The Isle of Man (Gaelic: Ellan Vannin) is an island in the Irish Sea. The island has a very varied landscape. The capital is Douglas. Isle of Man is independent and not part of the United Kingdom and not a member of the European Union. The British government is responsible for the foreign policy of the island. There is also some influence on the legislation. An extensive information menu can be found here on the right → Isle of Man has its own currency (Isle of Man Pound), but you can also pay with the British pound. The island also has its own folk song and national flag (Three Legs). The island is often associated with ‘Manannan’, the legendary Celtic sea god (god of the sea). The island fascinates with its rich history, folklore and many traditions.
The contrast between the lively Douglas and its hinterland could not be greater. There are many picturesque villages, all with their own character and charm. Here you can still find the small shops with regional products. Here you can also find the village pub, the tearoom or the centuries-old church.
Isle of Man has a rocky coast with very high and impressive cliffs. The landscape is very varied. There are mountains, forests, beaches and heath. The island is a natural paradise for hikers and cyclists. But also many sights make a holiday on the island an experience.
The Manx Steam Railway has existed since 1873 and runs historic trains from Port Erin to Douglas over a 25 km narrow gauge. In Douglas there is a 3 km horse-drawn tram that runs along the beach promenade during the summer. This service is operated with a stable of 40 horses, which are used alternately every day for only one or two trips. The Manx Electric Railway’s historic vehicles have been running along the east coast of the island between Douglas, Laxey and Ramsey (30 km) since 1893 and offer breathtaking views. From Laxey you can take the Snaefell Mountain Railway since 1895 for a journey of 8 km up to the summit of the highest mountain of the island, the Snaefell (620 m).
Arboretum Isle of Man
The Tynwald National Park near the village of St. John’s in the west of the island is a special, traditional place on the Isle of Man. It was opened in 1979 to commemorate the anniversary of the Manx Millennium, the founding of the Tynwald Parliament, and is one of the island’s most attractive natural sites.
In the Tynwald National Park, the arboretum of the Isle of Man extends over an area of 25 hectares around Tynwald Hill with Parliament Field. An arboretum contains a collection of free-growing, native and exotic woody plants. The variety of plants in the different areas is particularly impressive.
The Arboretum of the Isle of Man can be explored on a leisurely walk. A pond with water birds invites you to rest. This section with its many ornamental shrubs and carefully laid out grass paths is an interesting contrast to the other areas.
The grass paths around the pond and the hill bear the names of the 17 parishes on the island. On the hill stands a shelter sponsored by Marks & Spencer. From there, visitors have the best panoramic view towards St. John’s.
The northern and western sections of Tynwald National Park are reserved for native plants and shrubs and are somewhat wilder and more unspoilt. The Arboretum of the Isle of Man in the Tynwald National Park is open to visitors all year round. Admission is free of charge. There is a large parking lot at the entrance.
Calf of Man
The stormy sea, fog banks and tidal currents of the sound mix with ancient legends, myths and a breathtaking selection of plants and seabirds on the 250 ha small, treeless island of Calf of Man to create a nature experience of a special kind.
The sound, which is only 500 metres wide and separates the island from the Isle of Man, is the pulsating lifeline of the island and, thanks to its nutrient-rich water, guarantees the diversity of marine animals and birds, such as the Black-billed Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus).
The eventful history of the people here begins more than 1000 years ago with the first Christian monks, ranges from old coastal batteries in Grant’s Harbour to the still visible lighthouses of 1818 and the abandoned Jane’s House.
The old farmhouse from 1878 is used as a permanent ornithological station. It is also the only self-catering overnight accommodation on the island and a central starting point for your own explorations on foot. Arrival and departure are at the ports of Port Erin and Port St. Mary on the Isle of Man.
To the south of the Calf of Man’s larger neighbour, the ‘Sound Café’ and Visitor Centre offer a breathtaking and weatherproof 180° panoramic view of the Sound and the wild paradise of the Calf of Man, which, depending on the season, can be rough and stormy or gentle and quiet.
At any time of the year, this Isle of Man area offers many walks and views of the Calf of Man from all sides.
Castle Rushen, a medieval castle, stands in the centre of the historic town of Castletown.
The construction of the castle began in the 13th century under Norwegian rule. The fortress, which was built under aspects of military strategies at the river Silverburn, was extended into the 16th century. The builders were the successive regents of the Isle of Man.
According to the story, the huge walls made of limestone were visible far into the southern areas of the Isle of Man. Thus Castle Rushen also served as a reminder to its own people to fully recognize the power of the ruling lords and kings and to behave accordingly loyal. Castle Rushen served as the seat of government of the island rulers until the 18th century and was later used as a prison. In 1988 the castle was restored and at the same time converted into a museum. Today Castle Rushen is a popular excursion destination for island visitors who want to get an idea of the way of life in the Middle Ages during a sightseeing tour. Every year from Easter to the end of October, Castle Rushen is open for visits on a daily basis. During these months visitors can admire the gatehouse, the battlements and the medieval rooms of the castle.