Ports in Isle of Man
The Isle of Man always proves a popular visit thanks to its well kept beaches, relaxing ambience and glorious scenery. The heritage is inspiring, and you cannot miss the entertaining events and festivals that take place on this idyllic, peaceful and welcoming island.
Isle of Man (Douglas)
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company operates services between The Isle of Man's main ferry port, Douglas and Heysham, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.
The Isle of Man has an international reputation for motor sports. However, visitors to this small self-governing island off the coast of England can also discover spectacular scenery and a wealth of history.
The island's capital is Douglas, a small town which overlooks the wide sweep of Douglas Bay. The town embraces both the past and the present – a modern shopping centre sits comfortably alongside the famous Edwardian Gaiety Theatre and the legislative buildings which house the island's ancient parliament known as the Tynwald, established more than a thousand years ago when the Vikings ruled the island. The island's fascinating history is showcased in the town's Manx Museum.
The rest of the island is easily reached from Douglas either by car or on one of the many bus routes. There are many attractions ranging from ancient monuments and museums to scenic spots and sports activities. Fans of motor sports will find plenty to keep them occupied including frequent stockcar races at Onchan Raceway, part of Onchan Pleasure Park, vintage motorbike cavalcades and of course the world famous TT motorcycle races.
The Isle of Man's origins go back to Viking times and well beyond. All over the island visitors will stumble across ancient Celtic crosses at many churches and other sites. There are Neolithic tombs and Viking burial sites, many of them in dramatic locations on the edges of cliffs or the top of hills. The island's historic parliament is symbolised by the man made mound of Tynwald Hill and the Manx parliament, still known by the Viking name of the Tynwald, meets here every year on July 5th for a fair and open air ceremony.
Peel Castle is one of the island's most important historic monuments, highlighting the island's religious and secular history. Castle Rushen is claimed to be one of the best preserved medieval castles in Europe, towering over the island's historic capital, Castletown. Less than two miles away is Rushen Abbey, the island's most important medieval religious monument.
The island's many museums include the Manx Museum in Douglas offering a good overview of the island's history and the House of Manannan in the city of Peel looks at the island's Celtic, Viking and seafaring traditions.
There are many forest trails on the island suitable for hiking or mountain biking and there are opportunities for quad biking, flying lessons and kayaking. There are boat trips to the Calf of Man where a natural rock formation known as the Drinking Dragon offers excellent diving conditions.