Beautiful beaches on the Isle of Wight

Our Island is surrounded by miles of coast line, and we look after a third of it. Although much of this is formed by dramatic cliffs, we also care for several beautiful soft, sandy beaches such as Compton, Culver and St Helens, here on the Isle of Wight. And in the summer, they make the perfect place to spend a day as a family, or just to take a gentle stroll as the sun sets below the far horizon.

Great for families

Sandcastles

Family days out at the beach are a great way to make summer holiday memories together. The wide expanse of soft sand at Compton makes it the perfect place to build sandcastles. Each summer we hold our annual Sandcastle Competition, where you can be as creative as possible and come up with the most inventive design, or try and beat the tide in our ‘Last Castle Standing’.

Swimming and surfing

Compton and Culver beach both have soft, sandy, shallow waters that make them perfect for the whole family to swim in. Little feet could try jumping over the waves at the water’s edge, whilst for older children, both Compton and Culver are great for surfing. 

Family bodyboarding at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Surfing at Compton Bay 

Compton Bay is an excellent location for surfers of all abilities, with areas suited to both shortboarders and longboarders. The bay is also a good place for windsurfing beginners, with Brook Bay better for intermediates.

Rockpooling

Nodes Point at St Helens is one of the best places on the Island for rockpooling. The limestone crevices and cracks provide homes for all sorts of tiny creatures. You can also look for marine wildlife in the rock pools at Compton and Culver too.

A young girl rockpooling at St Helens Duver

Rockpooling on the Isle of Wight 

As the tide retreats out to sea, it leaves behind a world in miniature hidden amongst the crevices and cracks of the rocks. Rock pools team with tiny crazy creatures and slimy seaweed, and are great places to discover the strange wildlife that lives in our seas around the Isle of Wight.

Fossil hunting

It’s not just living wildlife you can find here. Compton and Culver are great for fossil hunting too. At Compton, see if you can find the three-toed dinosaur footprints buried in the sand near Hanover Point.

And of course, by doing all of those, you’ll also have ticked off lots of your 50 things challenges.

The footcast of a huge plant-eating dinosaur, imagine the size of this creature
A huge footcast, probably of an Iguanodon dating back 125 million years

Beach walking and strolling further afield

It’s lovely to spend the day at the beach but walking along the sands as the sun lowers itself towards the sea on a summer’s evening, is a truly peaceful experience. After everyone else has gone home, it can feel as if you have the whole beach to yourself. Or perhaps you’d like to explore the wildlife-rich countryside that surrounds the shore? From both Compton and Culver there are footpaths that will take you up onto the cliffs and downs above.

Two walkers in Compton Downs, Isle of Wight with the sea in the background

Summer coastal walks on the Isle of Wight 

Taking a walk with the sea breeze gently blowing and the waves lapping at your toes is a relaxing way to spend a warm summer’s day. At St Helens and Compton, you can kick off your shoes and let the sand sink between your toes as you walk along the soft beach. Or if you prefer not to get your feet wet, there are plenty of cliff top walks with dramatic views of the sea below to try.

Spending the day with man’s best friend

Our beach at Brook is dog friendly, which means they get to enjoy a day at the seaside too. Dogs are welcome here all year round between Hanover Point and Brook Chine, but we ask you not to bring them west of this along Compton until after 15 September. St Helens Duver has undulating sand dunes where dogs can run around all year and they are also welcome on the beach at Nodes Point. Please just make sure that all you leave behind are your dog’s paw prints in the sand and nothing more when you leave.

Useful information about where to go