The Isle of Man Wants You

By | Category: Travel destinations

If the disruption of flying puts you off then consider the Isle of Man as you holiday location this year or at least a place for a short break. By now most of you will probably have seen the TV advertising campaign that the tourist board has been running. Timed for that traditional period between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, the promotion aims to get you to their website (www.isleofman.com) where you can find more about the island than a single ad campaign can show you. For those of us in the south west, the south east, London, Wales, East Anglia and most of Scotland, we won’t see the ads for the tourist board is targeting those primarily those areas that can get to the ferry terminals easily. Or in the case of the Channel Isles, the airports. Maybe it demonstrates that islands attract visitor from other islands. So all those of you in the Isle of Wight will be disappointed at not seeing the delights of Mann.
And what are those delights? Apart from Manx kippers and the TT races that is.
The scenery has to be one delight. It’s an island easily made for walking from the 100 mile coastal footpath, Raad ny Foillan, to the Heritage Trail which takes you along disused railway track for just over 10 miles. But be aware. The mists can come down and once in June, for about 2 days, I couldn’t walk too far off the beaten track without standing a good chance of getting lost. If you don’t fancy walking, bikes can be hired around the island and there are designated cycle paths. From March till November there are railway services including the electric railway that takes you from Douglas to Ramsey and the Snaefell Mountain Railway that takes you up to the summit of the highest part of the island. (runs from Easter till early November) The summit is over 2,000 feet above sea level and on the clear days, you can see England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
As with any island, the sea is important to life. In days log gone by, it was an important stopping off point for Celtic saints, then Vikings with remnants of both their civilisations all over the island. Today visitors can head off to dolphin or whale watch, go down to the Calf of Man to birdwatch or just take advantage of the fishing.
A favourite place of mine is Maughold Head churchyard where you can decorated stones from the Dark Ages, over 200 of them which come from a time that might be called “dark” but that’s only because we are trying to understand it. And from the head itself you can stare down at Ramsey or just watch the masses of seabirds that congregate on the cliffs.
Just before Christmas, they held their tourism awards. The Attraction of the Year was the Nautical Museum and the Easter Festival of Full-Length Plays was the Event of the Year. Maughold didn’t win town of the year. that went to Peel but there’s always next year.
As you watch the TV promotion unfold over the remaining few days, Mann is well popping on your list of places to go to this year.

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