The Isle of Wight is somewhat of a hidden gem, nestled just off the UK’s south coast. The island is brimming with all sorts of great attractions, beautiful natural areas and exciting activities - but in the eyes of many its exceptional beaches are where it really excels.
Whether you’re a fossil hunter, a swimming ace or simply a softie for sand, there’s plenty on offer here - with our Lower Hyde, Nodes Point, Thorness Bay and Landguard holiday parks just a stone’s throw from your perfect stretch of sand. Here are the best beaches the island has to offer.
St Helen's Beach
With a traditional British promenade harking back to the Victorian heyday of seaside resorts, as well as dunes of fine golden sands, St Helens beach can be considered a perfect example of a British beach resort. The beach is located just a short stroll from Nodes Point Holiday Park, meaning visitors can take advantage of easy access to the golden sands.
Video Courtesy of Sam Dickens
Kids will love playing in the sea and building sand castles - and there’s also all sorts of underwater critters to be found in the many rock pools dotted along the beach. Four-legged friends can get involved in the fun, too, as St Helens beach is 100% dog friendly!
For exceptional sea views and an out-of-the-way feel, consider Bembridge beach, located on the northeast coast of the island. Just around the corner from the traditional seaside village of Bembridge, this beach features an impressive RNLI lifeboat station and plenty of local amenities.
Lifeboat at Station at Bembride Beach - Photo © cc-by-sa/2.0)
The beach is especially lively during the summer months with live music most evenings emanating from the local pub. Thanks to the rolling dunes and bordering woods, this is the perfect environment for dogs.
For a more bustling beachside experience, the pretty town of Ryde is a great option, featuring plenty of lovely Victorian seafront architecture. The town’s eye catching white sands are reminiscent of a tropical island. The promenade is perfect for a stroll on a summer’s day – after all, what could be better than taking in the fantastic view across the Solent to Portsmouth with the sun beating down? On a clear day, the iconic Spinnaker Tower is visible, alongside the busy shipping lanes - so you can relax with a cold beverage and watch the ships go by.
Video Courtesy of AVEA
Keep in mind that dogs aren’t allowed on the main beach at Ryde, but fear not, as there are dog friendly zones nearby - so your pooch can make the most of your time here, too!
Brook Bay Beach
Moving further down the island to the quieter, less tourist-focused south west coast, and we come across Brook Bay, which is a fantastic spot for amateur paleontologists as it is one of the best places on the island to find fossils.
Video Courtesy of Procam Films
Many dinosaur bones have been unearthed here over the years, and the beach is famous for its petrified pine wood that dates back millions of years. What’s more, if anyone in your group isn’t a dino-fanatic, there’s beautiful sand and sea to enjoy as well. Dogs are welcome here, but they’ll need to be kept on a leash at all times.
Compton Bay Beach
Just along the coast from Brook Bay is Compton Bay, one of the Isle of Wight’s secret treasures. The beach here is quiet, sandy and very serene, with limitless views out into the English Channel. It’s a haven for swimming, surfing and fossil hunting, and offers great sandcastle-making opportunities for the little ones.
The beach here isn’t completely deserted though - in the summer months you can grab a delicious ice cream from atop the cliff overlooking the bay. One important thing to remember is that dogs are not allowed on the beach from the start of July until mid-September - so bear this in mind when planning a visit!
When visiting this part of the Isle of Wight, we highly recommend taking in the sunset from one of the western-facing beaches such as Compton Bay or Brook Bay. There are few experiences more wholesome than watching the sun dip below the horizon after a fun-packed day at the beach.
Colwell Bay Beach
Colwell Bay is another slightly off-the-beaten-track beach option that is unmissable all the same. A quiet and serene beach on the island’s western coast, it offers great views across the Western Solent to Hurst Castle, a 16th-century fortress built by Henry VIII. Just along the coast is the 18th-century Fort Albert, built to defend Portsmouth from possible invasion - so you can rest assured that there’s plenty in the local area to entertain history buffs.
Perfect for swimming due to its shallow waters, Colwell is an ideal beach for cooling off after a long summer’s day - although if you’re bringing a dog, be sure to stay in the dog friendly zones. Remember to respect the rules of the beach to ensure everyone enjoys their trip!
There are loads more fantastic beaches to discover aside from the ones listed above, so be sure to get exploring and find your own hidden gems, all within easy distance of our Isle of Wight holiday parks.