Major Tourist Attractions: Peel Castle, Snaefell, Castle Rushen, Calf of Man, South Barrule
The Isle of Man, sometimes known simply as Mann, is located in the British Isles, directly between Great Britain and Ireland. Through a quirk of history, it is not a part of the United Kingdom, but is instead a self-governing island under possession of the Crown. It is historically and culturally distinct from the surrounding islands, making it a unique side trip from the UK or Ireland.
With a population of only 85,000 (known as Manx) and an area of 572 square kilometers, the island is quite small. There are only a few attractions for visitors to enjoy. The picturesque scenery and quaint villages is a draw, and there are many popular hiking trails. The country has its own unique mythology, music traditions and folklore that are interesting to learn about.
The Isle of Man is easily reached via plane and ferry from the UK. Once on the island there is a small railroad, but it is useful to rent a car to fully explore. Although Manx Gaelic is the traditional language, the official language is English.
Some of the many unique activities found only in the Isle of Man include:
- Hike to the highest point on the island, Snaefell, where you can see Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.
- Try the local varieties of Manx cheese.
- Sip one of the two local brews, made with all local, pure ingredients: Okell and Bushy's.
- Wish the fairies good morning when crossing the Fairy Bridge, it's bad luck not to.
- Visit Peel Castle, one of the proposed sites of mythical Avalon.
- Check out the distinctive looking Manx Loaghtan Sheep.
- In June, watch the annual TT motorcycle races.
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