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Isle of Wight Beach Guide

The Isle of Wight is always a popular choice for people looking for the perfect getaway. Set off the south coast, the island also has a huge number of beaches that are worth visiting. Here's a pick of some of the best and what you can find to do on them.

Cowes and Gurnard

Gurnard is found to the west of Cowes and you'll find a great cafe as well as an inn. If you want to watch the big ships and liners coming into Southampton Water, this is the place to go. If you're into sailing, you'll also find a popular sailing club here where regular meets and races are held. Don't forget that Cowes Week is one of the biggest events in the sailing calendar so if you go during this time, you can expect to find lots of extra activities going on.

There is a level walk between Cowes and Gurnard, ideal if you are travelling with disabled or elderly people. You'll also find several cafes in between the two beaches to enjoy an afternoon. Be aware that the water is not ideal for bathing as it has strong currents. Save the swimming for the calmer sections of the island.


This beach is widely considered to be the best one for everyone. It has sloping, sandy beaches, making it ideal for children to play, adults to sunbathe and sporty types to run around in the sea. You'll find a children's play area close by, ideal to keep the little ones entertained if they get bored of the sand. There is also a golf course in the vicinity, as well as several cafes and restaurants so you won't be short of things to do. If you just want to lay back and relax in the sunshine, this is the beach to visit.


This is a beach that has a few fun elements in it for big kids. A pitch and putt can be found, as well as an amusement arcade. If this doesn't keep you entertained for hours, you'll also find various facilities for refreshments, as well as clear water and gently sloping, sandy beaches. Shanklin beach is a part of Sandown beach so you can expect much of the same sort of environment for a great day out.

Steephill Cove

If you want to have a bit of fun on the beach, this cove is an ideal place to visit. You can park at Ventnor and walk past the cricket academy to reach it. Once you finally arrive, you'll find a whole range of rock pools that will give the kids hours of fun. Make sure you take some sturdy shoes and a couple of nets with you to investigate all the creatures you find in the pools. There's also a cafe and toilet facilities at the cove so you can get some refreshments when you need to. Just be sure to put back anything you find and try not to disturb the marine life.