Sandown Bay has been shortlisted as Best British Beach and Bembridge as Village of the Year in the Countryfile Magazine Awards.
It’s now down to a public vote to decide the winner. The online vote gets underway and will run until midnight on 17 February.
Both Bembridge and Sandown Bay are representing not only the Isle of Wight but also the entire south of the UK.
Sandown Bay is up against stiff competition from 5 other beaches around the UK including Cefn Sidan in Carmarthenshire, White Park Bay in Antrim, Seaham in Durham, Machrihanish Bay in Argyll and Kintyre, and Newborough Warren in Anglesey.
To win the title Village of the Year, Bembridge will need to fight it’s corner against Ingleton in North Yorkshire, Drummore in Scotland, Cartmel in Cumbria, Bwlch in Powys and Church Minshull in Cheshire.
The Countryfile Magazine website says Bembridge is recognised as ‘a wonderful coastal setting with a pier and lifeboat station, plus a busy village community with independent shops, cafés and restaurants.’
Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight says: ‘It’s great that Bembridge has been shortlisted as Village of the Year in the Countryfile Magazine Awards. To be there shows the community and shows what this Island has to offer, its beauty, its history, its heritage and Bembridge covers that in abundance.’
Phil Gilbraith, Director at The Spinnaker in Bembridge says: ‘It comes as no surprise to us that Bembridge has been nominated as ‘Village of the Year’ by Countryfile Magazine. Bembridge has a fantastic community spirit to match it’s beautiful location and it’s range of shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels. We are proud to be an active part of Bembridge life!’
Sandown Bay is recognised by Countryfile Magazine as a ‘traditional bucket and spade beach with golden sand, pier and eclectic seafront – and just a short walk to peace, fossil-rich cliffs and stunning coastal wildlife.’
Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight said: ‘It’s absolutely great news that Sandown has been shortlisted for the Countryfile Magazine Awards. Best British Beach for 2019? It’s a great place and a great accolade that could potentially be coming to the Island. I think it’s amazing and we should all get behind and vote for Sandown Bay in these awards.’
Ian Boyd from Arc and ArtEcology, based in Sandown Bay, explains what being shortlisted means: ‘It is recognition for something that is absolutely spectacular. It’s great for wildlife, wonderful for people, its landscape is simply superb and to see that recognised and acknowledged in this, is of course, absolutely wonderful.
Ian says it will mean a lot to Sandown Bay if it is voted number one: ‘It will be a stamp of public approval for a place that I think sometimes gets talked down, as many places do. It’s a traditional coastal community in many ways, but it’s an exceptional coastal community in many more ways and that’s what this vote will pick out. I think it will introduce Sandown Bay to a whole new audience of people who will come and just love it, and will come back again and again and again. It’s the beginning of something fantastic.’
And Will Myles has this rallying cry to the Island, and it’s millions of visitors:
‘Let’s get behind Bembridge, let’s get behind Sandown Bay and let’s bring these two awards to this Island.’
To support Sandown Bay and Bembridge in the Countryfile Magazine online vote, please go to https://www.countryfile.com/awards/