Published: December 23rd 2011December 23rd 2011
Islands can be magical places. Their real or imagined isolation promises both excitement and relaxation. Once you arrive, you’re on ‘island time.’ And there’s a lot to do without spending a fortune.
1. The Manx Museum
The Isle of Man’s national museum and art gallery is the Island’s Treasure House (Thie Tashtee Vannin), where a dramatic audio-visual film presentation invites you to discover 10,000 years of unique Manx heritage, alongside a huge collection of ancient and contemporary art.
A visit to ’Niarbyl’ would not be complete without heading to the thatched white- washed cottages situated on the beach, where rocks from two ancient continents were forced together by movements in the earth’s crust 410m years ago. Recently this location was made famous by the movie, Waking Ned
3. Tynwald Day, Parliament
In July the rural village of St. John’s takes centre stage on Manx National Day. Tynwald has been running for over 1,000 years and is the oldest continuous system of parliament in the world. Once a bill is agreed, it is then given Her Majesty’s Royal Assent before it becomes law.
4. Old Grammar School
Step back in time to the Victorian era and go back to school. The Old Grammar School features rows of bench desks with inkwells and reminders of the past. You can participate in a lesson and gain a true insight into the Island’s history.
5. Manx Transport Museum
This is an Aladdin’s Cave full of transport memorabilia both past and present. Discover and learn about the world’s smallest production car, the P50, which was built in Peel and see photographs and unique exhibits of a range of classic cars on the island.
6. Farmers’ Markets
Sample all manner of dishes from the fresh Manx local produce- fudge, jam, honey, bread, fish and cheese, to the more unusual dishes such as Bonnag cakes. These markets are held around the island on Sundays.
7. TT Races 2012
When it comes to motorbike racing it doesn’tcome any bigger or better than the Isle of Man TT. The TT is more than just a race meeting; it’s a two-week festival of everything that’s great about motorcycling. From off-road action, live rock bands and the famed Manx hospitality, this event is a must.
8. Onchan Pleasure Park
Situated near the beach in picturesque surroundings, this facility offers activities for all the family during the summer months. There’s a lake with motorboats and bumper boats, a roller-skate disco, putting green, bowling, kiddies’ cars, tennis courts, a fabulous equipped children’s play area and much, much more for you to discover.
9. Historic Tour
The Isle of Man is thriving with historical castles and monuments, as you will discover when you visit Castletown, dominated by the well-preserved medieval Castle Rushen. Its origins can be dated back to when Norse kings guarded the entrance to the Silverburn River.
10. The Home of Rest for Old Horses
With over 60 horses, ponies and donkeys, the retirement home set up in 1950 is set in 92 acres of countryside and supported entirely by voluntary contributions. Here you can discover an interesting museum; well stocked gift shop and home baked cooking in the Cafe. The Rest home for Old Horses is located along Richmond Hill in Douglas.
And one to break the bank:
Try a Goats Cheese Crostini meal with wine at the small family run Tyni Bistro. The bistro is a new lively, friendly restaurant that has already earned a favourable reputation for its seafood dishes. It has stunning harbour views and only a few tables, so make sure you book ahead. Other great restaurants include 14 North and The Mount Murray Country Club.