Area guide: Five reasons to live in the south of the Isle of ManEach corner of the Isle of Man has so much to offer it can make deciding where to relocate to a difficult decision. Locate has produced four area guides to highlight what makes each of them such a special place to live.
The south of the Isle of Man makes a great place to live whether your dream is to make your home by the sea, in the unspoilt countryside or in one of the characterful villages and towns. Ballasalla, Castletown, Port St Mary and Port Erin all make an ideal base - and with a commute time to Douglas of just 30 minutes it really is possible to get the perfect work-life balance.
Five advantages of living in the beautiful south:
1. The great outdoors is on your doorstep
With miles of stunning coastline there are walks to suit all energy levels. Langness, the Sound and Bradda Head are all beautiful stretches of the near 100-mile Raad Ny Foillan (The Way of the Gull) coastal footpath which circumnavigates the Island. Castletown is also the end point of the 23-mile Millennium Way and the start of the 14-mile Bayr Ny Skeddan (Herring Road) to Peel.
The mountain bike trails in South Barrule Plantation are popular with cyclists of all abilities, as are the neighbouring plantations.
Watersport enthusiasts can enjoy everything from sailing to paddleboarding from Port Erin beach.
2. The high quality eateries and bars
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a meal or drink with a view. The Sound Cafe has panoramic views over the Calf of Man while Foraging Vintners is the place to order a drink and then sit outside and watch the sunset over Port Erin.
Many of the cafes and restaurants showcase the range of high quality Manx produce available but none more so than Versa, in Port Erin, where many of the ingredients are foraged or sourced within walking distance.
Secret Pizza in Castletown has helped give a youthful vibe to the town with themed nights and live music.
And if it’s coffee and cake you’re after, you’ve got the pick of cafes in Castletown, Port St Mary and Port Erin.
You really can have your cake and eat it.
3. Immerse yourself in the Island’s rich culture and heritage
The Isle of Man’s unique cultural identity helps make it such a special place to live.
There are three major Manx National Heritage sites in the south - the medieval Castle Rushen in the island’s ancient capital Castletown, the 12th century Rushen Abbey and the museum at Cregneash where you can step back in time to experience life in a crofting community.
They’re all well worth a visit and also host a range of events throughout the year.
You’re never far from evidence of the Island’s rich past. There’s a Viking boat burial site at Balladoole while the summit of Meayll Hill is home to an evocative stone circle and chambered cairn dating back to the Neolithic period.
The Erin Arts Centre is a performing arts venue, cinema and gallery which showcases a diverse programme of talented performers from the Island and further afield.
4. It’s great for families
There is so much to do for families.
On a sunny day, there’s no better place to be than Port Erin beach. The white sandy shore curves in a sheltered bay and ticks all the boxes for a memorable day out. Its ice cream shops, toilets, shower, easy free parking, summer beach games and seasonal beach huts available for hire make it a favourite spot for families.
Another popular destination for families, especially those with young children, is Silverdale Glen with its Victorian water-powered carousel and boating lake.
For older kids, South Barrule Forest Park offers a range of opportunities to let off some steam: Laser Mayhem complete with laser guns and military combat coveralls, axe throwing, mountain bike hire and quad bike sessions
And just across the road is Ape Mann, where you can test your head for heights on the low and high ropes courses.
5. The south is very well connected
There are regular buses between Douglas and the towns and villages of the south making it easy to get around if you haven’t got a car.
The Isle of Man Steam Railway line from Douglas snakes its way south through the countryside, stopping at villages and towns along the way, ending at Port Erin. During the summer season, you can even sit back and enjoy breakfast on your commute to Douglas and a drink on the journey back.
Just outside Castletown is the Island’s airport, Ronaldsway, so if you will be travelling off-Island regularly the south is very convenient.
Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at our area guides for the north, east and west of the Island.