Top Beaches in Isle of Wight

Review of the top beaches in Isle of Wight that should not be missed, details, pictures and directions to Isle of Wight beaches

It is rare to find as many stunning beaches within such close proximity to each other anywhere else in the world. Isle of Wight beaches are also considered some of the best in Europe. Below are a few beaches that meet the Environmental Agency's Bathing Water Quality Standards as of September, 2012.

Sandown Beach
Sandown beach is regarded as one of the finest beach in Isle of Wight offering miles of indulgent golden sands. The beach offers enough space for both swimmers and holiday makers lazing around the beach for a fun day out. There is also the Sandown pleasure pier offering fun activities alongside beach shops, amusement galore and much more in the Sandown promenade.
Parallel to the beachfront, there is the High Street behind the beach front where there are a variety of shops ranging from arts, souvenirs, super market chains, pubs, cafes, and good restaurants.
Poscode for Sandown beach – PO36 8AE
Water quality – Excellent
Awards – Quality Coast Award, Blue Flat Beach, Marine Conservation Society Recommended
Suitable for – Swimmers, sun bathing, surfing and jet skiing
Carnivals – Carnival and windsurfing competition in August every year
Car park – available, pay and display and allocated space for disabled parking
Address – Sandown, PO36 8AE
Dogs allowed – But dogs are banned from May to September each year
Nearest train station – Sandown (just under 1 mile), Shanklin (2 miles approx.)



Compton Bay
Compton beach is located in the west of Isle of Wight boasting a two mile expanse of sandy beach. The beach consists of golden and dark sands, and offers views of white chalk cliffs of Freshwater. The beach is popular amongst surfers for its natural serenity. The beach was also receommended by the Marine Concervation Society in 2012 for its excellent quality water.

Postcode for Compton Bay - PO30 4HB
Water quality – Excellent
Awards – Marine Conservation Society Recommended
Suitable for - swimming, surfing and wind surfing.
Car park – pay and display facility available near the beach.
Address - Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 4HB
Dogs allowed – But dogs are banned between 1st June and 30th September each year
Nearest train station – Lymington Pier (8 miles), Lymington Town (8 miles)

Shanklin Beach
Shanklin beach is located in the south east coast of Isle of Wigh with Town facilities closeby. The beach offers a popular destination for water sports of many varieties which is equally entertaining for both participants and watchers alike. If you fancy some indoor activities, then the large amusement arcade and bowling are a few of the indoor activities in Shanklin that will keep you well occupied. There are also numerous pubs, cafes and hotels and restaurants near Shanklin beach.

Postcode for Shanklin beach – PO37 6BW
Water quality – Acceptable
Awards – Quality Coast Award
Suitable for – Swimming, surfing, sea canoeing, Sailing, Jet Skiing, fishing.
Car park – pay and display, 312 spaces in total with allocated disabled parking spaces
Address – Shanklin, PO37 6BW
Dogs allowed – but dogs are banned from the beach from May to September.
Nearest railway stations – Shanklin (0.5 mile), Lake (1.5 miles)

Ventnor Beach
Ventnor beach is located in the southern coast of Isle of Wight and the beach is surrounded by high cliffs with houses placed in a very well planned manner. The approach to the beach from the cliffs involves a winding road coming all the way down to the beach level through a famous garden with beautiful plants and water fountains definitely worth viewing! Although water sports may not be suitable for this beach, due to the concealed rocks and strong tides, the beach offers beautiful views with a viewing post, and many entertaining shops and sea view hotels. There are also beach huts, deckchairs and sun loungers which can be hired for the day.

Postcode for Ventnor Beach – PO38 1JP
Water quality – Excellent
Awards – Blue Flag award, Marine Conservation Society Recommended, Quality Coast Award
Suitable for – Swimming, boating and fishing
Car park – parking available in Botanical Gardens or private car park above the cove in the main road
Nearest railway station – Shanklin (3 miles), Sandown (5 miles)

Ryde Beach
Ryde Beach is located on the North East coast of Isle of Wigh to the north of Ryde Town Centre and can easily be accessed by foot, private car or public transport.  Ryde Beach which boasts miles of sandy shorelines is a popular destination for holiday makers and local residents alike. The beach is particularly appealing because of its exceptionally wide sand banks that reach almost as far as the end of the 681m long Ryde pier at low tides.
If you are fascinated by hovercrafts, then Ryde hovercraft terminal can also be seen from the beach. Numerous watersports are also available at the eastern end of the beach including Kitesurfing.
The Ryde beach also offer fantastic views across the Solent (straight that separates the island from the mainland) to Portsmouth from the Isle of Wight. Horse Sand Fort and Spitbank Fort, two of the 19th Century Solent defence fortresses can also be seen from Ryde across the water.

Postcode for Ryde beach – PO33 1JJ
Water quality – Acceptable
Awards – Quality Coast Awards
Suitable for – Sun bathing, Swimming, Windsurfing, Jet skiing
Safety tips – Take extra care for children when the tide is on the turn as there are risks of becoming trapped on sandbanks. There are lifeguards available with safety boat patrolling the sea.
Car park – available, pay and display.
Nearest train stations – Ryde Explanade (less than a mile), Ryde Pier (1 mile approx.)

East Cowes Beach
The quieter of the beaches, East Cowes beach is located on the north coast of Isle of Wight, easily accessible and offers traditional facilities with promenade, woodland walks and children’s play area. The beach also offers a great view of the yachting activities and diverse range of vessels that move through the Solent.

Post code for East Cowes Beach – PO32 6AE
Awards – Quality Coast Award, Seaside Award
Suitable for – Swimming, Sailing, Cowes Week (last week of July each year)
Safety advice - Due to tides, the beach often disappears so it is advisable to watch out for the tides.
Car park – mostly free along the Esplanade with some restrictions nearer to the town, there is also a larger car park.
Nearest train stations – Ryde Pier Head (6 miles approx.), Ryde Pier Esplanade (6 miles approx.)
Fareham (7 miles approx.)

To find out details about how to get to Isle of Wight, you can visit the following page on How to get to Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight Facts

Area – 148 sq miles (380 sq km)
Population – 140.500 (2010)
Location – South of England on English Channel
Famous for
Cowes Week (Yachting event)
Isle of Wight Festival (music festival)
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
Garden Isle – Home to many rare plants
Walks – Over 1400 public rights of way and 514 miles of walking trails
Haunted! – Believed to be one of the most haunted Islands in Britain
Yarmouth – Population 1000 and smallest town in Britain
The Garlic Farm – 100 acres and largest specialist garlic grower in UK!
Eight Wonders of Isle of Wight! (A series of landmarks, by W. J. Nigh)
- ‘Freshwater’ you cannot drink
- ‘Cowes’ you cannot milk
- ‘Needles’ you cannot thread
- ‘Lakes’ where there is no water
- ‘Ryde’ where you walk
- ‘Newport’ that you cannot bottle
- ‘Newtown’ which is very old
- ‘Winkle Street’ where there are no winkles

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