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The Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight's best beaches

The Isle of Wight is home to an array of stunning beaches, with around 37 in total, 14 of which are award-winning stretches. The varied coastline means that the sights can differ greatly from one shore to the next, with dramatic cliffs, sandy coves, secret inlets and rock pools aplenty across the island.  Maybe you’re in search of the perfect place for a family day out, a classic seaside experience, or the best surf spot on the island. Take a look below and find your beach haven this season.

Sandown Bay – best all-rounder

Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight

Having won BBC Countryfile Magazine’s ‘Beach of the Year’ award in 2019, Sandown Bay is a fantastic choice for all-round beach fun with soft sand, seaside cafes and an array of amusements and fairground rides. Here you can hire deckchairs, sun loungers and windbreaks for the ultimate beach day – don’t forget a bucket and spade too!

Dog-friendly: Dogs are not permitted on some areas of this beach between 1st May and 30th September.

Lifeguard service: Yes

Facilities: Café/restaurant, shop, amusements, deckchair/sun lounger hire

Where to stay nearby:

Spring Cottage, sleeps 8

Sea View Cottage, sleeps 6

Luccombe Cottage, sleeps 5

Ryde Beach – best for young families

Ryde Beach

The west of the pier of Ryde Beach offers a smaller, quieter beach which is perfect for young families, while the promenade east of the pier offers endless beachside entertainment in many forms for the older kids. When the sun is shining, why not head to the boating lake and enjoy a ride on a swan-shaped pedalo? You’ll also find an ice rink, bowling alley, swimming pool and themed play areas for the little ones so you can split your day between the beach and the activity areas.

Dog-friendly: Dogs are not permitted on some areas of this beach between 1st May and 30th September, but there is a dog exercise area.

Lifeguard service: Yes

Facilities: Café/restaurant, playgrounds, deckchair and sun lounger hire

Where to stay nearby:

Two Dores Hill Cottage, sleeps 2

Langonnet Cottage, sleeps 8

Bonny Blink Cottage, sleeps 8

Shanklin – best for families

Golden sands, ice creams, beach huts, sandcastles, go-karting, amusements: it’s all here at Shanklin. This is a great day out to the beach, particularly if you like to lounge around on a pedalo as they’re readily available to hire during the summer months. The relatively flat water makes this a good option for families who fancy a little paddle and, although it can get busy during the summer months, the long stretch of shore means you’ll still be able to find your own spot.

Dog-friendly: Dogs are not permitted on some areas of this beach between 1st May and 30th September

Lifeguard service: Yes

Facilities: Café/restaurant, pedalo hire, beach huts, amusements

Where to stay nearby:

Fowlsdown Barn End, sleeps 2

Groom Cottage, sleeps 4

Huish House, sleeps 6

Bembridge Beach – best for dogs

Bembridge Beach, Isle of Wight

This dog-friendly mainly pebble beach is a lovely walking spot along the east coast, and at low tide, a long sandy stretch will also emerge. It’s one of the quieter beach spots on the island due to the limited number of facilities, but this definitely works to your advantage. You’ll often spot boats leaving the harbour as well as the local lifeboat station at the end of the grand 200m pier at Bembridge Beach. Head to The Lifeboat Café for refreshments during the day, where free dog water is also available.

Dog-friendly: Dogs are permitted all year around.   

Lifeguard service: No

Facilities: Pier, lifeboat station, parking, toilets, café

Where to stay nearby:

The Poplars Cottage, sleeps 4

Beach Haven, sleeps 6

Stanwell Barn Cottage, sleeps 8

Compton Bay – best for surfing

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Compton Bay is known as the best surfing spot on the island and the views from the water are pretty spectacular too with beautiful coloured sandstone cliffs and 2 miles of sandy coast. The swells range from 2ft to 5ft, but there are no lessons available, so it is better suited to the more advanced surfers. If you’re lucky, you might also be able to pick up a fossil or two and see dinosaur footprints in the sandstone during low tide.

Dog-friendly: Dogs are not permitted on some areas of this beach between 1st May and 30th September, but you can walk with your dog between Brook Chine and Hanover Point all year around.

Lifeguard service: No

Facilities: Toilets, refreshment van during summer months

Where to stay nearby:

The Wendy House, sleeps 2

Moonfleet Apartment, sleeps 6

Freshwater Bay – Ocean View, sleeps 6

Colwell Bay – best for the classic seaside experience

Colwell Bay

Colwell Bay is one of West Wight's smaller beaches and offers the traditional postcard seaside experience. The sand and shingle beach is beautifully clean and typically quiet and the high water quality makes it a wonderful place for swimming and snorkelling. Hire a brightly-coloured beach hut, dine on fish and chips by the sea and enjoy the panoramic views from the promenade for the best beach day.

Dog-friendly: Dogs are not permitted on some areas of this beach between 1st May and 30th September, but you can walk your dog between the zone right of the slipway at Colwell Chine to Brambles Chine.

Lifeguard service: No

Facilities: Café/restaurant, car park, beach hut hire, deck chair hire, toilets

Where to stay nearby:

Apple House, sleeps 4

Lodore, sleeps 6

Well Cottage, sleeps 9

Ready to book your beach break on the Isle of Wight? Take a look at our collection of cottages on the Isle of Wight and pack your bags for your seaside escape! Don’t forget to browse through our collection of dog-friendly cottages too if you want to bring your four-legged friend along.  

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