Top 10 Natural Beauty Spots on the Isle of Man
Discover the ever-changing Manx landscape, rolling hills and costal scenery by visiting some of the Island’s best beauty spots.
1. Calf of Man
The Calf – named Kalfr by the Norsemen – was once a refuge for Christian monks and hermits. Separated from the mainland by 500 metres of fast moving water, the Calf is a haven for wildlife and marine life.
2. Sound Visitor Centre
The striking glass walls of the Sound Visitor Centre on the southern tip of the island offer visitors an uninterrupted 180 degree view of the surrounding scenery. The ideal lookout towards the Calf, the visitor centre features information displays explaining the history and ecology of the local landscape and seascape. Or you can simply visit the cafe, sit back and enjoy the view.
3. Niarbyl (cafe and Visitor Centre)
One of the locations used in the Manx film industry’s biggest successes of recent years, Niarbyl is located on the west coast south of Peel and is an example of one of the Isle of Man’s many beautiful and unspoilt coves. The thatched cottage at Niarbyl stood in for Ned Devine’s house in the film Waking Ned.
4. The Ayres National Nature Reserve
The Ayres National Nature Reserve on the northwest coast is an extensive area of raised beach and dune habitats with dune slacks, maritime heath and lichen heath. Offshore, seals are often seen drifting in the tide while porpoises pursue shoaling fish.
5. Manx National Glens
The Isle of Man has 18 national glens, both coastal and mountain, maintained and preserved in their natural state by the Government’s Forestry Division. Admission is free and all glens can be accessed by car, with several situated near electric tram or steam railway stations, or on bus routes.
6. Close Sartfield Nature Reserve
Visit the Manx Wildlife Trust’s reserve at Close Sartfield to see more than 100,000 examples of colourful orchid.
7. Tynwald Arboretum
Situated in St Johns, the Tynwald National Park and Arboretum is set in more than 25 acres of picturesque countryside. The park was created to mark the millennium anniversary of Tynwald – the world’s longest running continuous parliament. There is a specially constructed shelter and picnic area, a large duck pond and children’s playground to keep the little ones entertained.
8. Scarlett Visitor Centre
Scarlett Visitor Centre is a hotspot for the Island’s feathered community and you’re likely to see shags, cormorants, gulls, oystercatchers and ducks. You’ll also find a number of nature trails which lead beyond the visitor centre and offer a chance for you to explore the area on foot and see the limestone pavements and volcanic rocks including the Stack close up.
9. Maughold Head
Maughold Head is rich in history with an Iron Age fortification crowning its summit. Nearby are the early Christian monuments preserved in the ‘cross shelter’ in Maughold churchyard. The precipitous cliffs are home to significant colonies of seabirds such as Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Shags. Gob ny Rona, a small peninsula of mostly maritime heath and low cliffs, offers impressive views of Ramsey from the coastal footpath.
10. Ballaugh Curragh
Ballaugh Curragh is an area of special scientific interest and the first designated wetland of international importance on the Isle of Man. It consists of small woods, old hay meadows, ponds, bogs and wet grassland, divided by sod hedges and twisting lanes. Running through the area is a nature trail with signs along the way explaining the ecology of the area.