Appley’s wide sandy shore is a playground for beachgoers with enough space for beach football and plenty of facilities for a family outing. You can watch the hovercraft coming and going from Southsea (Portsmouth) or visit the nearby Puckpool Park if you’d like to try your hand at mini golf or see some wartime fortifications.
Bembridge is perhaps the Island’s best spot for rock pooling, where youngsters (and enthusiastic parents) can happily spend hours searching for crabs and sea anemones. There’s also a modern lifeboat station which offers free tours, it’s well worth a visit!
Compton Bay is a favourite with surfers and bodyboarders searching for the perfect wave. The crumbling cliff contains dinosaur fossils which occasionally emerge in stormy weather. A drive over the top of the adjacent Military Road reveals one of the Island’s most memorable views.
Freshwater Bay is two beaches in one! The stony section is popular with first-time stand-up paddleboarders and are often seen trying to navigate away from the shore. Round to right as you face the sea is a secluded sandy beach that reveals rock pools at low tide.
Gurnard Beach offers stunning sunsets looking towards yachts on the Solent. On a warm day it’s a popular sport for wandering along the promenade with an ice-cream, whilst youngsters enjoy the pirate playground overlooking the row of pretty beach huts.
Osborne Bay was Queen Victoria’s private beach and it finally opened to the public in 2012 for those visiting Osborne House. You can now sit in her Majesty’s ornate alcove where she spent many hours sketching the Solent.
Sandown is a classic British seaside resort with over a day’s entertainment for the young or not so young visitors. Try out a pedalo, take a nostalgic walk along the prier, build a sandcastle or visit Sandham Gardens where you’ll find one of the Isle of Wight’s best playgrounds.
St Helens is a perfect spot for people watching, with paddlers and rock poolers making the most of the shallow waters. Out to sea you can admire one of the Solent’s imposing forts, there is also a plaque on the ruined church tower marking the part that St Helens played in the French Armada.
Steephill Cove has the feeling of a secluded Cornish fishing village with its pretty thatched houses and lobster pots on the shoreline. A visit requires a bit of effort, a walk down a very (unsurprisingly) steep path, but it is well worth it.
Ventnor Beach has charmed visitors including Gandhi, Churchill and Dickens in years gone by. The town’s steep hills are lined with grand Edwardian & Victorian houses whilst its coast consistently wins awards for cleanliness. Walkers enjoy the coastal path to Bonchurch, where waves crash into the sea wall at high tide.