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Isle of Wight beaches

Beaches on the Isle of Wight

When you’re on the coast, why not make a dash for the beach? The Isle of Wight is famed for its beaches and whichever part of the Island you choose to visit, you can be sure to witness some of the best coastal views that the UK has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for a sandy beach on which to soak up some sun, or a dog-friendly stretch of coast where you can walk the dog, the Island has got you covered.

The tropical-looking Totland Bay on the Isle of Wight

Best beaches on the Island

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to picking out glorious beaches on the Isle of Wight.

If you’re a thrill seeker looking for somewhere to surf, you’ll be best off on the south of the Island. Compton Bay is by far and away the most popular place to ride the waves, pulling in surfers from across the UK all year round.

For something a little more serene, with Mediterranean vibes, check out Priory Bay. The sandy beach is backed by nearly eight acres of National Trust woodland and visiting boats often drop anchor on its shores – perfect for that opportune Instagram snap.

If you’re only popping over for the day and time is tight, Appley Beach has everything you need. A vast expanse of sand on the north of the Island, it’s only a few moments’ walk from our FastCat port in Ryde. On a clear day, you can see right across the Solent to the mainland.

Explore more IOW beaches
Compton Beach, Isle of Wight

Compton Bay

Winner of the Marine Conservation Award, Compton beach on the Isle of Wight is a popular beach for locals, tourists and watersports enthusiasts alike. Known for its clean sands and picturesque views, the water can get a little choppy at times, but this is what makes it so great for surfers and windsurfers.

Explore Compton Bay
Sandown Beach, IOW

Sandown Beach

A multiple award-winner, Sandown Beach is a well-known stretch of sand that’s often viewed as a traditional ‘bucket and spade’ English holiday beach. It’s backed by a packed esplanade, full of ice cream parlous, arcades and shops, and the seafront is topped off with the delights of Sandown Pier. Certainly one to tick off on a family getaway.

Explore Sandown Beach

Appley Beach

One of the most popular Island beaches, partly because of its convenient location next to our FastCat port, Appley is a stunning expanse of sand that stretches almost as far as the eye can see. Backed by beach huts sitting below green trees, it’s one of the most picturesque places on the Island to relax and soak in the sun.

Get to know Appley Beach

Top 10 IOW beaches

With so many beautiful beaches to choose from on the Island, it can be hard to pick which just one to visit. So we’ve put in the hard work (if you can call beach testing hard work), and rounded up our favourite 10 to make things a little easier for you.

Check out the list on our blog.

See our 10 favourite Island beaches
Horse riding on Appley Beach, Ryde

The best beaches for...

Everyone loves a beach, but while some of you may want a quiet cove for some peaceful bathing, others will want a vibrant stretch of coast with a host of family amenities. That’s why we created our Isle of Wight beach guide, a list of beaches that are best to suited to all kinds of activities, from rock pooling to water sports.

Read our IOW beach guide

Dog-friendly beaches

The Isle of Wight is a pooch’s paradise and the beaches are the best bit. Dogs love a brisk walk across the sand and the opportunity to paddle in the lapping waves.

Across the Island, there are a variety of beaches that allow dogs all year round and a selection that are dog-friendly only in the off-season months, between October and April. Those non-summer months are a great time to visit as you’ll often find you have the beach all to yourself.

Beaches allowing dogs all year
  • Alum Bay (dogs must be on leads)

  • Colwell Bay (to the right of the slipway)

  • Bembridge Beach

  • Seagrove Beach

  • Priory Bay

  • Ryde Beach (to the left of Ryde Pier)

  • Whitecliff Bay

  • Yaverland (to the left of the car park)

  • Brook Bay

  • Chilton Chine

  • Rocken End

  • Steephill Cove (dogs must be on leads)

Beaches allowing dogs from 1 October to 30 April
  • Colwell Bay (entire area)

  • Cowes Beach

  • East Cowes Beach

  • Freshwater Bay

  • Gurnard Beach

  • Ryde Beach (entire area)

  • Sandown Beach

  • Shanklin Beach

  • Springvale Beach

  • Ventnor Beach

  • Yaverland Beach (entire area)

Find out more about the dog-friendly Island

Map of Isle of Wight beaches

When you’re on the Isle of Wight, you’re never far from a beach. Use our interactive Explorer map to find the stretch of coast nearest to you, or to plan out your perfect beach hopping getaway.

You won’t just find beaches on Explorer, though – use the filter toggles to find events, attractions and even places to stay.

See IOW beach map

Getting to the Island

Getting to the Isle of Wight is easy with Wightlink. We offer three convenient ferry routes linking Hampshire with the Island, with crossing times from just 22 minutes.

Our foot passenger-only FastCat service links Portsmouth with Ryde, a beautiful destination to the north of the Island. Here, you’ll find the stunning sandy expanse of Appley Beach, ideal for a quick beach day getaway.

If you’re bringing the car, you can cross the Solent on our Portsmouth – Fishbourne route. This will leave you only a short drive from the east coast of the Island, which is full of beautiful beaches.

You can also travel on our Lymington – Yarmouth route, the gateway to the west of the Island. This is a great route to choose if you’re heading to Freshwater Bay or Compton Bay, both popular beaches with surfers.

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