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Historic Railways of the Isle of Man

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The Jewel of the Irish Sea

Enjoy life in the slow lane and step back in time as you discover the Jewel of the Irish Sea.

Join us for a marvellous short break in a corner of the world where daily life seems to be lived at a slower pace (TT races aside) against a background of rolling hills and wonderful beaches blessed by clean air and unpolluted skies. Sit back and enjoy some delightful, relaxed train journeys as you discover an island that is full of fascination, its unique heritage railways offering a fantastic way to explore this very special place.

What does this price include?

  • Four nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at your chosen hotel
  • Free rail travel and entry to all Manx National Heritage attractions with a Go Explore Heritage Card
  • Visits to Castletown, Port Erin, Ramsey and Peel
  • Return flights to Douglas
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Meet your tour manager at 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 take a leisurely horse-drawn tram. You'll find cafés and pubs to relax in, the fascinating (and free) 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 (which also has a resident ghost to watch out for).

    This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  • 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 offers you the freedom to travel as you wish.

    After a fascinating and absorbing day, enjoy a second evening in Douglas and your hotel.

  • Today 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 to mainland UK at the end of a hugely enjoyable few days.

Prices

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Single Cabins

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Don't miss out on these fantastic prices!

Hotels

Rutland Hotel

Situated on the Queens Promenade, this hotel stands just a short stroll from the Douglas town centre.

Ascot Hotel

The delightful, three-star Ascot Hotel offers a friendly welcome just 100 metres from Douglas' main seafront promenade.

Chesterhouse Hotel

This traditional three-star hotel stands on the seafront in Douglas.

Welbeck Hotel

This friendly, three-star hotel stands close to all the amenities in the centre of Douglas, and just 100 metres from the main promenade.

Mannin Hotel

Opened in 2016, the Mannin is a welcome addition to Douglas, and overlooks the Broadway and Villa Marina.

Empress Hotel

Situated on Central Promenade overlooking Douglas Bay, the Empress Hotel provides fantastic views of the sea from its large conservatory.

Ellan Vannin Hotel

The Ellan Vannin is a traditional Victorian townhouse in a great location, on the seafront and in the heart of Douglas.

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to the hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • Your card offers five days unlimited travel on the Manx Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway, the Snaefell Mountain Railway and the Douglas Horse Trams (when operating - typically between 30th April and 30th October, with some rest days), plus admission to Manx National Heritage's sites and museums.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. Please note that this holiday is not recommended for customers with limited mobility, as there are steps to get on and off the trains.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
  • In the unlikely event of a steam locomotive breaking down and/or being unavailable on the Isle of Man Steam Railway, we reserve the right to substitute the engine with a diesel locomotive.
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