The Isle of Man offers un-spoilt countryside, picturesque glens, coastal scenery and a fascinating history.
Here are some of Margaret’s recommendations for places to see and activities to help make your holiday a memorable one.
These attractions are all nearby to the apartments and are listed nearest first. Take a look at our Getting around page to find out how easy it is to explore the rest of the island.
What our guests say
“Positioned in a very easy area for long or short walks… Beach very clean.”
“Lovely castles and museums to visit… A very relaxing mini break, thank you. “
“Has everything you need whether using as a base for travelling around the island or simply having a lazy day if the weather isn’t ideal.”
“The apartment… had everything we needed, well located for town, other local amenities and transport links.”
“Railway, horse trams, several good restaurants/pubs within easy walking distance. We can’t fault it, and had a great holiday.”
” The apartment is conveniently located for the trams, steam trains, buses and shops.”
Our local cinema
Just round the corner and only a two minute walk away from the apartments, the Palace Cinema shows the latest mainstream movie releases with varied genres of film to suit all tastes. The Palace Cinema houses two screens which plays up to six films a day during peak periods.
The main entertainment centre of Douglas
Just 1 km down the promenade is Villa Marina and Gardens. Featuring an arena, a breath-taking theatre, intimate concert halls, cinema and a children’s play area, it is the ultimate entertainment experience.
The centrepiece of the Villa Marina is the Royal Hall, a spectacular auditorium that combines Edwardian grandeur and comfort with the latest sound and light system to create an amazing atmosphere at every show. Hosting some of the biggest names in music and comedy, it promises a great night, every time you visit.
A magnificent venue
Proudly positioned on the promenade of Douglas stands the Gaiety Theatre, the jewel in the Manx entertainment crown. Steeped in history and tradition, the Gaiety Theatre is one of the finest remaining examples of work by the legendary theatre architect, Frank Matcham. First opened in 1900, the Gaiety Theatre underwent extensive restoration for 30 years to return it to its current magnificent condition.
Boasting a year round programme of top class entertainment, including family shows, musicals, pantomimes, plays, comedians, concerts and more, you’ll be sure to find something entertaining to watch during your time on the Island.
The Gaiety, which is also home to the only surviving Corsican Trap in the British Isles, played host to the Hollywood film, Me and Orson Welles in 2008, providing the backdrop for the story and replicating the Mercury Theatre in New York in 1937.
Visitors can learn more about this magnificent venue by taking part in a theatre tour on most Saturdays which are held Easter to end of September from 10am (allow 2 ½ hours). Numbers are limited so booking in advance is recommended.
Home of the Wurlitzer
Only half a mile away, along the prom, the Villa Marina Arcade is home to the Isle of Man’s Mighty Wurlitzer. A purpose built performance area provides audiences with one of the best settings to enjoy the experience of Wurlitzer music.
The Arcade also features Cafe Villa and the Italian Job Restaurant serving great Italian food in a relaxed family atmosphere.
A relaxing leisure complex
A 20 minute walk away is Noble’s Park, a beautiful, well maintained park located in upper Douglas that features ornamental gardens and a Victorian bandstand – a stage for some seasonal performances. It has a cafe, restaurant, picnic area and BBQ area and car parking is free. There are plenty of activities and facilities on site to keep everyone entertained from tennis courts. outdoor exercise equipment to a bowling green (crown and flat).
During the TT racing it hosts the official TT grandstand.
Meet the ‘Trammers’
Originating in Victorian times, the Douglas Horse Trams to this day still carry tourists, and locals, along the the two mile journey of the promenades in the summer months.
You can visit the horses – known as ‘trammers’ – in their stables and browse the shop. Stable tours run daily at Derby Castle Station.
The Nicholson Murals
Set just back from the seafront, St. Thomas’ Church stands tall at the heart of Douglas.
Between 1896 and 1910 the walls of the chancel and nave were elaborately painted by the painting firm of Nicholson Brothers of Well Road Hill, Douglas. Starting from the then-vicar Canon Savage’s ideas, the church was transformed by the renowned local artist John Miller Nicholson into the unique and magnificent murals we see today. These unique murals, which cover some 520m² of decorative painting, remain St. Thomas’ most outstanding artistic feature and are well worth a visit to be truly appreciated.
Other notable features of the church include, the war memorial designed by Archibald Knox, several beautiful stained glass windows, the three manual organ and the bell and clock tower.
