Isle of Wight Beach Guide
7. Sandown Beach
Sandown beach is a very large and popular beach with masses of lovely soft sand. The beach area benefits from good toilet facilities and many cafes and restaurants close by. The centre of the beach is dominated by the famous large Sandown Pier, which dates back to 1879. Sandown Beach is very good if you enjoy water sports. If you get tired of lying in the sun and taking it easy then there is much to do nearby including Browns Golf Course, White City, Crazy Golf and town centre.
If you are seeking a relaxing area then head towards Yaverland or Lake where the beach area is less commercialised and much more peaceful.
Sandown beach is awarded the Blue Flag beach Award 2009 and was rated as Excellent (possessing the highest standards of bathing water). It was also Recommended in the Marine Conservation Society Good beach Guide 2009 and has a Quality Coast Award 2009.
8. Shanklin Beach
Shanklin Beach forms part of the famous "Sandown Bay" and offers you a lovely safe sandy beach with clear bathing waters. The main part of the beach can be accessed from Shanklin Town/ Cliff Top via the Cliff Lift. In this area you can find toilet facilities, deck chair hire, pitch and putt, car parking as well as cafes and amusements. Shanklin Beach is also a good choice if you like water sports.
The quieter part of Shanklin Beach is alongside the beautiful Shanklin Chine, close to Garden Isle Hotels, Luccombe Hall and Luccombe Manor (access to the beach can be gained from the hotel grounds). Enjoy stunning views from the cliff top here. Do not miss a snack here at the Grand View tea Gardens.
Shanklin Beach was awarded Excellent with a Blue Flag Award in 2008. It has also been given a Pass in the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2009 and has a Quality Coast Award 2009.
9. Ventnor Beach
Ventnor Bay is a predominantly sandy beach. Here you can cafes, restaurants and pubs for refreshments. The backdrop of the town from the beach, makes Ventnor Bay feel decidedly Mediterranean. There is a boat haven at one end and rocks at either side of the bay -perfect for crabbing. A fabulous beach and one not to miss.
10. Steephill Cove
Steephill cove is well worth the walk from the Botanic Garden Car Park at Ventnor. Follow the path which runs past the Ventnor Cricket Academy and take the steps down into the cove. There is a café and toilet facilities within the cove and this beach has got to be one of the best kept secrets on the Island. Big kids and little kids will all love the rock pools!
11. Compton Bay
Compton Bay is a stunning sandy beach located beside the coast road between Freshwater Bay and Brook. This area is a favourite for surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers. The area has toilet facilities and whilst there is no café, a refreshment van can be found there throughout the summer and during the winter months at the weekend. If you are interetsed in fossils and dinosaurs then you will love searching this beach. At low tide dinosaur foot prints can be seen imprinted in the rocks.
12. Freshwater Bay
Freshwater Bay is a small sand and shingle bay with the back drop of the tall cliffs at either end. A popular beach for all and makes a great day out as this area is located at the western tip of the Island adjacent to the Car Park. There are toilet facilities, café's and Freshwater Bay Golf course is close by.
13. Totland Bay
Totland Bay is a delightful beach situated on the West side of the Island. This is a popular destination for large cruisers and yachts so there is always something to look at and do. Totland Bay boasts a pier and there is a café and pub you can stroll to for refreshments. This beach is never particularly crowded and is pebbly at the high water mark, with lovely golden sand towards the sea. Toilet facilities are also on hand.
14. Colwell Bay
Colwell Bay is a small and sandy beach that is tucked away on the quieter west coast of the Island and boasts panoramic views of the Solent and Hurst Castle. The area has several café's and the gentle sloping beach and clear waters are a favourite for all looking for relaxing beach that has easy access.. Toilet facilities are close by and boats can be hired. This is a beautiful location and provides easy access for the elderly and disabled
1. & 15. Cowes & Gurnard Beaches
Gurnard is a small pleasant resort to the West of Cowes, here you will find toilet facilities an excellent café and the Woodvale Inn. It is a particularly good location to watch the lioners and large ships entering Southampton Water. In addition, there is a popular sailing club which regularly meet and race. With Cowed being the UKs sailing capital there is never a dull moment here. Whilst the beach is predominantly pebbles, it is an excellent vantage point with very good views. Access to the sea wall, a level walk between Cowes and Gurnard, is extremely good for the disabled and elderly. Between Cowes and Gurnard, there are several café's and toilet facilities. Plese note that these waters are not considered safe for bathing due to the strong current within the Solent, unless you are a very strong swimmer.
2. Ryde Beach
Ryde Beach is situated to the north of Ryde Town Centre and is accessible by either foot, car or Public Transport. Ryde beaches extend round the coast towards the smaller town and resort of Seaview. A level walk runs between Ryde and Puckpool walk, passing cafes, gardens and a children's play area. There is a boating lake if the beach gets too much in the mid day sun and a dotto train will bring tired walkers back to there car or Public Transport. The beaches are all sand and extend far out to sea at low tide. However, care should be taken as the tide can come in quickly.
3. Seagrove Bay
Seagrove Bay will remind you of holidays from days gone by. The beach is gently sloping and has lovely clear waters. There is a café and toilet facilities and rocks to be explored. Parking facilities at Seagrove are not good and access will have to be from Seaview Village on foot. However, once there, you will have a very enjoyable day and this area is a good place to spot the occasional celebrity, attracted to the quiet beach and exclusive properties.
4. St Helens Beach St Helens Beach can be accessed by either foot or car. There is a particularly good café/restaurant and the rock pools just need to be explored. Like Bembridge and Ryde beaches, St. Helens looks out across the Solent and the shipping Lanes and there is never a dull moment.
Bembridge hosts several quiet beaches of pebble, rock and sand. They over look the Solent and the busy shipping lane. These beaches are great for crabbing, cockling and exploring the beautiful natural surroundings. These beaches are usually quieter than the main resorts. Swimming is not safe in the Harbour.
6. Yaverland Beach
Yaverland Beach is easily accessible by car or foot. There is ample parking and it is about a mile from Sandown itself. Yaverland, like the rest of Sandown Bay, has gently sloping beaches and safe bathing. There is a kiosk and toilet facilities, as well as a yacht club. There area is great for families and adjoins the towering chalk cliffs of Culver which make for great walks and stunning view points.