In SummerIdeas

A visit to the Isle of Wight isn’t complete with a trip to the beach. With 14 award winning beaches and plenty more to discover, the Island has something for everybody.

They can be found at every point around the Island and encompass traditional sandy beaches with activities for all ages, secluded coves to watch the sun go down, a stroll along the promenade for fish and chips.


Starting our journey on the east coast, discover the vast expanse of Ryde’s Appley Beach, where seafront entertainments lie behind the golden sands looking across Solent towards Portsmouth. Ideal for building sandcastles, playing beach cricket and volleyball, it also hosts beach football tournaments – and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes should you decide not to bring a picnic

Perhaps rock pooling is your thing, with memories of scampering across the beach to see which animals are left in the shallow pools as the tide retreats.

The Isle of Wight has many places to enjoy this classic pastime, but one of our favourites is Seaview, a small seaside village. A charming shingle beach playing home to the famous Quay Rocks, offering many opportunities to hunt for crabs, limpets and small fish who make it their home. The views are spectacular too, as small sailing boats from nearby Bembridge Harbour make for a fine picture, while in the distance larger boats head in and out of the Solent, just beyond the Palmerston forts, built to defend England from attack in the 19th century.

Moving further around the coast, enjoy long stretches of sand reach as far as the eye can see at Sandown Bay, crowned Britain’s Best Beach by the BBC Countryfile Magazine in 2019. Here, you will find activities to suit all.

From fossil hunting at Yaverland, traditional beach front activity at Sandown (ideal for building sandcastles) sea front arcades and crazy golf at Shanklin and beyond to a quieter area of the beach where you can sit beneath Shanklin Chine and enjoy a some time at the delightful Fisherman’s Cottage.

There’s plenty of activity available too – learn how to surf or use a stand-up paddle board and head for the water, take a ride on a fast rib and be towed behind on a giant inflatable, or hire a pedalo and enjoy a more sedate mode of travel across the shining blue water.


Traditional beach huts line the seafront at Ventnor, a favourite destination in Victorian times and it still is now. An almost golden fine shingle beach curves beneath the Downs, and water glistens in the sunlight. Quality restaurants line the front, including the popular Smoking Lobster, or let the children play in the water of the Isle of Wight shaped paddling pool. Ventnor is great for wild swimming too, make your way from one side of the bay to the other to see the Isle of Wight from a different perspective.


Head west to Compton Bay, a favourite with locals and visitors, where you can throw a Frisbee, build sandcastles, swim in the sea or literally walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs which have been preserved in the ground for millions of years. It’s also renowned for it’s curling waves, making it a popular destination for surfers and kite surfers to head out and feel the freedom.

Make your way around to the Needles Landmark Attraction and head down the chairlift (or take steps) down to Alum Bay. Sit beneath the coloured cliffs and look out to the world famous chalk stacks that make up the Needles

Further along the coast is Colwell Bay, where beach huts and small shops help to make this pretty beach a stunning location. Kayaking and paddle boarding are popular pastimes here and there’s no need to bring your own – juts rent one from the shore side. Enjoy fine food at The Hut, a popular dining experience, particularly for those who like to moor up in deeper waters off the shore and use a dinghy from their boat to soak up the atmosphere. Colwell Bay is an incredible place to spend the day paddling or swimming in the clear waters, then sit back, enjoy a drink and watch as the sun goes down.


The shingle beach at Gurnard make for a great day of catching up with friends and family while watching the small sailing dinghies from Gurnard Sailing Club dart around the water. It’s a fantastic place to launch a SUP or go windsurfing too – and it’s claimed to be one of the best in the UK to watch the sun go down, so relax and enjoy while the children play in the nearby park, or enjoy it as family and treat yourself to a meal at the Woodvale with stunning views across the bay.

The sailing mecca of Cowes is just a short walk from the beach, take a pleasant stroll along to Egypt Point and on to Cowes parade. Make a pit stop on the green for ice cream and to watch yachts cruising on the Solent – it’s an ideal vantage point from which to view the famous sailing regatta that is Cowes Week, as multi million pound racing yachts share the water with smaller boats, or watch the majesty of the Cowes Classic Week which brings some of the finest vintage yachts in the world to the shores of the Isle of Wight.

This is just a small selection of beaches to enjoy on the Isle of Wight, not forgetting the secluded Steephill Cove or Puckaster Cove, the beautiful Whitecliff Bay, the proud rocks, rock pools and caves of Freshwater Bay…

Discover your personal beach paradise on the Isle of Wight.