Isle of Man: Full Cycling Guide

I must say that the Isle of Man seemed to us extremely attractive since long time ago. Situated in the Irish Sea, the island doesn’t actually belong to any of the kingdoms of the UK – it is a completely separate territory and moreover, isn’t even a member of the EU (shortly neither will be the UK as it looks). How can this not sound intriguing? We checked the relief, attached our bikes to the car and set off to explore this mysterious island, about which nobody can tell anything except for the famous TT (trophy tour) – we’ll come back to this later.

How to get to the Isle of Man?

Two classics: by ferry or by plane. There are several connections by ferry between Douglas (Man’s capital) and Liverpool, Heysham, Belfast or Dublin, so we endured three sweet hours of nausea (harmless though and very far from being as horrible as on the ferry Iceland-Denmark) on the one departing from Liverpool. The airport of the Isle of Man is not far from Douglas and operates a bunch of flights from different UK’s cities. We left our car in Liverpool, so our only mean of transport remained city bikes. :)

Liverpool

Cycling on the Isle of Man

It is sooo good. Funny as it may sound, but cycling on the Isle of Man felt very much like cycling in Estonia (quiet and peaceful) and in the Basque country (architecture and roads) at the same time – not mentioning the striking resemblance to Icelandic sceneries. I’m not sure that we have already experienced such respectful drivers – not a single uncomfortable overtake or an awkward honk sound.  100% safety.

Isle of Man

Concerning the difficulty of the itinerary – an absolute beginner’s level. There are some tough uphills, otherwise it is a piece of cake for any more or less experienced cyclist. However, do not neglect decent cycling equipment and do not try to make the tour dressed in jeans.

Isle of Man

Camping

As long as you visit the island, off-season wild camping shouldn’t pose any problems. Thus, we camped directly in Port Erin and on the picnic area near Laxey. (see the map). During the tourist season, it probably won’t be so warmly welcomed – good luck with that!

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Itinerary

Yes, the itinerary couldn’t really look more dramatic.

Period: 13-15 April

Total distance: 140 km

Total ascending elevation: 1 736 m

Max. altitude: 358 m

A couple of words about what can you expect from the Isle of Man.

Day 1: Douglas – Port Erin

The toughest part for cycling, but as the consequence, the most scenic one.

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Castletown

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Port St Mary

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Calf of Man – come closer and you will see the seals either in the water or on the cliffs enjoying the sun (if there is any).

Isle of Man

Cemetery of queenies

Day 2: Port Erin – Laxey

Passing some more hills you’ll get to an amazing patch of the completely flat surface. Great for enjoying an easy ride, but a bit boring in terms of the surrounding beauty.

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Port Erin

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Peel

Isle of Man

île de Man

Isle of Man

Ramsey – we were greatly surprised to find the second biggest city of the island in such poor condition. Looked like a half-abandoned rusty hole – I do hope it is just a wrong impression.

île de Man

île de Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Day 3: Laxey – Douglas

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Laxey

We couldn’t miss the trip by the famous electric tramway connecting Laxey with the highest summit of the Isle of Man – Snaefell. Sounds very Icelandic, doesn’t it? Bikes put aside, we made a one hour trip (both ways) to experience the impossibly strong wind and beautiful landscapes. The tramway passes by a part of the famous TT circuit – it’s an annual motorbiking race which takes place on the Isle of Man at the end of May. According to the locals, the island can’t be recognized in times of this unusual hyperactivity. From the Snaeffell’s top one can see all the kingdoms of the British Isles: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Heaven. We had to content ourselves only with the Isle of Man and the Heaven. Sadly.

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

On the summit

Isle of Man

Douglas

And we are back to the capital just on time to take our ferry back.

What else do you have to know about the Isle of Man?

 Isle of Man has a different currency. It is still pound, but Manx, and better exchange it back upon your return to the Mainland. By the way, the Isle of Man is a financial paradise just like Monaco or Luxembourg.

Isle of Man

It is famous for its peculiar breed of cats. Manx cats don’t have a tail or at least their existent tail looks like the rabbit’s one. Unfortunately, we’ve managed to see them only on the postcards.

Isle of Man

 The food on the island has a lot to improve, but you still can enjoy some seafood (expensive though).

 Three legs of the Isle of Man is a pure obsession – still it gets the most interesting flag/symbol award.

Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Interesting to observe, how proud the locals are of both their ancestors – Celts and Vikings.

Sea kayaking on the Isle of Man is a MUST.

Don’t try to use your phone network! Even with a British card, the roaming will make you a bankrupt.

Having said all that, we can only admit, that we loved this journey. It was a change that we needed so much – even despite strong resemblance to a typical UK scenery; the Isle of Man has its own soul. Peace and serenity, relaxed and friendly people, stunning nature – everything you need to spend some time far from the noise and crowds.

Pin it!

Cycling guide to the Isle of Man

2017-05-13T13:01:52+00:00 April 23rd, 2017|

Leave A Comment

CommentLuv badge