Of course, twice a year the Isle of Man becomes a mecca for motorcyclists with its country lanes handed over to leather-clad tourists and its seaside resorts handed over to stunt shows, rock bands and fairgrounds. Its people have welcomed the annual influx of TT fans for over a century now and, together, they have created a very special event, that 111 years on, not only remains part of the Island’s DNA, but continues to reverberate around the globe.
But that special DNA stretches back to ancient times. Known in myth as the kingdom of the sea god, Manannan, the Isle of Man boasts 10,000 years of fascinating history, taking in centuries of rule by the Celts and Vikings as well as the Scots and English - all of whom have helped shape the Island’s distinctive identity.
Although a Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man still has its own parliament, Tynwald, which was established by the Vikings and, centuries later, gave permission for road racing to take place in the Island. TT fans will notice many other symbols of independence too, including the famous national flag that waves away the riders at the start of the race and the Manx national anthem, which welcomes the Governor to Glencrutchery Road.
Furthermore, many of the place names found around the Island - and even around the TT Course - are derived from Manx Gaelic or from Norse Viking. Fans can also expect to receive Manx coins in their change from any visit to The Trackside Bar and can even use Manx stamps to post home a TT souvenir. Naturally, many stamps feature the most famous TT riders from years past and make for a special souvenir in their own right!
But away from the souvenirs and keepsakes, it’s the magical memories that holidaymakers really treasure once they return home. To explore the Isle of Man is to discover a place full of beguiling contrasts and character. Indeed, many people fall under the Island’s spell and return year after year, often making a trip to the TT races an annual pilgrimage.
Perhaps you will be next…
Fur further information, head to visitisleofman.com