See two absolute icons of Manx history: the massive Lady Isabella water wheel and Tynwald Hill, a venerated symbol of the Manx parliament, which is the world's oldest.
Your tour begins with a drive past Douglas' bayside promenade and its grand Victorian hotels. This lively seaside resort has been the capital of the Isle of Man since 1869. Next, heading north of Douglas, you will make your way to Laxey. In the 1800s, the Laxey lead, silver and zinc mines were the deepest in the world and to pump out the water below, the Great Laxey Wheel was built in 1854. It was a marvel of engineering at the time and is still Laxey's chief attraction. Known as Lady Isabella, for the former Lieutenant Governor's wife, the wheel has a staggering 72-foot diameter and remains the world's largest working water wheel. Until the mines closed in 1929, the wheel pumped 250 gallons of water a minute (that's more than 4 gallons a second) from 1,500 feet below the surface.
From Laxey, you will make your way inland to Tynwald, where in the 10th century the Vikings established the Manx parliament known as Tynwald. Remarkably, the system is still in place, distinguishing Tynwald as the world's oldest continuously governing parliament. The most significant symbol of Manx independence is Tynwald Hill, a grass-covered mound built as a reminder of the Norse seafarers who established the Manx system of government. Legend has it that the hill contains earth from all seventeen of the island's parishes and today, it is a hallowed national site. After a stop here for photos, you will re-board your coach and return to the pier in Douglas.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45-minutes of moderate walking; however, there is a strenuous 10-minute uphill walk to reach the Laxey Wheel. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Warm, weather-proof clothing is recommended and sturdy, flat walking shoes are required.