If you should ever book a trip to the Isle of Man, you will use the Manx pound while you are there. This article reveals more about this currency, what to expect and also about the island itself.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
As you might expect from a currency called the pound, this version of it has the familiar 100 pennies as its subdivision. It also uses the familiar pound sign the British pound uses, although in the case of the Manx pound there is sometimes an M in front of it, thus M£.
The same coins exist for the currency as they do for the British pound too. These are the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins, alongside the £1 and £2 coins as well. However there is one difference, most notably the fact that you can still get a £1 Manx note, which hasn’t been possible in the UK for some years now. Alongside this there are the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes as well.
From past to present – the history of the Isle of Man Manx pound
Essentially the Manx pound is a version of the UK pound; indeed the two of them are at parity with each other. The government on the island has created its own Manx currency that is valued the same as the British currency. It is a one-sided affair since the British government does not underwrite the use of the notes on the island.
It has quite a history though, the Manx pound. It is believed the first version of it was a private one way back in the mid-17th century. There have been various changes over the years and now the Manx pound is pretty much the same as the UK version in many ways, even though this is not official.
How to get hold of the Isle of Man Manx pound
The only way you will get hold of it (unless you are inadvertently given some coins in change in the UK) is by visiting the Isle of Man itself. The good news is you won’t need to get hold of the currency prior to visiting, since the islanders are all quite happy to accept the British pound as payment.
The one thing you do need to be aware of is that you shouldn’t carry back the Manx pound into the UK, since it won’t be welcome here. Instead, make sure you change back as much as you can before leaving the Isle of Man. Separate out your cash into UK and Manx coinage a couple of days before the end of your holiday there. Make sure you use all the Manx coins and notes prior to leaving if you can.
As you might expect you shouldn’t have any trouble paying for anything in the Isle of Man. Credit cards are quite easy to use, no matter whether you have Mastercard or Visa. As is the case in the UK, you might want to check whether you can use the American Express card or not, since not all outlets accept it.
Cash machines are also easy to find as you travel across the island. You’ll soon get used to where they are and therefore you can make sure you won’t run short of cash.
How to discover the most recent exchange rate between your own currency and the Isle of Man Manx pound
If you use the British pound you won’t need to worry about this since the two currencies are worth the same on a 1:1 basis. However if you use any other currency and you need a conversion with the Manx pound, simply find the British pound and do a conversion with that instead. This is represented by the letters GBP on the currency converters, so use those to find it quickly.
If you want to learn more about the island before you pay a visit, the best bet is to try the official Isle of Man Government website first. This can be found at https://www.gov.im/. You can find out about school holidays, bus and rail services, weather and much more besides.
Travelling safely with the Isle of Man Manx pound
You don’t really have too much to worry about with regard to your safety in the Isle of Man. This is a pretty safe place to visit and enjoy, so make sure you do both. However having said that you should make sure you can take reasonable precautions to stay safe while you are there, and to protect your valuables. Be aware that card readers are sometimes used to tamper with cash machines, much as has occurred on occasion in the UK. If you can, use a machine inside a bank since these are less likely to have been tampered with.
Where to spend your pounds in the Isle of Man – and what to spend them on
The Isle of Man is an island that is effectively sandwiched between Northern Ireland and England. Its unique position means the Scottish mainland lies to the north of the island while Wales lies to the south. To the east is the Lake District National Park in England, while to the west is Northern Ireland. In this sense it is very well placed although distinctly separate from all parts of the United Kingdom.
The Isle of Man is a delightful place to visit, and has Douglas as its capital. This is in the south-eastern portion of the island. It is a town rather than a city, and has a fairly small population. The River Douglas flows out into the sea here, and you can also reach Douglas via a ferry from various parts of the UK. A good thing to do here is to wander along the Loch Promenade, which then flows into the Central Promenade and then into the Queens Promenade along the bay. It offers good views of the town and also out over the water.
There are plenty of things you can see and do while in the Isle of Man – so many in fact you might be surprised at how much a small island can pack in. One prime spot you should definitely include early on in your visit is the Manx Museum. This is in Kingswood Grove in Douglas, and it shares the history of this island from ancient times to the modern day. Elsewhere the House of Manannan is also worth a look since it hones in on the island’s Celtic past, not to mention its Viking links too.
As you might already have guessed, the island is a prime spot for walking holidays, no matter how far you want to walk. There are many different types of terrain included in this relatively small space, offering coastal walks, gentle strolls and even a hike uphill to reach some of the highest points on the island. If you are here for a week or more and you want to walk around the entire island you can do so – but be prepared to stay somewhere different each night. Plan ahead and you could walk 100 miles in the process. Every year there is a walking festival on the island, so if you are new to the Isle of Man and you would like to see whether walking is for you, this could be a good entry point to consider.
If you’re more partial to wildlife (not that you won’t see any on one of the many walking opportunities that exist here) why not try Curraghs Wildlife Park for size? This is towards the northern end of the island and there are all kinds of animals here to see. It is also unique in that as many of the enclosures as possible are made for people to walk through rather than round (only when safe of course!). Enjoy seeing the penguins as well as red pandas, flamingos and many other animals as well. If you have kids this is definitely a good day out.
Finally there are plenty of parks dotted all over the island. The Onchan Pleasure Park is good if you have kids, offering crazy golf and go-karts among other things. Elsewhere Noble’s Park has some pleasant walks on offer as well as a restaurant and a skate park.
As you can see the Isle of Man has plenty to offer, regardless of whether you are going for the day or for longer. Walkers have long found the island provides some sensational breath-taking experiences, while other people also enjoy seeing everything the island has to offer in other ways. The many kid-friendly attractions and features make it a good destination for family trips, while the adults won’t get bored here either.
In fact, a week probably won’t be long enough to see it all – however it might be long enough to have you fall in love with everything the Isle of Man has to offer. One trip is almost certainly not enough.