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“An uncomplicated joy”
Review of Camera Obscura

Ranked #15 of 44 things to do in Douglas
Attraction details
Reviewed 23 August 2017

The sheer strangeness of a camera obscura is a good enough reason to visit. There's something magical about the simple lens-and-mirror trick, even in these days when you can watch a movie on your phone. The Great Union Camera Obscura is an oddity even amongst its own kind, though. Rather than a single projection onto a round table, this one has eleven, each projecting the world outside into its own compartment. It's a rare and special thing.

Entirely run by lovely volunteers, it's not open very often but it's worth making the effort. The vist lasts around 30 minutes max, admission is very cheap, and the views from Douglas Head are impressive, both through the camera and outside it, where you can take a walk and blow away your cobwebs. One of life's simple pleasures and you'll be glad you did.

Thank cambert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"victorian society"
in 6 reviews
"interesting building"
in 4 reviews
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"darkened room"
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"small charge"
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"piece of history"
in 3 reviews
"isle of man"
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"union"
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"staffed"
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"lighthouse"
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Reviewed 15 August 2017

Built in 1892, the Camera Obscura on Douglas Head, Isle of Man is a fascinating example of Victorian ingenuity. Through a series of lenses, live views of the surrounding area are projected onto screens.

Thank Trevor166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2017

As it is only open at weekends you must time your visit well. However, it is a fascinating living and breathing museum set in a delightful location set over the harbour on Douglas Head.. The pride that the volunteers have in this restored attraction is clearly evident. The displays within are memorising and the clarity of the images is very good. I was glad I visited. There is a small charge to go in but I believe it was worth it.
These types of attractions are very rare now and it is fantastic that this one has been restored to a very high standard. I was pleased to make a donation in addition to the small admission charge.
Just be advised that a note on the brochure states that poor weather conditions may mean it may not open.
There is no public transport to it although it can be reached be car. If on foot then be prepared for some quite steep gradients and steep stairs/steps.

1  Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2017

This is a very unusual Camera Obscura which was designed with 12 lenses although only 11 are now working.The Curators are very welcoming and informative and must be admired for their voluntary contribution. Although a little out of the way if you don't have transport it is worth the 15 minute walk each way. An attraction not to be missed!

Thank Daniel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 July 2017

Don't expect to find the Camara Obscura open when you turn up! I think it is only open half a day Saturday and/or Sunday..but then it says on the outside it is run by volunteers so that is why!

Thank chrisecart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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