Avanti EWest Coast 'pendolino' train between London and Liverpool or Lancaster
 

The Steam Packet Company ferry from Heysham approaches the Isle of Man

A well-kept secret:  SailRail train & ferry fares from any station to Douglas IoM.  How to buy tickets...

 

Any station in Britain to Douglas

It's a well-kept secret!  You can buy a special SailRail combined train & ferry ticket between any rail station in Britain and Douglas on the Isle of Man, one-way or return in either direction.  Take a train to Heysham (north of Blackpool) or Liverpool then sail to Douglas with the famous Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.  One ticket covers train & ferry, centre to centre, no airports, no flights.  What's the journey like?  How to buy tickets.

small bullet point  Ferry schedules to the Isle of Man   

small bullet point  Ferry schedules from the Isle of Man   

small bullet point  How much does it cost?   

small bullet point  How to buy tickets  

small bullet point  What's the journey like?

small bullet point  Hotels & accommodation 

small bullet point  Tourist offices, Isle of Man bus & TT race info

small bullet point  Manx Electric Railway 

small bullet point  Snaefell Mountain Railway   

small bullet point  Isle of Man Steam Railway

Click here for a route map showing the UK rail network & ferries to the Isle of Man.

Anywhere in Britain ► Isle of Man

Isle of Man ► Anywhere in Britain

How much does it cost?

 SailRail train & ferry tickets to or from the Isle of Man

Douglas, Isle of Man, to or from:

Anytime

One-way

Economy

return

Low Saver

return

London or any rail station in the Greater London area

139

161

199

Zone A:  Any station in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside

93

95

123

Zone B:  Any station in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire, Clwyd, northern Gwynedd (inc Holyhead, Bangor)

100

109

146

Zone C:  Any station in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Hereford & Worcester, Powys, southern Gwynedd (inc Pwhelli), Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, Durham, Cleveland, Borders, Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway, Central, Fife, Lothian

119

130

172

Zone D:  Any station in Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Avon, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Dyfed, Glamorgan, Gwent

139

161

199

Zone E:  Any station in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Highland, Grampian, Tayside

179

192

224

About these SailRail fares

How to buy SailRail tickets

How to buy SailRail tickets by phone

Or buy separate tickets from 45.75

Pets & bicycles

What's the journey like?

Step 1, London to Heysham or Liverpool by train

Below, an Avanti West Coast Pendolino train waits to leave London Euston.  The train has air-conditioning, power sockets at all seats, free WiFi and a shop selling drinks & snacks.  These trains tilt into the corners at up to 125 mph on the curvaceous West Coast main Line.

Avanti West Coast pendolino train at London Euston   Standard class seats on an Avanti West Coast pendolino train

Step 2, Heysham to the Isle of Man aboard the Manxman

The all-year all-weather Heysham to Douglas route is handled by the Steam Packet Company's flagship, the 24,000 ton Manxman, launched in 2023.  The ferry has 3 premium lounges, a cafe, restaurant, kennels, open deck and private cabins including some pet-friendly cabins.  Manxman photos courtesy of Marc Warne.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's ferry Manxman at Douglas

Above, the ferry Manxman at Douglas.  You can see how close to the sea front she docks.

Barrule lounge on the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry Manxman

Above, the premium Barrule lounge, with free WiFi and refreshments.  Some seating is casual, some seats are reclining pullman chairs facing the windows.

Niabyl lounge on the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry Manxman   Pet-friendly cabin on the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry Manxman

Above, the cheaper Niabyl lounge with reserved seats facing panoramic views across the sea.

 

Private cabins:  This is a pet-friendly cabin with hard floor, regular cabins have carpet.

At sea on the ferry to the Isle of Man

Isle of Man ahead!  With the sun glittering on the waves, the Isle of Man emerges from its blanket of mist, known as Manannan's Cloak.  Manannan is the mythical being that protects the Isle of Man.  Douglas is in the gap between the hills, to the right of Douglas the tallest peak with two masts at the summit is Snaefell, 2,036 feet.  Taken by the author from the former ship on this route, the Ben-My-Chree.

The ferry enters Douglas Harbour

Approaching Douglas harbour, conveniently located at one end of the sea front.

Or Liverpool to Douglas by fast ferry Manannan

This is the Manannan at Douglas Sea Terminal.  In Liverpool, she docks at Liverpool landing stage next to the famous Liver Building, 15-20 minutes walk from Lime Street station or there are taxis waiting on the quayside.  See Liverpool map.  The Premium Lounge on the Manannan is at one side of the smaller upper deck.  Complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits, and at-seat food & drinks service.  The Manannan is all non-smoking, even on outside deck areas.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's fast ferry Manannan at Douglas

Douglas Sea Terminal

Unlike the airport, the Sea Terminal is in Douglas city centre at the south end of the promenade, a few minutes walk from the main hotels, see map of Douglas showing Sea Terminal.  You can buy SailRail tickets from the Steam Packet Company travel shop.  The tourist information office is here.  Below right, Douglas' Victorian promenade, looking south from the Manx Electric Railway station towards the Sea Terminal.

