Our top coastal cruises and cuppas on electric bicycles. Fresh air in your lungs, stunning scenery and steaming hot mugs at the end of a ride. Life doesn’t get any better!
The Isle of Man encapsulates the best of the British Isles in its 227 square miles. Towns soon give way to green valleys, wooded glens, heather clad mountains and spectacular cliff top views.
Here is one of our favourite coastal routes and our pit stop at the end!
The Marine Drive
The Marine Drive a cliff-top hugging coast road, partially closed to vehicles, is the only way to approach Douglas.
We use this route on our return to Douglas in our Great Southern tour and as the finale to the Douglas tour.
Originally electric trams operated from Douglas Head to Port Soderick opening in the 1890’s to just after WW2.
There were three locations along its route where bridges had to be built to span the gaps, Pigeon Stream, Walberry and Horse’s Leap. Initially the bridges that carried the tramcars over the craggy rocks at a height of 267 feet above sea level were built from pitch pine, but these were replaced and were made from steel girding. You can still see the footings which supported the bridges.
The geology is stunning to look at; the strata of limestone, slate and granite layers are at 90 degree angles to the road
showing how the rock has buckled and twisted.
The Marine Drive is a blessed with many examples of wildlife too. You see rooks playing in the thermals and Manx Choughs are everywhere. These black crow-like birds are recognisable by their bright red legs and beaks and are a rare bird. You might also catch a glimpse of dolphins as they pass by – large schools of dolphin have been seen travelling up the east coast.
Passing through the double arches Douglas Bay opens up as you suddenly arrive on Douglas headland. The Isle of Man has a proud maritime heritage some of which is celebrated on Douglas Head – the statue of Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and a tribute to the 69 known Manxmen who fought alongside Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Pit Stop – Noa Bakehouse
Noa Bakehouse is the creation of Miles Petit, who moved back to the Island after a successful career in film.
Using locally-sourced ingredients, they serve delicious daily-baked breads, lunches, cakes, coffee and tea.
Reviving artisan traditions of bread making, their labour intensive process produces superior flavoured and textured breads, offering a lovely chewy crust and moist wholesome centre. Perfect!