Welcome to Bembridge
Just been voted the best village by BBC Countryfile Magazine 2019.
Visiting a place where everyone seems to know each other by name can be pretty daunting so we have put together a few things you need to know so that you can act like a local and avoid standing out like a grockle (tourists).
Bembridge is built on the east coast of the Isle of Wight and was originally an island before the Victorians built the harbour wall and the railway (no longer there but you can see and walk some of it). Surrounded by incredible unspoilt beaches, the shoreline is dotted with old fashioned much loved beach huts, seaside cafes, dinghies and the odd brave sun bather. Dogs are welcome all year.
Favourite walks from the pub
One of our favourite walks is to walk up to the village and towards the Windmill. Stop here for a moment to enjoy the view of the marshes, owned and managed by the RSPB, they are a wildlife haven. From here you can follow the path around the marshes, through Centurions Copse and up Quay Lane, past our house on the edge of the Marsh, to Brading. A favourite stop for coffee is the Auctioneer by the historic church of St Marys and the Old Town Hall. From here it is not far to Brading Roman Villa.
You can return to Bembridge by going back down Quay Lane and taking the footpath along the old railway track towards St Helens. This must have been a delightful railway winding its way across the marsh. You will need to take the road up to St Helens before dropping down to the harbour and walking round.
Another must is to walk along the shoreline around Bembridge towards the Lifeboat Station and beyond. The Beach Hut is positioned above Forelands beach and is the most perfect spot for a crab sandwich on a beautiful sunny day.
An absolute must is Bembridge Fort Walk. If you are luck enough to be visiting Bembridge in August, look out for the annual Bembridge Fort Walk. It is a spectacular sight - thousands of people walking around the small fort at the entrance to Bembridge Harbour. You must do it at the lowest of tides and please please only do it on the day of the official walk. The currents and tides can be very strong and there is only a short window of opportunity.
A few activities which you can do
Sally's Riding School - every dreamt of riding along a beach, well you can!
Tacktisle - water based activities for all ages - kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, windsurfing and much more besides.
Powerboat training and hire
Fishing and crabbing
Please get in touch if we can help you with any of the above.
Bar banter do's and don't's
Want to get to know the locals? Here are a few helpful tips about what to bring up and what to avoid!
Have you ever thought about a fixed link?
Complaining about the ferries is just as normal here as complaining about politicians but whatever you do don;t mention the idea of building a bridge or tunnel! This is the one topic that divides families and is guaranteed to lead to wishing you had never asked!
Part of Hampshire?
Don't get started on this subject either, apart from sharing some services, the Isle of Wight is not part of Hampshire! In fact we didn't even swear allegiance to the English Crown until 1293. As for Brexit, well what do you think!!
Any famous visitors?
Haven't spotted any recently.....!
What to wear?
Shorts, t-shirts and deck shoes or flipflops is pretty much the uniform of the locals! And do bring a waterproof, you are in England!
Places to visit around Bembridge
Lifeboat Station - an well known landmark to all sailors, this is a great place to spend a little time. You may even see a lifeboat launch.
Windmill - the last remaining windmill on the Island, high above the marshes with wonderful views.
Clay Clay - run by the most eccentric gent you are likely meet. Full of eclectic array of goodies including some surprisingly good artwork and saucy cards!
Bembridge Heritage Centre - tucked away behind the library, this is a little gem. Well worth a visit.