The mysterious Isle of Man has plenty to offer visitors. Almost equidistant between Britain and Ireland, this stunning self-governed island is the only entire nation to be recognized as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Home to the world-famous TT motorcycle races, some epic feats of engineering, as well as fascinating history and folklore – we find five unusual ways to explore this beautiful place.
Take a Foraging Tour with an Award-winning Chef
Discover the gourmet delights that the Isle of Man has to offer on its beaches, shores and woodlands, in the company of a culinary expert. Chef Pippa Lovell uses a combination of foraged and local ingredients at her acclaimed restaurant Versa in Port Erin. Chef Lovell will take you on a foraging tour of rockpools, glens and hillsides, teaching you how to recognize different land and sea plants and how best to use them in the kitchen. A great way to get close to nature, enjoy the stunning scenery of the southern part of the island and to appreciate the abundance of wild plants that flourish in this UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Discover the Internationally Acclaimed TT Racing Circuit from the Back of a Speedy Motortrike
Known as the “Road Racing Capital of the World”, the Isle of Man is famous for its historic TT (or Tourist Trophy) motorbike races. So, what better way to take a tour of the Isle of Man’s renowned TT circuit than on the back of a gleaming three wheeled motorcycle? With Trike Tours an experienced driver will negotiate the sharp bends and steep slopes of this challenging course, while delivering a commentary through a headset, straight into your motorbike helmet. Learn about the history of this famous race that has been taking place for over a century, as you whizz from sea level to 1,300 ft over the Snaefell mountain.
Ride the Manx Electric Railway to See the World’s Largest Waterwheel
Connecting the island’s capital Douglas, with Laxey in the east and Ramsay in the north, the Manx Electric Railway is the longest narrow-gauge, vintage, electric railway system in the British Isles. Original Edwardian and Victorian carriages carry passengers through charming villages and stunning countryside, before stopping at Laxey, home to a majestic icon of engineering. The Great Laxey Wheel is the largest working waterwheel in the world. Also known as “Lady Isabella,” this wheel was originally built to pump water from the mines in the village. It’s a short climb from the railway station to the wheel – but the imposing structure and glorious views are well worth the effort.
Explore the Rugged Coastlines Steeped in Superstition and Ancient History
Embark on the journey of a lifetime, hiking through unspoiled countryside and over jagged cliffs in the company of learned, local historian Chris Callow, Island Heritage Tours. Discover the island’s Celtic and early Christian past; discover sacred wells and ancient burial grounds. During the walk, Chris will share his in-depth knowledge of the island, giving details about the geography and the history of the region you explore. Be prepared for some spine-chilling tales of ghostly apparitions and swashbuckling acts of bravery.
Take a Tour of a Modern and Unusual Winery
On the corner of Port Erin’s harbor lies one of the island’s most surprising secrets – Foraging Vintners – a winery specializing in high-end sparkling wines, but with a difference. As grapes don’t grow on the island, the winery’s fine fizz is made from fruits and flowers that can be sourced locally. Rhubarb, elderflower and honey are used to create a delicious range of bubblies. Enjoy a tour of the winery, followed by a tasting. Alternatively, settle down in their cosy bar, or on the terrace overlooking the beach, to sample some imaginative cocktails.