Sandown & Isle of Wight attractions
Sandown is a beautiful town on the East coast, with sandy beach, pier, annual air show, Sandown Bay regatta, light aircraft flying, hang gliding and paragliding. A good place to start in Sandown is at its idyllic beach and broad promenade. This prime beach offers security and peace of mind that will enable you to have a relaxing and enjoyable seaside adventure. With patrolling lifeguards, water safety zoning, first aid points for minor injuries, emergency equipment such a life jackets and inshore rescue reassuringly close at hand. Since 1996 Sandown beach has been able to fly the seaside award flag and water quality award.
During the summer season the beach is machine cleaned and litter picked on a daily basis, with all this taken care of you will be free to indulge in safe bathing, water sports, and visiting the towns cafes, pubs and restaurants that are just yards away. Sandown has its own pier that dates back to 1879, and is a great place to enjoy all weather amusements and all the joy of a pier that was similarly enjoyed by the Victorians.
Along the seafront on Culver Parade there is the new and exciting purpose-built interactive museum. The museum of Isle of Wight geology was updated and moved from its previous location in April 2001. The building shape itself, a giant pterodactyl, gives preview to the imaginative lighting, artwork, sounds, smells and animatronics' technology that is used to bring the collection of fossils and geology to an enthralling and engaging level accessible to all.
Just a short distance off the Sandown esplanade you will encounter the famous Zoo and Tiger sanctuary and attached Lemurland. The award wining complex plays host to Britain's largest collection of Tigers. You will also be treated to the privilege of viewing lions, leopards, jaguars, lemurs, monkeys, snakes, spiders and lizards. The newly opened Kanha Enclosure, (modelled on natural habitats in Kanha National Park in Madya Pradesh, central India) has been described as one of the best new zoo enclosures of the world. The website quotes the zoo's mission statement as 'To promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences. Exemplary animal management, conservation and research.' With this in mind you will be treated to the unique chance to experience the wonder of such enchanting animals and the opportunity to show your personal support of the tigers' plight.
Robin Hill countryside adventure park is under five miles from Sandown. A great place for kids and adults alike, there is the 'Cows Express' train, 400m toboggan run, Colossus swinging gallon, time machine, qquirrel tower, Ducktown village, tree top trail and impressive falconry displays, woodland gardens, sculpture walks and ponds and general splendour of the countryside and nature.
The Oasis shopping outlet, located in Brading, Sandown, provides a delightful collection of unusual and inspiring products. In an area covering over 12,000 sq ft, a extensive range from hand carved teak furniture directly imported from the Indonesian island of Bali, to glass ware, table ornaments and home-ware will satisfy every budding interior designers and home decorators needs.
Also in Brading, The Lilliput Antique Doll and Toy museum can be found. A charming cottage museum formed from the private doll collections started by the Munday family in 1960. Whether you wish to reminisce about the toys of your youth, or discover the quaint world of toys played with by our older generation, you will be able to enjoy what has been acknowledged as being 'of the finest and most important collections in Great Briton.' Some exhibits date back to circa 2000 BC, and include trains, dolls, wooden rocking horses and toy cars.
Shanklin Chine is a historic gorge with over 150 varieties of wild plants and over 50 species of moss and liverworts. The area offers a chance to revel in nature and history, from geology to smuggling and shipwrecks. The Saxon origin of the word 'chine' means 'deep-narrow ravine' which has been formed by water cutting through soft sandstone leading to the sea, this process has taken place over 10,000 years.
Over a drop of 150ft to sea level and just over a quarter of a mile, the Chine covers approx three acres. The magical time in this enchanting example of nature's wonders is topped off with the presence of the main waterfall the stretches over 45 ft and the second waterfall which covers over 29 ft drop. A heritage centre, cafe and gift shop makes this a easy place to spend an entire day or two. For those who are interest in wartime secrets, Shanklin Chine was the base for the successful P.L.U.T.O operation.