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Holidays in Sandown

A Victorian seaside town, home of the friendliest carnival on the island

UK | South Coast | Isle of Wight | Sandown
Sandown pier and esplanade

Sitting on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, this pretty seaside town offers a lovely sheltered bay and kilometres of unspoilt sandy beaches, once the site of the lost Sandown Castle.

Though primarily a seaside resort, it is surrounded by delightful woodland and spectacular downs, perfect for long brisk walks. The National Trust Culver Down sits to the north of the bay and is full of typical chalk down land wildlife and seabirds which nest on the imposing cliffs below. The freshwater wetlands of Sandown Levels are the perfect spot for birdwatching and not far from the town is the woody Borthwood Copse where you can see an abundance of beautiful bluebells in springtime.

Culver Cliff overlooking Sandown Bay

The main beach is the focal point of the town but don’t miss a walk along the Esplanade to the popular Yaverland beach, taking in the stunning Victorian and Edwardian architecture on the way. A long stroll deserves an ice cream or two and there are many lovely little ice cream parlours to stop at along the way. People come from all around for the wonderful watersports available on the beach and if you want a piece of the action, there are various centres in the area that offer windsurf and kayak hire.

Be sure not to miss an afternoon on Sandown Pier – full of traditional amusement arcades, crazy golf and bowling, there is also sea fishing for the keen angler. There are lots of places to eat out in the town, from traditional cafes and restaurants to family-friendly gastro pubs. Make sure you also pop into one of the many tearooms on the High Street for a traditional cream tea before heading home.

Known as ‘Dinosaur Island’ because of the huge amount of dinosaur fossils to be found there, the Isle of Wight is a popular destination if you have a budding paleontologist in the family! Hunt for fossils around Sandown Bay and then pop into the interactive Dinosaur Isle museum for a fascinating look at the Mesozoic Era. If you are lucky, you might catch one of the organised fossil hunts on offer in Sandown but feel free to make your own route – who knows, you could go home with the oldest souvenir on the island!

If you can visit Sandown during July and August, you will find yourself in the midst of the Sandown Carnival, known as the island’s friendliest carnival. Dating back to 1889, it is one of the oldest on the island and very popular with children and adults alike. It holds day processions including fancy dress parades for children and an illuminated evening carnival – lots of fun for all the family.

"This pretty seaside town offers a lovely sheltered bay and kilometres of unspoilt sandy beaches..."

Ideally situated to visit the rest of the island, Sandown is just a mere stone’s throw from the neighbouring town of Shanklin. Pack up the car and drive further afield to Ventnor or Ryde and make a point of visiting Cowes, especially exciting if you are on the island during Cowes Week, a world-famous sailing regatta.

We have some lovely properties in and around Sandown. Why not take a look at our collection of Sandown cottages to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Yaverland Beach

Miles of golden sands, brilliant for watersports

Sandown Carnival

Lots of fun and activities for all the family

Dinosaur Isle

Interactive fun for amateur palaeontologists

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