Marooned between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Irish Sea roughly 60 miles west of Lancashire lies the pint-sized Isle of Man, some 32 miles long by 15 miles wide. Its small size hasn't intimidated it into following the rest of Britain however: This unique self-governing kingdom has its own parliament, own postage stamps, own Manx language and own currency (although the English pound is widely accepted). Even Queen Elizabeth II isn't called the Queen here, but holds the more modest title of 'Lord of Mann'.
Since almost half the island is uninhabited, many come here to enjoy the wound-down pace, fresh air, glens and mountains. The space proves great for rambling, cycling and other outdoor pursuits, except from late May to June when some 12,000 break neck motorbikes whiz around the island's roads for the famous, international Isle of Man TT. At the gentler end of the scale, the island's old-fashioned Victorian transport is also still in use with steam, electric and mountain railways to choose from as well as a horse tram. Douglas is the island's capital and is the perfect place to daydream away an afternoon on a coach tour.