Set in the British Isles, in the middle of the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is a proud nation and home to roughly 80,000 people.
Legend has it that the Isle of Man was created when Irish giant Finn MacCooill, battling a Scottish foe, wrenched and flung a hunk of earth from Ireland’s coastline, which then landed in the middle of the Irish Sea! We can’t be sure about this, of course, but for an island of 32.5 miles long and 13.5 miles wide, it’s larger than life in many ways.
Known in myth as the ancient kingdom of the sea god Manannan, the Isle of Man was first inhabited by Neolithic settlers. Over the centuries, the Island has belonged to Celts and Vikings, Scots and English, all of whom have helped to shape its distinctive identity.
A self-governing Crown dependency, the Isle of Man does not belong to the United Kingdom or Great Britain, but is part of the British Isles and the Commonwealth of Nations. It has its own parliament, ‘Tynwald’, which was established by the Vikings and is recognised as the oldest continuous parliament in the world. However, Her Majesty the Queen retains the title Lord of Mann.
The Manx people are proud of their parliament, history, folklore, customs, language and independence – for instance, the Island has its own flag, national anthem, currency and stamps – as well as Manx Gaelic, the native language of the Island.
The Isle of Man is steeped in heritage, myths, legends and tradition. You’ll hear stories of giants, fairies and brownies. The Manx people still say hello to the ‘Little People’ when travelling past the Fairy Bridge.
The TT (‘Tourist Trophy’), the world’s most prestigious road race, takes place on the Isle of Man in June each year and people come from all over the world to either participate or spectate.
The Isle of Man is a beautiful Island with breath taking scenery, unspoilt beaches and a relaxed pace of life.