Sandown, the favourite family holiday resort, lies to the south-east of the Island and shares the same bay with Shanklin. Built in Victorian times as a popular seaside resort, it has had many well known visitors, such as Lewis Carroll, John Keats and Charles Darwin who wrote some of his Origin of the Species whilst staying in Sandown.
The Esplanade boasts some fine Victorian and Edwardian hotels which overlook the fine golden sands of the beach below. Sandown pier hosts a large amusement center with arcade games and children's play areas, typical of a sea-side resort. The pier is also good for doing a spot of sea fishing with designated areas especially for the keen angler. Further down, there is the Isle of Wight Zoo and big cat sanctuary and other facilities include 18 hole golf course, a leisure complex and Sandham Grounds, offering tennis, bowls and putting.
Walking up the High Street, you will find some fine shops, restaurants and seaside cafés all offering excellent service and goods. Sunday is market day in Sandown, where you can wonder between the market stalls and the high street shops.