The Isle of Man is famous for its stunning coastline, superb sandy beaches, spectacular scenery and gentle pace of life. This charming island also boasts some of the most impressive heritage railways found anywhere in the British Isles, not to mention the historic horse-drawn trams.
We meet in Heysham, Lancashire, ahead of our early afternoon ferry journey to the Isle of Man. Heysham is easily accessible from other parts of the UK and the train from Lancaster arrives straight into Heysham ferry terminal. Arriving into Douglas sea terminal, porters collect our luggage as we walk the short distance along the waterfront to the Claremont Hotel, our base for the next five nights. The hotel occupies a superb location on Douglas' sea-front promenade, overlooking the impressive two-mile sweep of Douglas Bay.
Today takes us to the summit of the island's only mountain, Snaefell. We begin with a journey along Douglas' promenade, travelling by historic horse-drawn tram. Known locally as 'toast racks', these trams have been running since 1876 and remain as popular today as they were then. Next, we board the island's electric train, which dates back to the Victorian and Edwardian era, to the fishing village of Laxey. It's here we board the Snaefell Mountain Railway - the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles. The journey takes us all the way to the top, and on a clear day you can see England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Back in Laxey this afternoon, you have time to explore. Separated into two parts, the main village and Old Laxey. Surrounded by its picturesque tidal harbour, Laxey is home to the Laxey Wheel, the world's largest working waterwheel. The 'Lady Isabella', as she's known locally, was built in 1854 to pump water from Laxey's lead and zinc mines.
On the way to Peel this morning, an old-fashioned fishing port, we call at Tynwald Hill, in the village of St John's. Here we visit the Church of St John and the Tynwald Exhibition, detailing the parliamentary assembly's 1,000-year-old history. On arrival in Peel, you have free time to look around. You could take a walk to Peel Castle, located on St Patrick's Isle and dating back to the 11th century, or the House of Manannan, a museum detailing the island's Celtic, Viking and maritime heritage. Entry is included with your Heritage Explorer Pass. Alternately, seek out the town's renowned kippers, regarded as some of the finest in the country. Meeting back this afternoon, we enjoy a journey on the Manx Electric Railway, travelling from Ramsey to Douglas. As the longest narrow-gauge vintage railway in the British Isles, sit back and relax for the 17-mile journey through glorious countryside, across gorse-topped hills, and along the stunning shores of the east coast.
We board the Isle of Man Steam Railway this morning for a steam-hauled journey in restored heritage carriages. As we travel, we enjoy views of idyllic countryside, seaside towns, and traditional fishing ports before arriving at Port Erin, set within a beautiful bay on the south-west coast. After time to explore, we set out on a coach tour of the headland, soaking up the sight of the spectacular Calf of Man. Continuing to Castletown, the island's ancient capital, enjoy free time to visit medieval Castle Rushen, the Nautical Museum, or the Old House of Keys. Entrance to all three sites is included with your Heritage Explorer Pass. Day 5 is also free. Popular options are; a tour of the Gaiety Theatre, the Isle of Man's opera house or a visit to the captivating Grove Museum which captures what life was like on the island during Victorian times.
After breakfast, we make our way back to Douglas Sea Terminal to catch the ferry to Heysham. Once we've disembarked, our holiday comes to an end.
We include two passes in this holiday: an Explorer Pass and a
Heritage Explorer Pass.
Available for use on your free day, the Explorer Pass allows you complimentary travel on trains and buses across the Isle of Man.
Heritage Explorer Pass
Available for use on your free day and during our excursions, the Heritage Explorer Pass gives you free entrance to Manx National Heritage sites. These include the Laxey Wheel, Peel Castle, the House of Manannan, Castle Rushen, the Old House of Keys and the Nautical Museum, among others.
Please be aware that the order of the excursions may be different than appears here.
MXB2101a, MXB2110, MXB2114a, MXB2121a:
MXB2102a, MXB2104a, MXB2107, MXB2108a MXB2119b:
MXB2103a, MXB2113, MXB2117a, MXB2122, MXB2123, MXB2124:
MXB2105, MXB2113, MXB2117a, MXB2122, MXB2123, MXB2124
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The narrow gauge Isle of Man Steam Railway runs over a 15.3 mile (24.6km) route which links Douglas, the island's capital, with Port Erin. The line was originally opened for service in the 1870s and is just a small section of what was once a much larger network of railway lines which connected many towns and villages on the Isle of Man. Passengers on the Isle of Man Steam Railway are taken on a scenic journey through verdant countryside and along the spectacular southern coastline in vintage carriages hauled by original steam locomotives bought for the railway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Manx Electric Railway is recognised as the longest narrow-gauge vintage railway in the British Isles at 17 miles (27.4km) long. The railway runs from the Isle of Man's capital, Douglas, to Ramsey and includes a stop in Laxey for connections with the Snaefell Mountain Railway. The railway take its passengers through beautiful countryside, across gorse-topped hills and along the stunning east coast in original rolling stock - widely acclaimed to be the oldest working tramcars in the world.
The '4-Star Gold' Claremont Hotel is the highest rated hotel on the Isle of Man, occupying a premium location on Douglas promenade. Just a short walk from the sea terminal in the heart of the town, the hotel is also near to local shops and other amenities. As well as the in house 'Coast Bar and Brasserie', the Claremont has an extensive lounge area for relaxing in the evenings. Standard room facilities include an en-suite bathroom, direct dial telephone, flat screen television with satellite news and sports channels, mini-safe, iron, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi access, tea and coffee making facilities, executive toiletries and hairdryer. Sea view bedrooms which also feature a Super-King Size bed, bathrobes, coffee machine, daily turn down service & complimentary magazines, are also available on request for a supplementary charge.
Please note that due to the original architectural features of the Claremont, we advise that it is not suitable for any guests requiring mobility assistance or street level access. The property has a number of external steps to access the hotel entrance, as well as internal steps to the upper floors, including the access route from the lift to bedroom corridors.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
We can book UK rail tickets from your local station to and from Heysham. Please call us to discuss your requirements.