Colwell Bay

Recommended beaches to visit on The Isle of Wight:

Sandown A very large beach popular with families.  Plenty to see and do including it's pier with Crazy Golf and Mini Fairground on the large pier itself which dates from 1879.  Cafe's, pubs, restaurants, beach shops and fast food galore with lots of amusements.  Heavily commercialised although it is a bit quieter at its extremities, where it meets Lake beach and at the other end Yaverland beach.  Good for water sports.  Lots of soft sand.  Dog restrictions.

Blue Flag beach award 2023.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2014 = Recommended.

Seaside Award 2014. New pictures

Sandown Beach

Shanklin Another large beach very popular with families, although not quite as vast as Sandown's.  Car parking is on The Esplanade itself or in a medium sized car park half way along near to The Cliff Lift or another at the East end of the beach - all pay and display.  There is a cliff lift up to the Town area.  It is also possible to park in the pay and display car park at Shanklin Old Village and walk down.  Cafe's, pubs, hotels, crazy golf, small pitch and putt and some amusements along its length.  It can get very hot here, lots of soft sand. Dog restrictions.

The quieter part is near the end of The Esplanade near to Shanklin Chine's lower entrance/Fisherman's Cottage Pub.  Some nice views from the cliff top path where there are some more larger hotels.  Popular for water sports.    Toilets are very near to The Fisherman's Cottage on the same side behind the beach huts, and also near to the Cliff Lift just off the Car Park area, deck chair/sun lounger/parasol hire.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2014 = Guideline..

Seaside Award 2014. View pictures

Shanklin Beach

Freshwater Bay Medium sized beach. Situated on the quieter West side of the Island, this bay is in three sections of beach with at least two of them offering soft sand, whilst the middle was shingle this year. A curved esplanade joins all three areas, steep cliffs above some parts. A couple of Beach Cafe's and a pub nearby with another adjacent to the pay and display car park. Nice uphill coastal walk here to Tennison Monument. Quiet here, no amusements or gift shops to browse in etc. The village of Freshwater is just over a mile away from the bay.

Freshwater Bay - only two thirds shown.

Ventnor Medium sized beach.  Ideal for families but water sports are not recommended due to hidden rocks.  Pretty, commercialised Esplanade with a handful of cafe's, pubs, beach shops, Victorian hotels and some amusements.  Car parking is on The Esplanade or at the medium sized car park at the end behind The Spyglass Inn, all pay and display.  Fresh Ventnor crab and lobster may be purchased from a fisherman's hut {Blake's} located at the very start of the Esplanade.   Ventnor pier did not survive neglect and fire damage and was demolished some years ago.  Built in it's place and also covering a water treatment plant is Ventnor's Bandstand with a small harbour construction.

Blue Flag beach award 2014.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2014 = Recommended.

Seaside Award 2014. View Ventnor Beach Picture gallery

Ventnor Beach

Colwell Bay Small, quiet and unspoilt beach with a Cafe' and a couple of beach shops.  Quite a small esplanade with a dozen or so beach huts for hire.  Car parking is not possible at the beach but a car park is close by, pay and display.  Popular with families.  Good views of The Solent.  Dogs allowed.  Toilets are near the car park.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2014 = Recommended.

Blue Flag beach award 2014.

Seaside Award 2014 View Pictures

Colwell Bay

Whitecliff BayMedium sized sandy beach with two cafe's and an adjacent Hoilday Park. Difficult access down two concrete paths leading down to the beach - easier if you happen to be staying at the Holiday Park. Walking access for non-residents of the Holiday Park is from Culver Cliff {free car park near to Culver Cliff monument} or coastal path from Bembridge Ledge, Note: 2010, coastal path from Bembridge Ledge direction was closed due to erosion, we went along the beach instead! - check tide times. Both walking access routes are at least half a mile. No parking at the beach. Limited facilities. Quiet area.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2013 = Recommended.

Whitecliff Bay

Compton Bay Large beach situated between Brook and Freshwater Bay, this mostly sandy beach is popular with surfers. Pay and display car park, toilets and usually an ice cream van in the summer months selling a variety of goods, ice creams and hot and cold drinks. No other facilities. Eroding cliffs back onto the beach with steep but short steps for beach access and at this point it is called Shippards Chine. Hanover point is at the Brook end of the beach whilst the other looks towards white cliffs and Freshwater Bay in the distance.

Fossils may be found here and dinosaur footprints may be seen at low tide in the bedrock near Hanover point. I looked for these for some considerable time this year at low tide - and failed. Have you seen them? A shipwreck is also visible sometimes just off the shoreline at the Freshwater Bay end of the beach see

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2014 = Recommended.

