Sandown Bay and the village of Bembridge have been crowned the best in the UK in the Countryfile Magazine Awards.
An online poll of pubic votes saw the two popular Isle of Wight destinations scoop the top spots by a very wide margin.
Bembridge was voted village of the year for it ‘wonderful coastal setting with a pier and lifeboat station, plus a busy village community with independent shops, cafés and restaurants. With three great beaches and the white cliffs of Culver Down on the doorstep, the village is a perfect base for exploring.’
While Sandown Bay bagged Best British Beach for its ‘traditional bucket and spade beach on the east coast of the island with miles of golden sand, pier and eclectic seafront – and just a short walk to peace, fossil-rich cliffs and stunning coastal Wildlife.’
Visit Isle of Wight Managing Director, Will Myles said:
“This is clearly fantastic news for the Isle of Wight. We’re very grateful to the thousands who voted for Bembridge and Sandown Bay.
“To win not just one, but both of these awards is a testament to what this Island has to offer.
“It’s just two more reasons for visitors to come and discover the Isle of Wight – the best beach in the UK at Sandown Bay and the best village in the UK, Bembridge.”
Sandown-based Arc Consulting’s Ian Boyd added:
“This is absolutely wonderful news! It’s a spectacular result for the Island particularly for Bembridge winning as well what a fantastic celebration of everything that is great about the Island.
“For us, it’s acknowledges the incredible quality of the Bay’s environment of this extraordinary beach – it’s a reminder just how lucky we are and how much we have to be thankful for.
“We know we have the best beach to talk about, to bring people back for or to visit for the first time. And for those of us who live and work here, it’s a real shot in the arm – I’ve always believed it, but somehow it is even more believable. This isn’t a full stop, this is the start of something amazing and opens the door to everything that is coming.”