Ramsey (or in Manx gaelic Rhumsaa - garlic valley) is a coastal town in the north, the second largest town on the island after Douglas with a population of 7,309 according to the 2006 census. It has one of the biggest harbours on the island and features a prominent pier, called the Queen's Pier. Ramsey is known as "Royal Ramsey" on account of royal visits by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (see Albert Tower) in 1847 and by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.The sunniest area of the Isle of Man, with relatively low rainfall. This is due to Ramsey being in a 'rain shadow' just to the north-east of the Manx hills, on the edge of the northern plain of the island. Rain clouds coming from the prevailing wind direction, the south-west, tend to lose most of their moisture over the hills before they reach Ramsey.
A distinctive landmark of the town is the pier, made of iron and built in 1886. As well as recreational purposes, the pier had a landing stage for visiting ships. However it has fallen into disrepair and consequently been closed for many years. Its future is looking brighter though as the lease has recently been taken on by the Friends of Queens Pier, who aim to restore it gradually.
Ramsey is built mostly on sandy ground and has miles of sandy beaches. To the north of Ramsey the beaches run continuously to the north tip of the island. On the southern edge of Ramsey, at the edge of the hills, is a network of woods and glens: Ballure Walk, Lhergy Frissel and Elfin Glen. The Millennium Way and other paths and roads lead up to and across the upland heath ('the tops' and 'the hills'). The new 'Ramsey Forest' project aims to increase the tree cover in this area and connect areas of woodland.