Things to see

Top 20 Wildlife Hotspots on the Isle of Man

Want to see a field full of orchids?  A bluebell wood?  How about the best places to try to catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins or basking sharks?

Here are our best tips, and a map of the island - good luck & enjoy!


Manx Marine Scene coastal viewing sites:
A network of binoculars and information boards around the island's coastline to enable better understanding of, and opportunities to see, our coastal and marine wildlife. The sites can be found at Marine Drive, Port St Mary, Bradda Glen, Niarbyl, Peel breakwater and Castletown - all are free to use.

Gannet. Eleanor StoneThe Sound, at the southern tip of the island:
Seals, chough, shags, cetaceans, basking shark

The Chasms/Sugarloaf, near Port St Mary:
Kittiwake, guillemot, peregrine, corvids (raven, chough crows) harbour porpoise, basking shark, minke whale

The Calf of Man:
Bird Observatory with various seabird colonies resident – shag, great back black, lesser black back and herring gull, kittiwakes, guillimot and razorbill plus chough, hen harrier, raven, peregrine. seals, basking shark, lizard

Port St Mary Ledges:
Harbour porpoise, minke, basking shark, rissos dolphin

Port Erin:

Langness and Derbyhaven, near Castletown:
Risso’s dolphin, harbour porpoise, chough, geese, lepidoptera, lesser mottled grasshopper.

Niarbyl, on the west coast:
Chough, seabirds (various) cetaceans (various)

Common dolphins. Eleanor StoneMaughold Head:
Seals, cormorants, chough, wildfowl and seabirds, coastal wildflowers.

The Ayres/Point of Ayre:
Lichen Heath, sand-dunes, little tern, artic tern, winter migratory geese, divers, gannets, wildfowl (various), basking shark seals, lizard, lepidoptera (various).

Bulgham Bay and Dhoon Glen, near Laxey:
Sea cliffs with feral mountain goat, chough, peregrine, seabirds, minke whale in autumn

Marine Drive, near Douglas:
Cetaceans (various) seabirds (various), corvids, raptors and lizard.




The Ballaugh Curragh:
Orchids at Close SartfieldWillow carr, bog, open water and species rich hay meadows: Excellent for orchids and many other meadowland wildflowers, royal fern, hen-harrier, corncrake, brown hare, feral wallaby, barn owl, buzzard and numeerous other bird species as well as odonata, lepidoptera and the Manx Robberfly

The Southern uplands (South Barrule):
Hen harrier, grouse, crossbills

Northern uplands (Snaefel area):
Mountain hare, hen harrier, polecat ferret, corvids, heather, upland acid-soil flora including sundew, cotton grass and least willow

Silverdale River, near Ballasalla:
Bats, salmonids,

The Raggart, near Peel:
Bats, wild salmon and trout, various odonata and lepidoptera.

Red necked wallaby. Shely BryanThe old railway lines – Peel to Douglas and Peel to Ramsey:
Lepidoptera, odonata, bats, brown hare, feral wallaby, lizard,

Sulby River:
Open water, reed beds, salt marsh, salmonids, various wildfowl, kingfisher, warblers.

Cooilldarry/Glen Wyllin, near Kirk Michael:
River valley broadleaved woodland with bluebells, ferns numerous birds species and bats.

Manx National Glens:
For bluebell and other spring woodland flowers, various woodland bird species, lepidoptera and bats.
Here's a list of all national glens. Short of time? If you can only visit one, go to Ballaglass

Sulby Glen:
Spate river, heather and bracken heath, broadleaved woodland, meadows with orchids and summer wildflowers, dramatic views.

And try these other great spots to see wildlife and enjoy nature: