How many Manx folk does it take to change a lightbulb? None, because they don't like change. It's a local joke, and one that sums up this self-governed island sitting in the Irish Sea. It's home to the oldest-operating horse-drawn tram in the world and locals use the space public transport that their Victorian ancestors had. It's a land of fairies, tailless cats, beautiful scenery, oddities and contradictions that soon get under your skin.
A perfect day on The Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is a haven for seafood lovers. Find some of the best at Peel Breakwater Kiosk, an unassuming hole in the wall at Peel Harbour serving greasy-spoon-style baps full of crab meat, prawns and fresh-as-you-can-get lobster. Prefer a more refined affair? 14North serves perfectly cooked plates piled with famous queenie scallops.
The Isle of Man is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve thanks to its vibrant coastal ecosystems. Get an eyeful of gorgeous white-sand beaches littered with scallop shells at Peel and Port Erin. Or get up close with beautiful marine life on a sea-kayaking tour where you can explore rugged cliff nooks and spy on seals and sea birds.
Every year since 1907, the TT motorcycle race has torn through the usually quiet Isle of Man in early summer. The island's population doubles during race time as people flock to see bikers whizz along the twisting roads at speeds exceeding 130mph. Get a taste of the action on a TT Trick Tour. You'll be kitted out in leathers, and whipped around the island.
Sea views don't come much better than this tumbling expanse of blue. Spend an hour or two gazing through the boutique B&B Seascape's floor-to-ceiling windows. All glass and sharp angles, this slice of luxury protrudes from the rugged cliffs of Laxey Bay, looking straight over the waves. Inside there are three bright, white rooms to snooze in with sumptuous baths, fluffy pillows and high-grade bed linen. On colder nights, there's a log fire and a sauna to keep you toasty. Don't miss a soak under the stars in the outdoor hot tub. With only the crashing waves in earshot, you'll feel a world away from the big city. From £150 a night.