A RESIDENT has complained about a once-beloved seaside town that they say is now one of the "saddest places to live".
Rising holiday costs mean more and more Brits are searching for staycations instead of going abroad – and there are plenty of great places in the UK to spend a day or two at the beach.
However, Sandown on the Isle of Wight is no longer one of them, according to local resident Sheelah Stephens, who has complained about its run down town centre, with empty shops and hotels.
The town sits on the east of the island and remains a popular bucket and spade holiday destination for some families.
The Isle of Wight website lists sandy beaches, water sports, fossil hunting and a poo museum among several things people can take part in while visiting.
But Sheelah admits that she is now so embarrassed about living in the seaside resort, she lies about where she's from when she meets new people.
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In a letter sent to the editor of the Isle of Wight County Press, she also accused local councillors of having no pride in the area.
Sheelah wrote: "One assumes the town councillors never walk around the town because if they did and had any pride in what they represent, surely they would make a commitment to sort out the mess.
"Having lived in the area for well over 40 years, I now tell people that I live in Yaverland and not Sandown as it is in such a state."
Sheelah particularly bemoaned the town's "empty scruffy shops," adding: "We are well on the way to being top of the list for one of the saddest places on the Island."
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Her comments divided opinion among other residents, with some sticking up for the town, while others agreed with her.
One labelled her a "moaning individual" and said they were proud to live there.
They added: "You have lived here for 40 years, why haven't you moved else where on the island such as Shanklin if it is that bad?"
Another wrote: "I know Sandown is a bit worn around the edges but it's still a charming town with a lot to offer."
However, others weren't quite so polite about the resort.
One person commented: "I always wonder how disappointed people must be who book a holiday there and turn up to an almost derelict high street."
Another added: "I remember Sandown being so busy when I was younger! Sad to see it in such a run down state now."
Despite those remarks, the town remains popular with visitors, with plenty returning every year for the summer.
The beach has a score of 4.5/5 from more than 270 reviews on TripAdvisor, with more than 250 people rating it either 'excellent' or 'very good'.
One person said: "Beautiful beach and good car parking. Idea for a good day out with the children. Nice café for lunches. Would go back."
Another wrote: "Great for walking, swimming and fossil hunting. Lovely clean sand and sea, perfect for swimming and enjoying the sun."
Elsewhere, places like Bellamy's Bistro and the Bandstand Restaurant are also highly rated, while hotels like the Wight, the Trouville and Broadway Park are also popular.
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Meanwhile, this is the UK’s ‘BEST’ seaside town – with award-winning beaches, stunning pier and cheap homes
And these are the top ten seaside resorts in the country.
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