Isle of Wight Council

Recreation, Leisure and Public Spaces - Beaches


Beauty of the Beach Logo

Beauty of the beach


The Isle of Wight Council have launched the Beauty of the beach campaign to celebrate our coastline and we need you to help us to keep our Islands beaches beautiful. 

Our commercial activities and communication teams are working on this exciting campaign with Southern Water. Visit the Beauty of the Beach website to see how this partnership is celebrating our beaches and making a difference.

Bathing waters along the 57 miles of Island coastline have never been cleaner in recent times. However, the way bathing water quality is measured, changed in 2015 and standards are now twice as strict before. This is why the council is working even more closely with water companies, community groups and the Environment Agency to address issues which affect bathing water quality. 

In 2015, DEFRA announced the first bathing water classifications under the "2006 Bathing Water Directive". For details of each classification and up-to-date results, along with water quality history please visit our water quality web page. 

There are seven things that can affect the bathing water quality.  View the leaflet which uses the word 'Bathing' to help you understand the Seven things affecting bathing water (PDF, 252KB, 1 page).

As well as celebrating the beautiful bathing waters in the Isle of Wight, we aim to help you understand what impacts bathing water quality and hope to give you the power to protect the Islands beaches. 

Many people are unaware of the fact that bathing water is affected by a range of things, including contaminated rainwater running off roads and agricultural land, waste water from privately-owned treatment works, boats and animals on the beach such as dogs and seabirds.


You can take six simple steps in the word of ‘beach’ to help keep our beaches clean and safe:

B...Is for Bag It.  If you take your dog to the beach, please pop that poop in a bag and throw it away appropriately. See our information about dogs and horses on our beaches.

E... Is for Environment. Leaving litter can be lethal, not just to wildlife but also to the health of our beaches. Go on, don't deny bins their sole purpose in life! For more information on educating yourself about waste and recycling.

A... Is for Annoying birds. When they flock for tasty morsels, they tend to poop (it must be the excitement of free food). The more you feed them, the more they come back and the cycle continues. Learn more about our countryside services and find out where to visit our nature reserves.

U... Is for Unblock drains. Help keep the sewers in your area flowing. Flushing anything other than pee, poo and paper can cause blockages, leading to flooding. If you find yourself in a fix, visit our online Isle of Wight trader approval scheme to find a local trader committed to trading fairly. 

T…Team work. We all have a part to play in improving our beautiful coastline. Why not get Involved In local beach cleans and litter picks - visit the Isle of Wight Beach Cleaning Volunteer Facebook. 

Y... Your home. Misconnected drains and poorly located and maintained septic tanks can pollute surface water systems. By looking after your home, you can improve your beach too!  If you are thinking of building a new home or extending your current home visit our online planning and building control information to get helpful advice and guidance.

Download the leaflet to help you remember six easy ways to improve the beauty of your beach  (PDF, 2.69MB, 1 page).

We live and work on the Island and are proud of our local area, that is why we want to work with you to help make our beaches the very best that they can be.

Introducing our Beaches

The Isle of Wight currently has many miles of coastline with a variety of beaches, from golden sand to shingle coves, some of which are managed and maintained by the Isle of Wight Council.  

Our beaches and esplanades are inspected regularly to ensure that they are clean and safe for our visitors.  When visiting our beaches please follow the guidelines to help us to maintain this standard. If you are visiting our beaches we recommend that you take time to find the information point at each beach location and read the information provided. There are many regulations and byelaws appertaining to the area you wish to visit.  

As an Island we are committed to the safety of our residents and visitors to keep yourself safe on our beaches please read our seaside safety information.

We have provided a information leaflet on disabled access and toilet facilities at our beaches (PDF, 17.92 KB, 1 page).

For information on each individual beach including access please click on the following links:

  1. Gurnard (PDF, 119KB, 4 pages).
  2. Cowes (PDF, 24.9KB, 3 pages).
  3. East Cowes (PDF, 14KB, 3 pages).
  4. Ryde (PDF, 90KB, 5 pages).        
  5. Springvale (PDF, 49.96KB, 3 pages).
  6. Seagrove (PDF, 50.53KB, 3 pages).
  7. Yaverland (PDF, 233.53KB, 4 pages).
  8. Shanklin (PDF, 285.38KB, 5 pages).
  9. Ventnor (PDF, 71.01KB, 5 pages).  
  10. Colwell (PDF, 266.23KB, 4 pages).
  11. Sandown (PDF, 213.30KB, 5 pages).
  12. St Helens (PDF, 60.97KB, 4 pages).


Dogs and Horses on beaches

Dogs are not permitted on any of the beaches between 1 May and 30 September.  To find out more about dog control orders on our island beaches or to download our useful guidance for dog owners please see our Dogs and Horses on beaches web page.  We have also provided information for horse riding on council controlled beaches.

Metal Detecting

To find out more information regarding metal detecting on Isle of Wight Council beaches and where metal detecting is permitted, download our leaflet Metal detectors on Isle of Wight Council-controlled beaches.( PDF, 343 KB, 2 pages). Contained within this leaflet is a map of the Island showing Isle of Wight Council owned and non owned beaches.