THE place for all things Manx
From the wonders of our natural world to road racing legends, there is something for everyone as you begin your journey through the Island’s vibrant history and its unique national collections.
The museum is bursting with artefacts and treasures unique to the Isle of Man, including hoards of Viking silver and relics from all over the Island in an intriguing Viking Gallery that immerses you in the Island’s rich Viking and Celtic heritage.
Travel through the Island’s 10,000 year history as it is presented through film, galleries and interactive displays, and discover how the Island changed from being the centre of the Celtic Kingdom of Mann and the Isles to a Victorian holiday destination.
Visit the theatre and entertainment themed interactive gallery ‘Theatreland’. Put on your own pantomime, tap dance triumphantly and impress your friends and family with your showbiz skills. A family friendly gallery for all ages to enjoy.
Explore the national art collection or delve into the National Library & Archive. See the Manx Museum’s latest exhibition and find Island inspired gifts and souvenirs in the flagship Gallery Shop.
A notable local landmark
The Tower of Refuge, also known as St. Mary’s Isle, is a small structure erected upon a partially submerged reef, originally for the purpose of offering shelter to shipwreck victims until help could arrive.
Situated in Douglas Bay, the tower came into being after RNLI founder William Hillary petitioned for a sanctuary to be built on St Mary’s Isle.
The reef on which it is built was previously often responsible for the damage and sinking of ships and so the tower provided both a visible warning for incoming ships and a refuge for those in distress.
A fascinating view of town
This Victorian curiosity has entertained visitors for hundreds of years – offering a unique way to see the surrounding area and an opportunity to spy on fellow tourists!
The Great Union Camera Obscura is unique amongst camera obscuras in the world as it has eleven lenses.
Unlike other structures, which were built for astronomical purposes, the Isle of Man’s camera obscura was built in 1892 purely as an attraction for the flourishing Manx tourist industry.
The masterpiece works by using a series of mirrors and lenses which are located around the roof line above a darkened room.
Views of the surrounding area are then projected onto a circular table which has been separated by partitions to give 11 moving colour pictures of the 360 degree view which includes Douglas harbour, the lighthouse and horizon. When the flag is flying the attraction is open!
A panoramic picnic spot
Marine Drive is situated on Douglas Head linking Douglas with Port Soderick. Douglas Head is a popular picnic spot with magnificent views over the bay.
Marine Drive is home to one of the six viewing points along the Island’s coastline providing visitors with an opportunity to see and learn more about the Islands’ marine life.
The viewing point includes detailed information showing images of the different species you may encounter. Binoculars are also available which provide you with the opportunity to have a better view of the surrounding coastline.
Little Ness Car Park located on Marine Drive in Douglas is a registered Dark Sky Discovery Site and an interpretation board allows visitors to enjoy the stunning scenery on offer.
The Island is ideally placed to see the magnificent sight of the Northern Lights on many occasions. The Northern lights are normally only seen from Northerly locations such as Alaska, Norway and Iceland, however the crystal clear Northern horizon from the Islands North eastern coast means this fascinating phenomenon can often be seen from the Island. The Manx Night sky is an amazing experience that will astound even the most experienced stargazer.
Try the miniature railway
Only two and a half miles north of Douglas is the Groudle Glen. Originally developed as a Victorian tourist attraction described since as the “Alton Towers of its day”.
A small water wheel “Little Isabella” is situated in the lower glen. An attraction in the glen is a three-quarter-mile length miniature railway originally built to serve a zoo featuring sea lions and polar bears. Since restored, and operated entirely by volunteers, the line runs from Lhen Coan station, deep inside the glen, climbs uphill to the sea and out to the stunning cliff top Sea Lion Rocks Tearooms and Visitor Centre. Operating seasonally – Easter, Sundays May – September and dates running up to Christmas.
Take the Electric Tram North
The Manx Electric Railway was one of the earliest electric railways in the British Isles. A dedicated museum (Derby Castle Museum) has been created where you can learn more about the history of this pioneering railway with artefacts and informative displays. The museum is located inside the main depot at Derby Castle, situated in the yard which was developed in 1893.
The museum has information boards charting the conception of the railway right up until the modern day. There are lots of hands on items on display including an old Snaefell controller and an armature from an early tram. It has information sheets of all the past and present rolling stock, and there are large old advertising boards with original paintings on display.