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.
Festivals and events
TT Races, Manx Grand Prix and Southern 100 The entire Isle of Man transforms for two weeks in early June every year for the biggest event in the island's calendar: the TT (Tourist Trophy) races. This annual event sees world-class bikers come to race along the roads of the Isle of Man. Tens of thousands of motorsports enthusiasts come to watch the races during both practice week and race week. A fairground opens on Douglas promenade, spectators line the roads and special performances from stunt bikers and jet planes are put on to create an energetic atmosphere across the island.
If you can't make it for the TT, then there are other, lower-profile races throughout the year. Head here in late August for the Manx Grand Prix and July for the Southern 100.
Tynwald Day Another major day in the Isle of Man calendar is Tynwald Day, an island-wide holiday on 5 July. The island's politicians gather in St John's, the historic heart of the government, for a formal political ceremony held on Tynwald Hill, but there are also concerts, a parade and fireworks.