Looking for a getaway spot near Great Britain? Then escape to the stunning Isle of Man, which boasts an outstanding coastline and secluded beaches. Located just off the coast of the British Isles and sitting comfortably on the Irish Sea, Isle of Man’s picturesque landscape is adorned with lush hills, gardens, glens and wetlands.
The laidback and tranquil capital Douglas is home to one-third of the population of the island. Thus, this is where you can find culture. In addition, this is where the popular motorcycle event called Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race is held every May. This event draws in thousands of racing fans, so if you long for more a quieter environment, visit the island outside the race season. Some of the prime attractions on the island are its museums which include the House of Manannan, the Manx Aviation and Military Museum and the Manx Museum found in Douglas.
A journey around Isle of Man’s countryside is quite an adventure as almost half of the island is uninhabited. This gives you more an authentic experience with nature when hiking the various paths and exploring some of the 17 national glens. But if exploration on foot is too tiring, take a ride on the steam engine of the Heritage Railway, an equally scenic way of taking in the island’s countryside.
Isle of Man is gifted with a number of splendid parks. One of which is the Mooragh Park, located in Ramsey. The park boasts a boating lake that spans 12 acres, making it arguably the best water sport spot on the island. Another park that will amaze you is Curraghs Wildlife Park. As the name suggests, the park is home to about 100 various types of wetland animals including the ones considered endangered. Curraghs has many walk through paths making it easier for visitors to watch wildlife in their natural habitat up close.
Isle of Man not only offers spectacular natural attractions. It also houses some of the best preserved medieval castles and forts in all of Europe. If you follow the Story of Mann Trail, it will unveil a collection of castles, ancient forts and Viking religious structures. But one of the must-see medieval structure is the Castle Rushen, situated on Castletown, the islands ancient capital.
This magnificently designed 13th century castle became the residence of the Lords of Mann and visiting Kings. Today, it is possible to tour the castle and learn about its long dramatic history. You will get to visit its different sections like the gatehouse, banquet hall and the kitchen. You can also climb its stone staircases all the way to the roof top to get gorgeous panoramic views of Castletown and its surroundings.
Another fortress that will astound you is the Peel Castle on St. Patrick’s Isle. The castle is famously known as the formidable fort of the 11th century Viking King Magnus Barefoot. The walls of the castles protect several buildings, which depict the political and spiritual roles of the structure throughout Manx history. While here, drop by some of the significant parts that include the Round Tower, the Gatehouse Tower and the Great Garrison Hall.