Duration: 5 Days
COUNTRIES VISITED: Scotland
PLACES VISITED: Douglas
Welcome to Ronaldsway airport, and transfer to Douglas and your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have some free time to get to know your surroundings. The delightful island capital is part traditional seaside resort, part working port and part thriving financial centre. Stroll along the promenades that fringe the bay and sandy beach, or perhaps take a leisurely horse-drawn tram when they’re operating. You’ll find cafés and pubs to relax in, the fascinating Manx Museum that chronicles the island’s history, and the Victorian curiosity of the Great Union Camera Obscura, to discover during your stay. There’ll be traditional entertainment and touring shows to enjoy at the beautifully restored Gaiety Theatre This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Arrive at Your first heritage journey takes you south from Douglas’s authentic Victorian station on the island’s famous Steam Railway. The line was once part of an extensive network that connected most of the island, but is now a 15-and-a-half-mile narrow-gauge run, via the former island capital, Castletown, to beautiful Port Erin. Alight at the former to discover impregnable Castle Rushen, one-time home to the Kings and Lords of Mann. Here, the energetic can climb to the battlements for the spectacular view of the island’s south, and there’s a fascinating guided tour to enjoy. You’ll also visit the Old House of Keys, the restored 19th-century parliament building, with its debating chamber and interactive displays. Re-board the train to continue to seaside Port Erin, a resort boasting glorious beaches, views out to the offshore Calf of Man and a Railway Museum that’s must-see for enthusiasts. You’ll have some free time to explore your wonderful surroundings, before returning to Douglas by train at your leisure – your included Go Explore Heritage card provided by Holidays Carnival roup offers you the freedom to travel as you wish. After a fascinating and absorbing day, enjoy a second evening in Douglas and your hotel.
This day you’ll head west to the ancient fishing port of Peel. Here you’ll find a colourful marina, the island ruins of Peel Castle, a sweeping, sandy beach and fascinating House of Manannan Celtic Heritage Museum. The town’s tiny Manx Heritage Transport Museum (entrance payable locally) houses model trains, a tiny Peel P50 (the world’s smallest legal road car) and a unique electric motorbike. After the chance to explore this delightful corner of the island – from which you can also send a gift of Manx kippers to friends across the globe – you’ll board a bus to Ramsey, the island’s second largest town and home to a bustling working harbour. Here you’ll board the Manx Electric Railway (MER) and travel to historic Derby Castle Station in Douglas through some stunning countryside and coastal scenery. At 17 miles, the line is the longest electric railway in the British Isles, and it still uses original Victorian and Edwardian rolling stock.
Your last day’s exploration sees you climb back aboard the MER for the journey to historic Laxey, where you’ll find Lady Isabella – the world’s largest working waterwheel and the island’s most photographed attraction. Take in the sight, or perhaps visit nearby Laxey Woollen Mills, the island’s last remaining working weaver, before climbing aboard the Snaefell Mountain Railway. This Victorian treasure that is the British Isles’ only electric mountain railway. Sit back and take in the scenery as you travel nearly five miles to the 2,000-ft high summit. From here the views on clear days stretch across the Seven Kingdoms – of England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man… and the kingdoms of Heaven and the sea. Return to Laxey and then to Douglas, where you’ll have the rest of the day free. Make the most of a last opportunity to stroll around town, then enjoy dinner at your hotel, perhaps reliving the excitement of the last few days.
Transfer back to Ronaldsway airport to board your flight back home with unforgettable memories.
• Four nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation with dinner at your chosen hotel
• Rail travel and entry to all Manx National Heritage attractions with a Go Explore Heritage Card
• Visits to Castletown, Port Erin, Ramsey and Peel