The Isle of Wight is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches, so much so that 3 of them have blue flags awards! Each beach is as wonderful as the next, but all have very different qualities! So whether you want a completely chilled out experience or a lively fun one, we have something to suit everyone!
Sandown Bay is one of the longest stretches of beach on the Island, and has recently won a Blue Flag award. It is home to two of the Island’s most popular resorts, Shanklin and Sandown. The miles of uninterrupted golden sand, set against the Culver Cliffs makes makes this an ideal spot for beautiful views as well as basking in the sun. Sandown Pier lies at one of the bay, home to the amusement arcades, and the children’s play area with crazy golf lies at the other end of the bay. Watersports are also a popular feature here, and equipment can be hired locally if you don’t have your own!
Shanklin Bay shares its beach with Sandown, meaning it has the same golden sands and views, but is generally quieter than Sandown. It still has many popular attractions and facilities, even if its pier was lost in the hurricane! The beach can be accessed from the town, which sits directly above it, by a public lift, so visitors of all ages can get there!
Ventnor beach is smaller than its neighbours Sandown and Shanklin, but has its own delightful Victorian feel and Blue Flag Award. The beach is very popular with the locals and tourists who like to relax in this sun trapped bay. The amusements and arcades aren’t quite as obvious here, making it slightly quieter, but attracts more families and walkers who like the costal views along the island.
Whitecliff Bay is at the bottom of Culver Cliffs, but has limited parking facilities and no dogs are permitted. This quiet beach is ideal for summer strolls, but there is a steep footpath to the beach. The beach is made up of both sand and shingle and is suitable for swimming.
Compton is a very popular resort favoured by the Island residents. Many visitors go to surf and do watersports due to the tides, but most go to settle down against the cliffs and relax in the basking warmth of the sun. Whilst the beach has no facilities apart from a snacks van and public toilet it’s still highly popular. There are steeps steps down to access the beach here so be careful on your visit.
Totland and Colwell Bay
Totland Bay is delightfully sandy and situated on the west side of the island. Totland is best for those looking to relax in quiet surroundings, and families with children looking to visit the rock pools to do some crabbing. This beach is joined with Colwell so when the tide is high and there is not much beach available you can take a lovely walk round and take in the views of the scenic walk.
Colwell is a small sandy beach, joined by Totland and has wonderful Solent views. This is another popular local’s beach and is ideal for watersports of all kinds. The shallow warm water here makes this ideal for families, without the hustle and bustle of a busy town beach. The facilities here are also limited, and when the tide is high there can be very little beach, but will still be a relaxing day nevertheless.
Gurnard Bay is a small shallow resort, consisting of shingle and sand beach and is ideal for gentle watersports for all ages. The green and the local restaurants make it an ideal spot to sit and watch the boats sailing in the Solent. It comes alive during the summer with various sailing events in the Solent, and days can easily be passed by watching boats of all sizes! They say Gurnard has one of the best sunsets on the Island, but you’ll have to visit to find out for yourself! You can walk along from Gurnard to Cowes beach and enjoy both parts of town in one day. Princes Esplanade runs along the beach and into the town of Cowes. There are many beautiful spots to stop and take in the views along the walk, with telescopes and benches to rest on. The beach of Cowes consists of mainly stones and pebbles making it a bit less ideal to swim in, but the activity of one of the islands premier sailing hotspots manes there is plenty to watch whilst you rest on shore!
Ryde beach is one of the most popular resorts for day trippers and tourists. Easily accessible by the Wightlink Fast Cat to the mainland it is a busy, lively place to visit. There are attractions and restaurants in abundance, as well as parks and a swimming pool for children of all ages. The beach here is sandy, with mostly clear waters and is a popular resort for families with young children. The tides can come in quite fast so be prepared for the change and you could then decide to take a walk along to Appley beach.
Appley Beach is another popular beach consisting of sands and clear waters, but is a little bit quieter than the main Ryde beach. The shallow waters make this ideal for family swimming but watch out for the incoming tide! Appley is home to a 9 hole pitch and put course, perfect for if the tide does come in and you fancy doing something different!
St Helens beach is ideal for families who want both fine sand and rock pools. The tidal flow barely exists, but you should keep an eye out for the boats coming in and out of the harbour. St Helens Fort lies just of the coast as a defence against the French invasion, and when the tides are extremely low you can take a walk out around the Fort.