Isle of Wight
Sandown was first developed as a fashionable Victorian resort which was visited by, amongst others, Lewis Carroll, Charles Darwin, George Eliot and Alfred Tennyson. Today it remains popular, offering a wealth of entertainment and easy access to the remarkable beauty of the rest of the island. The resort boasts long sandy beaches safe for bathing, excellent for water sports and boating and the pier, which is directly opposite our hotel, is popular with visitors.
Other attractions include the award-winning Big Cat Sanctuary and the Museum of Geology. In the summer months there are regular markets on both Sunday and Monday to supplement Sandown's shops, cafés and restaurants. Sandown is surrounded by a varied landscape of outstanding beauty.
In addition to the downs found at its centre, the island ranges from woodland, farmland and wetland to majestic cliffs and deep chines, so that visitors are confronted by ever changing views and terrain. Indeed, Sandown itself is part of the Tennyson Heritage Coast, which stretches from the chalk cliffs of Freshwater Bay to the spectacular 'Needles' rocks - which once joined the island to the mainland - and the multi-coloured sandstone of Alum Bay.
Apart from the island's famous natural attributes, there are over 50 absorbing attractions to be found around Sandown including ancient castles, medieval manor houses, Roman villas and fascinating animal and bird parks.
Beach and Gardens
Sandown boasts a clean, safe and extensive beach with miles of golden sands. Its esplanades and seawall walks stretch from Yaverland southwards through Lake to Shanklin Chine. Its gardens are colourful and well kept. These include Los Altos, Sandham Grounds and the delightful clifftop garden at Ferncliff.
Activities and Attractions
Tourist Information Tel:01983 813818
Nunwell House and Gardens Tel:01983 407240
A beautifully furnished historic house which is surrounded by five acres of tranquil gardens.
Amazon World Tel:01983 867122
Learn about conservation and rainforests and come face to face with some of the world's most unusual, beautiful and endangered creatures.
Isle of Wight Natural History Centre
The centre exhibits a unique collection of objects from fossils and fish to replicas of the Crown Jewels.
Brading Roman Villa Tel:01983 406223
One of the finest Roman sites in the UK with beautifully preserved mosaic floors, extensive collections of Roman archaeology, including coins, pottery, tools and a stunning exhibition hall.
Adgestone Vineyard Tel:01983 402503
The vineyard is one of the oldest in Britain and offers guided tours and wine tasting.
Tiger and Big Cat Sanctuary Tel:01983 403883
The sanctuary boasts one of the best collections of big cats in Europe.
Dinosaur Isle Tel:01983 404344
A detailed exhibition of fossils, particularly of dinosaurs, found on the island. Interactive displays and demonstrations explain how they lived.
Isle of Wight Festival
The festival offers a vast array of entertainment from classical and rock music to theatre and comedy.
Isle of Wight Walking Festival
The festival combines walks for charity with events organised by various ramblers' associations.
is one of the premier events on the international sailing calendar. The regatta attracts around 8,000 competitors, from professionals to weekend sailors and is the largest of its kind in the world.
Garlic Festival Tel:01983 865378
With its curious mixture of late sixties pop festival ambiance, country fair and garlic cuisine, this has grown into one of the best loved festivals on the island, attracting more than 25,000 visitors every year.
IOW Scooter Rally
Held in Ryde in August, this is widely recognised as one of the biggest scooter events in the world, with a range of activities and events for both participants and spectators.
Ryde Carnival The main carnival takes place in August and there is also an illuminated carnival in September.
Places of Interest
Ryde Tourist Information Tel:01983 567953
The town offers many shops and a magnificent pier with outstanding views across the busy Solent. It is also home to Rosemary Vineyard, one of the largest vineyards in Britain.
Alum Bay is famous for its unique coloured sands. Nearby are the majestic chalk Needles, the Isle of Wight's most famous landmark. Enjoy a chairlift ride for spectacular views over Needles park.
Osbourne House Situated just outside east Cowes, Queen Victoria's intriguing hideaway where she died in 1901, is one of the island's top tourist attractions.
Shanklin Chine Tel:01983 866432
The chine is a natural wonderland with rare plants, woodland, wildlife and a captivating waterfall.
Chessell Pottery Tel:01983 866432
A chance to observe the manufacturing process of this exquisite porcelain and to purchase discount items from the factory shop.
Carisbrooke Castle The Norman built castle where Charles I was imprisoned before his execution houses a museum which documents the history of the island.
Bembridge Windmill is the island's only surviving windmill. Its four floors of exhibits demonstrates the milling process from start to finish and visitors can see the original machinery which was last used at the turn of the 20th century.
Isle of Wight Steam Railway Tel:01983 884343
Passengers have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal and survey the beauty of the surrounding countryside from the Victorian style carriages.