Whenever I hear the term ‘happy place’ my mind suddenly bounces to a remarkable little island in the Irish sea. An underrated gem, the Isle of Man is no more than a dot on the map of the world, however it boasts such natural beauty and the warmest of welcomes to visitors.
How did it end up on my travel list? As a motorsports fan, I was drawn to the island’s annual motorbike race. Known for being the most dangerous and exciting motor experience in the world, this event pulls me to the island every summer. For a few days, the island is filled with the strong aroma of fumes and the thunderous noise of the competitors. But any other time, the entire island is all about peace and tranquility – with a hint of adventure. Here are my recommendations of what to do on the Isle of Man…
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Lazy summer days
Walking along the seafront in the capital town Douglas on a hot summer’s day is the best feeling. Everybody is smiling, eating their ice creams and soaking up the sun beaming down on the turquoise waters. It’s quite a long walk but so relaxing and allows your mind to be free whilst breathing in the fresh sea air.
It’s stunning by night too, with multicoloured lights leading their way along the prom shining onto the calm seafront. A little tip – definitely grab a hot dog or burger from one of the mini food huts along the way.
My favourite place on the island is a little village called Laxey. Home to the largest working waterwheel in the world (with far too many steps to the top, but worth the climb!), this place is full of beauty. You can also take a ride on a mini stream train to a look into the mines. I’d recommend hiring a car, as you’ll be blown away by the things you’ll find while cruising around.
Along your drive towards the north of the island you’ll find the charming little town of Ramsey. Your coffee will likely come served with the flag of the island dusted on top – armoured legs tied together in a triangular shape. From pretty souvenir shops to historic museums, the town makes you feel as though you’re in a postcard.
It’s also perfect for a romantic trip – ride on a motorbike together to visit all the castles and beaches on the island. Head to the town of Peel (AKA Sunset City) to try some of the local Manx Queenies (scallops) and drink some Oyster Stout (yes, really). If you’re looking for another jaw-dropping sunset, journey further south to Port Erin Beach. This sheltered bay is also the perfect place for a picnic and sunbathe.
From head to tail, there’s something so calming and old-school about the place. And you’d be surprised how many times I’ve heard the locals thank tourists for visiting – something I haven’t really felt anywhere else. It makes them happy that people want to visit their home turf.
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So, whether you’re planning your next staycation or wanting to explore more the UK – make sure to put the Isle of Man on your list. It’s completely off the touristy path, very Instagrammable and will help you escape the daily grind. No stress or drama – it’s just you, the fresh air, the beautiful views and a motorbike or two…