The Isle of Wight, located off the south coast of England, is home to many of the award-winning beaches in the country. Featuring clear waters sheltered by towering cliffs, the beaches on this isle offer a tantalising view to go with your summer activities, be it swimming, surfing, or sunbathing.

    Whether you’re looking for a Mediterranean feel on your British holiday or you’re looking to admire the multi-coloured sand cliffs up close, the Isle of Wight has got you covered. Here are the top beaches on the Isle of Wight.

    1

    Ventnor Beach

    Bask under the sun in this popular Victorian resort

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    Ventnor Beach is the place for you if you’re looking for a hint of the Mediterranean in your British beach vacation. As the isle’s southernmost beach, it’s sheltered by a series of cliffs that help in trapping the sun and giving the place its warm, sunny climate. Its golden sand peppered with red shingle and view of the blue sea provide a lovely backdrop as you relax on your lounger.

    It also has a century-old paddling pool for kids that features a miniature of the Isle of Wight, an esplanade lined with pubs and restaurants, and the nearby Haven where you can get your fresh supply of seafood to feast on.

    Location: Esplanade, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 1JT, UK

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    2

    Alum Bay

    Admire the colourful sand cliffs

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    Alum Bay is arguably one of the most scenic destinations on the Isle of Wight, with its distinctive multicoloured sand and the stunning chalk stack formation, The Needles. The sand from the cliffs comes in 21 shades, making for a beautiful souvenir that can be bought in beach shops all over the island.

    The clear waters are a delight to swim in, and you’ll often find locals taking a dip. You’ll find boats moored during the day and fishermen taking a break at dusk. If you want to see The Needles and the 161-year-old Trinity lighthouse up close, you can take a boat trip from here.

    Location: Alum Bay, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight PO39 0JD, UK

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    3

    Bembridge Beach

    Explore the rock pools and take in the charming views

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    Bembridge Beach on the east coast of the Isle of Wight is great for crabbing and cockling activities, with the rock pools providing an avenue for exploration for kids. Though mainly consisting of pebbles, stones, and shells, a sandy stretch appears when the tide is low, stretching as far as the Solent.

    The beach features a lovely view of Bembridge Ledge, St. Helen’s Fort, and the expanse of the Solent to Portsmouth. It’s also a popular spot for dinghy sailing and other water sports, with clubs located in the nearby town.

    Location: Beach Road, Bembridge, Isle of Wight PO35 5NZ, UK

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    4

    Brook Beach

    Hunt for fossils and dinosaur footprints in this rocky beach

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    Brook Beach next to Compton Bay is a popular destination for both surfers and fossil hunters. The fossilised forest that appears at the foot of Hanover Point when the tide is low provides a unique incentive to visit the place. Dinosaur footprints have also been found on the sandstone ledge beyond Hanover Point.

    The beach is a great spot for water sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing. Keep in mind, however, that swimming should be done with care as some spots are rocky.

    Location: Military Road, Brook, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 4HF, UK

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    5

    Compton Bay

    Discover the Isle of Wight's best-kept secret

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    Between Freshwater Bay and Brook are the scenic sandy beaches of Compton Bay. The Bay features over 2 miles of golden and dark sands, framed by white chalk cliffs and sandstone cliffs of variegated hues.

    A favourite spot for surfers, water sports enthusiasts, and fossil hunters, it’s also good for walks and a picnic with the breathtaking view of Tennyson Down and The Needles. There are no facilities on the beach aside from the toilets and an ice cream van that sells snacks, drinks, and some beach toys in the summer.

    Location: Military Road, Brook, Freshwater, Isle of Wight PO30 4HF, UK

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    6

    Cowes and Gurnard

    Take in the scenic sunset view in this shingle beach

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    The beach in Cowes and Gurnard on the northwest coast of the isle features a great view of the Solent and is popular for water sports and sailing regattas. It’s also a great spot to watch the yachts race by and the liners and ships entering the harbour.

    The sunsets on this sand and shingle beach are particularly stunning so make sure to stay out to enjoy the sight. Plus, there’s a popular café and restaurant on the eastern end, where you can enjoy some ice cream to cool off.

    Location: Gurnard, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8LE, UK

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    7

    Freshwater Bay

    Enjoy the day at this picturesque pebble beach

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    The picturesque beach of Freshwater Bay is nestled under the towering chalk cliffs of West Wight. These cliffs and the various coastal formations make for a breathtaking backdrop for surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply walking down the sand and pebble beach.

    During low tide, a rock ledge reveals itself on the eastern edge, which is good for rock pooling for children. At the bottom of the chalk cliffs are the smuggler’s caves, which you can explore with a local guide.

    Location: Freshwater Bay, Freshwater, Isle of Wight PO40 9RA, UK

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    8

    Ryde Beach

    Relax on the gentle slopes and golden sand

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    When the tide is low, the beaches of Ryde reveal a wide expanse of golden sand, lighter in shade than the ones you usually find on surrounding beaches. Covering 6 miles from the pier to the Seaview village, you have ample space to enjoy a leisurely walk, play beach games, or build sandcastles.

    Paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and horseriding are some of the activities you may see locals and visitors engaging in, depending on the weather and sea conditions. If you head to the east, you can find a swimming pool and a boating lake where you can ride the swan pedalos.

    Location: Esplanade, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 1JA, UK

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    9

    Sandown Beach

    Take a dip at this award-winning beach

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    Sandown Beach on the southeast coast of the Isle of Wight boasts an impressive view of the calm waters of the bay. It’s sheltered by Culver’s white cliffs and Luccombe’s red cliffs to the north and south, making this beach a serene, safe haven. Swimming is a delight in this beach with its award-winning clean waters and soft, sandy seabed.

    The pleasure pier provides a host of entertaining activities like arcade games, kid rides, and a golf course. For something more low-key, the esplanade has souvenir shops and seaside cafés.

    Location: Culver Parade, Sandown, Isle of Wight PO36 8AT, UK

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    10

    Shanklin Beach

    Discover a safe haven for sunbathing and water sports

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    Shanklin Beach at Sandown Bay’s southernmost tip is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. But if you’re there to simply enjoy the sun, sand, and surf, you can safely do so as the beach has water safety zones.

    Dunnose Point protects the beach from the winds so you can sunbathe and swim in peace. And if you’re in the mood for walking, head over to the foot of Shanklin Chine and have a drink at the quaint Fisherman Cottage pub.

    Location: Esplanade, Shanklin, Isle of Wight PO37 6BS, UK

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    Geri Mileva | Contributing Writer

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