Spectating on the Mountain Course is an experience like no other. Unlike most sporting events, general admission is entirely free, and there are over 74 miles of trackside to choose a vantage point from. Combine this with the fact that most of these vantage points are mere feet away from the action, and you can see why it is so popular among motorsport fans.
Picking A Vantage Point
When picking a vantage point, it is essential to consider the kind of experience you’re looking for. Many fans enjoy just sitting on a hedge at the side of the road, deep in the Manx countryside. That being said, this option is not for everyone. The comfort and convenience factors may be rather scarce, particularly when you consider public toilet facilities are few and far between in many parts of the course.
If this comfort and convenience are essential for your experience, then it may be worth paying for a ticket to one of the grandstands around the course. There are several grandstands located around the course that offer these facilities allowing you to enjoy the action stress-free.
Our experts have helped thousands of would-be visitors seeking advice on which part of the course might suit them best, and we’ve distilled that expertise below to ensure you make the best choice for you.
Advantages Of Watching For Free
- It’s got the ‘authentic’ road racing feel.
- Variety. Within the bounds of what’s permitted by the restricted and prohibited areas map and respecting private property, you can move around during races and watch the same race from different vantage points by using the Island’s road network.
- Space. Many popular free vantage points leave you with space to spread out, enjoy a picnic etc.
- It saves money for food/beer/entertainment etc. No one can argue with that.
Advantages Of Watching From A Grandstand
- Guaranteed reserved seating. And the seats will generally be far more comfortable than perched on a hedge or stone wall.
- Facilities. Answering nature’s call in a field isn’t the most dignified way to spend your holiday. Most grandstands (and all those offered by Duke) are provided with toilet facilities for male and female visitors.
- Elevation: Many fans want to be as close as possible to the action. We’ve all seen the videos on YouTube. But being that close often means you can miss out on the bigger picture. Raised grandstands generally give you a better line of sight and a wider field of view.
- Amenities: Most grandstands also provide parking, food outlets and, at the Duke grandstand at Hillberry, free Wi-Fi. Wifi is especially valuable if you want to follow the live race timings on your phone as the riders blast past and you won’t need to worry about phone reception or roaming charges.
If you’re still not sure what to choose, we usually recommend that you try both. Booking a grandstand for your first session will allow you to enjoy your first real experience in a popular part of the course, as well as mingle with other fans who may offer their advice on good spots. Once you have your first session under your belt and you have a greater understanding of the races, you’ll then be in a better position to choose your first free spot.
Head over to our tickets site to purchase your spot at one of the fan zones at this year’s event.