Rugged cliffs, secret coves, a thriving ecological environment and 24 stunning beaches await you less than an hour away from Glasgow… surely not? Absolutely yes – the Isle of Man has all this and much more.
Whether it is a family holiday you are looking for or a short break with your partner or some friends, the Isle of Man has so much to offer. With the British winter weather proving less than favourable at the moment, how about looking ahead to the British Summer instead and experiencing one of the most beautiful spots the UK has to offer.
Full of fascinating history the Isle of Man has seen many changes in the years since it was discovered. From being ruled by King Magnus VI of Norway in 1266, to being passed between the English and the Scottish including Robert Bruce who took possession of the isle for five weeks on 1313.
It was the Vikings though that arrived in the 8th century that established Tynwald – the legislature of the Isle of Man that still exists to this very day. With it dating back over many centuries it is said that this is one of the oldest continuous governmental bodies in the world.
Fun Fact: The Tynwald parliament was the first national judicial body in the world to give women the right to vote in a general election in 1881. (This however did exclude those women that were married.)
When it comes to culture – the Isle of Man is fiercely proud of its rich culture – a mix of Norse and Celtic kingdoms stretching back over thousands of years.
Many islanders embrace the Manx language – Manx Gaelic which is very similar to that of the Irish language as well as that of Scottish Gaelic. The language itself has risen from the ashes in recent years as the popularity of the island grows.
Folklore also plays an important role in the culture on the Isle of Man. Stories of mythical creatures and characters such as the ‘mooinjer beggey’- fairies that were prone to mischief or the Buggane – a mean spirit who blew the roof off of St Trinian’s Church charm visitors and locals alike.
Fun Fact: Tales of old say that the name of Isle of Man comes from a Celtic sea god called Manannan Mac Lir. The Celtic god protected the island from invaders by hiding it in a cloak of mist.
Get to know the locals – the local wildlife that is on your break to the Isle of Man. The island has so much to offer in terms of marine life. From Minke whales, basking sharks and dolphins – you’ll be sure to spot some of the famous residents along the island’s 95 mile coast.
There are also many bird species on the island including the Peregrine Falcon, Gannets and Kittiwakes due to the island’s wide variety of habitats for.
There are also many species that are absent on the island compared to those we see back in the UK mainland. For instance foxes, deer and badgers, however other species of mammals like the Hare, Hedgehog and Polecats are continuing to grow.
With so much diverse species and habitats UNESCO awarded the Isle of Man in March 2016 with the UNESCO World Biosphere Region. The island is the first entire Island Nation to be given this impressive accolade.
Fun Fact: Looking to spot a Wallaby – a wild one not in a zoo or in Australia… Well the Isle of Man has approximately 100 living in the wild on the island. In 1970 two crafty Wallabies escaped from Curraghs Wildlife Park and since then they have been thriving on the island.
Looking for more information or perhaps a tour of the local wildlife on the Isle of Man visit, www.visitisleofman.com/things-to-do/activities/wildlife-watching/nature-and-wildlife-tours.
When it comes to exploring the island, you have an array of options in getting about the island. You don’t always need to take your car or hire a car to get about; the Isle of Man offers you unique experiences in discovering the island in all its glory.
Every June, the Isle of Man hosts the TT races and attracts many visitors from around the world. The races see many taking on the 37 mile plus mountain course through treacherous bends with speeds up to 200mph. For those of you who want to experience the infamous track at a leisurely speed and take in the breath-taking scenery then why not indulge yourself with the Isle of Man Trike Tours. With a variety of tours available – visit www.iomtriketours.com for more information.
Looking to relax on a boat – then explore the island’s coast aboard a 35 foot catamaran with Gemini Charters. From wildlife trips to fishing trips, there’s a tour that will suit everyone. For more information on the tours available, visit www.geminicharter.co.uk.
If you are a fan of trains or just looking to see the sights whilst sitting back and relaxing then how about a trip on the Historic Railways of the Isle of Man? From the Manx Electric Railway to the Snaefell Railway, you’ll see the sights and experience the wonders the Isle of Man has to offer.
For more information on the Isle of Man or for things to do on your visit to the Isle of Man, visit www.visitisleofman.com.
Why not discover the Isle of Man for yourself with our 5 day tour exploring the island and the historic railways through unforgettable landscapes. With return flights, accommodation, transfers, rail journeys and free time to explore, this tour is the jewel of the Irish Sea. Click here for more information.