Isle of Man Shopping and nightlife
Shopping in Isle of Man
Head to the two major shopping centres in Douglas for a high street shopping trip. The Tower House and The Strand, both on Strand Street, have a range of leading high street shops catering for fashion, homewares, technology, entertainment and gifts; most British chain stores are represented although the Isle of Man has its own supermarket chain, Shoprite, as well as national chains.
For local crafts, head to Ramsey to find a great selection of boutique shops including the Crafts Centre in St Paul's Square, or go to Castletown to find a range of craft shops lining the cobble streets here alongside a health food store, wine cellar and old fashioned sweet shop. If you are looking to take home some wool, linen or cloth, then Castletown Textiles if worth a stop. Peel and Port Erin are good if you are on the look out for quirky items, antiques or collectables.
Special purchases from the island include; gifts themed around the TT motorbikes races, Manx tartan, silver jewellery and fairy dolls. Unusual and practical gifts and heritage souvenirs often have a sense of the Isle of Man’s rich Celtic and Viking past. Manx kippers are also packaged so they can be carried home as gifts. Enjoy the island’s local drinks by taking away supplies of Manx Ale or ManX whiskey too.
Woollen jumpers are very good quality and can make a nice present. Travel to the Laxey Woolen Mills on the north east coast to visit the last remaining working woollen mill, which is also home to the traditional Manx tartan containing the colours of the island including purple to represent heather, blue for the skies, yellow for the Manx gorse, green for the hills and white for the clouds. Pick up rugs and scarves here too.
Mon-Sat 0900-1730. Early closing times on Thursdays during the winter months.
Nightlife in Isle of Man
Douglas is the island's centre of nightlife with its clubs, restaurants and bars. There is a wide variety of entertainment to suit all tastes and ages on offer. For those who like to stay out late, or spend an evening on a tasty tour centred on the island's finest fodder, the island's capital has pretty coastal cafés and sea-facing restaurants. It is also home to the Gaiety Theatre and the Villa Marina, (the biggest entertainment centre on the island), with plenty of films and live music shows. For culture elsewhere, visitors should attend the Centenary Centre in Peel or the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin, where there is often a range of classical music recitals, comedy and drama productions and more modern concerts as well.
For good pubs offering more traditional entertainment with a view, serving a great pint, try Port Erin and Ramsey, while Peel is home to an award-winning real ale pub. Pubs occasionally host live music or comedy events as well. Many visitors to the island come to enjoy countryside walks, rather than a raucous nightlife; so a friendly pub with lashings of good local ale, is an ideal way for walkers to wind down after a day out in the elements.