Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom
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Approximately 2¾ Hours
Meals not included
Approximately 3¼ Hours
One of the biggest surprises awaiting first-time visitors to the Isle of Man is the island's extraordinary collection of railways, all dating from the Victorian era. Immaculately restored, they run today much as they did 100 years ago with the arrival of electric traction and tramways.
Travel around the promenade fronting Douglas Bay en route to the station of the Manx Electric Railway -- the longest of any of Britain's vintage narrow-gauge lines, and it still runs on original Victorian and Edwardian technology. Clamber aboard for the rail journey to Laxey -- approximately thirty minutes of leafy glens and hollows -- before emerging triumphantly on top of precipitous cliffs, offering spectacular views across the coastline, the impressive Glen Roy viaduct and the sylvan Laxey Station.
Transfer to the Snaefell Mountain Railway -- the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles and now well over 100 years old. The 4.5 miles of double track climb out of Laxey to the 2,036 feet summit of Snaefell, with gradients as steep as 1 in 12. This is the highest point on the Isle of Man -- the views of the coast and the Giant Laxey Wheel are breathtaking. The gauge of 3 feet, 6 inches is the widest of all the island's railways, and its six original tramcars are still in use.
Partway down the mountain, switch to the waiting coach and return to Douglas.