In Nature

Drawing nature lovers from far and wide, the Isle of Man's astounding diversity provides a memorable adventure. Explore its stunning surroundings for a chance to observe some truly remarkable animals – both on land and in the sea!  From sighting rare bird species such as hen harriers and guillemots to spotting wild wallabies and basking sharks.

We’ll delve into a few little known facts about nature and wildlife on the Isle of Man in this blog.

1. The Isle of Man was the first entire nation in the world to be recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere.

The Isle of Man was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Biosphere status in 2016, making it the only entire nation Biosphere in the world.

With an abundance of unique natural habitats across the Island's land and territorial sea, you can understand why it has been celebrated for maintaining a balance between thriving humans and nature alike.

2. 85% of the Isle of Man's territory is the sea.

The Isle of Man is an incredible place for ocean lovers! With more of its territory made up by the sea than land, there's a huge variety of marine life to explore.

The passionate residents of the Island have worked hard to preserve their beautiful natural environment. The Isle of Man boasts an incredible 10 Marine Nature Reserves, protecting over half its inshore waters and stretching far into the depths!

These reserves contain spectacular underwater life including important habitats and protected species such as horse mussel reefs, eelgrass beds, and the long-lived Arctic Clam. An extraordinary spot for diving.

3. The coast of the Isle of Man is a brilliant place to spot amazing sea life.

With its abundance of sparkling waters, the Isle of Man is a haven for all kinds of sea life beneath the waves! You can expect to spot an array of fantastic marine life when taking a boat trip around this Island. From harbour porpoises and Risso dolphins to minke whales, bottlenose sharks and common dolphins – there are plenty of extraordinary sights for everyone here!

Along its coast dwells a pair of endearing dolphin mother and calf - Moonlight and Starlight. They often swim right up to greet those who brave the sea. Watch this clip from Manx Whale & Dolphin Watch showing these friendly dolphins in Fenella Bay, Peel. Extraordinary!

Paddleboarders staring in amazement at a dolphin swimming in front of them in the north of the Isle of Man

If you're fortunate, you may be able to witness the majestic basking sharks – the second largest fish on Earth! Basking sharks migrate here to feed on plankton and start their families in the warmer months. Look out for them along the west coast from Peel down to the Calf of Man, or from the shore at Peel Castle, Niarbyl, Port Erin and the Sound.

Sadly, there has been a decline in basking shark sightings in the Manx waters since 2010. So, if you are lucky enough to spot one during your visit here, please report it to the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch. Every sighting counts!

4. The Isle of Man is a dream destination for bird watchers.

With its breathtaking cliffs, sandy beaches, unique lichen heath, coastal grasslands and salt marsh, it's no wonder that the Isle of Man provides an incredibly varied array of habitats for coastal and sea birds.

The Calf of Man, an official British Bird Observatory, is a hub for birdlife from all over. This small islet off the south coast of the Isle of Man serves as an important stopover spot for birds migrating between hemispheres - with around 33 species making their home here every year.

A bird watcher on the Calf of Man

Visiting the Sugarloaf at just the right time of year will treat you to a spectacular show - thousands of birds building their nests among its rocky cliffs!

Go to the beaches at the Ayres alongside Manx Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre for a chance to spot pairs of little, arctic, and common terns making themselves at home. Keep an eye out for signs that signal nesting time – as you will have to keep off the beaches.

Look up to the skies above the Isle of Man and you might just spot an endangered breed of birds of prey – hen harriers! They are regular breeders on the Isle of Man, so keep your eyes peeled.

5. The Isle of Man is a natural garden set within a diverse variety of scenery and landscape.

Over 40% of its land is unpopulated and uncultivated, making it an ideal destination to explore the many valleys and hills that have provided perfect habitats for wild vegetation.

There are 18 mountain and coastal National Glens across the Island with a mix of native woodlands and exotic plantings from Victorian times. Find tranquillity among mature trees at Laxey Glen; admire the beauty of Tholt-y-Will, and be invigorated by the waterfall at Dhoon Glen – there's something here for every outdoor enthusiast.

A girl in one of the Island's glens, Spooyt Vane

The glens are all open to the public throughout the year and can be accessed by car. You can also take the train via the Manx Electric Railway, Steam Railway stations, or the bus to some of these locations.

There are amazing tour guides available who offer diverse and exciting walking experiences - whether you're a new or an experienced hiker. Come and find the perfect walk for you!

6. The Isle of Man is home to 100+ wild wallabies.

Get ready to be surprised! When visiting the Isle of Man, you may catch an unexpected, yet wonderful, sight: wild wallabies!

That's right - these hopping marsupials have called the Isle of Man their home since some escaped from the Curraghs Wildlife Park in the 1960s. A wander around Ballaugh’s beautiful Curraghs could make for quite the adventure! Follow its grassy trails and you might spot some wild wallabies – don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars and your wellies.

A wild wallaby in the Isle of Man

7. The Isle of Man boasts the largest concentration of Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the British Isles.

Explore a sparkling night sky you won’t forget! 26 awe-inspiring official Dark Sky sites dotted across this lovely Island await you, offering perfect conditions to admire the beautiful star-filled skies.

Here, wonder and amazement await even the most casual of stargazers. With just your own two eyes, you can take in extraordinary sights such as the Orion Nebula - a staggering 1500 light years away! Not to mention our very own Milky Way Galaxy or its companion galaxy – the Great Andromeda. Even more can be seen through a telescope or binoculars.

But there is one extra special sight that's becoming increasingly popular, the Northern Lights. This spectacular sight, usually only seen in locations such as Alaska, Norway and Iceland, may occasionally be spotted from the North eastern coast of the Isle of Man.

If you are planning a visit to experience the dark skies, consider booking into one of the 'Stargazer Friendly' accommodations in the Isle of Man, designed to make your visit even more extraordinary.

A stargazer friendly accommodation in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is an extraordinary destination for nature and wildlife lovers alike.

A gem in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is truly a unique and unforgettable destination. With its incredible biodiversity, stunning scenery and vast wildlife, this Island will captivate your heart and soul.

From wallabies to whales and horse mussel reefs to hen harriers, the Isle of Man packs all the wonders of nature in one place. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or a wildlife watcher, we guarantee you'll find much to explore and admire on the Isle of Man!

Easily reached by ferry or plane in as little as 30 minutes from the UK and Ireland, this Island haven provides an intriguing and welcome escape so close to home.

Are you ready for extraordinary? Visit the Isle of Man this year! You won't regret it.