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/Onchan, but you should walk away from the centre of town. Use the road signs and the locals to help you reach the correct roads. The TT course runs through Douglas (A18-A2-A1) and is closed during races.
Hitchhiking from the ferry terminal when a ferry arrives is not effective - there is no good place to stop, and the drivers who come off the ferry will also drive out of Douglas/Onchan anyway, so wait on the roads out of town for them.
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.
The A6 Castletown Road is another good option. Wait close to the centre of town, at a good place on the 'other' side of the harbour. Waiting time unknown.
North towards (Ramsey, Laxey)
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. It is a 45-minute walk from Douglas centre. From the TT start/finish line, walk backwards along the race circuit and keep going until you find a suitable place. The best place (waiting time 5-20 minutes) is just after Johnny Watterson Avenue, really out of town (you will see the mountains directly in front of you).
- The A2 'coast road' is slower, and serves Laxey and most other villages between Douglas and Ramsey. From Onchan centre, walk along the A2 and chose a good spot. Waiting time unknown.
Towards Liverpool, Heysham, Belfast and Dublin
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 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.