EXPLORE THE ISLE OF MAN’S UNIQUE HERITAGE AND CULTURE
Whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or just have an inquisitive mind, the Isle of Man has a unique history and rich culture spanning over 10,000 years, which you can enjoy any time of the year.
HOUSE OF MANANNAN
The Isle of Man is steeped in myth and magic. On Peel quayside stands the House of Manannan, where you’ll discover what it was like living in a Viking longhouse or a Celtic roundhouse, join the crew of Odin’s Raven Viking longship, explore the sights and smells of 19th century Peel, including a Manx Kipper Yard, and much, much more.
One of its more interesting attractions is the Steam Packet gallery, which charts the company’s historical relationship with the Isle of Man, including the important and dangerous role the ships and their largely Manx crews played during both world wars.
Tynwald is the oldest continuous parliament in the world. It dates back over 1,000 years and is celebrated once a year at Tynwald Hill, a four-tiered hill built in the 13th century that’s one of the island’s most distinctive landmarks and a sign of its independence as a self-governing crown dependency. It is believed the annual open air ceremony was established by Norse Viking settlers and still continues to this day.
One site not to be missed is the Old House of Keys in Castletown. A visit to this restored 1866 building will teach you about the development of democracy and effect political decisions had and continue to have on the Manx nation. Meet the costumed secretary of this historic building and take a seat in the debating chamber to watch active debates on setting new Manx laws.
Another iconic site worth a visit is Castle Rushen, one of the world’s best-preserved 13th century castles. Once home to the Kings and Lords of Mann it’s been a fortress, royal residence, a mint and more recently a prison. Today you can climb the spiral stone staircase to the roof and enjoy panoramic views of Castletown. To the west of the island, you’ll find Peel Castle, the Isle of Man’s other great fortress. Originally a place of worship, it became the fort of Viking Magnus Barefoot. St Patrick church and the Round Tower date back to the 10th and 11th centuries and a spectacular view of Peel can be had from atop the Gatehouse Tower.
THE GREAT LAXEY WHEEL
Enjoy great views across the Laxey Valley by climbing to the top of the Great Laxey Wheel. ‘Lady Isabella’ as locals call her, was designed by Victorian engineer Robert Casement and started turning in 1854 to pump water from the Laxey mines. At 22 meters in diameter it’s the largest working waterwheel in the world.
You can explore the Isle of Man’s sites and stunning landscape by using the island’s impressive network of heritage railways. Travel to the summit of the island’s only mountain on the Snaefell Mountain Railway, giving you breath-taking views of the Seven Kingdoms: England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the kingdoms of heaven and the sea. Enjoy the island’s beautiful countryside on the Isle of Man Steam Railway, the longest narrow gauge steam line in Britain that still uses its original locomotives and carriages. Or take a nostalgic journey on the world’s oldest horse drawn tramway, Douglas Horse Trams, along the promenades.
If you’d prefer, explore on foot along the Raad ny Foillan, the 100-mile footpath, created to mark the island’s “Heritage Year” celebrations in 1986. It forms a complete loop around the Manx coast and passes through terrain varying from shingle beaches at Ayres to 600 feet high hills and cliffs.
SAIL WITH US
When you sail with us, you can take your vehicle on board. Simply drive off the ferry and enjoy the freedom to explore 10,000 years of the island’s heritage and culture at your leisure. We have some great offers available including our very popular car offers.