Compton Bay

Steephill Cove is a very small and secluded beach next to Ventnor.  This is a unique and picturesque cove with around a dozen houses placed here.  There is one restaurant, one small beachside cafe' whose homemade flapjacks come highly recommended and a fisherman's house which sells Ventnor crab and lobster as well as hot crab pasties.  No car parking nearby.  Access is by walking only for visitors - by walking down Love Lane which is adjacent to the cricket ground {before the turning for The Botanical Gardens} and then down small steep winding paths.

Car parking is possible on the main A3055 road from Ventnor to St. Lawrence.  It is also possible to walk from here to Ventnor along the coastal path which enters the car park behind and above The Spyglass Inn and this is a very popular short cliff top walk.  The beach is privately maintained.  Dog restrictions not known.  Toilets and deck chair hire. If you fancy a quiet moment or a place a bit different from the big beaches then try here.

Due to its Southerly location it can get very hot here.  Sand is partly shingle and there is not that much available, rock pools. Another smaller cafe' is open for 2010.

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Steephill Cove beach

Fort Victoria Located in front of Fort Victoria's cluster of small attractions near Yarmouth.  A medium, narrow beach that has v.little sand but has tons of unusual small stones and some shells in all different shapes and sizes, a large amount of the stones have holes in them.  There is a cafe', barbeque area, picnic area and car parking at Fort Victoria as well as a cluster of small attractions.  If you walk along the beach toward Yarmouth direction there is another standalone beachside cafe' there which is recommended.

Fort Victoria is situated at the end of an imaginary line drawn from Yarmouth's Ferry terminal to a Westward direction for 0.85 miles.

Fort Victoria beach

Ryde {East} Another very large beach.  Lots of things to do here and it is very popular with holidaymakers and day trippers.  Heavily commercialised.  Car parking is plentiful and it is also accessed by train, hovercraft, ferry.  Just yards from the towns shops there is also a mini funfair, amusements, cafe's, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, beach shops, children's playgrounds, indoor swimming pool, paddling pool, boating lake and lots and lots of sand.  It can be quite noisy here because of the hovercraft activity.  Appley Golf course and Appley Tower containing a small gift shop.  Soft sand.  Dog restrictions.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2013 = Mandatory.

Seaside Award 2014

Ryde {East} beach

Brook A medium sized beach popular for its fossils and beachcombing.  Use the pay and display car park and walk down to the beach for access which is not far.  There are no facilities at this beach nor near it and the village of Brook is not near the beach like other places.  The cliffs are being constantly worn away in this area and there is evidence of a prehistoric pine forest at low tide.  Sandy beach with chalk/stones at the very top near to the cliffs.  Dogs are permitted.  Guided fossil hunts/tours.  Reasonably quiet even in high season. Sometimes popular with surfers and other water sports.

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Brook beach

Bembridge has a few beaches to speak of including Bembridge Ledge where at low tide there becomes exposed a rock formation. This ledge as it is known is responsible for many a ship becoming aground. Good for beach combing and rock pools, some cafe's and facilities dotted about its length. The Crab & Lobster is situated in an elevated position half way along its length. Bembridge Life Boat Station has a long walkway that resembles a pier from a distance. No esplanade, limited parking in small car parks. Culver Cliffs in the distance at the South end with Whitecliff Bay adjacent.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2013 = Guideline. Picture gallery

Bembridge Ledge beach

St Helen's A medium sized beach with just a large cafe as a source of refreshment or food.  Soft sand with some rock pools and seaweed at it's edge.  Quite a few beach huts line the sparse Esplanade and some are old railway coaches converted into huts some time ago.  Good views out to sea with St. Helens Fort and large ships passing on a regular basis.  Car parking is on only part of The Esplanade and a small car park near the slipway - all pay and display.  No amusements or pubs.  It is pretty quiet here because for one reason it is easily missed by car and is not well known by all visitors to The Island. Sometimes popular with water sports.

Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2014 = Recommended.

Seaside Award 2014.

View Picture Gallery

St. Helen's beach

Luccombe Very secluded and quite hard to get to, small to medium beach.  Soft sand.  No toilets or facilities so be prepared.  Not recommended for very small children due to the wooden footpaths down to it are very steep.  Disabled or pushchairs have no access.  A natural Chine also meets the beach with steep cliffs surrounding it.  May not be available sometime in the future due to the fact that the council have to rebuild the only path to it on a regular basis due to Landslips/movement around the Chine.  No access anywhere near by car.  Nice views around this area, a nice coastal footpath at the top of the Chine.

For pictures see Luccombe Beach page.

Luccombe beach

Lake Another large stretch of beach sandwiched between Shanklin and Sandown.  It is very easy to walk between Lake and Sandown because they merge into each other.Lake is accessed by several steps and paths cut into the cliff face and therefore car parking is above the beach on small roads. There is no Esplanade or buildings at Lake beach due to a cliff face with various methods of Erosion protection applied. Hotels and a footpath are located on the top of the cliff face. It is easy to walk to Sandown Beach though. Soft sand. Dog restrictions not known.

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