Monday, May 27, 2024

UK’s sunniest destination is town with sandy beach & 200-year-old attraction

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THE UK’s sunniest destination has been revealed – and it’s a small “charming” town on an island off the south coast.

The town has, on average, the most hours of sunlight per day, according to a new study, looking at which places in the country are the safest bet for a warm day out.

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The old village is home to pubs, restaurants and gift shopsCredit: Alamy
The beach is more than a mile long and has safe water for swimming

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The beach is more than a mile long and has safe water for swimmingCredit: Alamy
Tourists love exploring the town's thatched cottages

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Tourists love exploring the town’s thatched cottagesCredit: Alamy

The research, carried out by The Independent, looked at Met Office data for the last 30 years, in order to uncover the UK’s sunniest spots.

It revealed that the Isle of Wight was the only part of the country to have more than five hours of sunshine on average per day, with 5h08m.

The town that enjoyed the longest spells of sun was Shanklin, a small resort town, considered to be a classic British holiday destination.

Visit Isle of Wight describes it as “the epitome of the British beach resort” and boasts about its abundance of seafront hotels, amusement arcades and crazy golf, among other attractions.

Additionally, they raved about its town centre with independent shops, restaurants and pubs and theatre.

They wrote: “[There are] two themed adventure golf courses, amusement arcades, zorbing and the cliff lift which saves your legs from the trek back up the hill. The seafront also has plenty of pubs and cafes.

“Whatever you like to do on holiday, Shanklin is certainly a place to Say ‘Yes; to.”

The beach at Shanklin is one of the better-regarded stretches of shoreline on the Isle of Wight, with its traditional English seafront promenade adding to the seaside resort experience.

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Pubs, cafes and restaurants line the road behind the beach, as well as arcades and beach huts.

Visit South East England describe Shanklin as “a resort of great charm whose popular seaside attractions include a sandy beach, with excellent swimming and sunbathing opportunities”.

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They also spoke fondly of Shanklin Chine, a 200-year-old natural gorge with an impressive waterfall, all found within a three-acre site.

The site inspired some of the country’s literary greats, with Jane Austen writing of her visit to the Isle of Wight in June 1813: “…we hired a Sociable and drove round… Shanklin Chine, lovely.”

English poet John Keats was also a fan, describing it as “wondrous” and “a very great lion”.

He added: “I wish I had as many guineas as there have been spyglasses in it.”

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A new study has revealed where the world’s bluest waters can be discovered – here are the top 30

  1. Pasqyra Beach, Albania
  2. Paralia Mpouka, Greece
  3. Kassiopi, Greece
  4. Plage de la Vernette, France
  5. Kaputas Beach, Turkey
  6. Voulisma Beach, Greece
  7. Foki Beach, Greece
  8. Praia do Carvalho, Portugal
  9. Omprogialos, Greece
  10. Los Lances Beach, Spain
  11. Troon Beach, Scotland
  12. Zlatni Rat, Croatia
  13. Ploce Beach, Montenegro
  14. Marina del Cantone, Italy
  15. Cannon Beach, USA
  16. Cala Saona, Spain
  17. Keem Bay, Ireland
  18. Antisamos, Greece
  19. Plaza Kutlesa, Croatia
  20. Štikovica, Croatia
  21. Platja es Tancats, Spain
  22. Platja des Coll Baix, Spain
  23. Dafnoudi Beach, Greece
  24. Paloma Beach, France
  25. Praia de Boneca, Portugal
  26. Cala Figuera, Spain
  27. Milocher Beach, Montenegro
  28. Matira Beach, French Polynesia
  29. Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria
  30. Playa El Doradillo, Argentina

Visit South East England were a little less poetic with their praise of the Chine, saying: “What you notice especially as you walk around its three acres is just how lush and verdant Shanklin Chine is.

“There are around 150 varieties of wild plants, at least 50 species of moss and liverworts as well as ponds and an aviary.”

The Chine isn’t the only old attraction that draws in visitors, with the thatched buildings of the old village also something of a crowd pleaser.

Several have now been transformed into gift shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes, making them great spots for tourists to explore.

Getting to Shanklin requires a ferry from the mainland to the Isle of Wight, which run from Southampton, Portsmouth and Lymington.

Local trains on Isle of Wight run from Ryde Pier Head at one end to Shanklin at the other, while local bus services also run from Newport to Shanklin.

A night for two in Shanklin can be booked from around £70, including breakfast.

Also included in the Independent’s list of sunny destinations are Folkestone, Hastings and Bognor Regis.

Meanwhile, these UK destinations are also known as some of the sunniest spots in the country.

And these sunny spots also have some of the best beaches in the UK.

Shanklin Chine is a 200-year-old tourist attraction with waterfalls and a gorge

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Shanklin Chine is a 200-year-old tourist attraction with waterfalls and a gorgeCredit: Alamy
Shanklin is one of the most popular beaches on the Isle of Wight

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Shanklin is one of the most popular beaches on the Isle of WightCredit: Getty

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