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At a compact 33 miles long and 13 miles wide, the Isle of Man may seem like a featherweight in comparison to Europe’s great seaside getaways. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see that this pocket-sized island in the heart of the Irish Sea packs one mighty wallop.

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While the brochures are quick to show off its stunning natural landscapes and breathtaking beaches, it won’t take you long to discover that the island offers way more than just Instagramable views. Buzzing seaside towns, like Douglas and Peel, are home to an enviable collection of restaurants, plating up produce from a vast natural pantry (think freshly caught crustaceans, award-winning cheeses and an array of mouthwatering ciders and ales). 

Meanwhile, its rugged coastline is a backdrop to some of the most exhilarating water-based activities in the British Isles, from sea kayaking beside seals and dolphins to sunset paddleboarding above bioluminescent algae. And if you feel more at home on a dry footing, there are huge swathes of Celtic and Viking history lurking throughout the island, from ancient castles to the captivating exhibits at the Manx Museum and the House of Manannan – a celebration of the destination's beguiling maritime past.

With all this inside an hour’s flight from all major UK airports, it’s no wonder the Isle of Man is on every traveller’s wish list.