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Anyone live/d on the Isle of Man?

(26 Posts)
scarymamma Thu 09-Mar-06 20:26:26

Hi, DH being interviewed for a job on the Isle of Man and I'm not sure whether or not I want to live and bring up DD and DS there. Is there anyone with personal experience of the IoM who can list the pro's and con's of island life for me or can give insider info on weather, schools, shops, lifestyle, locations etc.. ad infinitum?!?! PLEASE!!!

SenoraPostrophe Thu 09-Mar-06 20:31:37

my cousins do - we go to visit sometimes.

It's lovely actually - a bit like going back in time. it's wet, but not as cold as you'd expect in winter (well - much like Liverpool). It's a tax haven but what you save in tax you spend on leccy and other mainland "luxuries". But then most food - eg bread, meat etc is made on the island - i really like that (partly why i said it was like going back in time). manx people are very proud, but don't seem to be that suspicious of outsiders....

I'd consider a move there myself if it wasn't for the difficulty in travelling back to see friends/relatives tec. I say that - I live in spain so am accutely aware of difficulties in travelling back. at least you don't need a passport.

chocolateshoes Thu 09-Mar-06 20:42:24

I grew up there & my sister still lives there.


beautiful countryside
less crime than UK
less traffic
generally less of a rat race attitude
good schools
weather is like NW England but VERY windy - you'll need hats!!
Very interesting culture & heritage
great for outdoors life


Cost of travelling - the price of a cheap package goes up cos you have to get to the mainland first
shops, concerts, leisure activities etc not brilliant - as the capital Douglas has the most going on
there is some reservation towards 'comeovers' but probably on the decrease these days
It is a small place & you can feel a bit hemmed in - everybody knows you!
gas & electricity very expensive - my sister never puts heating on!
Property prices very high compared to NW England

As a teenager growing up there I couldn't wait to get away!!!!! But my sister is happy there.

scarymamma Fri 10-Mar-06 06:49:31

Thanks Senora and Chocolate for your advice/views I can't believe how quickly the thread was picked up - I thought it would take days! Sorry I couldn't stay online last night - DH needed PC.
Chocolateshoes - you mentioned 'great for outdoor life' could you be more specific please (from my research the IoM is only 13milesx33miles so not a great deal of outdoors there by my reckonning!)

scarymamma Fri 10-Mar-06 06:51:29

Oooh, forgot to ask, where are the nicest places to live? Is there a dry side and a wet side? If I have an idea of location I can check out house prices on the web. Cheers

Pip Fri 10-Mar-06 08:14:05

I was born on the Isle of Man and lived there till I was 7. I still have family there so visit from time to time.

I´d say it´s a great place to bring up children but personally find it a bit stifling for teenagers and adults. It does have a small town mentality and everyone knows your business. It´s also not very multi-cultural as far as I remember and I remember people not being very open-minded. Perhaps this has changed.

On the plus side, as the others have said, the crime rate is very low, it is beautiful, the countryside reminds me of the Peak district in Derbyshire or parts of Scotland. It has undergone a bit of a transformation in the last 10 years or so. I always remembered it to be a bit tacky when I was a child, souvenir shops, amusement arcades, etc, but that´s all gone now. A lot of money has been invested into the area, and it´s all quite swanky now. There´s also a burgeoning film industry there. In line with all of this, house prices are expensive.

Travelling costs to the mainland are an issue too. If you want to go on holiday, it´s a pain having to fly to the mainland first.

I would definitely visit it before making any decision. Get a feel for the place first. Hope this helps.

SenoraPostrophe Fri 10-Mar-06 08:55:50

lol @ dry side and wet side. Both sides are wet I'm afraid. or at least, they usually are when we're there.

the outdoor comment i think was referring to the amount of countryside - there's a mountain and everything. it is lovely as I say.

If I were to move there I think I'd go for the outskirts of douglas or ouchan (which is v close to douglas). if you like smaller towns then peel or ramsay are nice - I would imagine that the suspicion of "comeovers" is higher in the smaller places.

SoupDragon Fri 10-Mar-06 10:01:24

Try not to live directly on the route of the TT races as it screws up access to your house!

scarymamma Fri 10-Mar-06 10:08:28

Senora - I like the 'there's A mountain' - but just the one mind!! . I didn't realise the wet/dry side was funnny! My Mum lives 15 miles away and she get's more rain than we do because she's that bit further west and closer to the pennines.
I like the Peak District analogy - I'm a Northern lass and I like my scenery hilly.
I guess we definitely need a visit before making such a major decision.
Am a bit scared by the stiffling bit (no escape, shops, have to get on boat/plane to go anywhere else etc), but really excited by the quality of life for the kids - I'd like them to be the outdoorsy type and they've obliged me so far. Into animals (dogs and ponies) and they like walking. Thanks again everyone.

scarymamma Fri 10-Mar-06 10:09:50

Good point Soupdragon! Isn't TT week a holiday for the schools?

chocolateshoes Fri 10-Mar-06 14:06:30

Some good comments from Pip. Outdoors sports etc - lots of walking, caving, cycling & water sports in the south. No it is generally very wet & as I said WINDY!!!!!! I would agree that Onchan might be a good place to aim for. We used to live in Braddan which was a village but is really now a suburb of Douglas. There has been alot of building recently - lots of new estates.

