Visitor Info

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Visitor Information

The Welcome Centre (Tourist Information Centre) is located inside the Ferry Terminal and has full information and bookable trips along with leaflets and a coffee shop. It is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm all year and on Sundays from the end of May to the end of September.

Telecabs Taxi – 01624 629191 or RnB Taxi IOM on 07624 257771

Click here to go to the Welcome Centre website.

Visit The Isle of Man Website with lots of tourist information

You can book a private or group Tour Guide here

Bus Services (accurate as of 23.02.24)

The Isle of Man offers a good bus network with regular journeys around the main towns. For timetables and journey maps, please click here.

The buses to and from the airport are Numbers: 1, 1H, 2, 2A, 11 or 12

The bus to the airport operates outside of the hotel on the opposite side of the road from the bus stop and takes around 35 minutes.

Costs are £3.10 for adults for a single or £5.70 return. You can also take the bus from central Douglas to the airport for £2.70 for a single and £5.00 return.

However, please check the the link above for exact times during race events and road closure days as these times will probably vary significantly.

Heritage Railways

More details can be found here

Isle of Man Steam Railway 2024, Douglas, Isle of Man | Steam Heritage – 15th March to 3rd November

Manx Electric Railway – 12th March 2024 to 3rd November 2024

Snaefell Mountain Railway – 19th March 2024 to 3rd November 2024

Douglas Bay Horse Tram – 26th March 2024 to 3rd November

Railway Map

View the Railways map HERE

  • the red line on the map is the Steam Railway line,
  • the green line is the Snaefell Mountain Railway and
  • the blue line is the Manx Electric Railway.

Thomas the Tank Engine was inspired by the Island’s railways and the feature film Thomas and the Magic Railroad was filmed on the Isle of Man.

It’s possible to see the majority of the Island by travelling on the railway network and many of the Island’s heritage attractions are also located near to the railway stops making it easy to get around.

A range of cost effective multi-journey Go cards can be purchased and the Go Explore card entitles the holder to unlimited travel on scheduled services of:

  • Steam Railway,
  • Manx Electric Railway,
  • Snaefell Mountain Railway,
  • Douglas Horse Trams and
  • Buses (except the Manx Express routes; half fare applies on premium Hullad Oie Night Owl services)

Go Explore Cards cost :2024 £2 for the card then top up as required

1 Day card Adults

£19.00

Children

£9.50

Family

£42.00

3 Day Card £39.00 £19.50 £80.00
5 Day Card £45.00 £22.50 £98.00
7 Day Card £56.00 £28.00 £122.00

A 5 day Go Card plus Manx National Heritage entry is £TBC for a child and £69 for an adult in 2024.

Manx Museum

The Manx Museum is located around 20 minutes walk from the hotel. It is open Mon-sat from 10am to 5pm and is FREE to enter. Click here for their website.

View the ‘Explore’ Manx National Heritage Brochure below:

Home of Rest for Old Horses

This is located on Richmond Hill in Douglas and can be reached by car or bus (any number bus going to the airport passes the Home).

It is normally open from May to September Mon-Fri from 10am to 4pm and has FREE entry. More details.

The Gaiety Theatre & Villa Marina Complex

The Theatre & Villa Marina Complex are less than 5 -10 minutes walk towards the town centre – turn right outside of the hotel and keep walking! – further details of events and shows can be found here.

Golf

There are many golf courses on the Island, and some offer flexible rates to guests of The Empress Hotel.

Please call 01624 661155 to find out the best rates at local golf courses.

Camera Obscura

Tickets cost £2.00 adults, £1.00 for students and children are free

Open from May to September on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm

Click here for full details

Other activities nearby include:

Local Shopping

Just 10-15 minutes walk when you turn right outside the hotel entrance, from the hotel is Strand Street, the main shopping area in Douglas. Marks & Spencer, T K Maxx, Top Shop, Boots, Sports Direct, and W H Smiths and many more well known brands are available during normal business hours of 9am to 5.30pm approx. Mon-Sat and 11am until 5pm Sundays.

There is also a retail park outside of the town which can be reached by a 10 minute taxi ride and stores includes Currys and B&Q.

There is a large Tesco store just past the harbour and is open 8am to midnight Mon-Sat and 9am-6pm Sundays.

The nearest convenience store is a Spar about 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Turn left out of the main entrance and walk 400-500 metres. It is open 7am until 10pm daily. The store sells food, snacks, sweets, alcohol, newspapers and cigarettes. It also has a cash machine inside the store.

Links to More Useful Sites Below

Browse our links section for Isle of Man specific information that may be of interest to you. By clicking the links below you will be navigating away for the Empress Hotel – Please note we are not responsible for any third party web site content or the accuracy of their associated information.

Hotel Parking

The Empress Hotel has no parking on site, but the Promenade and side roads in front and nearby, do offer limited free parking . The Promenade parking is free 16 hours in any 24 hours in disk zones, from outside the Hotel towards the Manx Electric Railway only on the seaside of the road where the local signs state, with no returning to that space within 2 hours. The land side of the road also has some 16 hour parking, but near shopping areas, this is limited to 30 minutes to 1 hour maximum and electric charging spaces is limited to 2 hours only.

