When planning your trip to the TT we recommend allowing for a minimal period of 7-15 nights on the Isle of Man.
Head on over to the Isle of Man for the TT. The world's most prestigious road race. This runs on the islands mountain circuit 37 3/4 miles. The race is run in a time trial format. The first TT race over the Snaefell Mountain course was in 1911. The course starts at the town of Douglas on the south-east coast then takes a wide sweep to the west and north to enter the town of Ramsey on the north-east coast then returns to the start. It takes in over 200 bends while climbing from sea level to an altitude of over 1,300 ft (396 m). In 2011, the TT lap record stood at 131.578 mph average. That's 17 minutes and 12 seconds to complete 37 and 3/4 miles.
Dates for the Isle of Man TT
Sunday 31st May to Friday 12th June
Cost, Currency and Banks
We would like to give you an idea of costs for a trip in the UK to go to the TT. Note that all prices are in pounds EXCEPT the airfares. UK currency is legal tender on the Isle of Man plus the Isle has their own currency. The Isle of Man currency is not accepted anywhere else but can be exchanged in UK banks. Cash machines are available in the main towns and most banks and building societies have premises on the Isle of Man.
Flights to Gatwick or Heathrow in the United Kingdom from NZ return range in price between $1,900-$3,200 NZ dollars. We book our airfares online though www.expedia.co.nz/flights. You should book a night in Gravesend in order to catch up on some sleep before riding your bike. www.tripadvisor.co.uk
Ferries to the Isle of Man TT
The steam packet ferry company is the only main ferry that sails to and from the Isle of Man. Be sure to book your ferry well in advance. For travel to the Isle of Man, the ferry leaves from Liverpool, Birkenhead and Heysham from the UK mainland. Costs are £150-£230 per bike and rider return. Or leave from Belfast, Larne and Dublin. Costs are £70-£115 per bike and rider one way if you are leaving from Northern Ireland after the Northwest 200. The sea terminal in the Isle of Man capital is Douglas. You can book on this link: www.steam-packet.com
Fuel, Vehicles, Parking and Taxis
If you are going to the NW200 and TT, we estimate you will be riding around about 1200 miles (from Gravesend to the Northwest 200 and the TT on the Isle of Man) with a bit of travel around and then back to Gravesend. We estimate an 18 litre tank doing 150 miles. Petrol is £1.45-£1.51 per litre . So allow for 8 full tanks of fuel approximately £210. Should you wish to hire a car on the Isle, there are several car hire companies. Drivers licenses are required. Driving rules are the same as in New Zealand. There are horse trams that run up and down the center of Douglas promenade so you can only overtake them on the left.
If you are hiring a vehicle car parking is free in certain places but there can be time limits as to how long you are allowed to stay. Parking discs should be displayed in the windscreen showing the time you arrive and these can be acquired from hotels or from the Welcome Center at the sea terminal in Douglas or on the Steam Packet ferries. The hire companies should supply these.
Taxis are available at the sea terminal and airport buildings.
Food on the Isle of Man
Food is available from vantage points around the circuits. The Isle of Man pride themselves on the quality of their food and drink. From seafood (Manx kippers, crab, lobster, scallops etc), meat, ice cream, beers and spirits. You will be able to try all these things at various places including pubs, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and farmers' markets. Allow £20-£30 per day for food per person.
Accommodation at the TT
If you would like an outdoor experience, try sleeping under the stars with several campsites available £10-£15 per night. Be sure to book well in advance for the TT. We can provide 2 to 3 man tents if you require them £5 per night (£150 bond per tent). There are a variety of options for accommodation from quality hotels, B&B, apartments, self-catering cottages or camping. Indoor accommodation varies in price from £55-£125 per night for a twin share with breakfast. Another great option is to book a whole house or cottage that sleeps 4 to 8 people from £450-£850 per week, which is far cheaper than a hotel. See the following link: www.visitisleofman.com
Wi-Fi and Mobile Phones on the Isle of Man
Manx Telecom and Sure are the two networks that operate on the Island. Check with your own network to find out costs while on the Isle.
Free Wi-Fi is available at the Isle of Man airport, libraries, sea terminal and a number of cafes. Plus if you are staying in a hotel its usually available there also.
Police headquarters is at Glencrutchery Road in Douglas. The phone number is: 0044 (0) 1624-631212. The Emergency doctor service is available only from 6 pm to 8 am Monday to Friday with 24 hour cover over weekends and bank holidays. The phone number is: 0044 (0) 1624-650355.
The Nobles Hospital is located just out of Douglas at The Strang, Bradden. Their phone number is 0044 (0) 1624-650000. Also Ramsey Cottage Hospital is located in the north of the island. Their phone number is 0044 (0) 1624-811811.
For ALL emergencies, please dial 999
Circuit Map for the TT
For a copy of a circuit map for the Isle of Man click on the following link: www.ttwebsite.com
Tickets and Vantage Points for the Isle of Man TT
The best tickets to buy are the ones for the TT Grandstand. This overlooks the start/finish line in Glencrutchery Road, Douglas. Records get broken here and races are won. Also you can witness the podium presentations from here and all the electric excitement that is to be had. You can also watch teams from here working on their machines and meet the riders. Amenities are handy including food, drinks, toilets and shops. Buy your Grandstand tickets from the official www.iomtickets.com
History of the Isle of Man or 'Manannan's Isle'
According to legend, the Isle of Man was created when Finn MacCooill battled a Scottish foe and flung a hunk of earth from Irelands coastline. There is another legend about when Saint Patrick landed on the island. He banished a number of creatures including snakes and toads. Known as the ancient kingdom of the sea god Manannan was first inhabited by neolithic settlers. Over time it has been settled by Celts, Vikings, Scots and the English. Now it is home to approximately 80,000 people. It has it's own parliament - established by Vikings and is the oldest continuous parliament in the world or Tynwald as it is known. The island has it's own language - Manx Gaelic, currency, flag, national anthem and stamps.
Things to do on the Isle of Man
If you feel like a break from the racing there are a lot of things to be done and seen on the island.
You could visit the 6 castles on the island. Their age ranges from 11th century through to the 19th and 20th century. Take a ghost tour if this interests you. Also there are a number of museums where you can learn about the history and culture of the Isle of Man including the history of the TT, the riders and the machines. The Isle of Man is known for it's transport system - rail. Journey back in time on the steam railway, the electric railway or the Mountain railway. Bird lovers can visit The Calf of Man. This is an official bird sanctuary. There are 9 golf courses to unwind on. Try horseback riding, clay pigeon shooting or karting.
If you are drawn to the sea there's sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing or diving. Did you know that there are 97 shipwrecks around the coastline? This makes it a mecca for divers. Varying species of dolphin, whales and basking shark can be seen at different times of the year. There are boat charter companies that you can hire to spot these species.
You will find plenty of activities to fill your day in (between races) on this beautiful island.