An Island with a Viking past, tailless cats and the annual T. T. (tourist trophy) motorcycle races indicate the variety within this green dot located in the middle of the Irish Sea, 83 miles from Liverpool and 90 miles from Belfast and is approximately 221 miles square, being 32.5 miles long from north to south and 13.5 miles wide from east to west. The Manx Cat is the Isle of Man's most distinctive native species. Loaghtan sheep (with four horns) are also unique to the Isle of Man. Giant Basking sharks are often seen in Manx waters during the summer months.
Steeped in tradition and ancient history, the Isle of Man has retained its independence with its own currency, stamps, government and even language - although English is spoken everywhere. The Island is an international offshore financial centre, with a low tax rate and an absence of death, wealth or capital gains duties. The main towns and villages are located along the coast. The capital city is the resort and port of Douglas. Douglas is also the focus of cultural and sporting activities on the Island, with well appointed swimming and athletic facilities, shopping centres, cinemas, museums, night clubs and concert venues. The Victorian Steam Railway runs from Douglas to the South of the Island and the Victorian Electric Tramway also runs from Douglas to the North, there is also a Horse Drawn Tram which is the world's oldest surviving horse tram service, dating back to 1876. The trams link the Manx Electric Railway and depot at Derby Castle along Douglas Promenade to the Sea Terminal and Port. Ronaldsway Airport is located in the South of the Island, to the east of Castletown. There are eight golf courses on the island.
Manx Museum Douglas town centre, open all year Monday - Saturday and is free entry. The Laxey water wheel. The Calf of Man is a small island at the south western extremity of the Isle of Man. St. Michael's Isle, or Fort Island and Peel Castle, St Patrick's Isle is one of the smallest Islands in the Irish Sea. Snaefell Mountain Railway. The ride from Laxey to the summit takes thirty minutes and offers amazing views of Laxey Glens and surrounding countryside.
Shopping and Education
The main shopping area on the Island is Strand Street, located in the centre of Douglas. Here you will find, High Street names, as well as an abundance of local shops. Pre-school education is available through a number of Nurseries, Kindergartens and Daycare Centres. The secondary schools are Castle Rushen High School in the south, Ramsey Grammar School in the north, St Ninian's High School and Ballakermeen High School in Douglas and Queen Elizabeth II High School in the west. Independent education in the Isle of Man is provided by King William's College and the Buchan School. The Island doesn't have its own university but the Isle of Man College is developing a number of Degree courses in conjunction with Liverpool University which enables students to study their first year on the island and complete their degrees in Liverpool.