National Geographic Traveller (UK)




Each spring, the atmosphere on the Isle of Man ratchets up to full throttle with the staging of the

Isle of Man TT. The ‘Tourist Trophy’ began life in 1907, and is the oldest motorcycle race in the world

— and among the most dangerous, with fatalities, tragically, an all-too-common occurrence.

Get a taste for the thrill of the race in a much safer setting, sitting on the back of a motorised trike as you whizz around the course at speeds much slower than those seen in the race itself, but still not exactly pedestrian. IOM Trike Tours’ drivers are fonts of knowledge about the race and the island, will go as fast or slow as you want, and stop off for photos during the spectacula­r mountain sections. iomtriketo­


Back in Douglas, enjoy lunch at Little Fish Café, where the fruits of the Isle of Man coast — queen scallops, haddock, mackerel

— are whipped up into tacos, chowders and curries. Then, having recovered from the white-knuckle trike tour, enjoy a more sedate ride on the Manx Electric Railway, which has been ferrying passengers around the island since 1893. Ride in a vintage Victorian carriage, then jump off at the coastal village of Laxey, where the world’s largest waterwheel presides over the ruins of an old mine and the panorama of Glen Mooar Valley. Take an hour or two to explore, then board the tramway again, ascending to Snaefell, Man’s highest peak. littlefish­ manxelectr­


Board the train back to Douglas and steep yourself in the island’s history at the Manx Museum. See tools used by the hunter-gatherers who lived here in Mesolithic times, marvel at glittering hoards left by the Vikings, and learn about the Tynwald, the island’s parliament, one of the oldest in the world. Culturally sated, head to the Rovers Return, the oldest pub in Douglas, to sample ales from local brewery Bushy’s. Keep an eye out for the mural of Joey Dunlop, who won a record 26 races at the Isle of Man TT. Wine Down is the place for dinner, where excellent local produce is paired with an extensive wine list; the crab, lobster and prawn cocktail comes highly recommende­d, as does the steak pie.

 ?? ?? Right: Sunset over the harbour in Douglas, the island’s capital
Right: Sunset over the harbour in Douglas, the island’s capital

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