Taking place on the 25th May - 7th June, the world famous Isle of Man TT is back again for almost 2 weeks of racetrack thrills. The event attracts thousands of visitors each year from all areas, making it a must for any bike enthusiast. Planning your trip can be quite a daunting experience so we have put together some useful information around all aspects that need pre arranging to make this process a little easier for you.
The event runs over a two week period. Generally the second week which is race week tends to be the most expensive. Race days take place on a Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
There are two options to get to the Isle of Man and these are by sea or by air. The Isle of Man sea terminal is located in the capital of Douglas. The airport is located roughly 20 minutes outside of Douglas and with good links to the capital by taxi or public transport. If you come by sea on the ferry you can either come with motorcycle, car, campervan, or even on foot. Ferry spaces often quickly get filled up on race week so be sure to book as early as you possibly can. You can often get a ferry via Ireland as these tend to have more available spaces if the direct routes have sold out. Manx ferries offer various routes at reasonable prices - http://www.manxferries.com/ along with direct ferries http://www.directferries.co.uk/isle_of_man.htm. If you choose to travel by air you can fly from all major and regional airports, with lots of direct routes going out daily. Airlines such as Flybe and Easyjet offer very reasonable flight prices. More details can be found here: http://www.flybe.com/cheap-flights/isle-of-man/. Of course you can like many others ride your own motorcycle to the event. Ferries will accept Motorbikes on board and this is often a popular choice for motorcycle enthusiasts. What better way to explore the island than on your motorbike, particularly when some roads on the island have no speed limit. If you are taking your bike then ensure you prep it thoroughly for the journey checking all mechanical features and giving it a good clean for the journey. Having a gleaming bike means you can show off your pride and joy to all the other enthusiasts you come by.
There is a vast variety of accommodation available to stay in on the Isle of Man. From Camping to guesthouses to hotels. There is accommodation to suit all kinds of holidaymakers. The cheapest option of them all is camping. Taking your own tent means your only expense will be your travel and the pitch you set up on. There are plenty of campsites to choose from across the island, some even located on the trackside meaning minimal travel is required to see all the action. If setting up your own tent isn't really your idea of fun, then you can go 'Glamping'. This is luxury camping at its finest. Arrive at your chosen destination to find you have a large already pitched sturdy tent to stay in with all your amenities already installed. This can come at a premium price so is worth looking around to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. You can also book tents to stay in that have already been pitched upon your arrival, again these can sell out quickly so be sure to book in advance. The snooze box hotel is shipped over from Silverstone Racecourse. This portable hotel offers 150 rooms with bunk beds that can convert to double beds. In a great location this is a great choice for any bike enthusiast. Another option is to stay in a B&B/Guesthouse. These do tend to sell out extremely quickly so be sure to book in as early as possible. Many returning visitors to the TT tend to book as they are leaving for the following year making it hard to get a reservation in areas in and close by to the capital. If a hotel stay is more your idea it's a good idea to again book this in advance. You may find you struggle to find any availability particularly on race week. If this is the case it is a good idea to try and book through a travel agent, as many of them will have designated allocations to sell. The last option you can book is a Home Stay. This is where you pay to stay in a resident's home for the duration of your trip. Although this is not a very common option and many of them get booked up quickly they are a good idea as many of them come with breakfast provided. However be certain to check as some require minimum stay limits of up to and around 7 nights.
You can pre purchase tickets to the TT if you are planning on gaining access to grandstands or fanzones or maybe even the hospitality suite. Ticket prices vary however some can be purchased on the day subject to availability. Of course you don't have to pay for entry into the event, the track is 38 miles long with various places to stand and observe the action so don't feel that you have to pay entry to the event to see the action. Follow this link which gives full details on the top areas to catch the best view http://www.iomttbreaks.com/events/isle-of-man-tt-2016/spectator-information. Single admissions into Fanzone areas start from as little as £3.00. From here you can catch the riders as they start and finish and even see prize givings take place. Single Grandstand admissions start from £5 and can be pre booked or again payable on the day subject to availability. If you are after a unique race day experience then you can purchase VIP & VIP Platinum Tickets. These allow entry into the hospitality suite where you can have food, drink and and view post-race interviews with winning riders. You have hosts that guide you through the day, many being former TT winners. With the Platinum Package you have the extra perk that you get Champagne all day and the chance to go on a mountain course lap in an official course car with an expert driver, an opportunity in a lifetime. Ticket prices for Platinum VIP start from £1200 depending on which day you choose.
The TT Village is located at Nobles Park in Douglas. Here you can find the main Grandstand. In the TT village you can find the Hospitality Suite, Food and Drink outlets, merchandise stalls and shops, fan zone area and the main grandstand. From the village you also view the pit lanes and the areas where the bikers start and finish the race and also where they come off the track can be located in the fanzones. Branch out from the village and you can follow the track round to find some top viewing points particularly at St Ninnians Crossroads, a ten minute walk and also Bray Hill a well-known top spot for viewing races. Public transport is great around the island and because the island is quite small, getting from one side to the other takes about 30 minutes.
Deciding where to stay on the Island
Transport on the Isle of Man is very good with good links to all towns. For this reason you can pretty much stay anywhere on the island and still attend the TT. Where you stay depends on what you want to get from your trip whether you want to explore outside of race days or purely spend all your days and nights in and around the racetrack. Listed below are the different towns you can stay in and what to find in them.
Douglas: This is the islands capital and also the largest town on the island. This is where the TT village and majority of the event action is held. The town consists of a two mile sweeping bay and sandy beach. There is also a busy working harbour. You can find lots of Heritage in Douglas such as the Manx museum and the Great Union Camera Obscura. In the centre you can find lots of good shopping areas and a theatre.
Laxey: Situated 7 miles from the capital of Douglas, set in a deep valley with fantastic scenery. Here you can find the Laxey wheel, the world's largest working water wheel. Tickle your taste buds with a large variety of pubs and restaurants to choose from. You can also find a small harbour and a beach great for a little walk. Explore the scenery of the countryside even more by catching an electric tram up the mountain and take in the breath taking views of the valley.
Ramsey & the North: Ramsey is the 2nd largest town on the island located by the North Barrule Hills. There is a working harbour along with a large sand and shingle beach. One of the main attractions is the Mooragh Park a 40 acre park with sporting facilities, boating lake and children's play area. In the North of the island you can also find Curraghs Wildlife Park and the Ayres Nature Reserve, great for animal watching.
Port Erin & the South: In the South of the Island you can find beautiful beaches and walking trails, great for any nature enthusiasts. There are also lots of watersports and and boat trips to the off shore nature reserve. There is also a steam railway line, along with a 9 hole golf course. In the South you can also find Castle Rushin one of the best preserved in Europe offering plenty of culture and heritage for visitors.
Peel & the West: Peel is also known as the 'sunset city' as it overlooks the mountains where the sun sets, offering beautiful views on an evening. There is a popular fishing port located in the harbour along with a thriving town. There is plenty of cultural attractions including Peel Castle and 3 top museums.
Useful Information & Websites
The TT course is around 37/38 miles long offering plenty of areas to view the action. You do not need to pay entry into the village to enjoy the action, simply perk up near some hedges and get adventurous to find a top spot to view, for free!
If slumming it in the hedges isn't really your thing then you can choose from seating towards either the pit lane or out on the racetrack. These offer great views and come with designated parking and commentary included on the latest action.
Useful information around the Isle of Man itself can be found on the official visitor information site which can be accessed here: http://www.visitisleofman.com/.