If you’re thinking of staying closer to home next summer but you still want a ‘proper’ holiday perhaps the Isle of Man is the perfect answer. With flight connections from a number of major national and regional airports and ferry sailings from Liverpool, Heysham, Dublin and Belfast, the island is well connected, but just far enough away to be a welcome break from the day-to-day.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing Crown Dependency, meaning that it’s got an identity and feel all of its own. Whilst many of the shops are familiar to visitors from the UK and Ireland, any time spent in the Isle of Man will reveal its hidden treasures and unique personality.
For visitors from Great Britain and Northern Ireland there’s the added comfort of knowing that there is a reciprocal health agreement between the Isle of Man and the National Health Services of the constituent countries, allowing emergency treatment without cost. Although the weather can’t compete with France, Spain or Italy, the little 30 mile-long island in the Irish Sea has lots to offer.
For families there are lots of great beaches, with Peel and Port Erin in particular being popular for real ‘bucket and spade’ holidays. There’s a growing network of cycle routes, some beautiful and easy walks in glens and for bigger children there are lots of opportunities to get adventurous including sea kayaking, paddle boarding, coasteering and more.
Wildlife lovers are well catered for and the Isle of Man offers the chance to spot seals, dolphins and basking sharks in the clear coastal waters. Over the open moors you might see a rare hen harrier, the Isle of Man boasting one of the largest populations in the British Isles. Around the coasts you can see rare choughs, puffins and shearwaters. Walking, cycling, taking the steam or electric railways or just enjoying the view from one of the island’s many cafes, the Isle of Man has so much to offer a week may not be enough.
For those that like to plan ahead as much as possible, it is now possible to book summer 2021 ferry sailings with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. The government-owned operation is offering customers a “Book with confidence commitment” which consists of no amendment fees in the event of having to rearrange travel due to COVID-19 Government imposed travel restrictions, or a full refund. If your booking needs to be cancelled due to COVID-19 Government-imposed travel restrictions you will receive a refund for your booking within 30 days.
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