Miles-long stretches of fine, golden sand line the clear blue waters of the English Channel, and at peak summer the water is so warm and calm you’d be forgiven for believing you’re floating in the Indian Ocean.
Although the most popular tourist beaches on the Island, the beaches of Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor rarely become overly crammed, so you can be certain that you’ll find a spot on the golden sand and can relax in peace and tranquillity. Even when the tide is out, the water depth on the south of the Island remains fairly constant, guaranteeing a nice, deep water to bathe in at any time.
Monitored by life-guards in the summer months, beaches in the South-East are perfect for all – from families with toddlers to adults looking for the ultimate escape from the daily grind. Accessibility to the beaches is good, with multiple slipways from the roads onto the sands allowing access for beach wheelchairs. Loading and unloading is easy with parking on the esplanades – free for Blue Badge holders for up to 3 hours in most cases.
Entertainment doesn’t end at the beach in the south-east of the Island, with Sandown home to its famous pier with ten pin bowling, arcades, crazy golf and even a soft play zone for younger children. At the end of the pier you’ll find the classic seaside fair with dodgems, slides, tea-cups and even quad bikes! Also in Sandown, set next to the beach, you’ll find the town centre with a multitude of shops to suit your needs, whilst further along the coast there’s the incredible Isle of Wight Zoo and Dinosaur Isle.
Arguably the most visited beach on the Island, Shanklin has it all. Easily the most accessible beach on the entire Island, the beach is separated into two parts – Hope Beach and Small Hope beach. The stretch above Hope beach is the most populated with attractions including arcades, crazy golf, and a childrens play area, and Shanklin Sailing Club is situated at the northern end of the esplanade.
Ventnor beach – the most southern of the tourist beaches – is also one of the most beautiful with stunning views. The beach is golden and seemingly endless, but Ventnor’s well-known secret is the tucked away Steephill Cove, an idyllic sheltered beach with thatched cottages, a tea shop and the wonderful Boathouse restaurant to relax in while looking over the deep blues of the sea. Accessible only by foot, Steephill Cove is quite possibly the most serene area of the Isle of Wight – but be warned; it is very steep in places and the few steps may make in non-accessible for wheelchairs. However, hire an all-terrain wheelchair for your stay and you’re all set!
Whatever your ability, you’ll find something for everyone in the stunning south-east of the Isle of Wight.