Best Seaside Walks
For a wild windswept walk along the coast, nothing can beat Compton or Brook beaches, but these can get crowded, especially during lockdown. For a change why not try Grange Chine at Brighstone, Chilton Chine, next to Isle of Wight Pearl, or Shepherd’s Chine at Atherfield. If you’re driving there, be sure to park safely.
Yaverland beach has a huge car park, and a wide expanse of firm sand at low tide. Probably best to avoid walking under the cliffs, especially at this time of year. This is also a great beach for finding dinosaur fossils, as are Compton and Brook.
Winter is a good time to see the dinosaur footcasts on Brook Beach – huge casts made from rock that accumulated in the footsteps of Iguanodons and other large dinos. You can also see footprints of dinosaurs in the rocks uncovered at low tide, but beware as it is very slippery.
Driftwood hunting is best on the northern beaches of the island, as many have woodland that borders the coast. Walk west from Fort Victoria in Freshwater at low tide, and there are trees tumbling into the sea. Priory Bay with its skeleton trees is quite difficult to access, but worth it – walk from Seaview via Seagrove Bay or come through the woodland pathway from St Helen’s Duver.
Rockpools are best at Bembridge beach, which is a fantastic shore for clambering over the rocks and peering into pools, looking for little crabs and sea anemones. Lane End car park by the lifeboat station is the best place to park, but you do need to go at low tide.
Mobility issues need not stop you having a seaside walk, as there are some fabulous revetment walks along the coastline. Shanklin seafront all the way though Lake and Sandown to Yaverland is accessible in a mobility scooter or wheelchair, or if you are pushing a buggy or pram. Ryde seafront, all the way to Puckpool is also relatively flat and paved. Or you could travel from Ventnor seafront to Bonchurch and back, watching the waves crashing onto the seawall.
If you arrive at the beach of your choice, by car, and find that the car park or roadside is full it’s probably a good idea to try somewhere else. Too many cars, means too many people, particularly on the access points down to your beach. Be safe and keep your distance.