A Visitors’ Guide to the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is a great place for a break close to the UK and Ireland. Located in the Irish Sea, it’s a self-governing British Crown Dependency with links to Britain yet with an identity all of its own. If you’re planning to visit the Isle of Man, this guide will help you to plan your trip.
Views from the Isle of Man
How to get there
Despite being such a small island, the Isle of Man has excellent transport links, with direct flights from over twenty airports. If you’re travelling from the North West of England, your journey will take less than half an hour. If you would prefer to take a ferry, there are services available from England, Belfast and Dublin. Once you’ve arrived, there’s an extensive bus network that services the whole island, as well as three heritage railway lines. You may also want to use a website like 121 Car Hire to book your hire car.
The Isle of Man train service.
Where to stay
Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel, a cosy bed and breakfast or a town centre apartment, there are plenty of accommodation options available in the Isle of Man. Most of the island’s hotels are located in Douglas, with many on the promenades which offer beautiful sea views and easy access to the town centre. Extensive leisure facilities such as swimming pools and saunas can be found in some hotels, so do your research in advance if you’d like to take advantage of this. If you’re travelling on a shoestring, you may decide to try out one of the campsites or hostels that are scattered throughout the island.
What to eat
Many hotels have their own in-house restaurants, serving everything from local produce to international cuisine. If you prefer to get out and about, there’s a multitude of options for food lovers. The freshly caught seafood is particularly good. Try traditional Manx kippers or Manx queen scallops, both of which are sustainably sourced from local waters. If you’re more of a meat person, you might enjoy the Loaghtan lamb, which comes from an unusual breed of horned sheep which are believed to have been brought to the island by the Vikings.
Places to visit
The Isle of Man has so many exciting places of interest for visitors to enjoy that the hardest part will be fitting everything in! The Story of Mann trail is a popular tourist attraction that guides participants around castles, forts and sites of religious and political importance as well as ancient burial grounds and chambered tombs left by the Vikings and Celts. It provides a great insight into the history of the island and is suitable for all ages.
Nature lovers will find plenty to keep them occupied. As over forty per cent of the island is unpopulated, there’s a lot of countryside to explore, including seventeen natural glens, many of which lead to the sea. There are also viewing points from which to watch seals playing on the rocks or taking a swim, and several locations which are ideal for bird watching.
The Isle of Man is a fantastic destination for a relaxing short break, with brilliant transport links and plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained.
Image Credits: Jim Linwood and Charlie Dave.