Introducing guest blogger Marie Skillicorn from World Adventure with Family
We have a special edition of Explore my city today – it’s Explore My Country as Marie takes us through all the bet things to do with families in her tiny island nation home, the Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is an island situated in the Irish Sea surrounded by England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales! On a good day you can see all these kingdoms from our only mountain, Snaefell.
We are our own country (not many people know this) – and our nationality is Manx. We have our own government (longest standing government in the world) and our own currency!
If breathing in fresh sea air, spotting local marine life and exploring amazing countryside is up your street, then this is the place for you.
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of local parents
Events in the Isle of Man
We have lots of crazy events which take place on the island every year:
- IOM TT races – an event when thousands of bike mad enthusiasts descend on our island to watch the best road race in the world! It happens for 2 weeks at the end of May and early June each year (weather dependent!). There is a full entertainment programme.
- World championship Viking longboat races – the Manx never forget their history and every year they recreate the conditions Vikings would have endured across rough seas. Actually, it’s a day of drinking and rowing – but so much fun! This happens in July/August each year depending on high tides.
- World Tin Bath Championship – held in Castletown harbour, over 100 entrants attempt to complete a 400m course in a tin bath without sinking! As well as this there are other team races, such as the ‘snake race’. All highly entertaining and a must-see event if you are around in early July.
As well as these, we have a large number of walking and cycling events throughout the year. If you fancy a challenge look up the parish walk or end 2 end cycle race.
Things to do for families
The Isle of Man is so family friendly. There is a real community spirit amongst residents and visitors are warmly welcomed.
The island is an outdoor lovers dream. The Isle of Man has a plethora of glens and plantations that your little ones will love. Let their imagination go wild. The island has 17 national glens and over 20 plantations.
Best time to visit Isle of Man
The best time to visit would be from May to October. These are the months you could try and catch the best weather. But let’s be honest – we live in the British Isles, the weather is what it is. Just make sure you pack a waterproof!
My favourites are:
- Glen Helen – a cafe/restaurant with a small park nearby. The walks follow a river with small waterfalls visible along the route.
- Silverdale – an onsite cafe and a large play park. This is a family favourite. The glen nearby is great for exploring and playing hide and seek!
- South Barrule – a great site for cycle enthusiasts, plus there’s an Ape Mann (zip wires) and laser mayhem (outdoor laser blast) with a lovely coffee shop on site.
- Archallagan – another large plantation with fantastic walks and mountain biking trails.
And you mustn’t forget about our fairies. Either by saying hello at the fairy bridge or by visiting fairy glen. When the lights go dark the glen comes to life! Click this link to read about fairy glen
Not only do we have fantastic countryside, but we have some stunning coastline and beaches. My favourites are:
- Port Erin beach – a mix of soft sand and stoney sections. This beach has a lovely promenade with a number of eateries and ice cream Parlours. The cove feels like it’s giving you a big hug! It’s the best place for rock pooling too, when the tides out!
- Laxey beach – a stony beach, great for skimming and when the tides out you can walk a good distance. It’s also great for rock climbing. Great little coffee shop on the seafront!
- Peel beach – a great sandy beach with a long promenade. There is a long jetty which the older kids enjoy jumping from. Keep your eyes peeled as you may spot our local seals in the bay. But make sure you don’t miss out on the yummy, creamiest ice-creams from Davidson’s!
Isle of Man National Treasures
The island is proud of its Victorian roots. As such, much of the original historic sites are maintained & open for exploring and in a family-friendly way. If you get a national heritage pass it gives you access to all the many national heritage sites, such as:
- Laxey wheel – largest working water wheel in the world.
- Castle Rushen – the ancient capital of Mann with plenty of stories to tell inside.
- Cregneash – a “living museum” which takes you back to the traditional Manx way of life. Here you’ll find the Manx Loaghtan (pronounced Lockton) sheep too.
And so much more… you can even get and about using our Victorian steam railway and horse tram.
Places to eat Isle of Man
A few ideas for family-friendly eateries are:
- The horse & plough – just outside Douglas. It has a large outdoor seating area and a small park so the kids can go crazy before sitting down to enjoy a delicious pub meal.
- La piazza – Italian cuisine with lovely views across Douglas Bay. Although, since I’ve been away I’ve heard the secret pizza Company in Castletown is a must visit!
- Titan – a meat lovers dream. This place has the best meat skewers. It’s only a small place, but an early bird offer is great if you have kids. But book early, or you’ll be disappointed!
- The Creek Inn – a snug public house situated in Peel which offers a huge menu. Specialities include the famous Manx Queenie’s, kippers or whatever the local fishermen have bought that day.
- Sagar Indian restaurant – for a little spice from Southern India. Very friendly staff and tasty food.
There’s so much more I could tell you. But for now, I hope I’ve inspired you to visit the Isle of Man – the jewel of the Irish sea!
Follow more suggestions for Isle of Man activities here.
For more information about the island visit www.visitiom.co.uk
About the Blogger & World Adventure with Family
We are a family of 4 from the Isle of Man. We left the Isle of Man in April 2018 for a years travel – we’ve not returned yet!! But we will, because we love our home.
- Keith is a cycling and paragliding enthusiast who loves to travel on a budget.
- Marie is a netball loving organiser who likes attention to detail and a little VIP treatment every now and again.
- Ethan (10) is an energetic and enthusiastic little boy who has a real passion for the environment and for cooking (making and eating)!
- Jasper (8) is the more reserved and quieter soul but remembers details. He’s primarily a thinker and loves a good cuddle!
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