Sometimes after you have been traveling and seen all the usual landmarks and big cities it can be nice to go somewhere beautiful just to get away from the crowds and see some unusual things. You just might enjoy traveling to the Isle of Man which is situated between the coastlines of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales right in the middle of the Irish Sea.
Here visitors can have a relaxing holiday in a lovely natural setting with an extensive coastline and beautiful unspoilt beaches. There is much to see and lots of things to do. On the west side of the island you’ll find the Niarbyl Visitor Centre which is an important geological site. The name Niarbyl means “the tail” and it refers to an unusual kind of tail made of rocks that jut out into the Irish Sea. There are fantastic views of rolling hills and if the day is clear you can get to see the Mountains of Mourne in Ireland.
Here visitors can get to see such wildlife as dolphins, sharks and seals. There are also lovely thatched cottages and a coastal footpath leading to an 8th Century chapel and a secluded beach. When it’s time to relax there is the Niarbyl Café which offers different refreshments and great views of the bay. For anyone interested in sea kayaking there is easy access to the sea.
Another place for visitors to visit on the Isle of Man is Silverdale. This area has an extensive play area, a lake for boating and a lovely and secluded historic glen. This is a fun place for families as there is a children’s playground with a water-powered carousel. For active families there is a large grassy paddock for playing ball and for picnicking. Other lovely things to see are small waterfalls and dense woodland. There is the Medieval Monks Bridge in Ballasalla linking Silverdale Glen to historic Rushen Abbey and Monks Well where one can make wishes. There is also a restaurant and a gift shop.
Take a look at the Cashtal yn Ard or Castle of the Heights. This is a well-preserved tomb located on raised land that overlooks the Maughold parish. It is a conical heap of stones built as a landmark and dates back to about 2000 BC. These firmly set stones make for a dramatic burial site.
For visitors who like to watch wildlife between the months of May and August Manx waters are full of basking sharks. Most sightings are spotted within one kilometer of land so visitors get to really see these amazing creatures kind of up close. On the southern coast and the south western shores of the Isle of Man are the best vantage points for basking shark watching. If you want to get closer to them you can take a chartered boat trip.
Visitors to the island can also take an incredible journey on some of the most unique railways in the British Isles. The railways are powered by steam, electricity and horsepower. You can take a look at the Douglas Promenades on the horse trams or take the Manx Electric Railway to Laxey to discover about the island’s mining heritage. Visitors can also ride up to dizzying heights up the only mountain in an electric tram car. By traveling on these railway networks you can see lots of the special heritage attractions that are located close to the railway stops. The Isle of Man Railways also offer special events like Santa Trams, Love Trains, Ghost Trains and Snaefell Dining events.
If you’re into cycling there are many cycling trails to choose from. You can cycle along enjoying a colorful countryside, super coastal views and lovely glen valleys. You might prefer to cycle along the seaside along Douglas town promenade. You can cycle along quiet country lanes or choose one of the six designated cycle tracks – Ramsey, Castletown, Peel, Laxey, Port Erin and Douglas. Along your journey you will notice signs giving information about the surrounding area, the local wildlife, the flora and fauna. If you prefer you can take your bikes onboard the steam railway or the Manx Electric Railway as most cycling trails start and end on the railway routes.
So think about exploring the Isle of Mann for a vacation far from the usual tourist crowds.
Pictures: Google images