Sandown is a traditional seaside town complete with a pier, on the south east coast of the Island, sheltered in a beautiful bay with miles of the most glorious sandy beach. To the north of the town is Culver Downs, which is mostly owned and managed by the National Trust and nearby inland are Sandown levels, one of the few freshwater wetlands on the Isle of Wight. At extremely low tides a petrified forest is partially revealed in the northern part of Sandown Bay. A gentle climb to the top of Culver Down to the Yaverland monument provides beautiful views across the island and mainland.
Sandown has a mild climate and constantly has a high placing in the UK sunshine records.
The sea is safe to bathe in and was host to the 2018 RNLI Swim safe campaign as the Town Council pays to have lifeguards on the beach during the summer season.
Sandown has been a popular venue for tourists for over 150 years, with a broad variety of accommodation on offer to suit every taste. The seafront provides a level walk along the sweeping Esplanade from Devonia Steps to Yaverland with licensed beach cafés for refreshments or an ice cream en route for a gentle stroll and with easy accessibility to the town’s shops, cafe’s, pubs and restaurants in the High Street which runs parallel to the seafront.
Yaverland beach is very popular for water sports and has its own car park with toilets, outside showers and a supply of fresh water.
There are many things to do in Sandown from a visit to a very traditional pier, the purpose built interactive Dinosaur Isle to explore the Islands dinosaur history and Sandown Zoo housed in an old fort. Along Culver Parade at Sandham Gardens, the Town Council’s recreational facilities are free for use and offer a skatepark, two playgrounds and a multi use area for football and basket ball. Adjoining this is the Sandown Bowls Club.
The remaining area of Sandham Gardens is undergoing regeneration by Heritage Attractions Ltd, with the new Sandham Go Karts circuit and further facilities to be installed include a dinosaur themed crazy golf course and High Ropes Trail, with more to follow.
Carnival - Sandown hosts one of the oldest carnivals which date back to 1889, with daytime processions and an evening carnival held in July and Sandown Regatta with an evening firework display and an Illuminated Carnival which are held in August. The Carnival activities end in November with a grand firework display on bonfire night.
Swimming Pool and Leisure Facilities - The Heights is the Isle of Wight Council owned multipurpose sports and leisure centre providing two swimming pools, a 70 station Town Zone gym, a health suite and two activity studios and a studio solely for group indoor cycling classes.
Golf course - On the edge of the town, the Sandown and Shanklin Golf course offers an 18 hole course.
Sandown Airport is a privately owned airport – and has the ability for people to fly their own planes into Sandown Airport
Transport to and from Sandown
Buses - A regular bus service is run by Southern Vectis routes 2 and 3 and 8 which is a 45 minute journey to Newport, the centre of the island.
Local bus No 24 is manned by volunteers and provides a circular route via Morrisons at Lake to Shanklin and back.
Railway Station - Sandown railway station lies along the Island Line, the only train route through the Island and has a popular cafe.
The station was opened in the mid-19th century has two platforms, one of which still has the original station building and overhanging roof. There are no facilities for buying tickets, so they must either be purchased online in advance or on board the train with the guard.
There are two trains an hour direct to Ryde Pier Head in 18 minutes and two direct southbound departures an hour to Shanklin in 6 minutes.
Cycle route - National cycle route 23 is a 10 mile from Sandown to Newport in the centre of the Island.