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The Family Itinerary

The Family Itinerary

The Island is a playground of stunning natural beauty and enchanting history that will keep both children and teenagers coming back for more.


Do you little ones struggle with walking long distances? Don’t worry, there’s another way to soak up the beautiful views of the Manx coastline and countryside thanks to the Isle of Man’s three preserved heritage railways. From Douglas, travel to the ancient capital of Castletown or hop on the Manx Electric Railway and head to Laxey and see the largest surviving waterwheel in the world as it continues to turn today. Built in the Victorian era, it served the Island’s mines for 70 years, which are also ready to be explored by taking the trail down to the ruins. From there, board the Snaefell Mountain Railway and make your way up the Island’s highest peak, where on a clear day you can spot all four nations of the United Kingdom.


From Neolithic chambered tombs to royal residences and newly discovered Viking boat burials, the Island is abound with landmarks and heritage monuments that make for a spellbinding family day out. Take time to explore Castletown, which is where the stories of past kings and lords of Mann are brought to life along the halls and corridors of Castle Rushen, a 12th century fortress that was later besieged by Robert the Bruce. Equally unmissable is Peel Castle, once home to Viking warriors and kings and was the military stronghold of the Island back in the day. The extensive grounds offer panoramic views across the harbour and an informative audio guide retells its most fascinating tales.


There is more to the Island than its beautiful countryside. Under the crashing waves, an abundant sea life exists, which can be explored on one of Discover Diving’s eye-opening snorkel safaris. The activity is available to children from six years and up, where families can paddle along the shoreline to spot Wrasse hunting for food while looking under rocks for crabs and lobsters. More experienced divers can travel further out on one of the company’s boat trips to visit the Sugarloaf caves, frequented by some of the friendliest seals in the British Isles.


Get ready for some up-close encounters at Curraghs Wildlife Park, home to more than 350 animals from around the world. Stroll through 40 acres of natural scenery to observe red pandas, tapirs and reptiles in their immersive habitats; take part in bug and snake encounters in the Rainforest Theatre; or pull up a seat for a feeding demonstration with the park’s penguins, meerkats and pelicans.


Mountain biking is widely popular on the Isle of Man, and a great option for an adrenaline-filled family day-out. Novices can make their way along wide tracks and down gentle descents through the forest at the foot of South Barrule, while older riders seeking a real challenge can pit their wits against the steep climbs, boardwalks and rock gardens of the 5km Red Viking Trail


The Ape Mann Adventure Park is an open-air playground even parents will get a kick out of. Opened in May 2013, the outdoor attraction includes two adventure courses with rope challenges, sky barrels and zip-lines, and it also has one of the UK's highest sets of Monkey tree climbing hardware. Scared of heights? Try hitting targets at the archery or simply enjoy a relaxing stroll through the forest. 

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Product Information

  1. Isle of Man Steam Railway


    Experience the grandeur of travelling between Douglas and the south of the Island on a Victorian steam railway perfectly frozen in time.

  2. Manx Electric Railway


    Take an unforgettable journey along the east coast of the island on this unique electric railway which dates back over 100 years.

  3. Snaefell Mountain Railway


    Join Snaefell Mountain Railway from Laxey for travel to Snaefell summit. Winding its way up 2,000 feet to the top of Snaefell on a clear day it is said you can see seven kingdoms, unless of course the legendary Manannan cloaks you in mist.

  4. Great Laxey Wheel and Mine Trail


    This feat of Victorian engineering and ingenuity is the largest surviving waterwheel of its kind in the world.

  5. Castle Rushen


    Discover one of the most preserved medieval castles in Europe. Opening times, facilities and attractions in Castletown.

  6. Peel Castle


    Visit Peel Castle, the ancient Vikings’ home and don't miss panoramic views over Peel, seal and basking shark spotting.

  7. Discover Diving

    Port St Mary

    Discover Diving is the Isle of Man's only scuba and snorkel centre. Open all year round to provide everything you need for snorkel, scuba and technical diving, from equipment to training, to trips and regular dives.

  8. Curraghs Wildlife Park


    Curraghs Wildlife Park is the perfect place for a fun-filled family day out; there’s so much to see and do – you won’t know where to start! There are over 350 of the world’s animals to discover set over 40 acres of beautiful, natural scenery.

  9. South Barrule Mountain Bike Trails


    A great introduction to mountain biking for first time visitors, new riders and children. Each trail goes through the forest at the foot of South Barrule and are fully sign posted and feature hand built single-track sections. 

  10. Ape Mann Adventure Park


    Set in one of the Island's largest plantations, South Barrule, there are activities for all the family. ​Find your way through the rope courses, crawl through the sky barrels, take on the leap of faith, and whiz down the long zip-lines.

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Isle of Man Steam Railway (54.14771,-4.48596)Manx Electric Railway (54.16712,-4.46035)2.46
Manx Electric Railway (54.16712,-4.46035)Snaefell Mountain Railway (54.23215,-4.40532)7.27
Snaefell Mountain Railway (54.23215,-4.40532)Great Laxey Wheel and Mine Trail (54.23805,-4.40749)0.6
Great Laxey Wheel and Mine Trail (54.23805,-4.40749)Castle Rushen (54.07382,-4.65241)21.85
Castle Rushen (54.07382,-4.65241)Peel Castle (54.22609,-4.69835)15.49
Peel Castle (54.22609,-4.69835)Discover Diving (54.07688,-4.7387)15.14
Discover Diving (54.07688,-4.7387)Curraghs Wildlife Park (54.31632,-4.51214)27.42
Curraghs Wildlife Park (54.31632,-4.51214)South Barrule Mountain Bike Trails (54.15716,-4.64344)17.7
South Barrule Mountain Bike Trails (54.15716,-4.64344)Ape Mann Adventure Park (54.15525,-4.64314)0.19
Total Distance *108.11 miles
Estimated Journey Time3.48 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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