Summer may be drawing to a close, but there’s still time to gather your friends for one last holiday hurrah before the winter snap comes in. What’s more, we know just the place to do it.
Both enticingly isolated yet bursting with activity, the Isle of Man can be hard to pin down. What's abundantly clear, however, is that it's a fabulous option for an action-packed group getaway, where you can spend a trip sauntering around its spirited seaside towns or traversing across acres of pristine Manx countryside in the revitalising autumn weather.
To help make it epic, we’ve spotlighted the best group-friendly stays, activities and restaurants around the island, so whether you have foodies, adrenaline-junkies or sybarites on your invite list, you’ll have no trouble keeping the whole crew happy.
Set your squad goals high and spend a night at Douglas Head Lighthouse Cottage, where incredible coastal views are the perfect reward for a steep climb. This sky-high stay boasts an expansive living area with a giant corner sofa and a fireplace, a modern kitchen and enough space to comfortably sleep 12 guests.
If you’re eager to immerse yourself in nature but not quite ready to forego on comfort, why not give glamping a try? Choose from a solar powered yurt, a wooden hut or a wigwam, where you can enjoy the best bits of al fresco living and still be able to charge your phone at night.
If you're looking for something a little more classic, a stay at Eary Cushlin should do the trick. This self-catering farmhouse is nestled at the feet of Cronk ny Arrey Laa, a large hillside overlooking the ocean, with the Raad Ny Foillan coastal walk and the South Barrule mountain bike trails nearby, and it sleeps up to nine people in four bedrooms.
If you’re craving open space, lace up your boots and strike off onto the plethora of hiking routes that weave across the island’s glens and coastal paths. Walking.im provides guided rambles along the national trails, which span beginners’ options to more arduous climbs up to dizzying peaks.
Those searching for something a little more adventurous, however, can try gorge walking (main image). Slip into a wetsuit and a pair of sturdy shoes and take the plunge: with the help of your friends, you will climb waterfalls, swim across ponds and navigate your way up the streams of Glen Maye. Except to have fun, and to get (very) wet.
Once you’ve all dried off, why not swing by Mad Jack's Axe Throwing for an evening of friendly competition, enlivened with a glass or two of delicious craft beer from the Bottle Monkey bar next door? Don’t worry if you can’t hit your target – you can also try your luck on the venue’s free arcade machines and retro game consoles.
Sadly, autumnal weather isn’t all bright skies and freshly fallen leaves, so if a downpour does occur, head to the Abbey Restaurant for a spot of afternoon tea. The menu comprises all the classics, like homemade finger sandwiches, fruit scones and sponge cakes, which you can enjoy with a selection of teas from around the world or with a glass of fizz or two.
There’s nothing like the promise of a delicious, hearty lunch to make you climb harder and hike faster, which is why the Little Shed is the ultimate prize after you’ve traipsed up to Dhoon Glen’s famous waterfall. Grab hot water bottles and blankets and cosy up in the outdoor courtyard as the Manx Electric Railway rolls gently passed. Nourishing soups, decadent sandwiches and a slice of homemade carrot cake will replenish your energy in no time.
In partnership with Visit Isle of Man