A visit to the Isle of Man promises a wealth of historic sites, dramatic country and seascapes, lovely food and friendly towns and villages. We discover ancient Manx village life at Cregneash; the time of the Vikings at the House of Manannan; and the wonders of engineering on three island railways.
Day 1 We travel north to our overnight hotel in Lancashire.
Day 2 After a morning travelling through Pendle Hill country, we take the early afternoon ferry from Heysham to Douglas arriving at approximately 6pm and being transferred to our hotel.
Day 3 This morning we visit The Sound for spectacular views over the Calf of Man, a beautiful rugged island, home to a large bird population and a substantial seal colony. We move on to the National Folk Museum at Cregneash, a living museum of a Manx upland crofting community. Our last journey of the day is on the Isle of Man Steam Railway as we travel the 16 miles from Port Erin back to Douglas.
Day 4 Travelling north via Ramsay and part of the TT course, we continue to Peel on the west coast, once the island's main fishing port. We visit the House of Manannan, an award-winning exploration of the island’s Celtic, Viking and Maritime traditions, returning via Tynwald Hill, traditional home to the world’s longest unbroken parliament.
Day 5 This morning board the Manx Electric Railway, the longest narrow-gauge vintage electric railway system in the British Isles. It still uses its original Victorian and Edwardian rolling stock and the 17-mile railway takes you along some of the most scenic stretches of railway in the British Isles. Then to Laxey and The Lady Isabella, the largest working waterwheel in the world (reached by walking up a steep hill. Entry not included, but free with National Trust card). We travel on the Snaefell Mountain Railway, the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles, and continue to the summit where there is a café and, on a clear day, amazing views. We return to the hotel late afternoon.
Day 6 A free day to explore Douglas. The two-mile sweep of Douglas Bay holds a vibrant shopping area, promenade and quay. The Manx Museum is free to enter and is bursting with artefacts and treasures unique to the Isle of Man.
Day 7 Departing after breakfast, we take the early crossing from Douglas to Heysham and make our way to the south coast and home.
Situated on the Central Promenade of Douglas, our recently refurbished Victorian hotel overlooks Douglas Bay and is close to all the main sites of the capital. The hotel has restaurant, piano bar, lounge and conservatory. Bedrooms have TV, telephone, hairdryer and hospitality tray. There are 18 steps at the entrance of the hotel and a few steps along corridors. There is WiFi and a lift to all floors.