Each stretch of coastline around the Island hosts something different.
Release your inner explorer and find dinosaurs, try your hand at water-sports, stop for an in and out dip, walk the pooch or barbecue as the sun melts into the horizon… Yeah, buoy!
Totland Bay is encompassed by a hillside of greenery, which hosts Totland Pier Café for your day’s ice creams, lunches and dinners, and further along the bay The Waterfront Bar and Restaurant for a fine dining experience. The stony beach provides crystal clear waters, so pack your mask and snorkel. If you’re still feeling adventurous, Headon Warren is a short walk around the corner for a countryside hike; it’s more than easy to spend the whole day in this corner of the Island.
Probably one of the easiest beaches to get to, a short walk from the FastCat and with a nearby car park. Here you’ll find soft, golden sands and a coastline that at low tide reaches almost to the end of the nearby Ryde Pier – you’ll be hard pressed to bother the neighbouring beachgoers with a frisbee here. The retreating tide also leaves behind shallow pools of warm water on a hot day, making a great play area for your young children. (Beware on incoming tides and sandbanks)
Priory Bay is a hidden gem that feels like the tropics on a hot day; the perfect place to relax and take some time to yourself. Tree canopies line the edge of the white, sandy beach, giving plentiful amounts of shade to take a break from the sun. If you’re looking for a quiet corner of the world and a peaceful swim or maybe a secluded picnic – this is the beach.
Compton has seemingly endless sea views, an expansive, sandy beach featuring a natural cliff backdrop, a direct-access car park with loos and also an ice cream van! This shallow bay is also one of the go-to spots on the Island for seasoned surfers and amateurs alike. Bring along your buckets & spades, beach games and barbecues; this is an ideal place to come for a summer day of fun in the sun with your family and friends.
Sharing the same sublime scenery as its sister beach, Compton, but with some key differences. On this secluded beach you can walk the pooch all year round and while you’re at it, try your hand at fossil hunting. This coastline is famous for its dinosaur footprints – protected by the National Trust – so bring your camera if you want to take one home. If you’re lucky enough there are also smaller fossils to be easily picked up along the foreshore; no tools needed!
Some people like the calm and quiet of the south of the Island, but to the north, Gurnard, a picturesque pebble and shingle beach near the main town of Cowes, offers a steady stream of yachts and movement on the horizon, as well as arguably one of the most brilliantly coloured sunsets to be seen. Just behind the beach there are excellent facilities, including a large grass area and a children’s playground, a nearby café and also a pub restaurant just a short walk away. A great little beach for visitors and families.