The online poll – run by the popular magazine in conjunction with the BBC TV’s Countryfile programme – placed the 2 popular Isle of Wight destinations at the top, by a very wide margin.
Bembridge was voted village of the year for ‘wonderful coastal setting with a pier and lifeboat station, plus a busy village community with independent shops, cafés and restaurants’. It was also noted that Bembridge has 2 great beaches and the white cliffs of Culver Down on its doorstep and that the village is a perfect base for exploring.
Sandown Bay was voted the Best British Beach and described as a ‘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’. The award covers from the south of Shanklin Esplanade right around to Yaverland.
Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight has 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”.
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Ian Boyd of Arc Consulting said:
“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”.
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