The charismatic capital of the Isle of Man, Douglas overlooks the Irish Sea at the mouth of the River Douglas. It’s the starting and finishing point of the famous Isle of Man TT motorcycle race and is home to museums and a castle-like sailor refuge.
Things to do in Douglas
Delve into the 10,000-year history of the Isle of Man at the Manx Museum, which features locally-discovered artefacts and interactive exhibits. Witness Viking hoards of silver and gold, hear the story of Tynwald, the oldest parliament in the world, and learn about the legendary riders and motorbikes that have competed in the world-famous TT race.
One of the most famous landmarks in Douglas is the Tower of Refuge, a castle-like structure that was designed as a sanctuary for shipwrecked sailors. It was built in the 1830s following several shipwrecks on Douglas Bay’s semi-submerged rock and stocked with provisions, such as bread and water.
Douglas Head stands where the River Douglas flows into the Irish Sea. It’s home to the Victorian-era Grand Union Camera Obscura, where you can see images of the surrounding area reflected onto large white screens, just as visiting tourists did during the late-19th and early-20th centuries.
Want to explore the Isle of Man? Jump aboard the historic steam train that makes the journey south to Port Erin. Learn about the 19th-century history of this narrow gauge track at Port Erin Steam Railway Museum, where old locomotives and rolling stock are displayed adjacent to a former goods shed.
Getting around Douglas
Douglas is a 20-minute drive from Isle of Man Airport and buses travel to towns and villages across the island. Horse-drawn trams run along the waterfront promenade, while Douglas is compact enough to explore on foot.