"The Isle of Man" Douglas by iaint

Douglas Travel Guide: 42 reviews and 99 photos

where?

Although this page is under Douglas, in reality it's for the whole island.

Most people in the UK know next to nothing about the Isle of Man, unless they’ve had some connection - a holiday, or business perhaps. That was my case, anyway. Anyone outside the UK probably knows even less, and is less likely to have a connection.

It’s right there, in a box between England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. But it‘s tiny - the population is just 70k. And access is not that wonderful at least from Scotland. For me it was a 3.5 hour drive and then a 40 minute flight. That was because there are no flights to/from Scotland on a Saturday, at least in winter. Any other day of the week is fine, tho'! The ferry is 3 hours plus, from Lancashire.

what?

It is not part of the UK. It is not part of Great Britain. It is outside the EU.

It has it’s own parliament - the Tynwald. It is a British Dependency. The Manx language is a form of Gaelic.

Population is about 70,000. It had annual economic growth of 1% as at February ’11, in the middle of a UK recession. Unemployment was 200 at that time, against job vacancies of 150. I think that’s called “full employment”, but it seems a rather alien concept. And you’ll hear plenty of foreign accents from the central and eastern Europeans working in service industry jobs.

why?

The island is best known as an offshore tax haven, so banking, insurance and financial services are a huge part of the economic landscape. The other big claim to fame is the annual motorcycle event - the TT races. Motorcycle racing on the normal roads. Sounds pretty wild - I’d love to go back to see that!

I had a lovely 30 hours there in February 11. It was wet and windy most of the time, but I saw enough to make me want to come back in the summer. It is a popular tourist destination in season.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:charm; uniqueness
  • Cons:February weather!
  • In a nutshell:hope to go back
  • Last visit to Douglas: Feb 2011
  • Intro Updated Feb 8, 2011
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iaint

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ”

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