A British crown dependency and international finance centre, the Isle of Man is not part of the UK and has its own legislative powers. Some residents are drawn to the island by its laws governing tax: the standard rate of income tax is 10 per cent; the top rate 20 per cent. There is no inheritance or capital gains tax.
The Isle of Man’s location in the Irish Sea is reflected in restaurant menus featuring freshly caught fish and seafood such as lobster, crab and the local speciality: queenies. These queen scallops are often served with garlic and bacon. Meat lovers enjoy Manx Loaghtan, a four-horned breed of sheep that is native to the island.
Walks with wallabies
Designated a Unesco world biosphere reserve for being a “special place for people and nature”, the rural spot is ideal for nature lovers and walkers. There are 18 national glens and 100 miles of scenic coastline to explore, while the Ballaugh Curragh wetland is home to some of the island’s more unusual residents: wild wallabies.
The island packs a lot of history into its 221 square miles, with attractions including the well-preserved medieval Castle Rushen and the 19th-century Great Laxey Wheel, the world’s largest working waterwheel.
Enjoy life in the slow lane aboard a Victorian carriage on the 15-and-a-half mile steam railway.
Thanks to its film industry, it is not unusual to glimpse a famous face on the island. But the lack of light pollution means it is also the perfect spot for real stargazing; the island boasts 26 dark-sky discovery sites. The Northern Lights are sometimes visible from the north coast.
Photographs: Ed Rhodes/Alamy; Orange Elephant Photography/Alamy; David Chapman/Alamy; Jan Treger/Alamy; Robin Weaver/Alamy