Ayres Nature Discovery Centre and Nature Trail

Type:Heritage / Visitor Centre

Ayres Nature Discovery Centre and Nature Trail

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The Ayres is an important stretch of low-lying sand dune coastline, great for walking and bird watching.

The Visitor Centre sits within the sand dunes, an area which stretches 8 kilometres from Cronk-y-Bing to the Point of Ayre.

A site of major ecological significance, parts having been designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest and as a National Nature Reserve.

Leading from the shingle beach, the marked Nature Trail winds through the marram dunes and onto the expanse of heath with its extensive lichen flora.

The beach provides a great walk too, with plenty of birds to watch including diving gannets and you might even spot an occasional seal. There are three footpath routes which all begin at the Visitor Centre and vary depending on their length and terrain. The routes are marked by coloured stobs in the ground which correspond to the route you wish to follow:

Red route: surfaced, wooden steps, grass 

Blue route: mixed terrain of grass and sand 

Black route: mixed terrain of grass, sand and shingle  

The Ayres is also home to currently 26 of the British Isles Dark sky discovery sites complete with an interpretation board to allow visitors to enjoy the stunning stargazing opportunities.

The Island is ideally placed to see the magnificent sight of the Northern Lights on many occasions. The Northern lights are normally only seen from Northerly locations such as Alaska, Norway and Iceland, however the crystal clear Northern horizon from the Islands North eastern coast means this fascinating phenomenon can often be seen from the Island. The Manx Night sky is an amazing experience that will astound even the most experienced stargazer.

Advice and Safety Information

Care must be taken whilst walking along certain parts of the route, as uneven terrain is a common feature. Whilst walking along the footpaths, please be aware of the birds and plants present, and keep your dog on a lead when near livestock.

Leisurely - walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. The route will included some unsurfaced paths and uneven terrain. Suitable boots and clothing are recommended.



  • Guide Dogs Permitted

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (free)

Provider Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted - On a lead
The Ayres, Lhen Road, Bride, IM7 4BF
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Call direct on:

Tel01624 844432


  • AccoladesUNESCO Biosphere Partner UNESCO Biosphere Partner 2021

Opening Times

* Open from the end of May to the end of September, 2pm - 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.

Map & Directions

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Scarlett Nature Discovery Centre & Nature Trail, CastletownThe Visitor Centre contains information on the local surroundings, the environment in general and the work of Manx Wildlife Trust. You're sure to see outstanding coastal scenery, spectacular limestone and volcanic rock-formations, great spring flowers, interesting rock pool specimens and plenty of…

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