Along the Route
A journey on the Tramway between Derby Castle and Broadway takes about 10 minutes each way, depending on your horse! The section along Harris & Loch Promenades to the Sea Terminal will add an extra 5 minutes each way when the track is reinstalled.
If you have a valid Go Card, break your journey at one or more of the signposted Tram Stops along the route and visit some of the many other attractions, cafés, restaurants, shops, galleries, gardens and museums on or near the Douglas Promenades.
A number of points of interest and buildings of architectural or historical significance can be viewed as you journey around Douglas Bay.
Kaye Memorial Gardens
The Kaye Memorial Gardens at the end of Strathallan Crescent were created in 1955 in memory of Joseph & Sarah Kaye, Mayor & Mayoress of Douglas 1904-5, by way of a bequest from their son. In 2013 Douglas Borough Council erected three memorial stones to commemorate those who lost their lives in the 1973 Summerland fire disaster at Derby Castle.
The garden site along with No.1 Strathallan Crescent was for many years owned by the Horse Tramway, used for offices and additional stabling space.
The Falcon Cliff sits high on the hillside above Central Promenade. Built as a private residence in the 1840s, its white castellated structure later became part of a hotel, dance hall and entertainment complex, with its own funicular cliff railway for access.
It was converted into offices in the 1990s.
Palace Opera House
At the rear and to the left of the 1960s built Palace Hotel & Casino survives the Palace Opera House, today converted into a cinema but once part of the huge Palace Pavilion entertainment venue which opened in 1887.
It comprised the Palace Ballroom (reputedly the largest in Europe with an 11,000-seat capacity), the 1,800-seat Palace Opera House and later the 3,500-seat Palace Coliseum theatre.
The theatre was demolished in 1965 to make way for the 'modern' hotel and casino, the ballroom behind lasted until 1994.
The imposing Castle Mona mansion stands on Central Promenade, originally built in 1805 for the fourth Duke of Atholl, then Governor General of the Isle of Man, the stonework having been cut from the Isle of Arran.
It was the first building on the Promenade, had very extensive walled gardens and became a hotel back in 1831. Closed since 2006, it now awaits its own renaissance, needing considerable capital investment to bring it up to 21st Century standards and expectations.
Crescent Super Cinema
Further along Central Promenade, the right-hand section of the Spectrum Apartments includes the original art deco facade of the Crescent 'Super' Cinema which opened in 1930 at the height of picture house popularity.
The 2,000-seat cinema had an ornate interior styled on a Tudor-era castle complete with tapestry walls and a portcullis-shaped stage!
In the designated Cultural Area on Harris Promenade, attractions include the Villa Marina entertainment venue dating from 1913 with its famous gardens and colonnade walkway, the 1,800-seat Gaiety Theatre & Opera House which was a re-development in 1899 from the earlier Palace theatre-ballroom of 1893, the imposing Sefton Hotel built in 1892, an art gallery, street sculptures and, on the seafront walkway, the imposing 50ft high War Memorial erected in 1924 and entrance to the sunken Marine Gardens.
The Island's main Shopping District is formed by Castle Street and Strand Street which run parallel to Loch Promenade.
From the Cultural Area or along any part of Loch Promenade, it's a short walk (2 mins) to enjoy a wide range of retail shops, cafés and eateries on offer.
St Thomas' Church
At the top end of Church Street, St. Thomas' Church stands tall at the heart of Douglas.
The building was designed in the Victorian early gothic style by architect Ewan Christian and was officially opened on the 1st of August 1849.
Its outstanding feature is the wall murals in the chancel and nave painted at the turn of the 20th Century by renowned artist John Nicholson.
The Manx Museum is a short (5 mins) up-hill walk from the Cultural Area (follow signposts; for impaired mobility access, use the Market Street car park lifts).
The museum is bursting with artefacts and treasures unique to the Isle of Man, including hoards of Viking silver and relics from all over the Island in an intriguing Viking Gallery that immerses you in the Island's rich Viking and Celtic heritage.
Travel through the Island’s 10,000 year history as it is presented through film, galleries and interactive displays, and discover how the Island changed from being the centre of the Celtic Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, to a Victorian holiday destination.
St Mary's Isle
Out in Douglas Bay near to the harbour lies the diminutive St Mary's Isle or Conister Rock on which countless boats and ships have come to grief over the centuries, as the rock is just submerged at high tide.
Following one tragic ship wreck in 1830, Sir William Hillary, an Island resident and the founder of the RNLI, proposed a refuge be built on the rock, which was paid for by public subscription and completed in 1833. On visiting the Island that year, the poet William Wordsworth wrote about the Tower of Refuge and the safe haven has been known by that name since.
On the seaward side of Loch Promenade are the beautiful sunken Marine Gardens, originally laid out in the 1930s, with seating, shelters, fountains, sculptures, eight-face sundial, children's play zones and seasonal colourful plantings, all expertly maintained by Douglas Borough Council.
A sculpture by Michael Sandle depicting the wreck of the St. George was funded by the Isle of Man Arts Council and the Henry Moore Foundation and shows Sir William Hillary and his crew saving survivors from the shipwreck and honours the courage of lifeboat crews down through the ages.
At the bottom of Victoria Street, near to the southern terminus of the tramway, stands the Jubilee Clock which commemorates the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and was presented to the town and people of Douglas in 1887 by wealthy bank owner G W Dumbell.
Thirteen years later, his bank collapsed causing financial ruin for nearly 8,000 businesses and individuals on the Island, including the then owners of the Horse Tramway!
Mounted on a plinth at the entrance to the Bottleneck Car Park adjacent to the Sea Terminal can be seen one of the 8ft diameter cable return pulley wheels from the long-closed Upper Douglas Cable Tramway.
The cable tramway was based on the San Francisco system and ran a semi-circular route from the Jubilee Clock, up Victoria Street, through upper Douglas, and down to the bottom of Broadway next to the Villa Marina. It opened in 1896 and ran only until 1929, when the seasonal service was replaced by petrol omnibuses.