Perched in the middle of the Irish Sea, right between the English and Irish coastlines, you will find the quaint and breathtakingly beautiful Isle of Man. This is one place that has eluded me for some time.  I have sailed twice in an Irish Ferry across the Irish Sea and have yet to discover it. So, I decided to do a little research about it since I have just returned from another European vacation and still I have not had a chance to see it for myself.

In and around the unspoilt beaches, extensive coastline and some of the UK’s most aesthetic countryside, the island offers a wealth of things to do. Here’s a brief guide of the must do’s on the fabulous Manx Isle.

Isle of Man Ghost Walks

220px-Black_Dog_Pub_Sign,_Bouley,_JerseyIn the spirit of the season upon us, one should possibly begin your trip with a thrill on one of the Isle of Man’s renowned ghost tours. Walk in the footsteps of the condemned as you travel through the ancient capital of Castletown where the magnificent fortress was once a prison.

Or why not try the Peel walk on the west of the Island. Hear terrifying tales as you walk around the old fishing town where the ghost of the Moddey Dhoo roams. Folklore suggests the big, black dog is as big as a calf, with eyes like pewter plates and wanders the castle looking for its next victim. The animal lover in me would want to search him out.

The Villa Marina 

villa_large3If it’s a more sophisticated trip you’re after then look no further than the Villa Marina. Renovated in 2004, the marina is in its 100th year and is beautifully located in Island’s capital, Douglas.

The complex offers a range of great attractions, most notably the majestic Royal Hall which hosts great acts all year round. The breath-taking auditorium blends grand Edwardian architecture with state of the art lighting and staging, attracting musicians, comedians and ballets from across the globe.

Also located within the complex is the Broadway Cinema and the Villa Marina Arcade which often hosts many high-profile events including the UKIPT. The Marina will host the renowned card event on 31 October-4 November, so if you want to pick up a little more spending money on the Island, go grab a copy of the poker dictionary and get practicing.

Erin Arts Centre

erin-arts-centre2-big-1Founded in 1971, the Erin Arts Centre is an internationally recognised centre known for its groundbreaking music and opera festivals. Attracting competitors of the highest standard from around the world, the likes of the Mananan International Festival and the Barbirolli Oboe Competition are not to be missed.

As well as world-class music, the centre also hold regular theatre productions and offer a dedicated gallery space, named after the great Sir James Mellon.

Manx Electric Railway

Manx-Electric-Railway-550x367After all my recent train travel over Europe in the Eurostar, there must be a train experience here also, so I found this. No trip to the Isle of Man is complete until you’ve taken a ride along the Manx Electric Railway. Dating back over 100 years, the line connects the Island’s capital, Douglas, with Ramsey along the northern side and Laxley in the east. Sit back relax and just enjoy the view!

Built between 1893 and 1899, it is acknowledged as the longest narrow gauge vintage electric railway in the British Isles, with two of the trams being the oldest operated in the world. Taking in 17 miles of countryside, the train is a great way to visit the glens, picturesque villages and rolling coastline, with over 60 stations to hop off at.

What travel spot has been elusive to you?