Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is a beautiful Island with breathtaking scenery, unspoilt beaches and a relaxed pace of life. By plane or boat, it’s within easy reach of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. For the thousands of visitors who are welcomed here year after year, it’s an unforgettable holiday and short break destination. It’s a great place to holiday, live and work.
For more information: www.visitisleofman.com
The Castle is situated at the centre of Mann's historic capital, Castletown, and is one of Europe's most finely preserved medieval castles. Its origins can be found in the Norse period when Norse Kings fortified a strategic site guarding the entrance to the Silverburn River. The Castle was developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th centuries and its towering limestone walls would have been visible over much of southern Mann - a continual reminder to the local population of the dominance of the Kings and Lords of Mann.
The Laxey Wheel (also known as Lady Isabella) is the largest waterwheel in the world. Designed by Robert Casement, it is 22 metres in diameter and revolves at about 3 rpm. It was built in 1854 to pump water from the mineshafts and named "Lady Isabella" after the wife of the island's governor at that time. Most of the wheel and rod is made of wood; however, key mechanical parts are metal to provide tension and bearing surfaces. Climb the spiral staircase to the top of the Wheel for breathtaking views across the valley.
One of the Isle of Man’s principal historic monuments Peel Castle’s Curtain Wall encircles the ruins of many buildings which are a testimony to the site’s religious and secular importance in Manx history. These include St. Patrick’s Church and the Round Tower from the 11th century, the 13th century Cathedral of St. German and the later apartments of the Lords of Mann. The importance of the Isle as a centre of Manx Christianity was established in the 6th century and this role was to survive the arrival of the ‘pagan’ Norse Vikings at the end of the 8th century.
Tynwald, the Island’s parliament, is the World’s oldest continuous existence parliament having been established in 979AD. To many Manx people, Tynwald Hill symbolises the enduring independence of the Isle of Man and its parliament. Once a year on July 5, a bank holiday on the Island, the Tynwald open air ceremony is held, where laws passed during the year are proclaimed in both Manx Gaelic and English. The ceremony takes place at Tynwald Hill - an artificial hill at St John’s made from soil said to be collected from each of the 15 parishes, thus symbolising the whole Island.
Constructed at the edge of the Ballaugh Curraghs, the park's natural wetland environment is a haven for endangered wetland wildlife from around the world. There are more than 100 species of birds and animals, of which many rare species are part of international breeding programmes. Animals and birds displayed in geographical walk-through enclosures so that you see them as you would in the wild. Other attractions include a nature trail and butterfly trail of Manx wildlife, the Rainforest Theatre and the Orchid Line miniature railway.
Laxey is the starting point for the Snaefell Mountain Railway - a unique Victorian electric mountain railway that winds its way up above 2000 feet to the summit of Snaefell, the Island’s only mountain. At the top enjoy the breathtaking views of the Island. On a clear day it is the only place in the British Isles where you can see the seven kingdoms of Mann; England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Mann, Heaven and the Kingdom of the Sea.
The Niarbyl Cafe & Visitor Centre is set in one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the Isle of Man and is the starting point to exploring the beauty of the surrounding area. Along with information on a series of specially made presentations about the area, high quality refreshments are available for the enjoyment of visitors. The west coast of the Island is particularly good for sightings of Basking Sharks, whales and dolphins.
The Manx Museum depicts the Island’s natural history, archaeology and social development with examples of famous Manx artists. An evocative film provides an introduction to the "Story of Mann" and portrays major events in Manx history. The facilities are designed to provide an exciting starting point to explore the riches of our unique Manx heritage throughout the Island.
The striking glass walls of the Sound Cafe and Visitor Centre, on the southern tip of the Island offers visitors an uninterrupted 180 degree view of the surrounding scenery. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views across to the Calf of Mann nature reserve and spot seals basking on the nearby rocks. The visitor centre features information displays which explain the history and ecology of the local land and seascapes. Open year round.
The Ayres National Nature Reserve on the north coast is an extensive area which is internationally recognised for its wildlife, including the extremely rare lichen dominated heath. Part of the beach is closed off in summer to protect the colony of little terns, otherwise open access permits walkers to appreciate the dwarf gorse, burnet rose and various orchids in season. The reserve is also home to a number of bird species and seals are often spotted off the coast.
Now a place for coastal walks and high sea views, Maughold Head is rich in history with an Iron Age fortification crowning its summit. In the 6th and 7th centuries iron ore was taken from here for smelting, and a monastery was once established on the windy cliff top. The precipitous cliffs are home to significant colonies of seabirds such as Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Shags. Gob ny Rona, a small peninsula of mostly maritime heath and low cliffs, offers impressive views of Ramsey from the coastal footpath.