An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Whales and dolphins, along with porpoise and basking sharks are frequently spotted around the coastline of the Isle of Man. Here are some of the best places to spot them:

  • Risso’s dolphins (pictured): the best spot is from Douglas Head in the spring/summer and along Marine Drive, the quiet lane south of Douglas Head (road B80).
  • Bottlenose dolphins: in the winter large groups of bottlenose dolphins congregate in the waters between the Isle of Man and North Wales, they can be seen off Douglas Head and other viewpoints on the east coast.
  • Porpoise: Kallow Point in Port St Mary near the southern tip of the island is the best spot
  • Minke whale: small groups are spotted reasonably regularly off the east and west coasts in the summer. In the winter you might be lucky and see them in Laxey and Bulgham bays on the east coast.
  • Common dolphins: can be seen all around the island, but usually only in the summer months.
  • Basking sharks: the island is a hotspot for these creatures between mid-May to mid-August with some of the greatest numbers to be seen in the British Isles. They may be seen from the coastline in the south and south west of the island.

Further sources of information:

The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch’s (MWDW) new centre in Peel is a great resource for finding out more as well as getting the latest sighting reports with some good resources for kids.

The latest whale and dolphin sightings around the island are also posted by the Sea Watch Foundation 

For latest sightings and more information on basking sharks visit Manx Basking Shark Watch.

There are also a number of boat tour operators that offer wildlife cruises to spot cetaceans during the summer months. Check out the Isle of Man Visitor Centre.

Happy spotting!

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