Summer family days out at Compton Bay

A father and two children play at the water's edge at Compton Bay

Long summer days spent at the beach as a family are what holidays are all about. We look after one of the best family beaches on the Isle of Wight at Compton. With safe waters and miles of soft sand, you’ll find it the perfect place to let little explorers run around and experience all that the coast has to offer.


It wouldn’t be a family day at the beach without a sandcastle. The soft golden sands of Compton are perfect for creating your masterpiece of coastal design and engineering. You could even use the rocks, shells and seaweed on the beach to decorate it. Every summer holiday we hold our Sandcastle Competition here. Why not come along and see if your whole family has what it takes to beat the tide or create the most inventive design?

Swimming and surfing

The beach at Compton is gently shelving making it a safe place for little swimmers. Very tiny feet could try jumping over the waves at the water’s edge, whilst older adventurers could give surfing and bodyboarding a go.There are toilets located in the car park at Compton and an outdoor tap, so you can get rid of the sand between your toes before you head home.

Family bodyboarding at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Surfing at Compton Bay

The place to surf on the Isle of Wight is at Compton Bay which offers some of the best surf and facilities in the south of England.

Fossil hunting

If you walk along Brook beach towards Hanover Point, you’ll come across an ancient forest. But this one isn’t made of wood or even standing up. It’s the flattened, fossilised remains of the trees that once stood here. If you look carefully along the beach at Brook and Compton, you’ll also spot three-toed dinosaur footprints. Try fossil hunting and see what ancient creatures you can find but be careful of getting too close to the base of the cliffs as they are prone to falls.

A couple explore the beach in the sunshine at Compton Bay

Time travelling rocks 

Look at the different coloured cliffs in Compton Bay on the Isle of Wight. From right to left (east to west), the rocks become younger.


The ancient fossilised forest is still home to life – tiny little creatures that live in the rock pools. They’re left behind here as the tide retreats. If you visit at low tide, you’ll find all sorts of wildlife living in them. Can you find sea squirts, blennies, or even a seahorse?

Beach picnic

Compton Bay is nestled in the countryside, so it’s best to bring a snack with you to the beach. After all the swimming and exploring you may well be feeling peckish, and a picnic on the beach is a great way to refuel and relax, before heading back to the waves once more.

Have a picnic on the beach
A family having a picnic on the beach
Have a picnic on the beach

Useful information:

  • There are car parks that are free to National Trust members at both Brook and Compton.
  • You’ll find our toilets in the car park at Compton. There are baby changing facilities here too.
  • There are steep steps down onto the beach from the car park at Compton but at Brook access is via a sloping ramp. It only takes a couple of minutes from the car parks to reach the beach but there are some loose stones underfoot on the paths. Coastal erosion at Brook may mean that there is a deep, final step onto the beach from the sloping ramp.
  • There is a concessions van (not NT) serving ice creams and drinks in the car park at Compton most days throughout the summer.
  • Dogs are welcome on the beach between Hanover Point and Brook Chine all year but between May and September Compton Beach is a dog free zone.