Alum Bay features a pebbled beach and the famous multi-coloured sand cliffs which is accessible by steps or via a chair lift from the Needles Theme Park.
Children love to create their own ornaments filled with the famous coloured sands.
There are fantastic views of the Needles and it is a good place to watch the sunset.
Walk along the cliff road to the National Trust tea rooms at the Needles Battery museum.
One of the Isle of Wight’s best kept secrets is Compton Beach. Located in West Wight, Compton offers a two mile stretch of contrasting golden and dark sands, with rolling seas, tumbling multi-coloured sandstone cliffs, and the white chalk cliffs at Freshwater in the distance.
Reminiscent of the beaches in Cornwall or even on the west coast of America, and popular with surfers, Compton is a totally natural do-it-yourself beach. Bring all you need including windbreaks (if necessary), body and surf boards and food and drink, although there is an ice-cream van that also vends beverages, snacks and a few beach toys.
Newly restored steep steps lead down to the beach from Hanover Point/Shippard’s Chine where there is a large National Trust (NT) car park, toilet facilities and fresh water tap or drive further west to Compton Chine/Farm and find a smaller NT car park on the opposite side of the coastal road and tiered steep steps down to the beach.
Compton is a great place to pick up fossils, including those of dinosaurs, and you can book tours on the beach to see the dinosaur footprints in the sandstone ledge at Hanover Point that are exposed at low tide (link). The beach is ideal for games and sandcastle making, especially at low tide and you may catch sight of paragliders passing over the cliff line or kite surfers out at sea. Compton was recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for the quality of its waters in 2012.
Appley beach, Ryde.
Shanklin really is the most charming of traditional seaside resorts with it’s glorious long wide sandy beach set against a backdrop of dramatic sandstone cliffs. Relax and unwind on the golden sands, hire a traditional beach hut or, for the more energetic, try the water sports on offer.
Whatever your age or interests there are lots of things to do in Shanklin. The Shanklin Esplanade, lined with traditional seaside games, amusements, cafes, hotels, restaurants and bars, is the perfect place to while away your day. Getting from the Esplanade to the cliff path with access to the town and Old Village is made easy by the cliff lift.
Shanklin offers a lovely mix of the seaside and open, green space with some fantastic parks and gardens. Rylstone Gardens provide the most tranquil and beautiful spot to sit and soak up the sunshine. Look out for the extensive programme of events at the Bandstand located in the Gardens. The famous Shanklin Chine, a gorge with rare plants and delightful waterfall, is quite simply unique. Lose yourself in the history and character of Shanklin Old Village packed with charming thatched cottages most housing wonderful, unique gift shops and tea rooms. As it is such a popular resort there is no shortages of places to eat in Shanklin. If you’re eating out you will be spoilt for choice with a range of restaurants, cafes and pubs spread across the resort, some with entertainment throughout the summer evenings.
Colwell Bay is a Blue Flag beach.
Wander around the headland to Totland Bay and up over Headon Warren, with its prehistoric burial mound and panoramic views then on to Alum Bay and catch the bus back.