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Located barely more than a stone's throw away from the mainland, the Isle of Wight offers a measure of the exotic with the price tag of a domestic holiday. The combination of natural beauty and convenience have built a stellar reputation for the island as a holiday destination over the years. In addition to its wealth of attractions and stunning natural landscapes, the Isle of Wight also promises a healthy serving of fine, budget-friendly two star hotels.
The Isle of Wight ticks a lot of boxes, but probably its main draw for tourists is its impressive selection of beaches. Ranging from dramatic, rocky coves to family-friendly sandy stretches, there really is something for everyone on the island.
The two star resort of Sandringham Hotel offers guests easy access to the beach at Sandown, as well as exquisite sea views out across the English Channel. Facing due south, the hotel and beach share some excellent sunshine throughout the summer months. Thanks to the heated indoor pool, though, guests don't have to wait for the sun to come out to take a relaxing swim.
Just because you're planning a holiday on a budget doesn't mean you need to make compromises when it comes to your hotel's facilities. The Malvern Hotel in Sandown provides a prime example of how affordability and comfort don't have to be mutually exclusive.
The Malvern Hotel has its own pool, which is ideal for families with young kids. Also on the hotel site is a bar, restaurant and pool table. Breakfast is available in the hotel, and there's even a high-speed wireless internet connection, great for planning each day as it comes. The centre of Sandown is just a few minutes' walk away.
When it comes to family-friendly attractions, the island really does know how to impress. Among the many things to do, there are a variety of dino-centric options. The Isle of Wight was once ridden with dinosaurs, and to this day it remains one of Europe's best places for finding fossils.
Dinosaur Isle provides an excellent single site dinosaur attraction. Here, kids can learn all about the history of dinosaurs on the island, aided by life-size models and skeletal reconstructions. Elsewhere on the island, the Dinosaur Expeditions Conservation and Palaeoart Centre offers a more hands on experience, giving visitors the opportunity to get out on the beach and find some fossils for themselves.
Thanks to its vast expanses of unspoiled countryside and dynamic coastline, the Isle of Wight is a stunning place to walk. While you can't really go wrong when it comes to selecting a route, few holidaymakers are willing to leave the island without first catching a glimpse of the iconic Needles, which lie off the west coast.
Just beside the famous Needles is Tennyson Down, an untouched headland where the renowned poet Lord Tennyson once proclaimed that the fresh air was worth 'sixpence a pint'. The headland offers spectacular views out to sea that which match any on the island.