About Sandown and Shanklin beaches, Isle of Wight
A short ferry ride from the mainland, the Isle of Wight is said to be Britain’s sunniest spot, and has long been favoured as a holiday getaway. Its quaint resorts uphold the tried-and-tested formula (amusements and candyfloss) of the British seaside. They have a gentle, retro appeal, are close to some fine beaches, and include the twin resorts of Sandown and Shanklin, picturesquely set on a sandy bay.
Sandown Bay offers 8km (5 miles) of long sandy Blue Flag beach, backed by the picturesque backdrop of Culver Cliffs. There are lifeguards on patrol and watersports facilities, as well as a pier at the Sandown end.
Beyond the beach:
Head inland to see solid medieval Carisbrooke Castle (www.english-heritage.org.uk). Charles I was held prisoner here before his execution in 1649. Today you can walk the battlements of this remarkably complete castle, and children will adore the Carisbrooke donkeys, who work the 16th-century well.