Visit the Isle of Man

Home to twenty-six UK Dark Sky Discovery Sites, the spectacularly starry skies of the Isle of Man are some of the darkest skies in Europe. Here are some of the best places to star gaze on the Isle of Man. On the east coast the small pebble beach at Port Soderick, south-west of Douglas, is a great place to look for planets and galaxies. On the northern tip of the island The Ayres is one of the island’s darkest sites with virtually no light pollution and from here, in the right conditions, it is possible to see the northern lights. Niarbyl, a fabulous bay, is a great spot on the west coast, whilst Cregneash is the perfect spot on the island’s southern tip. For  360 degree views of the night sky you can’t beat the summit of the Isle of Man’s only mountain – Snaefell. It’s quite easy to walk from the Mountain Road to the summit on a clear night to experience some incredible sights (there are also stopping off points on the road as it winds its way up the mountainside). On certain days  the Isle of Man Astronomical Society and Manx Electric Railway (MER) host a number of ‘Pie in the Sky’ events each year which includes the train ride to the summit, stargazing and a meal in the summit restaurant.

If the weather isn’t great an alternative is the planetarium in The Dome, Douglas. Now with state-of-the-art immersive digital media technology it was originally launched as a secret cinema and is located in the Nunnery Estate’s stables block.

The Isle of Man Astronomical Society hosts several events throughout the year – check there website and social media for the latest.

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Island bagging