THE Isle of Wight is king of the 'sand’ castle for top beaches.
The Isle of Wight reaffirmed its crown as the country’s number one destination for quality beaches after retaining its four Blue Flags and 13 Seaside Awards received in 2013.
The prestigious Blue Flag scheme and Seaside Awards — which were previously known as Quality Coast Awards — are run by the Keep Britain Tidy Group.
The Blue Flag acts as a guarantee to tourists that a beach or marina they are visiting is one of the best in the world.
Sandown, Ventnor, Yaverland and Colwell beaches have all retained their Blue Flags as well as being given Seaside Awards.
Other beaches to receive the accolade were Cowes, East Cowes, Springvale, Seagrove, Gurnard, Ryde East, St Helens, Totland and Shanklin.
All the award-winning beaches have been rewarded for their fantastic facilities, cleanliness and, in the case of the Blue Flag awards, meeting the highest international standard of water quality.
Isle of Wight Council executive member for tourism Cllr Shirley Smart said: "Yet again the Isle of Wight comes out top in the prestigious Blue Flags and Seaside Awards scheme which is excellent news.
"With the increase in tourists we have seen over the last year, this can only further enhance the Island’s reputation as a top holiday destination."
Visit Isle of Wight chief executive David Thornton said: "Tourists pay special attention to Blue Flag beaches and Seaside Awards and this sends out a clear message that we’ve got some of the UK’s best beaches and is a great start to the summer season."