A stunning photograph of Peel Castle, with people enjoying the sandy beach, has been selected as the winner of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s photo competition.

The competition was launched on Facebook in October to find the perfect image to feature on the front of the Steam Packet Company’s 2014 Brochure.  45,000 copies of the brochure have been printed, encouraging travellers to choose the Isle of Man for their next getaway.

More than 530 entries were received from all over the world, including Canada, Australia, Switzerland and the USA, and after careful consideration the photo of Peel was selected. The winning photo was taken by Robert Robinson, of St Helens, during a visit to the Island last August.

Robert said the photo was taken during a walk in Peel while he was visiting the Island for the memorial of the 40th anniversary of the Summerland fire.

He explained: ‘I always take a camera if I’m going anywhere so if I see anything I like I can take a photo. I like to take pictures so I can have a memento. I’m no photographer, I just focus and click.

‘On this day I was just walking down to the castle with my wife when I saw the families on the beach and thought “that’s a nice view”, with the castle in the background, the sand, the calm sea and the sun. That’s why I took the picture, because it showed so much about the Isle of Man; things for families to do, the history, the scenery and that it can be warm – when the sun shines!’

Robert was a regular visitor to the Island in the early 1970s, and was on holiday in Douglas with his parents and two brothers when the Summerland tragedy happened.

The 58-year-old said: ‘Me and my brothers had been at Summerland until about 4pm, when we went back to the B&B because we had a meal booked and wanted to get changed as we were meeting three girls back at Summerland later. Fortunately for us, on the way back to Summerland we stopped at a pub for a bit of Dutch courage. While we were there someone came in and said there was a fire. We stepped outside and saw what was happening.’

Robert took several photos during his trip last year for the Summerland memorial, and submitted six to the competition. He was delighted to learn one had been chosen as the winner.

He said: ‘It means a great deal. It means I have taken the picture correctly and what I saw in it is what everyone else is seeing. It means people will see the Isle of Man as I do, as scenic, historic and a wonderful place.’

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We were overwhelmed by the response to our competition, and the incredible variety and quality of photographs submitted.

‘The aim of the brochure is to encourage people to come to the Isle of Man and what better way to do that than show them what we have to offer? Robert’s winning picture brings together many of the unique elements which make the Island such a great destination, and we’re very pleased with the way it looks on our brochure.

‘It was a far from easy choice – there were hundreds of stunning photos showing the splendour of the Island. We are delighted to have been able to use other entries throughout our brochure, and we look forward to featuring them in future campaigns and promotional material to show people all over the world exactly why they should be sailing to the Isle of Man.’

The 2014 Brochure can be viewed here.