If you’re not lugging pushchairs, buckets, parasols and the like, then you have the freedom to explore some of our quieter beaches where the extra walk is worth it for the peace and tranquillity - you may even find a beach all to yourself…

Steephill Cove, beach on the Isle of Wight

1. Thorness Bay

A wonderful, quiet north-coast beach, Thorness Bay is a two-mile stretch of sandy shoreline that’s also classed as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). You can enter the bay from both sides - on the western end from Thorness Bay Holiday Park or from the eastern end by parking in Gurnard and following the coastal path through (this will divert inland occasionally if deemed unsafe, so do check before you start) which takes you past Gurnard Sailing Club and up to Gurnard Ledge where you’ll have a fantastic view over towards your destination of Thorness Bay and across The Solent. 

2. Yaverland

Whilst you can definitely park and almost roll out onto the beach at Yaverland, the bay itself stretches on for what seems like miles, so the further you are prepared to walk, the quieter it gets. Dogs are also allowed on this side of the beach. Keep walking along and you’ll be looking up at the cliffs of Culver Down and also in the perfect place for a spot of fossil hunting - Yaverland is well known for some of the best prehistoric finds on the Island.

3. Whale Chine

No longer accessible from the steps off the Military Road, Whale Chine is reached by walking along the shoreline, so it’s imperative to check the tide times before setting off. Once you’ve made it, you’ll be wowed by the rugged, raw coastline and it’s quite likely that other than the odd adventurous dog walker, you’ll have the beach to yourself until a handful of local fishermen see what’s biting of an evening. 

4. Whitecliff Bay

Only accessible by walking through a holiday park or a very long walk along the shoreline, Whitecliff Bay is one of the prettiest spots on the Island and due to the walk, one of the quietest. The sandy shore hug the high cliffs and the sea is perfect for a dip. If you’re coming through the holiday park, you’ll take a very steep path down to the beach, so do remember that you’ll have to climb back up again later! There’s also a fab little cafe called The Wonky Cafe right on the beach, open when the weather is fine.

5. Steephill Cove

The clue is in the name of this beautiful cove near Ventnor, set at the bottom of (you’ve guessed it) a rather steep hill! Park at Flowersbrook and follow the winding coastal path and several sets of fairly steep steps before arriving in Steephill Cove. You’ll find a smattering of pretty cottages some of which serve as cafes in the summer, often serving up the catch of the day, which you can watch being landed by the local fishermen who fish these waters every day.

6. Compton Bay

Not to be confused with Hanover Point at the National Trust main car park, the Compton Bay end of the beach offers a much quiester spot, if you are willing to make the climb. Pass through Compton Farm fields and follow the coastal path as it take you down many (many) steps. You will have to do some clambering, so it’s not suitable for those with accessibility issues. However, if you do go for it, the views at the top are stunning, the beach is quiet with great waves for playing in and the sunset is pretty fabulous too!

Discover more of the Island’s beaches here.