St. John’s Church was the venue for the very first Isle of Man TT motorcycle race, held in 1907 over a loose-surfaced, 15¾-mile course. Starting there, it ran to Ballacraine, then joined the current TT course as far north as Kirkmichael, before turning left and following the coast down to Peel, then swinging inland to St. John’s again. Retracing this original circuit also gives fine views out over the sea past the occasional basking whale on the run down the west coast to Peel—an ideal place to sit out in the sunshine by the busy harbor enjoying a plate of locally caught seafood with a glass of Castletown Ale. Fish and seafood—especially crab, Manx lobster and queenies, a sweet-tasting small scallop that is the local speciality—are succulent and fresh almost no matter where you try them, and the many Manx pubs are a great place to sample the local drink. Try the Shore Hotel in Laxey for the silky brew with a nutty flavor of the Old Laxey Brewery, one of the several small boutique breweries now springing up on Mona’s Isle. Right next door is the Mona Lisa, one of several authentic Italian restaurants on the Island, a legacy of its role during both World Wars when Douglas and other towns were home to internment camps for “enemy aliens.” A section of the Promenade was in fact cordoned off, with many guest houses used for this purpose.