The Isle of Man is somewhat of a hidden gem when it comes to travel destinations.
Small, mysterious, and not that well known, this little Island has more to it than the Tourist Trophy races and the Manx cat that originate from it. If it’s never been on your travel bucket list, you might be unsure of the things that you can actually do while you’re there.
You’ll be happy to know that the Isle of Man is actually a pretty budget friendly destination to travel to as many of the best things to see and do while there are free! So to help you prepare for your trip, here are some great ideas for things to do if you’re looking to travel to this fantastic destination.
Wander through the Manx Museum
Visiting the Manx museum is a great thing to do on your first day of your trip as it really gives you a great insight into the Isle of Man, it’s culture, and history. There are many different things to see at the museum as it contains artefacts, galleries, interactive exhibitions and films.
The island has a 10,000-year Viking and Celtic past so there is plenty to lean about and discover here at the museum. The Manx Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm and entry to the museum is free. Donations are accepted if you would like to contribute to the museums ongoing upkeep.
Visit the Beach
The are many beaches to enjoy during your trip to the Isle of Man. One of the most popular beaches on the island is Peel Beach. Once you’re here be sure to grab an ice cream from the award-winning Davison’s parlour and enjoy a sunny day or even a picturesque sunset stroll along the beach with a delicious sweet treat! This is one of my most favourite activities during the summer days.
A short walk away lies Fenella beach – a pebbly cove which is smaller than Peel Beach and generally less crowded (so more peaceful.) Another great beach to visit on the Isle of Man is Laxey Beach.
This beach has sand and pebbles, a lighthouse, and is surrounded by cliffs which really add to the atmosphere.
Explore Peel Castle
If you’ve just finished up at the beach and are looking for something close by to do, head over to Peel castle for a trip back in time to the 11th century. Constructed by the Vikings that used to inhabit the land, the castle walls are still mainly intact, and you can take a walk through the Castle’s Cathedral and Round Tower. The castle stands overlooking Peel beach so once you’ve finished exploring the castle and it’s grounds, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the water and the town below.
Board the Stream Train to Port Erin
If you’re a Harry Potter fan then you’re definitely going to want to take a trip on this stream train.
The Isle of Man Steam Railway train goes from Douglas to Port Erin but you’d be forgiven for thinking this train will take you to Hogwarts! There is even a Platform 9 3/4 sign that you can take a memorable picture with. The journey from Douglas and Port Erin takes one hour and gives you a great opportunity to sit back and enjoy the view of the local scenery.
Enjoy the Clear Sky and Stargaze
The Isle of Man has some of the clearest and darkest skies in the world – which make it the perfect setting for stargazing. Because of its excellent sky clarity, the Isle of Man is home to 26 British Isle Dark Sky discovery sites which include Port Soderick and The Sound. If you’re lucky you may even be able to see the northern lights here on the north eastern coast!
Watch the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy
Sometimes simply known as the Tourist Trophy, no description of the Isle of Man would be complete without a mention of this famous race that began as a yearly tradition for the island in 1907.
Held over two weeks during May/June each year, this motorcycle race is often called the most dangerous race in the world because of the treacherous track it follows. The race is run through regular public roads and includes 264 corners that cyclists must ride through, which range from sea level to over 1,000 feet high. In spite of all the controversy surrounding the dangerousness of the event, it truly does bring an electric atmosphere to the town and that alone will delight even those who don’t care about the bikes.
If you are planning your first trip to the island, don’t miss our Guide to Visiting the Isle of Man.