Please collect a parking disk from the ferry terminal on arrival to display in your car that also provides 2 hours free parking in places around the Island. If you are unsure where to park near the hotel, please check the signs carefully as parking wardens do patrol the Promenade and issue tickets 6 days a week from 8am to 8pm (not Sundays), so please follow the local signs. Paid for parking is available on council run car parks with details HERE. The nearest to the Hotel is Chester Street (15 minutes walk back to the Hotel) with hourly rates upto 10 hours only, or at The Steam Packet Building parking (15 minutes walk away) and costs £5.50 for 24 hours. Parking map of Douglas can also be found Car Park Locations Douglas.

Getting to Liverpool Port

Liverpool Ferry Port By Car

Access to the edge of Liverpool is via the M6/M62 or M58. Then follow the directions below.

Isle of Man Steam packet Ferry Terminal is at the Princes Landing Stage near the Pier Head, Off St Nicholas Place, Princes Parade, Liverpool, L3 1DL. From the M62, follow signs to the City Centre and then Pier Head signs to the Princes Landing Stage.

From M58 follow the A5036 and then the A565 to the Pier Head. From North Wales take the M53, then the Wallasey Tunnel and the A59 to the Pier Head.

Find out about ferry crossings for cars or foot passengers with The Isle of Man Steam Packet HERE or Stena Line HERE.

Liverpool Ferry Port By Rail

Lime Street Train Station is the mainline station connecting most local and national routes with frequent trains from London’s Euston Station for Liverpool taking 2 3/4 hours.

Local trains run in and out of Liverpool City Centre at four railway stations: Moorfields, Liverpool Central, James Street, and Lime Street. All are within walking distance of Pier Head or via the Ferrylink bus service from Lime Street.

Liverpool Ferry Port By Bus or Coach

National Express operate coaches to Liverpool from across Britain. (To Liverpool there are services every two hours from London and Birmingham, half hourly services from Manchester, and hourly services to York) You can find the National Express station on Norton Street Bus and Coach Station approx 500 yards from Liverpool Lime Street Railway Station.

Local buses depart from a number of terminals in the city. Queen Square – city centre, Pier Head and Chester services; Paradise Street Bus Station -southbound and some northbound services; St Thomas Street -eastbound and cross-river services.

Details for cheap national coach travel to Liverpool from around the UK with our travel partner, can be found here.

National Express bus service information can also be found HERE.

By air:

Liverpool John Lennon Airport is only a 7 miles from Liverpool City Centre. A number of airlines including easyJet, Loganair, Ryanair and Wizz and others, fly to and from the airport. The City Centre is about a 30 minute bus journey from the airport. More details can be found HERE. Full details of travel to and from the airport can also be found HERE.

By air from other parts of the UK: easyJet fly to the Island from Gatwick, Liverpool and Manchester along with Loganair flying from Birmingham, Manchester, London City & Heathrow and Edinburgh.

Ronaldsway Airport in the Isle of Man is around 25 minutes away from Douglas, 45 minutes from Ramsey and 10 minutes to Castletown. You can catch regular buses every 15-20 minutes throughout the day to most towns for around £3 single travel. Taxi’s are also available from the airport, and there are car hire desks inside the airport for pre-booked cars.

Getting to Heysham

Heysham Ferry Port by Car

From M6: To reach the port by car, you should follow the M6 as far as Junction 34. Exit onto the A589 and continue along the A589 towards Morecambe for about 3.5 miles before following signs for Heysham ferry port, positioned at Heysham’s western end.

Heysham Ferry Port By Rail

Northern Rail operates Heysham Port railway station and services along this, the Morecambe Branch line. Beginning at Lancaster, there are regular stops along the line including Bare Lane and Morecambe, before the train reaches its final destination at Heysham port.

Heysham Ferry Port By Bus

Stagecoach Lancaster provides buses (numbers 3 and 4) following routes from Lancaster University to Heysham’s Combermere Road. From here, the ferry port can be reached with a 10 minute walk. In addition to this National Express, which is Britain’s largest scheduled coach company, provides bus services to both Lancaster and Morecambe from points throughout the UK.

From Ronaldsway Airport:

The Empress Hotel is just a 25 minute taxi ride from the airport and costs approximately £20-25.00 each way. We are located on Central Promenade, Douglas.

Alternatively, you can take a public bus outside the terminal (bus stop is on the left as you exit the main terminal). These depart roughly every 30 – 60 minutes for Douglas and cost £3.10 per person. The best bus numbers are 1, 2, 2A or 12 as these go past the hotel, but others also pass close by. Simply ask the bus driver to let you know when near the Empress Hotel.

By Ferry:

The Steam Packet Ferry Terminal is only 5 minutes away from the Hotel by taxi (that are normally waiting outside the terminal) or 10-15 minutes on foot. As you exit the ferry terminal, and are walking, simply follow the main Promenade path around the Bay and go past the Gaiety Theatre and Villa Marina. The Empress is another 100 metres further along.

Driving by Car or Motorcycle:

As you exit the ferry terminal car park, follow the signs for the Promenade to the right. You will see the Empress just past the Villa Marina complex, but unfortunately we have no car parking at the hotel, and so guests will need to find a suitable space near to the building along the Promenade. The parking is free in places for up to 16 hours a day from The Empress Hotel along towards the Palace Hotel, but you must park in the direction of the traffic flow, and read the new street signs for exact parking conditions as they now do vary. The parking from the Ferry terminal to the Empress is also free but you need a parking permit (available from the tourist office inside the terminal) but only allows 2 hour parking in Douglas and other towns on the Island.

Please ask at reception if you are unsure if you have parked in the correct area to avoid any parking tickets being issued by wardens 7 days a week.

Isle of Mann | The Empress Hotel