Mark and Ruth Wardle, swapped the South of England for island lifeMotorcycling aficionados, Ruth and her partner Mark made their Isle of Man TT Races pipedream a reality when they relocated to the Isle of Man in 2019 with their teenage daughter, four motorbikes, two cats and dog!
Discovering the Isle of Man
Mark and I were always aware of the Island – I’d visited countless times to watch the Isle of Man TT Races, and Mark had been the once some 25 years ago. My first trip was in 1992, and even then, I remember saying to friends – I’ll live here one day. Each time I’d visit, it felt like coming home. I was always overwhelmed at how friendly people were, and how much there was to do here. Although it’s very similar to the UK in terms of infrastructure, language, amenities etc, it really sets itself apart. I loved the traditions, the quirky Manx tales, the stunning scenery and the amazing history and heritage of the Island.
Although Mark had only visited the once, the week he stayed here never left him. So, when we discussed leaving the UK for a fresh start somewhere new, the Isle of Man was at the top of the list.
Bikers through and through
We chose to leave the south of England for many reasons. We wanted a more active social life, a safer environment for our daughter Ruby and a place where we could re-establish a healthier work life balance. However, we’ll make no secret that the TT Races played a big part in our decision-making process! We’re self-confessed motorbike lovers and it’s how we met. We have both ridden for years, and between us now own five bikes!
To be able to watch the races in person as and when we liked was a real draw, plus being able to ride the Mountain Course – what an honour! When we moved, and started riding here, what really struck us was how breathtaking the scenery is – it’s actually sometimes more about the view, than it is the ride! Our favourite spot is the Creg-Ny-Baa, which is where we have chosen to get married later this summer.
The Isle of Man is very geared up to motorsport fans, in fact any type of vehicle enthusiast – there’s Murray’s Motorcycle Museum, the Motor Museum, the Aviation Museum and more! Plus, the Island has a fantastic heritage railway network. The Island also has plenty of other biking pursuits – including motocross and closed-circuit racing.
Still feels like we’re on holiday
It’s been over three years since we moved, but we still feel like we’re on holiday. Even when we took a short trip to the UK, we were desperate to get back. It’s only when you leave that you really notice the difference between the Island and the UK.
It’s extremely clean, safe, there’s less traffic and noticeably less pollution. The beauty is outstanding – and so unique from area to area. We love the glens, which are all so different. The glorious beaches, the amazing coastal walks – the list is endless, and we don’t think we’ll ever manage to do it all! Of a weekend we quite like to ‘get lost’ – see where the wind takes us. Whether that’s down a new footpath, to an ancient ruin, or a quirky little pub.
We say to our friends and family across – we’ve won the lottery. Apart from the scenery, the food and drink scene here is top notch and we have several favourites, and more to discover no doubt. We’ve made many new friends since relocating and first met some of our now closest friends at the beach or local pub – the community here is incredibly welcoming, caring, and friendly.
Great work-life balance
Mark is a licensed Track Machine driver and works with all sorts of plant machinery. Although he is taking time out to renovate our property, having recently made several enquiries to local firms it’s very apparent there’s no shortage of construction roles and work in the Isle of Man.
I am a qualified Dispenser, and work at a local pharmacy in the south of the Island. When I was initially looking for roles on Island, there were many to choose from, and I had no problem finding a position. I love where I work, and it’s probably the best pharmacy I’ve ever worked in.
The team and my patients are fantastic, and my employer very flexible. I’ve been able to reduce my hours and can regularly flex my time. I’ve been able to afford to do this, because the cost of living here is less in comparison to where we lived in the south of England. The personal tax rates are lower, but so are general living expenses. As a family this has afforded us the opportunity to spend more time together – and what better place to do this in, than the Isle of Man!