Travel Customs and Traditions for the Isle Of Man

The Isle of Man, sometimes called Mann or Manx, is a self-governing Crown Dependency. That means it belongs to the British crown directly and is not technically a part of the United Kingdom. Though Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, she is referred to as the Lord of Mann and not as the queen.

Mann is indeed an island of only about 220 square miles, out alone in the Irish Sea. It lies about seventy miles from both Northern Ireland and northern England.

It has a cool and rainy climate, with rolling hills and valleys and a few mountains reaching 2,000 feet. The capital and largest town is Douglas, midway down the eastern coast. Fewer than 100,000 people live on the island.

In land and culture Mann might appear most similar to Ireland, but make no mistake: The people of Mann are quite proud and protective of their own unique and ancient heritage.

The official language is English, though a few people still speak Manx Gaelic – similar to Irish and to Scottish Gaelic – and you may see some bilingual signs.

The island uses both the British pound sterling and the Manx pound as currency. If a service charge is not already added to your bill at a restaurant, you may want to add a ten percent tip; but tipping is generally not expected the way it is in the U.S.A.

The Isle of Man Airport is located southwest of Douglas. It has regularly scheduled flights from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The Isle of Man Sea Terminal is quite large and handles numerous ferries, cruise ships, and merchant ships each day.

There are buses and heritage railways to take you anywhere on the island that you might like to go.

Taxis are readily available at stands in downtown Douglas, at the airport, and at the Sea Terminal, or simply by telephoning.

The predominant religion here is the Christian Church as part of the Church of England, though many other Christian denominations are found here. There is also one mosque and one synagogue, both in Douglas.

In a land of farmers and fishermen, food is plentiful and substantial. A national dish is boiled potatoes and herring. Fast food menus include thick-cut chips (fries) topped with shredded Manx cheddar cheese and thick gravy, and of course an island nation always has the very best in seafood.

You might not have expected that Mann is the home of the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world – the International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race, held there since 1907.

Transportation is an attraction in itself in the Isle of Man! There is the Manx Electric Railway, a Victorian-style train trip along the east coast from Douglas to Ramsey; The Snaefell Mountain Railway, built in 1895, which will take you to the tallest point on the island; and the Douglas Bay Horse Tram at the Sea Terminal, in operation since 1876. All of these are ideal ways to experience the beauty of the Isle of Man.

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