5 of the Best: Top Caravan and Camp Sites on the Isle Of Man

20 Mar 2013

Although lying just a few kilometres off the coasts of England, Scotland and Ireland, the 52 km long Isle of Man is very definitely a destination with a distinctly separate identity. Officially it holds British Crown Dependency but it is proudly self-governing.

The history of human settlement stretches back to at least 6500 BC and evidence of the subsequent Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Viking and later habitation can be seen both in the island’s museums and dotted around the island in the form of megalithic monuments, burial mounds, forts and castles. Folklore, legend and myth help to keep the mystery and individuality of the island alive.

The culture of the Isle of Man, although influenced from all its neighbours, is most strongly Celtic with the Gaelic Manx language still in existence although sadly considered an endangered tongue.

The Isle of Man is perhaps best known in the present age for playing host to the Tourist Trophy Race – much better known as the TT races. This annual event, held over a two week period in late May and early June, began in 1907 and today is both a significant international motorcycle event and part of the island’s identity.

The Isle of Man is a great destination for culture vultures, sports enthusiasts and those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. The island does of course have modern conveniences in its towns but escaping into nature and serenity is easy for those in search of such things.

Cronk Aashen Farm Campsite

Cronk Aashen Farm, Barregarroo Crossroads, Kirk Michael,  IM6 1HQ

www.cronkaashen.co.uk

This 28 acre rural site, which offers lovely hill and sea views, is part of a small sheep breeding farm. The owners insist there is only one rule – that everyone must enjoy themselves – which might perhaps give you some idea of the relaxed and friendly atmosphere you are likely to encounter here.

The camp site has its own small stream which, as any parent knows, will provide enough entertainment for children (big and small) for the whole holiday – fishing for tiddlers, building dams, skimming stones or just generally splashing around and getting wet.

Things are simple here – allowing you to escape life’s normal hustle and bustle and enjoy a natural peace with the lovely views thrown in for free.

Facilities: Showers and toilets, electric hook-up, kitchen, dining area, laundry, dogs welcome

Open: All year

Cost: From £7 per person per night, children under 4 free/ aged 5-11 £3.50

Ballacottier Campsite

Ballacottier Road, Onchan, IM4 5BQ

http://ballacottiercampsite.wordpress.com

Those in search of sea views and seclusion at a no-frills, mega-budget camp site can stop looking because Ballacottier’s small, friendly site offers just that. A minute or two will get you from your pitch to the unspoiled beach where you can stroll, laze or just spend your time in ocean contemplation – it’s really up to you.

Set on an old farm you will feel tucked away but Douglas is only a 10 minute drive should you feel the need to drag yourself back to the 21st century.

This really is about as cheap as it gets for caravanners and motor-homers – not just in the Isle of Man but in all of the UK.

Facilities: Electric hook up, hard standing, washing up area, toilets and showers, small farm shop

Open: All year

Cost: Around £5 per person – contact for details

Silly Moos

Ballakillingan Farm, Churchtown, Ramsey, IM7 2AL

www.sillymooscampsite.co.uk

If the name alone isn’t enough to tempt you here then maybe the on-site maize maze will be….. or perhaps the tranquil riverside setting which places you perfectly for walking and hiking with trails which begin right on your doorstep.

Should you decide that you need a change of scenery then the harbour town of Ramsey is less than 2 miles away where you can find pubs, restaurants, shops and all things visitor related.

The Silly Moos mazes are sure to be a hit with any youngsters in your party and are part of a larger fun field attraction which features tractor rides and baby farm animal feeding among other things.

Facilities: Electric hook-up, large undercover kitchen/recreation/dining area, showers and toilets, dogs welcome, maize maze on site

Open: 1 May to 30 September

Cost: £8 per person per night, £5 children

Glenlough Campsite

Union Mills, Douglas, IM4 4AT

www.glenloughcampsite.com

This spacious rural site will appeal to those who like to keep their camping and caravanning simple. It adjoins a secluded forested glen which links you up to the Manx Heritage Trail.

The village of Union Mills can be reached by 10 minute leisurely stroll where you can find a pub, shops and a Post office. If you want to explore further afield there is a bus stop just outside the camp-site and for TT fans, you might like to know your location here places you right on the race’s course.

Facilities: Electric hook-up, hard standing, toilets and showers, laundry/wash room, dogs welcome

Open: April to September

Cost: £9 per person per night, child 5-15 £4, electric £5

Glen Wyllin

A3, Kirk Michael, IM6 1AL

(No dedicated website)

This caravan and camp site offers great views and a lovely wooded glen setting with all of your basic facilities and a few bonus ones. Bridges criss-cross the stream which divides the site, split up into 3 separate camping areas.

A 5 minute walk will bring you to the nearest beach and another 5 minute stroll will see you in Kirk Michael village where you will find a pub serving traditional ales and food as well as shops and other village facilities.

Facilities: Electric hook-up, showers and toilets, cafe/restaurant, takeaway, launderette, barbecue area, picnic area, Wi-Fi, disabled facilities, shop on site, children’s playground, TV room

Open: April to September

Cost: ‘Phone for tariffs – 01624 878231

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