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Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man, resting on a two-mile bay on the island’s eastern side. The town takes its name from its location at the meeting point of the Dhoo and Glass Rivers, and offers visitors all the charm of a classic British seaside town – but with the relative peace and laid-back seclusion that goes with its offshore location.
Douglas is a town of simple pleasures, where you’ll be able to see the sights of the bay on a small electric train, or take to the paths on a Segway ride. Alternatively, take a seat in the town’s glorious old theatre, or wander up to Summerhill Glen for the perfect relaxing walk through the town’s green spaces:
A popular draw for visitors and locals alike is the ornate theatre in the heart of the town, designed by the architect Frank Matcham – the man responsible for the design of the Victoria Palace and the London Palladium theatres. The Gaiety has recently been restored to its former glory, giving visitors a look back in time at British theatre’s golden age around the turn of the last century. Take a seat here to enjoy pantomimes, musicals, plays or stand-up comedy, surrounded by rich history and soaring, classical Victorian architecture.
The perfect place for a stroll, Summerhill Glen (otherwise known as the Fairy Glen) offers a beautiful woodland walk during the day, but it’s only once night falls that the glen becomes truly enchanting. Locals and visitors alike take their kids on a wander down the fairy-lit paths here, where illuminations and light projections on the walls and trees make for a beautiful show – featuring owls, astronauts, peacocks and ducks. Be sure to keep an eye out for an army of garden gnomes, too.
Home of Rest of Old Horses
One of the best-loved attractions around Douglas is the rest home for old horses on Richmond Hill, where you’ll be able to stroke and feed some of the retired and rescued horses and donkeys roaming in the home’s fields. Afterwards, pop over to the shop or relax in the cafe with a cup of tea and some home-made cake.
Douglas is the main shopping centre on the Isle of Man, and successfully combines well-known fashion, entertainment and beauty brands with small independent stores for a perfect shopping trip. Typical Manx souvenirs include brasswork sporting the three legs of the Manx flag, or brass and wooden statuettes of the tailless Manx cat.
If anything defines cuisine in Douglas, it’s variety. Here you’ll find a huge choice of restaurants for a delicious meal by the bay, whether you’re looking for a traditional British fish dish at one of the restaurants by the harbour, or out for a local Indian meal to warm up after a walk along the sea front.
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