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Further east from Ryde is the village of Bembridge. A quaint village with all the amenities of a small town, Bembridge is one of the jewels in the Island’s crown. Popular with sailors and holidaying families, there are three beaches with stunning views and very different coastlines to explore, and the striking Bembridge Lifeboat Station standing offshore. There’s a substantial harbour for sailors and the chalk Down at Culver which boasts a wealth of wildlife and natural features. Those who like a little piece of history will find it at the National Trust’s Bembridge Windmill. In the village is the excellent Stern Room restaurant at The Spinnaker and the Crab and Lobster pub with far reaching sea views.


There are a few nurseries and a primary school, but those with older children may need to undertake a small amount of travelling to reach a secondary school.


Next, you’ll find Shanklin and Sandown. Two of the busiest towns to visit in the summer, in these towns on the east side you will find an abundance of coastal benefits, including many wonderful eateries by the sea, long stretches of beach, cliff walks and many chances to get involved in water sports. There are great schooling options, including a number of nurseries, primaries and a secondary school.


eateries, including The Bistro, Cantina, Tremezzini and of course The Royal Hotel.


Along the beachfront esplanade there are traditional deckchairs, galleries, Ventnor Haven selling crab, lobster and freshly caught fish and The Spyglass Inn (where you may find a pirate or two!), as well as live music and a great pint. It’s the old fashioned British seaside at its very best.


Driving along the Military Road towards the north of the Island, past Compton Bay with its stunning views over the sea, you will see The Needles in the distance before you arrive in Freshwater. Home to Farringford House and Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater is the place to go if you love to be by the sea. You’ll find an 18 hole golf course with panoramic views across the Island and beyond, as well as Tennyson Down, which rises above Freshwater and goes right along to The Needles and Alum Bay. It’s a wonderful place for walkers and nature enthusiasts, as well as those who love to get out on the water in kayaks, fishing boats, paddleboards, even just for a swim. There are plenty of facilities in Freshwater Bay to encourage water activities.


Freshwater Village, which is slightly inland, has shops and amenities and leads to Totland on the western side of the Island. The west coast is famed for its spectacular sunsets and Totland Bay is the perfect place for a swim or spot of fishing. Or maybe just to have an evening walk and enjoy the wonderful views — try The Hut at Colwell Bay for great seafood on the beach.


This Victorian favourite, Ventnor, offers beautiful scenery, fabulous food and lively venues


To the south of the Island is Ventnor, popular with visitors since Victorian times and with the beautiful botanical gardens and breathtaking views of Steephill Cove just out of town, it’s a balm for the soul. For a relatively small town, it has a wealth of great


With ferry links to Lymington, the charming town of Yarmouth is very popular for visiting sailors, families and second home owners. With its Grade II listed pier, Royal Solent Yacht Club, Yarmouth Sailing Club and the estuary of the River Yar and nearby Bouldner and Hamstead, it’s a great place to explore, walk and sail. The George Hotel is right at the water’s edge and was originally a townhouse, dating from the 17th century. It’s now a hotel and restaurant and adds history and elegance to the town square. The town itself has numerous clothing, antiques, jewellery and chandlery shops and an excellent deli, as well as


popular pubs. Hosting the Yarmouth Gaffers event in June, Yarmouth sees visitors and Islanders alike flock into town for this historic event — one of the most popular on the Island’s calendar.


Yarmouth Old Town is popular with couples and families alike


Of course, the Isle of Wight has many beautiful towns and villages to offer inland too, including Brighstone, Shorwell, Niton, Carisbrooke and Godshill, which all have village shops and pubs if a quieter way of life is what you fancy. There is also the county town of Newport, a vibrant area with plenty of supermarkets, clothing stores, eateries, bars, transport links, schools and employment opportunities.


If quaint is on your wish list look no further than the picture postcard village of Godshill


For anyone considering a move to the Isle of Wight, there is certainly plenty of choice. Spence Willard has properties across the Island and spectrum of choice to suit everyone, whether you’re a family, retiree or looking for a second home.


spencewillard.co.uk


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