Isle of Man
A surprisingly beautiful island full of lush valleys, barren hills and rugged coastlines.
A perfect setting for walking, cycling, driving or just relaxing, this is a place that doggedly refuses to sell itself down the river of crass commercialism and mass tourism. Needless to say, if you want a slice of silence, be sure to avoid the TT motorbike races, every May and June which attracts around 50, 000 and turns the place into a high-rev bike fest. Home to the world’s oldest continuous parliament, the Isle of Man enjoys special status in Britain, and its annual parliamentary ceremony honours the thousand year history of the Tynwald (a Scandinavian word meaning ‘meeting field’). Douglas, the capital, is a run-down relic of Victorian tourism with fading B&Bs. The tailless Manx cat and the four-horned Loghtan sheep are unique to the Isle. A quirky interesting place to visit.
One of the most impressive ancient monuments on the Isle of Man - the largest Neolithic tomb in the British Isles. Cashtal yn Ard or the Castle of the Heights, is a well preserved chambered tomb situated on raised land overlooking the parish of Maughold. The monument was originally a megalithic chambered cairn – a conical heap of stones built as a landmark – and could have been used as a communal burial place for Neolithic chieftans and their families. Cashtal yn Ard dates back to around 2000 BC and although the stone cairn has been stripped away, the large firmly set stones create a dramatic burial site.
Discover one of the most preserved Medieval castles in Europe – the magnificent Castle Rushen. Located in the ancient capital of the Isle of Man, Castletown, this impressive fortress was once home to the Kings and Lords of Mann. Originally built for a Norse king in 1265, Castle Rushen was developed by successive rulers between the 13th and 16th centuries. During its time it was used as a fortress, royal residence, a mint and even a prison.The castle’s towering limestone walls would have been visible over much of the south of the Island – and you can climb the stone spiral staircases to the roof where you can enjoy panoramic views of Castletown and beyond. Inside the Castle you’ll be able to indulge in its history and hear from some of its inhabitants, you’ll also be able to dine with the Kings and Lords of Mann in the great banqueting hall, experience the sights and sounds of a Medieval kitchen and visit the gatehouse. And if you’re feeling brave why not take an organised ghost walk around Castle Rushen with Isle of Man Ghost Tours?!
The perfect place to start the Story of Mann trail and begin your journey around the Isle of Man’s most prestigious heritage sites. From Viking finds, natural wonders of the world, the famous TT Races and wartime internment – you’ll find something to appeal to everyone at the Manx Museum. The museum has plenty of interactive displays, films and a wide range of exhibits which will help you uncover the Isle of Man’s history and heritage and it’s a great starting point if you are looking to explore the Island’s heritage attractions.
Here you can enjoy panoramic views of the coastline at the very southern tip of the Isle of Man. The Sound Visitor Centre in Port St Mary is one of the most picturesque points in the south of the Island. The waters around the Sound and Calf of Man are full of wildlife. The small rocky islet, known as Kitterland, which is located in the middle of both areas, is a hotspot for seals who can be found sunbathing on the rocks. The area is also frequented by dolphins and basking sharks.Walkers will also appreciate the coastal footpaths which lead to Port Erin or Spanish Head, Cregneash and the Chasms in Port St Mary.
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