It is not multi-cultural AT ALL! And some people can be quite narrow minded.

The transport to the mainland can be a real pain. For example, my sister has tickets to see Little Britain in Manchester (cos of course it won't be on the island!). She has to get boat to Heysham & then for some reason return via Liverpool. that means 2 days off work plus a fair bit of added expense. The boat isn't cheap & takes 4 hrs! If the boats go on strike its a nightmare as there's nothing in the shops. Tescos for ex won't get a delivery.

How old are your children? That would make a big difference to me I think.

Yes you do get a week off school for TT week & Grand Prix week in Sept. Also a day off for Tynwald Day in July.

I would def say the cost of living is higher on the island than here on mainland.

Sorry its a bit rambling!

chocolateshoes Fri 10-Mar-06 14:18:23

I should say again though that it is absolutely beautiful - you've got fantastic hill scenery and a beautiful coastline. There are seals at the southern end, dunes in the north. On a clear day you can see England, Ireland, & Wales.Lots of glens for walking.........

seb1 Fri 10-Mar-06 14:23:15

Is he viewing it as his dream job for life type move or is it just for a few years?

moondog Fri 10-Mar-06 14:23:30

What kind of accent do they have there?
Always wondered...

expatinscotland Fri 10-Mar-06 14:33:13

I have a friend who lives there w/her Manx hubby - a police officer - and loves it.

Car insurance can be kind of a bear, though, b/c it's not on the mainland.

scarymamma Fri 10-Mar-06 16:18:52

Thanks everyone.

The kids are 6 & 8, I was thinking that might be a good age to be there. They're not very demanding, have quite low expectations and enjoy simple pleasures.
Job wise, it's not a dream job as far as I know, but it's a job and DH has just been made redundant by his ungrateful, shortsighted employer (wanted to add lots of four letter words & no, I'm not handling it well).
I thought it might be more of a short to medium term thing, five years at most probably before moving back to the mainland. But then I was worried about the kids suffering culture shock when thrust back into less than pleasant British High schools (I help out at my local high school and even I'm scared by Year 10's!! )
It does sound very beautiful & it reminds me of Newcastle 10 years ago w.r.t lack of multicultural outlook.
You guys are starting to sell it to me!

Pip Fri 10-Mar-06 17:11:50

moondog, the manx accent is similar to a scouse accent. Think 'cuker' instead of cooker & 'schul'instead of school.

Scarymamma, sounds like you might enjoy the outdoors lifestyle. It's very rugged. Some of my family live in Onchan too, seems quite a popular area.

Let us know if you go and visit / or make a decision.

seb1 Fri 10-Mar-06 17:23:55

Well hopefully his new employers will be better and he will enjoy working for them

chocolateshoes Sat 11-Mar-06 12:55:07

Manx accent? Cross between scouse & Irish - long drawn out vowel sounds. 'Bewk' for book, 'waaaasp' like 'grasp' not 'wosp'.

I went to Ballerkermeen High & st Ninian's both are in Douglas. And a v small primary called Kewaigue (pronounced 'cue egg'). You'll have to learn how to pronounce some key place names so as not to get laughed at: Onchan is 'onkan', Maughold is 'mackhold'. i think school are quite good there - not sure though. I'll ask my sister (no kids though) if she knows.

I think its a fantastic place to bring up young (ie primary) children, but can be rather dull for older teenagers. We used to save up all our money to go on day trips (4 hrs each way) to L'pool!

The scenery is like Ireland vs Lake District in miniature!

There is a lot of folklore & tale of witches which we all learned about at Primary (guess its not part of the Nat. Curric now!). All sorts of superstitions.

Tax is vvvvv low, & you won't need much petrol cos you can't drive far. public transport? Steam train (!), electric tram, horse drawn tram - all in Summer only, & buses. No electric trains!

The IOM tourist bd had a slogan 'You'll look forward to going back (ie in time)'. Tourism is on the decrease but in TT week the island is completely taken over with bikes. You can smell the rubber! Best to rent your house out to bikers & get away. It lasts 2 wks -1 for practises 1 for the races. It is disruptive esp if you live in the circuit.

chocolateshoes Sun 12-Mar-06 13:20:18

And the kippers are delicious!
And the cats don't have tails!
And the coins & notes are different!
And they have the oldest elected parliament in the world!
And they have the biggest water wheel in the world!
And the European majorette championships take place there every year ;)
And Norman Wisdom lives there!!!!!

scarymamma Mon 13-Mar-06 20:34:03

Wow! Get me on that ferry!! Norman Wisdom - serious beefcake!!!

The best thing is that it seems like Manx people have a great sense of humour!

chocolateshoes Mon 13-Mar-06 20:40:48

You have to! Its the only way!

Let uss know what you decide. Good luck!

scarymamma Mon 13-Mar-06 20:42:52

Tee hee. Thanks chocolateshoes! Will let you know what happens!

Mandi1080 Thu 20-Jun-19 20:28:31

Hi there, I know I’m several years behind on this thread, but we are thinking of moving to IOM with our family, and this thread came up in a google search. I was just wondering if you ever made it to the rock?

Kenasmily Thu 17-Oct-19 09:35:29

Hello, also writting long after the initial message. Madi, did you finally move on the island? I am also considering moving there on my own.

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