I'm always delighted when the Isle of Wight gets shortlisted for something.
Admittedly, the naming of Yates in Newport as the UK's 'most tragic hometown club' was not a proud moment, but it has since closed and been replaced with a Slug and Lettuce (presumably that's better, kids?).
No, I'm more interested in awards for natural beauty and tourism which are slightly more glowing and likely to encourage people to visit for the first time.
The latest is the Countryfile Magazine Awards which has nominated Sandown Bay as the Best British Beach and Bembridge as the Best Village.
If you like the Isle of Wight (and aren't put off by attempts to harvest your data for marketing) then I'd encourage you to vote.
The curiosity is that many people will tell you that Sandown Bay isn't even the best beach on the Isle of Wight, let alone the UK. And it's not, if you are looking for a beach where you can go surfing or walk the dog in the middle of summer.
It's also not the best Isle of Wight beach for kite surfing or searching in rock pools for crabs or angrily throwing stones into the sea after a difficult breakup or cooking up some sausages on a barbecue.
And it's definitely not the best Isle of Wight beach for watching a lifeboat launch, avoiding the crowds in August, looking for dinosaur fossils or for building a tower out of stones for an Instagram post.
And since you asked, it's not the best Isle of Wight beach for kayaking into a cave and it probably isn't the best Isle of Wight beach for flying a kite or gazing at sunsets, although I'm happy to debate those ones.
My laboured point is that choosing a beach to visit on the Isle of Wight depends very much on what you are looking for. We spent most of our youth at Compton Bay, which is glorious for sunsets and bodyboarding but is much less practical for a family with a pushchair or a wheelchair. The steps down to the beach are steep, the toilets are pretty basic and there's nowhere to go if it rains.
In our guide to 'which is the best Isle of Wight beach for...' Sandown was winner in the category for the best beach for toddlers. The sand is soft, there's a playground and parking nearby, and if it starts to rain you can race everyone else to the Pier or to the cafe at Brown's Golf Course. But in other categories, winners included Shanklin, Ventnor, Freshwater Bay and about a dozen other beaches.
As I've said many times before on this blog, the Isle of Wight's trump card is its range of beaches which makes it the 'UK in miniature' rather than any one beach. Lots of other UK counties have plenty to offer and can do things on a bigger scale, but you'll struggle to see such a varied coastline during a week's holiday.
I'll tackle the question of whether Bembridge is the Isle of Wight's best village some other time...
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