With 57 miles of varied coastline, a trip to the beach is an essential part of any visit to the Island. Isle of Wight beaches are recognised as being some of the best in Europe with a combined total of 17 Blue Flag and Seaside Awards – more than any other destination in England. Here are some of our favourite beaches for families…
ON OUR DOORSTEP…
With 2 miles of magnificent sandstone cliffs, this peaceful bay is popular among fossil hunters, surfers and families alike. Voted one of the world’s top 50 best beaches by the Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Compton Bay is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and have a paddle in the sea. It is also one of the best places to look for fossils on the Isle of Wight, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled and don’t miss the dinosaur footprints in the rocks at low tide!
Only eight minutes away by car, Freshwater Bay is a picturesque beach surrounded by tall white cliffs. Head towards the left hand side of the bay and you’ll find a number of rocks and water pools filled with crabs and little fish. Young children will have great fun crabbing! Or walk the coastal path up the hill for breathtaking views of Tennyson Down.
ALUM BAY AND THE NEEDLES
Alum Bay is famous for it’s colourful sands and iconic chalk stacks known as The Needles. Located at the westerly tip of the Island, 21 different shades of sand create a dramatic backdrop to the beach and the crystal clear water. You will also find The Needles Park above Alum Bay where you can visit the sand shop, tearoom and glass blowing workshop, or ride the chairlift down to the beach.
Hidden beneath the Ventnor cliffs, Steephill Cove is a peaceful and secluded beach accessible only by foot. Here you will find a small bay full of character, surrounded by colourful beach huts, fishermen’s cottages, deckchairs and lobster pots. Kids will love paddling in the crystal clear water and exploring the rock pools for crabs. There is also a café and restaurant serving locally caught seafood and Isle of Wight produce.
Seagrove Bay sits between the seaside village of Seaview and the secluded Priory Bay beach. Kids will love this long sandy beach, which is perfect for building sandcastles and paddling in the shallow waters. When high tide arrives, pop into the Seaview Hotel for a Pimms on the terrace and watch the boats bobbing in Seaview Bay.
This sandy beach stretches from the dunes at Bembridge Harbour, past the lifeboat station to the eastern tip of the Island. Bring a picnic and take in panoramic views of the Solent and St Helen’s Fort, or enjoy crab and lobster caught locally off the Bembridge Ledge at The Lifeboat View Café.