Isle of Man
Think of the Isle of Man and you might think motorsport and financial institutions.
But take a trip here and there's a lot more to discover – an island of breathtakingly diverse natural beauty, where historic sights blend into the landscape and you can get a genuinely wild outdoor experience.
Arriving at Isle of Man Airport
Isle of Man Airport, also known as Ronaldsway, is the island's only airport, situated in the south of the island, close to Castletown. Look out the window as you come in to land and you’ll get a sense of the island’s layout. Windswept peninsulas, craggy coastline and small villages shape the landscape of the island, which sits in the middle of the Irish Sea.
Once you land you can expect to be on the road swiftly; the airport is small and progress through it is usually quick. You'll find car hire pickup areas straight after baggage collection, and there are fixed-tariff taxis in a rank directly outside the main entrance. Douglas, the island's capital, is about 20 minutes away by car.
Public transport connections at the airport are equally convenient. There’s no separate airport service; you just need to hop on one of the island’s buses, which stop in the drop-off area. They run regularly from Monday to Saturday, with limited service on Sundays. Buses head north to Douglas, south to Port Erin and west to Peel, making most of the island accessible from the airport.
Laxey Wheel One of the most iconic sights on the Isle of Man is a giant Victorian water wheel that used to pump water out of the mines. Take a trip underground to learn about mining, then climb to the top of the wheel for stunning views of the surrounding area.
Peel Castle Go on a walk around the ramparts of this ruined 14th-century castle for an insight into the history of the Isle of Man. Pick up an audio guide as you enter, then work your way around the sprawling castle grounds. Bring your camera to capture unbeatable views of Peel and the surrounding coastline.
Niarbyl The whole Isle of Man is packed with scenic viewpoints, but few can match the beauty of Niarbyl. Park at the restaurant then follow the path down to the seafront, where a rocky promontory stretches into the sea. The traditional cottages and romantic atmosphere are so striking that this spot has been used as a film set more than once.
The Isle of Man has a rich Christian history, as displayed in beautiful Rushen Abbey. Dating back almost 900 years, the abbey has hosted monks, scholars and politicians throughout its existence. Roam its tranquil gardens, or bring your kids on one of the educational tours.
The House of Manannan
This interactive multimedia museum traces the history of the Isle of Man from the earliest settlers to the modern day, and makes a particularly good family outing. Your journey through the past starts in a lovingly recreated roundhouse. You'll then be led through the story of the island by the Manx god Manannan.