In the days of Yahoo 360 (remember that?), I had a passing on-line friendship with a lady who lived on the Isle of Man and waxed lyrical about its beauty, whist bemoaning its lack of nightlife and the cost of getting to the mainland. Well, nightlife has never been important for me, but the isle does indeed appear to be a very beautiful place. It's high time, therefore, that I went and found out for myself.
My first task was to find a nice holiday cottage; preferably one with a reasonable degree of privacy. I must be an antisocial sod, but I don't relish the close company of other visitors in some holiday complex. Fortunately, I found a little beauty on the Welcome Cottages website – a traditional, detached Manx cottage on the west side of the island. At £660 for the week, it was no bargain (twice the cost of our 2014 cottage in Rye) but it's everything I'd hoped for and more beside. I quickly paid my £250 deposit.
Next came the task of getting there. My friend from all those years ago was right; it ain't cheap. I toyed with flying from Gloucester and hiring a car on arrival, but decided in the end that it was far simpler to take Bluebird on the ferry from Liverpool. That added £278 to the cost of the holiday. One begins to understand why budget holidays in Majorca are a lot more popular than a week in Mann, though I know where I'd rather be!
To complete this holiday, I'm also going to book a couple of nights in Liverpool. It's a long time since I've been there and, at the very least, Paddy's Wigwam beckons. "Liverpool has world-class tourist attractions" boasts the city's website. I'm sure they're right.