Peel, Isle of Man

The fishing town of Peel sits midway along the western coast of the Isle of Man, a self-governing dependency of the British Crown located in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and England’s Lake District. Legend has it that, during the 5th century, Saint Patrick established a Christian missionary on a small islet in Peel Bay. Now connected to the town by a causeway, St. Patrick’s Isle became a Viking stronghold under 11th-century King Magnus Barefoot; its impressive castle ruins include intact fortress walls, a Celtic cathedral and a roundtower. Peel was the center of a thriving herring industry during the 19th century and home to the famous Manx kipper; you can tour the last traditional curing yard where kippers are still smoked with oak chips over an open fire. Also visit the House of Manannan, an interactive museum that explores the Isle of Man’s rich history, or relax on one of Peel’s excellent beaches. Nearby Glen Maye National Park lures with vestiges of ancient forests that once covered this biodiverse island, the entirety of which has been designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.