[From Leech's Guide, 1861]
In placing before the public the present edition of this Guide to the Isle of Man, the publisher acknowledges the very marked preference hitherto given to its perusal by the more respectable visitors to this rising watering place. In originally publishing this little work it was not intended to make it a book of reference for the geologist, or as an elaborate civil and ecclesiastical history, which properly belongs to works bearing a more significant title than this small publication assumes, but simply as a companion to the tourist in quest of spending a few days, both with pleasure and profit, while he may be withdrawn from the busier engagements of active life.
It is scarcely necessary to inform the intending visitor to the Isle of Man how he may best reach this favourite resort, since one, at least, of the Isle of Man Companys steamers leaves the New Landing Stage, Liverpool, for Douglas, every morning during the summer months; usually commencing the daily trip to and from the Island on Whit-Monday; while the voyage from the same place to Ramsey and back is only performed twice each week, the same boat making a by-weekly voyage from Ramsey to Whitehaven and back. This latter route to and from the Island is fast becoming the more favourite one, as the voyage in summer is generally performed in two and a half hours, a considerable boon to ladies and children, and those who are prostrated by sea sickness.
In order to make this little work of more extensive public use, the present edition contains a compendium of information generally sought by visitors, including a list of the Ministers of Religion and Places of Worship, Bankers, Post Offices, Lodging Houses, together with a Consulting Directory of those Tradesmen more especially in the request of strangers.
It was intended to give a chapter exclusively on the Ferns of the Island, which have attracted such general notice of late years, but as it would be impossible to do justice to that extensive department within our circumscribed limits, a passing allusion must for the present suffice. The Island abounds with choice specimens of this production of nature, many of which may be gathered in the hedge-rows and fields on the road side between Ramsey and Laxey. As the tourist has frequent relaxation in walking the hilly roads between these places, he may, if he has a taste for ferns, collect a few natural productions for transplanting into his domestic fernery. Many other parts of the Island may be found equally productive such as Ballure Glen, the hedge which surrounds Ballaugh parish church, and also the hill sides between the latter place and Ramsey.
It may not be out of place to remind visitors that there are no stamps of any kind (except postage) used on the Island, and consequently none to be bought. Persons in the habit of using receipt and other stamps in the mother country can hardly refrain from the usage, nor is it always desirable when sending to England, although a receipt given in the Island is equally effective without as with a stamp; but for general bill purposes, where frequent endorsement occurs, it is needful to adhere to English rule, hence parties should supply themselves with Bill and Receipt Stamps before leaving home.