Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Island Holiday

One activity guaranteed to lift the gloom of the darkest winter day is to plan this year's holidays. Scanning a map of the Kingdom for interesting places that I've never visited, my eye settled on the Isle of Man.

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.

One thing I'm not planning to do is sunbathe on a beach in Douglas! The Wikipedia article on the Isle of Man makes interesting reading — average high temperature in September a modest 16 degrees and 11 days of rain out of 30. However, I'm undeterred. With hills, mountains, Neolithic remains and quaint towns to explore, railways to ride on and miles of coastal footpath to trek, I'm convinced that a week will fly by.

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.


  1. As much as I would like to spend more time exploring the UK, accommodation costs have always diverted us towards the continent. It seems strange to have visited so much of France and so little of England.

    Look forward to your Manx reports.

  2. You can easily see why I spend megabucks on keeping Fiona in good health, so that caravanning is possible. Much cheaper to tow your hotel bedroom around - except on ferries, of course. If I ever go to the IOM, and I'd love to, it'll probably be sans caravan.


  3. I admit that this holiday is rather expensive, and all the more so compared to a week in a caravan park or even a cosy gîte in France. On this occasion, though, I wanted to rent a really good cottage as we may never return to the IoM.

    For us - and I freely admit that our hols are not everyone's cup of tea - caravanning would actually be more expensive if you take into account the cost of buying and maintaining a caravan and a powerful vehicle to tow it. We rarely go away for more than about 3 weeks every year (plus time with the grandchildren, but that doesn't count).