Foreland, Isle of Wight

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The beach at Foreland
View of Forelands and the Bembridge ledge from Culver Down, with the mainland in the far distance

Foreland or Forelands, and the adjacent Foreland Fields (50°40′57″N 1°04′36″W / 50.68250°N 1.07667°W / 50.68250; -1.07667), is the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight, part of the village of Bembridge.[1] It is located about 6.5 miles due south of the city of Portsmouth on the British mainland, separated by the eastern reaches of the Solent. It is characterised by a pub called the Crab and Lobster Inn and various beach huts plus a beach cafe and a coast guard lookout. In the sea are the reefs of Bembridge Ledge which is rich in edible crabs, lobsters and spider crabs and shoals of mackerel. In the Crab & Lobster Inn are photographs of the many shipwrecks, which included the submarine HMS Alliance, now a museum ship at Gosport[2] and the First World War troopship the S.S. Mehndi carrying troops from South Africa, with great loss of life.[3]

Foreland Fields includes Bembridge ledge, an area formerly popular with shipwrecks and smuggling, but also for crab and lobster fishing; there is a Coastguard Station; the channel through the interior of the Bembridge Ledges is known as "Dickie Dawes Gut" after a notorious local smuggler (and father of the courtesan Sophie Dawes) due to his feat of escaping the excise men by superior local navigational knowledge. There was a pillbox built in the Second World War, now subsumed in the sea defences;[4] the beach is sandy with stones which contain Cretaceous fossils.[5] The cliffs also feature Horsetails ferns.

Coordinates: 50°41′10″N 1°04′12″W / 50.68611°N 1.07000°W / 50.68611; -1.07000


  1. ^ "Bembridge Ledge / Forelands Beach". Isle of Wight. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  2. ^ "HMS Alliance". Isle of Wight Photo Gallery. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  3. ^ Young, Lola. "The hidden history of the sinking of the SS Mendi". British Council. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Isle of Wight Historic Environment Record". Isle of Wight History. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Be,bridge Foreland". UK Fossil Collecting. Retrieved 27 September 2016.