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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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The brochures are quick to show off the undulating hillsides and breathtaking beaches, but there's plenty more to discover than just the Instagramable views. Buzzing seaside towns, like Douglas and Peel, are home to an enviable collection of restaurants and bistros, where awarded chefs plate up produce from a vast natural pantry (think freshly caught crustaceans and homemade cheese, accompanied by an array of delicious ciders and ales). 

Meanwhile, its rugged coastline is a backdrop to some of the most exhilarating water-based activities the British Isles has to offer, including sea kayaking, where seals and dolphins come for the ride, and 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, most notably at the Manx Museum and the House of Manannan, which celebrates of the destination's intriguing maritime past.

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