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The Best 9 Dog Friendly Beaches on the Isle of Wight & 2021 Restrictions

The Isle of Wight is an immensely popular holiday destination, and while it’s technically part of the UK, heading out here can feel like you’re going abroad! It also happens to have plenty of sun and sand, and scores of dog friendly beaches for you and your four-legged friends to uncover and enjoy. In fact, we’ve rounded up our personal picks of the best dog friendly beaches on the Isle of Wight to save you some time.

From East Cowes to West Wight and Blackgang Chine, there are lots on the island map for families to get into – resort beaches are the speciality here. In fact, you’ll likely spot quite a few ideas for dog friendly holiday days out on the Isle of Wight when you’re not busy making sandcastles or enjoying watching the ferries come in and out of port. Wight even has plenty of countryside and villages off the coast, too.

Keep reading for more information on beach access for dogs across the Isle – from Sandown to Luccombe Chine, this is an immensely dog-friendly location with scores of attractions and walking destinations, however, there may be some areas with a dog ban or two in place to help protect the sand. Don’t worry, as we’ve read up on what you need to know regarding the areas below.

When are dogs allowed on beaches in the Isle of Wight?

As on the UK mainland, dog blocks may vary across the Isle of Wight. While there are plenty of Isle of Wight dog friendly beaches, there may still be a dog ban or two at a certain time of year, or on specific stretches of sand. As such, it really does make sense to take a look at the information on beaches you want to visit before you take your dogs anywhere. Don’t worry, as we’ve made a point of looking up all you need to know about dogs’ bans at the best resorts. We always recommend you do a bit of research before you travel, but we’ve made things a bit easier for you. Why not take a look at our guide to dog friendly walks on the Isle of Wight, too? This is just one of our most popular guides to the area.

The Best Beaches on the Isle of Wight for Dogs

Bembridge Beach

h. Located near the lifeboat pier on the east side of the Isle of Wight, this beautiful stretch boasts gorgeous sand and clear blue waters. At low ebb, you can enjoy the rock pools and even at highest tide, some parts of the seaside are still accessible. However, it then becomes more of a pebble beach, so watch those paws!

The main attraction of this spot for dog lovers is that it is indeed open to dogs year-round. You and your four-legged friend do not have to worry about any dog blocks on this part of this island. Popular things to do on the sand include bird watching, sunbathing and of course, enjoying some ice cream!

From the coastline, you can see the south coast of England and you will be able to see many ferries leave and return to the mainland throughout the day. There are plenty of cafes nearby as well as shops and facilities in the town centre, not too far away. Keep safe, however, as there’s no lifeguard service here.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards:  No
  • Address: 16 Beach Rd, Bembridge, Isle of Wight PO35 5NZ
  • Facilities Near By: Cafe, toilets, shops, restaurants, golf, museum, car park

St Helens Beach

This quiet sandy space is a dog friendly beach on the Isle of Wight down on the south coast. It’s backed by dunes and a promenade, which is home to a cafe and multiple huts, as well as toilets. This small space, measuring less than 1km, is a great seaside location to go to if you are looking for a quiet time with your friends, family and your dogs!

It also happens to be a very popular area for water sports including boating, jet-skiing, powerboating, sailing, surfing and swimming, as well as cycling, sunbathing, and rock pooling.

As there is only a short amount of space on the sand itself, do be sure to keep your dog close to you at all times and put them on a lead for added safety. Otherwise, you can expect this to be dog friendly all year round. Great news for anyone struggling with restrictions elsewhere!

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards:  No
  • Address: The Duver, St Helens, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 1XZ
  • Facilities Near By: Cafe, toilets, shops, restaurants, campsite, car park / local parking, slipway, bins

Whitecliff Bay

Head to the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight and you’ll find this stunning landmark, ideal for anyone looking to enjoy some of the more picturesque, dog friendly walks the island has to offer. The name of the stretch itself comes from the chalk cliffs situated at the south. Not only are they geologically very interesting, but they also happen to be full of fossils, making Whitecliff Bay an appealing area for tourists.

This is a small sandy zone, spreading out only over 200 metres. It’s a sand and shingle beach that is actually backed by two resorts, meaning that while small in size, it is often very popular! It’s not the best pick for a quiet stroll in high season, but it’s visually stunning all the same.

That being said, Whitecliff Bay is open to dogs all year round! Your pooch will absolutely love spending time in the crystal clear waters and on the soft sand. Keep in mind that as a small walk of sand, there’s no lifeguard cover – so keep your dog lead to hand whenever you can.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No
  • Lifeguards:  No
  • Address: Whitecliff Bay, Hillway Rd, Bembridge, Isle of Wight PO35 5PL
  • Facilities Near By: Cafe, golf, holiday parks, parking

Freshwater Bay

Freshwater is absolutely the bay you head to if you’re keen to take in some of the best views across the Isle of Wight in general. The stretch is made up of flint and chalkstones as well as some patches of sand. 

