Located in the Irish Sea nearly equidistant from Northern Ireland, England and Scotland, The Isle of Man is part of the British Isles and includes the main island as well as the smaller islands of Chicken Rock, St. Patrick’s Isle, and the Calf of Man. There is an old saying that from the isle’s one mountain, Snaefell, you can see the five kingdoms: Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, and Heaven (Some say 6, including the kingdom of Mann!).
The island itself is approximately 32 m / 48 k long and 8-15 m/13-24 k wide, population is somewhere around 78,000. The summit of Snaefell clocks in at around 2036 ft/ 621 meters. Snaefell, by the way, means Snow Mountain. The Isle of Man boasts beautiful coast, sharp crags, forests and rolling plains. Though snow is rare, the island experiences high winds and suffers from the typical ‘British summer’ when even July and August can experience chill and rain-ruined outside parties.
Originally settled by Irish settlers when the island was still attached to continental Europe, after glacial shifting cut it away from the mainland Vikings came for plunder and eventually stayed and colonised. The island fell under Scandanavian rule and Godred Croven created the Norse Kingdom of Man. His grandson would become the famed King ‘Orry’ in a succession of Kings who saw control of the island go back and forth between Scotland and England, eventually wiping the Manx Kings out entirely and replacing this line with the title ‘Lord of Mann’ which survives to this day.
Today the Isle of Man is part of neither the United Kingdom or the European Union. It functions under the United Kingdom as a Crown Dependency; the Queen of England being the Lord of Mann and its people being governed by the Manx Parliament, Tynwald. The land is divided into 6 sheadings under local government which are Ayre, Glenfaba, Garff, Michael, Rushen and Middle.
Disappointingly, the island is not named for its hoards of strapping young lads tanning on its beaches but for the sea god Mannanan (likely the Norse version of Neptune). When weather on the island begins to blow a hoolie, the locals like to blame it on Mannanan.
sources: New World Encyclopedia, Isleofman.com, the Quayle Family