7 Epic Northern Lights & Stargazing Sites You Can Go At The Isle Of Man – Irish Sea

Spread the love

Douglas Harbor, Isle of Man

At the southern end of Douglas, capital of the Isle of Man and located near Douglas Head (a rocky part of the Isle of Man) is Douglas Harbor. The first in the world to use a radar (1948) , this is Isle of Man‘s main shipping port. It is composed of the outer harbor and inner harbor. The outer one has 2 jetties (breakwaters) and is a pier for larger vessels. The inner harbor allows the berth of smaller ships. Both inner and outer harbors are separated by Bascale Bridge and Flapgate.

About The Isle Of Man:

Map showing the Isle Of Man by the middle of the Irish Sea.

Right at the center of Irish Sea and almost a halfway between England, Scotland, Wales and the island of Ireland is the Isle of Man. The island got its name from Manannan, which is the Celtic god of the sea. It is a self-governing kingdom, a British Crown dependency. Isle of Man however does not belong to both the United Kingdom nor the European Union. While it may just be a dot on the map, with only 33 miles long and 12 miles wide area but this island-kingdom takes pride with its culture, traditions, laws and their Tynwald. This is the oldest continuous parliamentary body in the world.

Inhabited since the Mesolithic Period then it later came under Celtic control. With a turbulent past, the Vikings would follow to control the island in 1079. After 2 centuries, Norway’s King Magnus VI surrendered Isle of Man to Scotland. However in the 14th century, the island was under English control. Eventually England will give the Isle of Man self-governing rule. Though it’s a dependent of the British crown (meaning a possession of the Queen) it has a control on its own government to a wide extent.

People in the island are known as Manx. English is the major language although at least 2% use Manx Celtic. When you are visiting the island, be careful not to use the term “mainland” for the UK. Since the Isle of Man is semi-independent, the Manx simply refer UK as “across the water”. And because they are self-sufficient, complaining on the lack of some luxuries will give you a reminder from the locals “well, there is a boat in the morning”. Meaning if you can’t survive the night on small things, then you can always get back to the harbor at daybreak. The Lord of Mann is the titular head which is the Queen. Usually a tax haven area, the capital city of Douglas can be toured with the horse tram, the only one of its kind in the world.

We were in the Isle of Man in January 1999 aboard the Knock Muir for its change of registry at Douglas. Due to its rural character, low light pollution and tranquility, this island is famous for its “dark night” skies. Many astronomical phenomenon and sights can be seen through the naked eye. Like the Orion Nebula, Milky Way Galaxy, and the Great Andromeda Galaxy. Sometimes the Northern Lights are visible from the northeastern coast of the island, although this amazing sight is normal in Alaska, Iceland, Norway and northern part of Scotland. The Isle of Man actually is fast becoming a hub for aurora borealis watching. Here are 7 epic northern lights and stargazing sites you can go at the Isle of Man. Get ready to lose yourself virtually in the magical world of the night sky.

Port Soderick

A jewel for the perfect view of the stars. Situated at the eastern coast of the island, Port Soderick is the best area to see the Milky Way. With the stunning vista of the Irish Sea, Port Soderick is an epic northern lights and stargazing site you can go at the Isle of Man. This is a small village south of Douglas which is famous for its water sports facilities owned by a subsidiary of De Beers (the “diamond” giant).

Isle of Man Trivia:

Isle of Man is the motorcycle racing capital of the world. Every year in June, the Manx hold the International Isle Of Man Tourist Trophy Race a.k.a. TT Races


Along the west coast is Niarbyl, a magical place of an epic northern lights and stargazing site you can go at the Isle of Man. The attractive coastline of Niarbyl delivers a stunning view for the Great Andromeda Galaxy on the Manx night sky. Translated as “the tail” in Manx language due to the manner on how it extends to the Irish Sea. Niarbyl is a rocky cape on the southwest coast part of Isle of Man. On clear days, you can see the mountains of Ireland.

Isle of Man Trivia:

The summit of Snaefell, highest mountain in the Isle of Man. A regular tram service will take you to the peak from Laxey town. During summer, the views of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales await for you.

Fort Island

Though it is an off-beaten path, a visit to Fort Island is definitely an epic northern lights and stargazing site you can go at the Isle of Man. Snuggled in Castletown (former capital of Isle of Man), this “dark sky” site offers clear-heaven spotting for the Taurids Meteor Showers especially if you are there in the month of November. It truly radiates the night sky with dots of silver light. Also known as St. Michael’s Isle, this was the site of two battles in 1250-1275 fought among Scotland, England and the Manx for the control of the Isle of Man.

Isle of Man Trivia:

The Laxey Wheel found in Laxey, Isle of Man. This is the world’s largest working waterwheel built in 1854 to pump water into Laxey Mines Industrial complex.

The Sound

Perched at the southern end of the Isle of Man, The Sound is an epic northern lights and stargazing site you can go at the Isle of Man. From this part, Uranus can be seen . The best time to catch a glimpse of the aquamarine planet is during autumn. With rolling hills and a winding coastline, The Sound provides the perfect area to watch the starry night sky. An additional treat to die for is the sound of the seals crying through the night while resting on the rocks.

Isle of Man Trivia:

Castle Rushen, one of Europe’s best preserved castles and the Isle of Man’s national heritage. Found in Castletown, it is now a museum that showcases the history of the King and Lords of Mann. It is open to the public from March-October.


Ballaugh is a beach which an epic northern lights and stargazing site you can go at the Isle of Man. This is a part where you can watch the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) with its spectacular colors. Although it can be best viewed in Alaska, Iceland, Norway and northern Scotland, the Isle of Man is becoming a favorite spot for aurora borealis show. To see something such an intense phenomenon of the night sky is a rare treat indeed.

Isle of Man Trivia:

The Manx cat, the tailless cat believed to have originated from the Isle of Man.

Glen of Tholt-y-Will

Its gripping charm is an epic northern lights and stargazing site to go at the Isle of Man. Located at the center of the island near Snaefell, it’s an area where hills, glen (narrow valley), pine trees, and a lake make up one amazing feature. At night, Tholt-y-Will let campers and visitors enjoy a stargazing experience to its fullest.

Isle of Man Trivia:

A wool and 4 horns for this baa, baa, black sheep. Called Manx Loaghtan in the Isle of man, this type of sheep sometimes has 6 horns.

Axnfell Forest

Located on the steep north facing slopes of Glen Roy, Axnfell Forest is an epic northern lights and stargazing site you can go at the Isle of Man. This is a larch and evergreen plantation with beautiful views over the hills. Another registered “Dark Skies” site of the island, it offers a fascinating phenomenon for stargazers.

The Isle of Man indeed has something very unique “dark skies” offer for you to indulge in your visit. Why don’t you plan your trip now and have the chance also to experience an unforgettable stargazing getaway? Wrap up and head to this stunning island of peace and quiet. For sure you will be captivated by its people and picture-perfect scenery. Slane ihiu ( Manx Celtic for goodbye forever) British Isles and hope to see you again sometimes. Soon we will be sailing down to the English Channel for another country again.

References: Wikipedia; www.Britannica.com