There are plenty of entertainment options available on the Isle of Man every night of the week, but the weekends are when it really heats up. Douglas is a very popular spot for nightlife and no matter what your tastes you are sure to find it here. Outside of the major cities, there are pubs in every town and a few clubs around the Island, as well. Dining options are plentiful with a cosmopolitan selection of restaurants and cafes. Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican and, of course, traditional British food can be found in the capital and some of the smaller towns. If you’re a fan of seafood try traditional Manx Kippers which are herring fillets smoked over hot oak chips, or Manx Queen Scallops, called Queenies, which are sustainably sourced from Manx waters.
Bars and Pubbing in the Isle of Man
Douglas is the Isle of Man’s capital with by far the largest population of over 25,000 inhabitants. It’s the island’s hub for shopping, entertainment, transportation, and government. The town is located at the mouth of the River Douglas which forms part of the harbor and the main commercial port. At night the sea-front comes alive with lights, making the promenade a great place for an early evening stroll before trying out one of the many bars, restaurants or clubs in the area.
For those who want to party, The Courthouse (Athol street, Douglas), is a combination restaurant, bar and club that appeals to guests of all ages and backgrounds. DJs pump music every weekend, while the bar is a quieter area where patrons can relax in comfortable surroundings throughout the week. The bar is open from 11.00 am until 2.00 am, Monday through Saturday, while the club gets going from 10.30 pm until 3.00 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Bar George (3 Hill Street, Douglas) is a large bar in what used to be an old Sunday school building. Its speciality is wine, and the whole back wall of the venue is dedicated to its huge wine-rack. There is an extensive food menu and customers can choose from sit down dining or a more informal lounge setting. It is open from 11:00 a.m. until midnight, Sunday through Thursday and stays open until until 2:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Ramsey is set against a magnificent backdrop of the North Barrule hills, making it a tourist favorite for many years. The town is the second largest on the Isle of Man and it has a notable selection of evening entertainment, including a few nightclubs and a handful of pubs. The Nightlife Club (Market PI West, Ramsey) is a small, exclusive venue in the heart of town which is popular with visitors and locals alike and open late. The music is current and a smart dress code is strictly enforced. Patrons will not be admitted if they are wearing gym shoes or t-shirts.
Port Erin in the south of the island is a picturesque town that oozes history and culture. Dotted throughout this beautiful area are many welcoming pubs and taverns that give visitors a chance to experience Manx hospitality at its best. The Bay (Lower Promenade, Port Erin) is an old-style traditional pub with lots of character. Real ales, live music and authentic British food add to the setting, giving the venue a comfortable, homely atmosphere. The Falcon’s Nest Hotel (Promenade, Port Erin) is a beautiful Georgian-style building with stunning views over the bay. The hotel’s bar is a favorite spot for locals and on weekends it can become one of the busiest venues on the Isle of Man. A nice selection of wines and cocktails are available, along with an extensive food menu.
Dining and Cuisine in the Isle of Man
Douglas has by far the greatest number of restaurants on the Isle of Man and visitors to the area are spoiled with choice. The prices can vary, but in general, the island is reasonably cheap compared to other similar UK or European destinations. 14North restaurant (14 North Quay, Douglas) is located at the heart of the North Quay, an area quickly establishing itself as the Island’s fine dining hub. The menu prides itself on using only local ingredients and produce caught by Manx farmers and fishermen.
Only a short journey out of town can lead to some of the island’s best kept secrets. The Swiss House Café Bar and Grill (Glen Helen National Park) is a charming venue in one of the most beautiful settings. The restaurant uses a charcoal oven which gives the food an authentic barbecue taste, and the interior has been designed to incorporate the natural surrounding Glen using wood, slate, autumnal fabrics and patterns to compliment the area.
For a real taste of the past, The Aron House (Port St Mary) offers truly indulgent afternoon teas served in a glorious Victorian dining room with panoramic sea views over Chapel Bay. Visitors shouldn’t miss the selection of finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, savory tarts and freshly baked scones, all elegantly displayed and served in style.