Douglas is the capital of the island and the main centre of population with about 25,000 residents. Its esplanade around the wide beaches of the bay is magnificent, with a curve of tall hotels, guest houses and seafront villas, check this hotel comparison website . It is the island’s main shopping centre with a bustling yacht harbour and plenty of restaurants.
The Manx Electric Railway terminal is here: it will take you via 68 halts and stations to Ramsey via Laxey — a one-hour 15-minute journey. The line has been in operation since 1893. In the summer there are up to 12 trains a day with a limited service during the winter.
At Laxey you can change for the Snaefell Mountain Railway which in summer will take you on a five-mile, 30-minute journey to the summit.
Also at Douglas you can take the Isle of Man Steam Railway to Port Erin via Castletown in the south of the island. The railway is closed in winter but in summer operates up to seven trains a day on the 15 mile journey. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
Laxey, just north of Douglas, is home to some of the finest industrial heritage on the island. Set on the hills near the village is the Laxey Wheel.
Ramsey on the north-east coast is the second biggest town and is the most important harbour and fishing port. The harbour has an imposing 225ft swing bridge dating back to 1892.
There are impressive sands around a ten-mile bay and the coastline leads up to Ayre Point on the northern tip of the island.
Peel in the west is often known as sunset city because of its magnificent sunsets. It has a population of around 4000,check here and boasts the island’s only cathedral.
On a clear day you can see across the Irish Sea to Irleland’s Mountains of Moume, and in the town you can explore the narrow lanes and wander along the harbour where the fishing fleet is still an important part of the economy.
Moore’s kipper factory offers tours — and kippers, of course — with a postal service to send them home to family and friends. The imposing Peel Castle on St Patrick’s Island at the mouth of the harbour is also worth a visit.
Castletown was once the Manx capital. Now the remains of Castle Rushen and the little harbour behind it are the main attractions. There’s also a nautical museum and the old grammar school to investigate. On the road back to Douglas is, first, Ronaldsway Airport and then Fairy Bridge, where motorists need to acknowledge the presence of the little people or face the consequences!
Port Erin and Port St Mary are both lovely little ports with shops, restaurants and beautiful walking above excellent sandy beaches.