Douglas Sea Terminal   Sea front at Douglas, Isle of Man

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Tourist information & hotels

Isle of Man TT motorcycle race

Bus, train & tramway information for the Isle of Man

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The Manx Electric Railway

Douglas ► Laxey ► Ramsey

Between March and November, the Manx Electric Railway links Douglas with Laxey & Ramsey.  Ramsey is the Isle of Man's second biggest town, Laxey is the stop for the famous Laxey wheel and the mountain railway up Snaefell.  The ride on the MER to Ramsey should not be missed, it's a wonderfully scenic ride on a unique tramway, twisting and turning, up and over the hills and along the coast.  The Manx Electric Railway runs every 30-60 minutes from mid-morning to late afternoon, taking 30 minutes to Laxey and 1 hour 15 minutes to Ramsey.  Timetables and fares are at www.iombusandrail.im Map showing tram terminus in Douglas.

Manx Electric Railway tram No.21 at Douglas terminus.   The Manx Electric Railway runs along the coast

A Manx Electric Railway tram at Douglas (Derby Castle) terminus, at the north end of Douglas' 2-mile-long promenade.  There's a small ticket office, and a pub next to the terminus if you need refreshment.

 

Each tram has one enclosed car and one open-sided car.  The narrow-gauge two-track electric railway twists and turns, climbing steeply out of Douglas alongside the road, the sea visible over the cliffs. 

Laxey station on the Manx Electric Railway   The famous Laxey Wheel

At Laxey station, you can change for the Snaefell Mountain Railway.  The connecting tram to Snaefell summit is seen here on the left.  The station has a welcome tearoom.

 

The famous Laxey Wheel is the world's largest working waterwheel, and a Manx icon.  It's a 10-15 minute walk up the valley from Laxey station.

Lush green scenery between Laxey and Ramsey   Manx Electric Railway tram No.6 at Ramsey

On its way to Ramsey the railway passes through some of the Isle of Man's most beautiful scenery.  The line was opened to Laxey in 1893, and to Ramsey in 1899.

 

This is tram 6 at Ramsey.  All the trams are original, the oldest dating from 1893, the newest dating from 1906.  The trams run round their trailer car at each terminus.

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The Snaefell Mountain Railway

Laxey ► Snaefell Summit

A simple change of tram at Laxey station gets you onto the Snaefell Mountain Railway.  An offshoot of the Manx Electric Railway opened in 1899, it links Laxey with the summit of the Isle of Man's one and only true mountain, the 2,036-feet-high Snaefell.  It runs April to October, mid-morning to early afternoon, usually every half an hour.  On leaving Laxey station, it climbs up the opposite side of the valley to the famous Laxey Wheel, giving great views of the wheel, then curving round the top of the mountain to arrive at the tram terminus and restaurant/tearoom at the summit.  You can see the whole island from up there.  Highly recommended!  Timetables and fares are at www.iombusandrail.im.

Snaefell Mountain Railway tram No.6 at Snaefell summit   The view from Snaefell summit, looking towards Laxey

At Snaefell summit, 2,036 feet above sea level.  Time for a cup of tea.

 

The view from the summit, looking towards Laxey.  The Laxey Wheel is just visible to the naked eye.

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The Isle of Man Steam Railway

Douglas ► Port Erin

The delightful Isle of Man Steam Railway links Douglas with Castletown and Port Erin to the south, from March to November with roughly hourly departures mid-morning into the afternoon.  Timetables and fares are at www.iombusandrail.im Map showing steam railway station in Douglas.

Inside Douglas Steam Railway station.   The Isle of Man Steam Railway, 09:50 to Pt Erin, at Douglas station

The Steam Railway station is at the south end of town, just inland from the Sea Terminal.  Old maps displayed in the booking hall-cum-tea-room show how the steam rail network once reached Peel & even Ramsey.

 

The Isle of Man Steam Railway is a wonderful way to travel between Douglas and Castletown and the sleepy seaside town of Port Erin.  You'll see coastline and green scenery from the train.

Steam train at Port Erin   Port Erin, Isle of Man

A steam train at Port Erin station.

 

Port Erin.  The beach is 2 minutes from the station.

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Hotels & accommodation

Hotels in Douglas

In Douglas, most of the hotels are arranged along the promenade, a few minutes walk from the sea terminal.  The most famous and luxurious hotel in town is the Sefton, the Empress is also a good choice.

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!


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