Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man. It has the island's ferry port (the Sea Terminal). Onchan is a small town, merged into northern Douglas.
It's easy to hitch out of Douglas, but only from the outskirts. Use the road signs and the locals to help you reach the roads out of town. The TT course runs through Douglas (A18-A2-A1) and is closed during race meetings.
Hitchhiking from the ferry terminal when a ferry arrives is not so effective. The drivers that you want will be travelling out of Douglas anyway, so you may as well catch them at the outskirts of Douglas where they are more likely to stop for you.
West towards (Peel, St. John's, Kirk Michael)
From Douglas centre, follow signs for the A1 to Peel. The best spot for hitching west is at Braddan Bridge, which is a left-right chicane on the TT race course. It's a bus stop next to two churches, and it's on the A1, 300m past the double-mini roundabout at Quarterbridge. Waiting time 5-10 minutes.
Southwest towards (Port Erin, Port St. Mary, Castletown, Ballasalla)
From Douglas centre, follow signs for the A5 to Castletown. After the double-mini roundabout at Quarterbridge, there are not many spots to hitchhike. Keep signing as you walk along the road. After 1km you will reach the A24/Cooil roundabout. At the roundabout, the waiting time is 10-20 minutes.
You have two options - the A18 'mountain road', or the A2 'coast road'.
- The A18 'mountain road' is faster, and most traffic goes directly to Ramsey. Closed during bad weather and during motorbike races.
- The A2 'coast road' is slower, and serves Laxey and most other villages between Douglas and Ramsey.
Both can be reached by going north from Douglas into Onchan, and finding suitable spots on the outskirts of Onchan. From Douglas centre this can be a 1 hour walk, so a bus will save you a lot of time.
It's not possible to hitchhike the ferries. Buy an advance ticket from the Steam Packet Company's website, and search for an onward ride while on the ferry.
The main bus stop is at Lord Street, which is just next to the Sea Terminal and the harbour. Buses serve the whole island. There are two train stations. One is near the bus stop, where a steam railway line connects Douglas with Ballasalla, Castletown and Port Erin. The other station is at the north end of the promenade, where an electric railway line connects Douglas with Laxey and Ramsey. A horse-drawn tram line connects the Sea Terminal with the electric railway station.
tmoon lives in Douglas. Let him know you're coming.