Many people who have never been to the Isle of Man are not sure exactly where it is. The answer is that it lies in the Irish Sea, between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, less than 60 miles west of the Lancashire coast line and it is easy to get to thanks to excellent air and sea connections.
The Isle of Man is one of the most beautiful spots in Britain, a mountainous, cliff-fringed island just thirty-one miles by thirteen, into which are shoehorned austere moor lands and wooded glens, sandy beaches, fine castles, beguiling narrow-gauge railways and scores of standing stones and Celtic crosses.
The Island has been spared the worst excesses of the British tourist trade; there's peace and quiet in abundance, walks around the un-spoilt hundred mile coast line, picket fences and picnic spots, rural villages, steam trains and cream teas - a yesteryear ensemble if ever there was one.
Although the landscapes are wonderful, the island's main tourist draw is the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races run in the first two weeks of June - a frenzy of speed and burning rubber that attracts motorcycle fans from all corners of the world.
The Isle of Man is perfectly placed for ferry travel with connections offered from England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Douglas Harbour is the entrance point for all passenger ferries travelling to the island. The port is operated by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and has a number of facilities for visitors including a restaurant, coffee shop and children's play area.
If travelling from England you can catch a ferry from Liverpool or Heysham. Liverpool typically boasts the most frequent services with the shortest crossing time at around two and three quarter hours. Some ferries operate on a seasonal basis so be sure to check timetables before planning a journey.
Throughout the year, the Isle of Man Steam Packet also operates sailings from Belfast in Northern Ireland while those travelling from the Irish Republic can board from Dublin.