Paul Etherton

Gannet in flight

Gillian Day

Ayres Nature Discovery Centre and Nature Trail

An important stretch of low-lying sand dune coastline, great for walking and bird watching


Ayres Nature Discovery Centre and Nature Trail
The Ayres
A static map of Ayres Nature Discovery Centre and Nature Trail

Know before you go


Contact MWT for more information


On a lead


Visitor centre
Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

Open from May to the end of September, 2pm - 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.

Best time to visit

May to September

About the reserve

The Nature Discovery Centre sits within the sand dunes, an area which stretches 8 kilometres from Cronk-y-Bing to the Point of Ayre. A site of major ecological significance, parts having been designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest and as a National Nature Reserve. Leading from the shingle beach, the marked Nature Trail winds through the marram dunes and onto the expanse of heath with its extensive lichen flora. The beach provides a great walk too, with plenty of birds to watch including diving gannets, if you're lucky. You might even spot an occasional seal. MWT established the Nature Discovery Centre and Nature Trail to increase public understanding of this vulnerable area and to provide information about its birds, habitats and rare plant communities. A short film beautifully illustrating some of the natural highlights of the surrounding area can be viewed in the Centre. A wooden platform was erected in 2012 to enhance viewing along the coastline and out to sea.

Contact us

Manx Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01624 844432
Contact email: enquiries@mwt.im

Environmental designation

Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)
National Nature Reserve (NNR)