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Review: Isle of Man


United Kingdom

Go Explore Cards - Getting around the island without a car

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2468 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • August 2018
  • Family including children under 16

146 people found this review helpful

You don’t really need a car to get around the island (unless you want to get to really out of the way places like Lonan old church or The Ayres). This is integrated transport that really works.

The bus service between the main towns runs every 20-30 minutes from early morning to late evening and that includes Sundays… Buses are modern and time keeping is good, although buses may be 20 minutes late into Douglas in the morning rush hour just before 9am. Fares are also very cheap. On the main routes they have a screen announcing the next stop – useful for visitors and altering them where they need to get off. The drivers are helpful and make sure you get off at the correct spot and will often make an unscheduled stop to make sure you are as close to your destination as possible.

Buses also stop outside the main entrance of Ronaldsway airport, so you don’t need to worry about a taxi.

Then there is the Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway, horse trams and the Snaefell Mountain Railway (oh and don’t forget the Groudle Glen Railway.)

Go Explore cards are available for visitors which give free transport on all of the above and are excellent value. You can buy them on line before you arrive or they can be purchased at the Welcome Centre in Douglas Sea Terminal, the airport information desk, main stations and the House of Manannan in Peel. The cards are validated on the first day of travel and then valid for the relevant number of subsequent days. The card costs £2 but don’t throw it away as it can be topped up and used for subsequent visits.

A one day Go Explore paper ticket can be purchased on boarding buses, trains and trams with no card fee.

There is also a Go Explore Heritage card that is valid for five days and gives free admission to all Manx National Heritage sites as well as unlimited travel.

Go Explore website

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 4 Comment(s)

  • linby
    almost 3 years ago
    Isle of Man has been on my to do list for years. Thanks for the info and interesting that a car is not needed, maybe we will leave it at home.
  • ESW
    almost 3 years ago
    I'm glad you found the review useful Sologirl. The Isle of Man is a wonderful place for a holiday. I've been several times over the last 20 years and the magic never fails. Getting around is so easy and the island is sufficiently small that you can reach get from one end to the other easily in a day using public transport.

    I wrote to tourist information about a month before my last holiday to get a copy of the bus and train timetables. The bus service is a bit complicated until you have worked it out.

    If you are flying, the bus stop is just outside the airport and is a 20 minute service to Douglas or Port Erin.
  • Sologirl
    almost 3 years ago
    Thanks, this is really helpful as I’ve thought about visiting, but don’t want to hire a car or take mine across.
  • DRSask
    almost 3 years ago
    I agree, the travel card is a great way to get around the island and used it on my visit a few years ago. Just be aware that the Welcome Centre in the Sea Terminal is closed on Sundays as I discovered when I arrived via ferry on a Sunday.