Along with hosting the world’s most famous and dangerous motorbike race, The Isle of Man is a destination filled with a rich history and breathtaking scenery. A melting pot of character and tastes, this island is filled with castles, nature trails, museums and traditional English pubs that bring you back to humble beginnings.
When you’re not on the edge of your seat taking in the Isle of Man TT, here are our top things to see and do on the beautiful island.
Travel up Sneafell Mountain
As the Island’s only mountain, Snaefell stands 621 metres above sea level and provides incredible views of the Isle of Man TT Track and on a clear day the ‘seven kingdoms’, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Heaven, Mann and the Sea. The best way to travel to the top is via the Snaefell Mountain Railway. Departing from Laxey, the train stops at The Bungalow which provides the perfect vantage point of the TT course and the opportunity to check out road racing legend Joey Dunlop’s memorial statue over-looking the course. Continue on the train and head up to Snaefell station where you will find the breathtaking view and only place in the British Isle to see the seven kingdoms from one vantage point.
Discover the Isle of Man Motor Museum
Explore over 400 vehicles from motorcycles and vintage cars to fire trucks and hovercrafts in the Isle of Man Motor Museum. Located in the north of the island, this museum will have Isle of Man TT fans in heaven with over 200 classic motorcycles on display including an immaculate 1902 Clement, as well as classic names including Norton, Velocette, and Sunbeams. Car enthusiasts will enjoy iconic vehicles, such as an Austin 7, a 1952 Cadillac “flower car,” as well as luxury brands such as Lotus and BMW. Along with the displays, guests can learn about the history of each vehicle and how it came to end up in the Isle of Man Motor Museum.
Visit Great Laxey Wheel
The Great Laxey Wheel, also known as Lady Isabella, is the world’s largest working waterwheel and served the Great Laxey mines for 70 years. Today, visitors can climb the wheel to discover panoramic views across Glen Mooar Valley. Nearby, visitors can also check out the mines and mining trail to discover more about this historic landmark.
Explore Castle Rushen
Once home to the Kings and Lords of Mann, Castle Rushen is a must-see destination on the Isle of Man. This medieval castle was built in the 12th century and served as a royal residence, mint and prison. Today, it is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe and features era-accurate décor and life-like settings to transport visitors back to another lifetime.
Hike Dhoon Glen
For those who love chasing waterfalls and exploring nature trails, head to the beautiful Dhoon Glen. As the Island’s most dramatic and steepest glen, it features picturesque streams which run over half a mile to shore as well as a 40m waterfall named Inneen Vooar, or Big Girl. Designed for the slightly more adventurous, this glen is made up of rugged paths, steep inclines and difficult terrain, so be prepared for more of a climb than a leisurely stroll.
Visit Douglas Head and the Camera Obscura
For some of the best views on the Island, head to Douglas Head, a rocky point on the Isle of Man overlooking Douglas Bay and the harbour, and on a clear day views extending to include Snaefell Mountain and Laxey.
Along with the views, visitors will find the historic Camera Obscura. This unique renovated 19th-century attraction uses natural light and a series of mirrors to project images of the surrounding area onto the darkened building’s walls to stunning effect. As one of only a few that are open in the British Isle, this Victorian-era equipment is one of the most famous and popular attractions to see on the Island. Adverse weather conditions may interfere with viewing or prevent the Camera Obscura from opening. You can tell if it is open via their flag – when the flag is flying, the site is open.
Escape to Point of Ayre Lighthouse
To escape the crowds for a little bit of piece and quiet, head to the oldest operational lighthouse on the island, The Point of Ayre-High Lighthouse. Located in the very north of the island, this lighthouse was first lit in 1818 and features spectacular views of Cumbria and Scotland. As one of the quietest locations on the Island, it is also a fantastic spot for a bit of fishing when the tide is right.
Play a round of golf at Castletown, Ramsey or Peel
For those looking to switch from the race track to the golf course, the Isle of Man offers some picturesque, however quite hilly, 18-hole golf courses. Our top picks for courses are Castletown, Ramsey and Peel.
Castletown Golf Link is located on the south of the island and is a classic course set on the stunning peninsula. Castletown features in the Rolex World rankings of top golf courses and has an excellent reputation for serving Manx produce.
Ramsey Golf Club, located in the north of the Island, is an 18-hole course designed by five-time Open Championship winner, James Braid. Set on mainly flat ground, the first six and last two holes are over flat ground divided by a brook, while the remaining 10 are set in wooded parkland with a hilly backdrop.
Peel Golf Club is located over on the west side and is extremely varied, with many holes cut through pine tree forests offering a range of natural challenges from streams, turf banks and gorse. Local golfers adore Peel as this course is highly manicured and in great condition.
Wander Peel Castle
Boasting stunning views over Peel and the Irish Sea, Peel Castle is an impressive fortress constructed by the Vikings in the 11th Century and acted as a royal residence, centre of government and military stronghold. While no longer used today, the red sandstone walls of the castle remain intact and provide an intriguing walk through history.
Book your Isle of Man TT tour with Keith Prowse Travel.