The islands financial and administrative capital, spreads out around the two mile (3.2 km) curve of Douglas Bay. The bay forms a natural harbour, with transport links to Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool, via a regular ferry service. The town is a lively resort with plenty of modern shops, cafés and several top restaurants specialising in locally caught seafood.
Tourists arrive in droves during peak holiday season, lured by the islands's mild climate and the abundance of luxurious Victorian and Edwardian hotels and guest houses spread out along the sea front. The long Harris Promenade is edged by a wide sandy beach, were during the summer months, horsedrawn trams ply their leisurely trade along its length; a service that began in 1876.
The terminus of the IOM Steam Railway is situated near the harbour. In the summer its steam trains run a regular service to Port Erin, following a beautiful scenic route along the cliff tops. Also, the Manx Electric Railway (completed in 1899) operates the oldest working tram cars in the world, in the opposite direction along the coast to Ramsey.
The Manx Museum, behind the Villa Marina Gardens in Kingswood Grove, tells the fascinating story of the islands unique history. On the cliff top overlooking the harbour is the 'Great Union Camera', a Victoria camera obscura housed in a small building that projects a unique living representation of the surrounding views onto 11 small white panels, using a system of lenses in the roof.
Sea Terminal Buildings, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 2RG - Tel: 01624 686766