Sandwiched between Ireland and Great Britain, the Isle of Man has its own government and parliament, retaining an independence from the UK which has helped it develop its unique individuality.
A place of intriguing myths and legends, the island has wondrous scenery to match, with 160 km of coastline to explore and a high central mountain range. Largely underrated as a travel destination, the Isle of Man remains one of the hidden gems of the British Isles.
While the island may be most famous for its TT race – an annual motorcycle event – there are an incredible range of things to see and do. The capital, Douglas, is a thriving small city, rich in heritage and dining opportunities. But a short step inland will reward you with the peaceful charms of quaint little villages and rolling countryside. A trip to the Isle of Man is therefore the ideal way to satisfy your sense for adventure.
Accommodation – You can choose from all manner of accommodation options when visiting the Isle of Man, including hotels, self catering cottages, B&Bs, hostels and campsites. The most budget-friendly hotels offer rooms from around £70 per night, but hostels are much cheaper, with prices starting from about £20 per night. This is by far the best option if you’re travelling on a budget, although camping is also good value.
Food – The average meal for one at a typical restaurant in the Isle of Man comes to a price of £13. There is a great diversity of pubs and restaurants to choose from, especially around the capital. Cafe’s and tearooms generally offer the best value for snacks and light meals, although you can also check out some of Douglas’ street-food takeaways. The cost of everyday foods is not significantly different to that of mainland Britain, so cooking your own meals is easy to do.
Transportation – Getting around the Isle of Man is easy, no matter how much travelling you need to do. The majority of towns and villages offer taxi services, although the local bus service operates across large parts of the island and is much better value. Single bus fares start from £1.10, although you can purchase passes which offer multiple journeys at a better value if you’re planning to use the bus a lot. You can also hire cars for around £189 per week, or take a ride of the island’s trams and railways.
Suggested Daily Budget: 53 – 61 EUR / 65 – 75 USD / 46 – 53 GBP
Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!
The Isle of Man has its own language – known as Manx. Similar in form to some types of Irish Gaelic, the last native speaker died in 1974, so you are unlikely to hear much of it on a visit. Despite this, 2% of the island’s population still retain some knowledge of the language and there have been some attempts to revive it. The Isle of Man is also home to its very own breed of cat. Manx cats are unique in that they completely lack tails.
The Isle of Man has a very rich history, having been ruled in the past by the King of Norway and the King of Scotland. It also has a strong Viking influence, which is well documented in the Manx Museum. History and folklore often go hand in hand, and the Isle of Man is said to be home to fairies, known locally as ‘the little folk.’ There are also stories of goblins, as well as the ghostly black dog of Peel Castle.