The Isle of Man
The Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is found in the middle of the Irish Sea, approximately 70 miles off the Cumbrian coast. Stunningly beautiful, with a wide variety of wildlife and scenery, the island is an offshore finance centre and many of its 75,000 residents are employed in the industry. Measuring about 33 miles long by 13 miles wide at the widest point, the Isle of Man offers endless possibilities for short breaks and longer holidays.
The island has 10,000 years of history presented under the ‘Story of Mann’ banner by Manx National Heritage. Attractions range from the award-winning House of Manannan in Peel – a £6million heritage centre on the west coast presenting the island’s Celtic, Viking and maritime history using the latest interactive techniques – to museums, medieval castles and breath-taking countryside. The newest attractions include the Sound Visitor Centre – a café and interpretative centre with panoramic views overlooking the southern tip of the island. The area is bursting with wildlife including wildflowers, birds and seals.
The Isle of Man is world renowned as the home of motorsport – the TT races, Manx Grand Prix and various car rallies are held annually – while a host of other sporting, music and arts festivals fill up the calendar.
Excellent sports facilities can be found at the National Sports Centre in Douglas which has training and leisure pools, an indoor sports complex and outside track facilities. Alternatively, various other interests are catered for including cycling, pony trekking, angling, golf and clay pigeon shooting while the Island has endless possibilities for walking and wildlife-watching across undulating hills, craggy coastlines or through stunning Manx national glens.
The Victorian steam and electric railways are a wonderful way to get around, or drivers can explore the island’s 600 miles of quiet roads.
Experiencing the island’s culinary specialities is a must – kippers, queenies (succulent queen scallops) and home-brewed beer are widely available in a range of restaurants, cafes and bars catering for all tastes.
The island boasts its own language, stamps, bank notes and coins although the currency is sterling. The parliament – Tynwald – celebrated 1,000 years unbroken government in 1979 making it the oldest parliament in continuous existence.
Ferries and SeaCats sail to the Isle of Man from Liverpool or Heysham, Lancashire, while airlines operate services from many regional airports across Britain, including Liverpool (30 minute flight), Gatwick, London City, Luton, Glasgow, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds/Bradford, Edinburgh, Southampton, East Midlands, Birmingham. Direct flights to Dublin are also available.
Where to stay and things to do in The Isle of Man
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