WHY GO TO THE ISLE OF MAN ?
Many students at the British American Institute often ask me to recommend a place for them to visit, so they can practice their English. The majority of them have already been to London and thought it was an amazing city - which of course it is - but didn’t feel like it was a very authentic experience. The capital of England is a fantastic place for sight seeing but it is also one of the most touristic cities in the world so while they were wandering the streets of Camden or taking photos of Big Ben, they heard a lot of French accents (and let’s be honest, everybody hates hearing someone from the same country as them while they’re travelling). The second most popular destination seems to be Dublin. This is a more authentic experience compared to London but again, it is an international hub with millions of tourists every year.
So what do I always recommend to the students at British American Institute? Well, the home of my family of course: The Isle of Man.
The Isle of Man is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea - between England and Ireland - with about 85,000 people living there. It is not too big but not too small either. The accent is a mix of Scouse (the Liverpool accent) and Irish. However, it’s not too strong like either of these accents, so not too difficult to understand. The people are very friendly and they are always happy to welcome tourists.
So, the most important thing: what is there to do on this island? Well, the number one attraction is the world famous motorbike race, The Manx TT, which takes place every year. This is when the island is at its busiest with lots of concerts and shows taking place at the same time. For the rest of the year, life is more peaceful and quiet; perfect for taking hikes and long walks on the beach. One of the best walks in my opinion starts at a small beach in Laxey and goes all the way up to the top of the “mini-mountain,” Snaefell. From here - on a clear day - you can see England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all at the same time. This is the only place in Great Britain where this is possible.
There are many other particularities which make this island very special too, including the interesting wildlife. Wallabies for example - a small version of a kangaroo - who we often associate with Australia. A small number of these marsupials escaped from a local zoo in 1965 and have somehow managed to survive despite the cold weather. A recent study found that there are now approximately 120 wild wallabies living on the Isle of Man and their numbers are increasing every year. The island is also famous for Manx cats; a species of cat with no tail. If you are very lucky you might even see dolphins or basking sharks just off the coast.
Of course the Isle of Man isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. As I mentioned before, London and Dublin are very exciting cities with hundreds of famous attractions and things to do. Unfortunately you won’t find that on the Isle of Man but what you will find is beautiful scenery, nice people and an authentic, British experience.
Jack COLLISTER - English Teacher - 28/01/2022