Archallagan, and Ballaugh Plantation provide some incredible exploration and foraging opportunities. Not to mention being a hotspot for photographers looking to capture the natural beauty that such places offer.
61. Laser Mayhem at South Barrule Plantation
We’ve all heard of laser quest, right? Of course, you have. Well, this is possibly the best game of laser quest you’ll ever play in your life.
Instead of being trapped in a boring warehouse or barn, Laser Mayhem is based out in the forest. It’s all operated by ex-soldiers, so you know you’re going to get an adrenaline-pumping and action-packed game.
Laser Mayhem is operating every weekend on both Saturday’s and Sundays throughout the year. It’s suitable for everybody and anybody so long as your 6 years plus.
62. Visit the Fort Island Ruins
Fort Island is another scenic spot on the island. Not only providing breathtaking coastal views but home to some fascinating ruins that date back as early as the 12th century.
One of the ancient buildings is a Norse-Celtic chapel, and another is a fort constructed during the 16th-century civil war. Both are incredibly fascinating to look at.
The island itself is a beautiful spot for a leisurely walk. It doesn’t take long to get around, perhaps 20-minutes or so. But well-worthy of a visit if you find yourself in the area.
63. Curraghs Wildlife Park
One for animal lovers, Curraghs Wildlife Park, is home to over 350 species of the world’s animals across 40-acres of picturesque landscapes.
The Park is laid out in geographic regions, including African Bush, the Outback, and Amazon. I’m generally not an advocate for zoos and wildlife parks, but it’s nice to see the animals in such large and cared for enclosures.
With so much to see and do, you could easily spend the entire day here and still not cover all there is to see. There’s plenty to entertain the whole family with animal experiences, play areas, woodland walks, and more.
64. Isle of Man Town Ghost Walks
If you’re eager to learn more about the island’s spooky beliefs and superstitions, Isle of Man ghost tours are right up your street.
Your guide will lead you to various sites believed to be haunted, such as abandoned hotels and creepy graveyards. And you’ll come face to face with dark events of the past.
65. World Tin Bath Championships
Our final thing to do in the Isle of Man is another annual event. But, if you find your trip coincides with the dates, it’s a once in a lifetime experience you don’t want to miss.
Held in Castletown, the World Tin Bath Championships takes place in July. It’s been a local tradition since the 1970s. And to this day attracts over 100 entrants from all over the world!
It’s a great laugh and a big deal here on the island. And in true Manx fashion, we make a huge party out of it.
Things to Know For Visiting Isle of Man
Now we’ve covered all the best things to do in the Isle of Man; allow me to share some valuable tips and advice that will help you to plan your trip.
Where to Stay
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, Douglas tends to be the preferred place to stay on the island. That’s because it’s the most developed area, concentrating a large number of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife.
It’s also very well connected via public transport routes, so it’s a convenient spot for getting around to see other places on the Isle of Man. I can recommend Cunard Apartments for luxury self-catering apartments with unrivalled sea views. If you book directly and mention this blog, you’ll get a special discount.
That being said, if you don’t feel the need to be at the heart of all the action, there’s definitely something to be said for staying in our quieter towns. You’ve read about all of them in the article above, so pick somewhere that sounds most fitting to you.
I’ve got a whole other article detailing the best hotels and accommodation on the island, so be sure to check out that one. In the meantime, click the button below to compare local hotels on booking.com.
Best Time to Visit
To experience the Isle of Man in all its glory, the best time to visit is undoubtedly the summer months (June to August). The summer is when the island is at its most vibrant and energetic, with various events and festivities taking place for your entertainment.
Of course, you can hope to look forward to some warm and sunny days during this time as well. However, we are in the middle of the Irish sea, so the weather is unpredictable. We can go through all four seasons over a period of 1-week.
It’s also worth noting that many of the attractions I’ve listed in this article are only open during peak times of the year. Most are open between the months of April and October, so you have some time on either side of summer if you want to avoid the busier periods.
I would strongly recommend that you avoid visiting between November and February. We get a lot of rain during this period, and I’d hate for it to spoil your time here. Even I try to escape the island during this time as it can be pretty unpleasant.
How to Get Around
Despite being a small island, we are fortunate to have a convenient and reliable public transport network. There aren’t many corners of the island that the buses don’t cover, although it can take some time getting from one place to another.
To get between the major towns, you can easily take the electric railway or the steam train. It’s all the nooks and crannies in between that can be hard to get to.
If you do choose to get around via public transport, you’ll want to invest in a Go Card that will save you a small fortune in fares.
All things considered, your best bet for getting around is to have a car. You can bring your own over on the ferry or rent one while you’re here.
Renting a car is a little on the pricey side, but it will save you a lot of time and give you a lot more flexibility in the long run.
Thank you For Reading
Well, that concludes our list of the best things to do on the Isle of Man. I hope we’ve made you super excited about your trip. What are you looking forward to seeing the most? Do you have any other questions or feedback?
Let us know! We love hearing from you. You can reach out to us in the comment section below or through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram where we share further travel tips and inspiration.
If you plan on visiting the Isle of Man soon, perhaps our other articles will help you to plan your trip:
- 30 Best Restaurants on the Isle of Man – The Ultimate Guide
- The 15 Best Beaches on the Isle of Man
- Places to Stay on the Isle of Man – The Best Hotels & Accommodation
- Isle of Man Walks – 15 Exciting Trails & Routes
- 18 Fun and Interesting Facts about the Isle of Man
Stay adventurous and happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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