After many months of waiting impatiently, the time had finally come. We were heading off for an event that's at the top of so many Bucket Lists, the Isle of Man TT!
The weather at the Isle of Man is so unpredictable that you literally need to pack for every season - a bit like visiting Melbourne actually. We arrived in Manchester Airport one day early to be sure that we were ready for the arrival of our guests who we met in the arrival hall, then it was onto the ferry and over to the Isle. On arrival, we were welcomed to the city of Douglas by the bright lights of the Promenade Carnival accompanied by the music escaping from the famous, Bushy's Beer Tent. After the long trip from Australia though, the accommodation at the rider's local hangout - The Palace Hotel and Casino - is a very welcome sight.
It doesn't take you much time on the Isle of Man to realise that it is populated by one of the friendliest and most welcoming local communities you will find on the planet! They seem to be fond of us Aussies too, mentioning how much they appreciate that we would travel to the other side of the world to see
their local motorcycle race. To give you a couple of examples of just how friendly the locals are, you could be waiting at a bus stop for your coach and they've been known to pull their car over to offer you a ride. Other guests have told us about times they were sitting on a hedge out the front of someone's home to watch the race action, only to be offered a cup of tea and a bite to eat! These are things that just don't happen back at home.
The Isle of Man itself is just magnificent and the Seven Day Explorer Pass came in so handy as a means to get around the Isle. The pass lets you use all of the modes of public transport available on the Isle, including the iconic Snaefell Mountain Railway, the Steam Railway and the Douglas Horse Trams. There are so many way to take in the all of the epic sights that the Isle of Man has to offer, be it the cliff tops, rolling hills, castles or classic pubs - it seems like there's one on just about every corner! Seriously, you could visit the Isle of Man without seeing a single race and you would still have a fantastic time there!
The racing on the Isle of Man is at the mercy of Mother Nature and waking up each morning, the first thing you'll do is open the hotel window to try to gauge whether there will be any racing that morning. Off to the race paddock and you're in for a treat! Everywhere you look during the Isle of Man TT,
there are bikes; this place is a motorcycle mecca! There aren't many other major races on the planet and certainly not in Australia where you can get so close to the riders, bikes, workshops and race action. Wandering through the paddock, you can have a chat with race mechanics and you're almost guaranteed to bump into the likes of John McGuiness, the Dunlop brothers, Guy Martin and of course our mate, Cameron Donald.
An absolute highlight of the trip for us was watching the race from the popular and iconic Creg Ny Baa. Another highlight of our time at the Isle was being taken on a guided coach tour of the full circuit with Cameron Donald. Having a sector by sector walkthrough of the circuit gives you such an incredible, in-depth insight into what the TT riders are going through during a lap.It's also a great opportunity to scope out a good spot to watch the race! Being on the Isle for the four full days of racing means that you have plenty of time to explore and experience all of the famous points of the circuit including; the
Crosby Leap, the infamous Churchtown and Bray Hill. At night, the pubs, streets and of course, the Palace Hotel are teeming with fans and riders who you can share a pint and a chat with.
After nine incredible nights of "all-you-can-eat" motorcycle racing action, it's time to go home. Going to the Isle of Man TT is a huge tick off the Bucket List, but for many, this is not a once-off visit. For so many fans, this once in a lifetime experience becomes an addiction that will have you coming back year after year!
Until next year,
Ornella & Megan
Sportsnet Holidays are a Preffered TT Partner of Regency Travel and are based in Australia. For more details on the current availabltiy of the tour please visit the Sportsnet.com website by clicking here.
You can also contact Sportsnet Holidays by calling 1300 888 858 from Australia or email firstname.lastname@example.org.