Summerhill Glen is only a 2 minute walk from the Apartments, situated at the northern end of Douglas promenade with entrances on Summerhill Road and Victoria Road. It is a popular beauty spot filled with streams and footpaths to explore and a vast array of flora and fauna.
Recently upgraded, the glen now features a new dramatic lighting display, (seasonal).
About Summerhill Glen
Set at the northern end of Douglas promenade, this glen survived well even though it is set close town. Summerhill Glen is a web of wide footpaths leading through trees and shrubs. Hidden in its interior lie animal seats carved out of wood for children, a gnome meet and mushroom hill. During the summer season (until the end of Oct), there is vast system of illuminations. A very popular and free evening attraction for visitors and locals alike. The lights are turned on at 7pm and off at 11pm. Guarding the coast side entrance to the glen are two old canons, sitting where once a small island defence point would have been maintained.
This glen is a beautiful place with slow moving streams and large pools of water. It is a retreat from the action of the capital Douglas, which though close by can seem miles away.
Curragh’s Wildlife Park
Well worth a visit especially if you have kids! We spotted these two baby Red Pandas.
The Curraghs Wildlife Park is the Isle of Man’s only zoo. There is loads to do here for families and you can get up close and interactive to the animals. The park is separated into different areas with animals from all continents and there is a lovely walk all the way round with picnic benches, and you can ride around on the little train.
If you time it right there are talks, feeding times and on some days a falconry demonstration.
Other activities include a bouncy cushion, playground and indoor soft play area and a large cafe.
The Isle of Man coastline is beautiful and interesting and there are wonderful opportunities to see a variety of wildlife, not to mention the spectacular views. Take a trip on a boat and you might be lucky enough to see some basking sharks!
Great Union Camera Obscura
Great Union Camera Obscura is well worth a visit. We went in May this year it is amazing!
This Victorian curiosity has entertained visitors for hundreds of years – offering a unique way to see the surrounding area and an opportunity to spy on fellow tourists! The Great Union Camera Obscura is unique amongst camera obscuras in the world as it has eleven lenses.
Unlike other structures, which were built for astronomical purposes, the Isle of Man’s camera obscura was built in 1892 purely as an attraction for the flourishing Manx tourist industry.
The masterpiece works by using a series of mirrors and lenses which are located around the roof line above a darkened room.
Views of the surrounding area are then projected onto a circular table which has been separated by partitions to give 11 moving colour pictures of the 360 degree view which includes Douglas harbour, the lighthouse and horizon.
Adverse weather conditions may interfere with viewing or prevent the Great Union Camera Obscura from opening – so remember when the flag is flying the attraction is open!
Open from May until mid-September, Saturdays 1pm – 4pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11am – 4pm. Disabled access is limited and there is ample parking close to the attraction.
This picture is from Peter Manxscenes Photography.
Manx Electric Railway
Take an unforgettable journey along the east coast on this unique Island and railway which dates back over 100 years.
From Douglas the Electric Tram will take you north to the quaint village of Laxey and the Lady Isabella water wheel, the largest working water wheel in the world. On one side you’ll experience the beautiful Manx countryside, glens and picturesque villages and to the other you’ll have far reaching views out to sea. At Laxey you can travel further north on to Ramsey or venture up to Snaefell on the Snaefell Mountain Railway.
Trams depart from the Manx Electric Railway terminus (Derby Castle) at the Onchan end of Douglas Promenade, and can be located by the large ELECTRIC RAILWAY sign in the cliffs above.
The Manx Electric Railway operates regularly from March to late October/early November. With more than 60 official stations along the line, you can do some serious exploring!
Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
We love the Horse drawn trams! Did we mention? They stop right outside the Apartments?!
The horse drawn trams are frequent and a lovely change from the bus! You can get a day ticket and travel along the prom (about a mile) to your hearts content. You can use it to get to the shopping area and back for lunch, then off again in the afternoon to catch the steam railway to Castletown and Port Erin.
There are plenty of dedicated tram stops along the length of the Promenade.
Go Explore cards are accepted for travel on all horse tram services. These offer great value for money unlimited travel for 1, 3, 5 or 7 consecutive days on all our bus and heritage railway services.
Alternatively residents and visitors can purchase a Go Horse Tram card valid for the whole season. These are available from the Welcome Centre and Derby Castle terminus.
Villa Marina & Gaiety Theatre Complex
The Villa Marina together with the Gaiety Theatre forms the Villa-Gaiety complex.
The Villa Marina and Gardens features an arena, a theatre, concert halls, cinema and a children’s play area, it’s the ultimate entertainment experience.
The Gardens are open to the public all year round. In the summer outside concerts are held on the grounds. The Colonnade Gardens are a popular raised walkway, which links to the Villa Marina Gardens.
The centrepiece of the Villa Marina is the Royal Hall. A spectacular auditorium that combines Edwardian grandeur and comfort with the latest sound and lighting systems, to create an amazing atmosphere at every show.
The Villa Marina is home to the Broadway Cinema, showing the latest movie releases 7 days a week.
The Villa Marina is also home to the popular Dragon’s Castle Play Area.
The Gaiety Theatre is one of the finest remaining examples of work from the legendary theatre architect, Frank Matcham. First opened in 1900, the Gaiety Theatre has undergone extensive restoration for 30 years to return it to its current magnificent condition. It is a stunning setting to enjoy a year round calendar of plays, musicals, concerts and comedy shows.
With tours every Saturday throughout the summer season, the Gaiety Theatre is an unmissable attraction for residents and visitors to the Isle of Man.
Onchan Pleasure Park
The park offers all visitors a great day out with facilities that are suitable for the whole family and is open from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. during the Easter period and the summer months. Several activities are free of charge and many visitors enjoy picnics and access to the large children’s play area.
Activities include: Motorboats, Bumper boats, Crazy Golf, Miniature Golf, Swing Ball, Battery Operated Kiddie Cars, Mini Marina, Crown Bowls, Flat Bowls, Tennis, Indoor Soft Play Centre, Restaurant, Coffee Shop.
The park also hosts a number of additional events throughout the season, such as Easter egg hunts, a roller-rink, marching bands, the village fair, motorcycle displays, dog obedience shows, play days, bowls competitions and model boat exhibitions.
Disability access is excellent and there are adapted toilets near the coffee shop.
Onchan Park was registered as a Dark Sky Discovery Site in December 2013. For further information: see Dark Sky Discovery
A few minutes down the road from the Apartments is the popular Palace Cinema, a cosy two screen cinema. It is located on the site of the Best Western Palace Hotel and Casino, and is open nightly and shows the latest blockbusters.
Laxey Woollen Mill
The last remaining working woollen mill on the Isle of Man, Laxey Woollen Mills is the home of the Isle’s traditional tartan. Established over 100 years ago, Laxey Woollen Mills is a family run business and offers a host of traditional Laxey Manx Tartan products. Ranges include both men’s and ladies accessories, rugs & throws, scarves & outerwear, tablewear and wedding accessories.
See the woollen cloth being woven and a display of some of the traditional looms. There is a gallery which hosts different exhibitions of local artwork, and a lovely cafe.
The Mill is open from Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm including most bank holidays.