United Kingdom – POINTS OF INTEREST – Regions – Isle of Man

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man, situated in the sea almost half way between Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, is one of the most beautiful spots in Britain. It is a mountainous, cliff-fringed island just thirty-one miles by thirteen with austere moorlands, wooded glens, sandy beaches, lonely castles and scores of standing stones and Celtic crosses.

It takes some effort to reach, and the weather is hardly reliable, factors which have seen tourist numbers fall since its Victorian heyday, when the island developed as rapidly as the other northwestern coastal resorts. This means, though, that the Isle of Man has been spared the worst excesses of the British tourist trade: there’s peace and quiet in abundance, walks around the unspoilt hundred-mile coastline, picket fences and picnic spots, rural villages straight out of a 1950s’ picture-book, steam trains and cream teas – a yesteryear ensemble only slightly marred by the island’s reputation of being a tax haven for greedy Brits and a refuge for the sort of people who think that even Victorian values were a bit on the lax side.

The capital, Douglas is atypical of an island which prides itself on its Celtic and Norse heritage, and it’s the vestiges of the distant past. Port Erin has one of the island’s best beaches, while to the north Laxey is an attractive proposition for its huge waterwheel and the meandering train ride to the barren summit of Snaefell , the island’s highest peak. From its summit you get an idea of the range of the Manx scenery.

Also famous for the Isle of Man TT every May/June where suicidal motorcycle racers entertain beer drinking bikers for two weeks.

Calf of Man

photo by: Barrie Pepper