We first found out about the trip through our friends Luke and Christine when it was already full, our place on this trip was a late addition as someone else had to drop out, which was a shame for them but brilliant news for us.
Our trip started with the usual pre-drive checks of the Exige, oil, water, snacks: CHECK! and off we went, on our way to the first checkpoint – McDonalds at Whittlesford to meet with Luke and Christine in their red Honda powered S1 Elise. Spicy Nuggets procured we were on our way for the longest leg on the trip to Liverpool
The day started sunny and bright but soon turned to rain and wind as we got closer to our destination. Upon arrival in Liverpool we pulled up at the hotel only for Luke to announce that this was not the hotel he was booked at. Cue much hunting around and checking of bookings only to find @M6rk_swarbrick had booked us into the wrong hotel for the night! However our hotel had a Lamborghini Hurucan and the rain had stopped by this point so I feel like it was worth the stay!
We arrange to meet the rest of the guys and gals at the curry house in Liverpool for dinner, so we took the opportunity beforehand to have a drive around and take in the after dark scenery of this beautiful city. will definitely be visiting again for further exploration!
I am always nervous meeting new people but the SELOC crew were lovely, so whilst it was daunting at first to meet all these people, who all knew each other from previous trips, they made us feel at ease very quickly. A swift drive back to the hotel, after stuffing ourselves back into the Exige – very full of curry, and heads down to get a good nights sleep before the Isle of Man Steam Packet Ferry in the morning!
When we arrived at the port I immediately found my second car spot of the trip, the number 75 car from the Gumball 3000 rally that had taken place a few weeks previous! The crossing was smooth however getting on and off the ferry did pose a challenge for all our low cars, thankfully the ferry crew were used to low cars and guided us on successfully with no damage!
Once we were on the island we got straight to it, doing a full lap of the TT Circuit before heading to the hotel to check in. I knew by this point that I was going to enjoy this trip!
Once we had deposited our stuff in the hotel we went out for a wonder around Ramsey, starting with the beach we walked down towards the town centre, as we came up off the sand we were greeted with what we all describe as a creepy looking house – bleak house, adjoining a wonderfully appointed house. We looked into the property to see if we could find out anything about it as we came to the conclusion it must have been an art installation, sadly the story is slightly more tragic than that – https://tinyurl.com/y5qumwoq
We met with the rest of the crew for dinner and drinks and had fun getting to know each other a little better and planning for the next days fun!
The Treasure Hunt! this consisted of splitting off into two groups for a full drive around the island taking in loads of tourist spots and some hidden treasures! Our first stop was the wheel at Laxey, where Christine and I found a hidden waterfall in a bush!
We met some guys with classic minis and a classic escort who told us about a trackday at Jury Autodrome aka the Jurburgring that was on the next day! Sadly we did not have helmets so we agreed go down to watch! Jumping back in the cars we continued our drive round the island heading south taking in various beaches, beauty spots and historical sites before stopping at The Cafe at Sound point for lunch.
Bumping in to the other group who were there for lunch at the same time, after we continued north round the west side of the island, stopping off at various points on the island and taking in all the glorious unrestricted roads.
Along the way we met up with a local Lotus owner and his son who were going to the trackday on the Sunday and kindly offered M6rk the use of a helmet for the day if he could get a place on the trackday.
We arrived at the Point of Ayre Lighthouse at Sunset, it was breathtaking we soaked in the atmosphere for a short while but by this stage we were all quite tired and ready to head back to the hotel, via some more lovely unrestricted roads of course!
When we arrived back the others had already been back a little while some had even gone out for another little drive over the mountain, an idea which M6rk loved so much he decided to go out as well whilst the rest of us settled in for a drink before dinner.
Sunday was a free day so M6rk woke up early and headed out for an even faster drive over the mountain and round to Peel before coming back to collect me and head out to Jurby for the track day! and the motor museum. M6rk had decided not to get out on track but when we arrived he couldn’t resist so he approached the organiser and asked if there was any way he could squeeze on and they were more than happy to let him go out for a session after a safety briefing and paperwork were completed. He quickly found his track feet again and enjoyed a little play about with a couple of BMWs who loved to drift it! turns out they were both racers who come to the islands only track to get practice fairly regularly.
After the track session was over we headed out to the Motor Museum which is just around the corner from the Autodrome, the collection here is so eclectic and interesting there is definitely something here for everyone, bikes, cars, military and service vehicles from all around the globe, my favourite was the preschool bus shaped like a train!
Once we had finished at the museum we headed down to Douglas to find Tourist tat and food, we scouted around and found a wonderful little place called Down Town which had a lovely menu including the bagels which we all chose! After another swift drive over the mountain, we headed out to visit our friend who had moved out to the island 10 years previous and could not speak highly enough about Island life!
On the Monday we had a more relaxed day, some people went off for a quad biking excursion, M6rk went off for another high speed run and I enjoyed a more sedate morning with a leisurely breakfast, following this we headed to Douglas and tried to find somewhere to have dinner that evening after disappointingly finding out that The Abbey was closed Monday and Tuesday each week, we fast realised that most places on the island are closed Monday at least! We gave up on the search and headed to meet Luke and Christine at the Steam train station where we took the most immaculately restored and presented steam train down to Port of Erin where we enjoyed half an hour on the beach before our train back. During the journey back we managed to find a place called Thai Thai for dinner which came with good reviews. The reviews were correct! the food was amazing, the service was fantastic and I cannot recommend it enough!
Tuesday was Leaving day, we got up and had breakfast, packed our things into the car an headed out for a last drive over to Peel, round and down to Douglas where Christine grabbed a hoodie and I went to get takeout Bagels from Down Town for our lunch whilst we awaited the ferry! It was a bittersweet wait in the port, I was excited to be heading home to see our kittens but sad to be leaving the island, we will be returning, no doubt about that but that last sunset on the way home from Liverpool was the perfect way to end the trip!
Visit the Isle of Man, you will not regret it!
Report By Phoebe Rudd (Jagermini)