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Cheap flights to Isle of Man

Sleepy Victorian villages, stunning rugged coastline and even the odd steam train or two; the Isle of Man is a slice of Britain from days gone by.  Famous for its offshore bank accounts as for anything else, the Isle of Man is a surprisingly unspoilt gem of an island in the middle of the Irish Sea. At 365 square kilometres, this place is a microcosm of all things British. Well set foot on this island and you’ll come across swathes of leafy valleys, rolling green hills, heather covered moorland, and a healthy amount of woodland for starters. And that’s not mentioning the coastline, which is a mix of rugged beauty and picturesque sandy coves.

With its 17 national glens and never-ending network of footpaths let’s just say this is the place to be if you like the great outdoors. Make sure you pack those walking boots, oh, and your 5 iron – did we mention there are nine golf courses here too? 

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Shopping


Board the Santa Express steam train at Douglas this Christmas for a festive trip to Santa's grotto, where children will receive a present. The family can also indulge in hot drinks, mulled wine, mince pies and turkey or pork and stuffing rolls in the dining car. (13,19,20 December; 10am-3pm; www.iombusandrail.info).

Sightseeing


The Isle of Man TT Races - the world's most famous motorcycle road race - roars back into action between 28 May and 10 June, promising high-speed thrills. There are plenty of vantage points for spectators: the course is made up of more than 37 miles of public roads. (http://www.iomtt.com)


Discover what it meant to be a Viking legend through the stories of nine 'celebrities' of the era in a 'Heroes' touring exhibition from York's Jorvik Viking Centre. Learn more about the likes of Harald Hardrada, the thunderbolt of the North, and uncover the supernatural powers of gods Thor and Odin. ('Heroes'; Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm until 16 April 2016; Manx Museum, Douglas IM1 3LY; http://www.manxnationalheritage.im)


The ancient fortress of Peel Castle provides an atmospheric backdrop for an outdoor production of William Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" by TNT Theatre Britain. Pack a rug and a picnic (7-8 August, Peel Castle, St Patrick's Isle, Peel, IM5 1TB).

Key Areas


Step back in time at Cashtal yn Ard, a Neolithic chambered tomb. The burial site, which means 'Castle of the Height' in Manx, enjoys views over Maughold and across the Irish Sea to Cumbria. (http://www.manxnationalheritage.im)


Pack a picnic and blow away the cobwebs with a walk along the tree-lined coastal path of beautiful Bradda Glen. Continue up the headland to the imposing monument Milner's Tower and you'll be rewarded with views over Port Erin bay and across to the Calf of Man.


Travellers with a gluten allergy or intolerance can stock up with freshly made bread, cakes and quiche at The Busy Gluten Free Kitchen. Catch it while you can: it's only open 10am-2pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (The Busy Gluten Free Kitchen; 31 Parliament Street, Ramsey IM8 1AT)


See the island in a unique way, or simply spy on fellow tourists, with a visit to Douglas's Great Union Camera Obscura. This Victorian curiosity uses lenses and mirrors to project views of the surrounding area onto a partitioned table to give 11 moving colour pictures of the 360º view (Douglas Head, Douglas, IM1 5BW).

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