The beaches at Ryde lie on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight and offer miles and miles of sandy shores. The sand reaches out so far that Ryde pier had to be built to enable boats to dock and load/disembark passengers. At low tide the sand banks reach almost to the end of the 681m long pier and a harbour sits on the shore that is only accessible at high tide – you will occasionally see the yacht of an inexperienced sailor stuck on the sand at low tide.
A promenade stretches from the hovercraft terminal, next to Ryde railway station at the foot of the pier, eastwards passing the harbour. Then the pleasure beaches begin, stretching down to Appley past the impressive Gothic structure of Appley Tower, and then on to Puckpool. The fine sandy beaches have numerous entrance points from the promenade and deckchairs, sun loungers, windbreaks and other items can be hired on the beach. Watersports are popular towards the eastern end, especially kitesurfing.
The stretch of sands at Ryde offer fantastic views from the Isle of Wight across the Solent to Portsmouth, with the landmark Spinnaker Tower forming an impressive backdrop to a busy shipping channel which carries an interesting array of freight, passenger and military vessels. You also get great views across the water to two of the 19th Century Solent defence forts, Spitbank Fort and Horse Sand Fort.
Nearer to the pier are attractions such a bowling alley and Peter Pan's Playground – a traditional fairground style play area with a pirates theme, helter skelter and trampolines. Moving further east you encounter the large boating lake full of swan pedalos (and real swans) and the indoor/outdoor swimming pool, Waterside.
An amusement arcade faces the pier and there are many cafes, a fish and chip shop, a pub and an antique chemist shop, now converted into a chocolate shop.
The small sandy area on the western side of the pier is also a popular beach and has featured in many historic photographs, but walk further west from the pier and there is a less developed quieter beach that tends to be favoured by locals.
The best time for bathing is when the tide is in to around half way out as when the tide is right out it is a fair walk to the sea. When the tide is on the turn, keep an eye out for your children as they can become trapped on sandbanks, although there is a safety boat patrolling the sea and lifeguards on duty.
Southern Vectis buses 2, 4, 8 and 9 service Ryde and a quaint old underground train runs from Ryde Pier head (Island Line) to Shanklin and back. There is ample (paid) parking along the promenade and several car parks in Ryde town.
Map & Directions
|Open (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)|