The bay is popular for rock pooling, surfing, sailing, jet skiing and kayaking. For those who do plan on kayaking, you will be able to see the famous caves at the bottom of the surrounding cliffs. 

It is from this bay that the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat is launched. It’s also popular among families thanks to the surrounding spots such as ice cream shops, cafes, restaurants and shops. 

When it comes to walks, however, dog restrictions are in place from the 1st of May to the 30th of September. You may come to find that taking your dogs around this area out of the summer months is better for you both, due to the stretch being relatively small. It can fill up quite quickly! 

Dog restrictions aside, this is one of the better-connected places in our guide, especially if you’re looking for a local hotel or promenade walks.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Freshwater, Isle Of Wight, PO40 9RA
  • Facilities Near By: Promenade, cafes, restaurants, shops, car parking

Shanklin Chine

Shanklin Chine is great for family activities and all kinds of local sites of interest. Of course, it’s the sandy straits that you’re likely to find most intriguing. In any case, from shops and cafes to crazy golf, karting, bowling and an entire amusement arcade, there are lots to keep everyone occupied for the whole day!

In fact, given that the beach is also backed by hotel after hotel, you might want to spend a family weekend away in nearby accommodation. Even during the winter months, there is much to do on this part of the island and if you are a dog owner, it may just be out of the tourist season that you would prefer to visit. It’s certainly quieter, according to local reviews!

Sadly, dogs are not allowed on the sands from May to September, however out of the tourist season, Shanklin is a very dog friendly area and is still a prime holiday destination. Take a look at reviews of local facilities and attractions before you go, and keep your dogs on leads.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (May to September)
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Eastcliff Promenade, Shanklin PO37 6BJ, UK
  • Facilities Near By: Slipway, hotels, pubs, restaurants, shops, cafes, huts, crazy golf, karting, bowling, amusement arcade, car park 

Seagrove Beach

For what Seagrove lacks in size, it definitely makes up for in water quality! Although the stretch is only 1km long, making it completely covered up at late tide, when the tide is low, the water is certainly likely to entice you. It is crystal clear and sheltered from the wind and the waves. In fact, Seagrove Bay won a Blue Flag award, primarily thanks to the fantastic water quality but also due to the many surrounding amenities. 

Seagrove is popular for sailing, kayaking, swimming and sunbathing, although it is always wise to check the times of the tides before coming to this spot, as if you arrive at an inopportune time, chances are the beachfront won’t be there! 

Another fantastic aspect of Seagrove is that it happens to be open to dogs year-round! Due to the size of the walk and its popularity, it is advised to keep your dog close at all times and on a lead. Safety first, as they say – and that goes just as much on the UK mainland as it does out here, too.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No 
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Pier Road, Seaview, Isle Of Wight, PO34 5BP, UK 
  • Facilities Near By: Promenade, hotels, pubs, restaurants, shops, cafes, car parking 

Yaverland Beach

Yaverland is largely considered to be one of the best beaches that the Isle of Wight has to offer thanks to its wide array of amenities, and the fact it’s prime for all kinds of seaside fun. If you can think of anything people like to do on beach holidays, you’ll likely be able to do it all down in Yaverland.

Thanks to the different sections that divide the stretch, many come to Yaverland to safely enjoy jet-skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, etc, knowing that a swimming area has been provided further along the way. It also happens to be one of the quieter beaches in the area, which is especially nice during tourist season! 

From the sandy stretches there are views of the beautiful white chalk cliffs of Culver Down – it just so happens that these cliffs are famous for being home to scores of ancient fossils. It is due to this that the famous Dino Isle museum is a key attraction close by!

Dog lovers will be especially happy to know that there is a specific section of the resort that is open to dogs year round! Keep an eye out for where you can and can’t access it. Why not bring the kids, too?

  • Seasonal Restrictions: No 
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Yaverland Road, Sandown, Isle Of Wight, PO36 8QB, UK 
  • Facilities Near By: Museum, promenade, toilets, car park, beach shop, cafe

Gurnard Beach

Situated off the northern side of the Isle of Wight, this pebble and shingle beach is the perfect spot from which one can admire stunning views of sunsets and of the wider Solent. However, it’s not just fancy sea views that people head down here for.

Gurnard is indeed quite a small beach, however, there is definitely lots to do, even at high tide. Behind the colourful beach huts, you will find a lovely picnic area as well as a play area for the kids. Backing the beach, you will have your choice of restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops, toilets and shops. The promenade also has disabled facilities! Reviews of this stretch are most complimentary, which is always a kind bonus.

The beach is particularly popular among jet skiers, surfers, swimmers and sailors. The Gurnard Sailing Club offers summer memberships, so it is indeed a tourist spot that many wish to visit. 

Dog owners should know however that dogs are banned from this beach from the 1st of May to the 30th of September. Even so, should you wish to visit during the colder months, all of the amenities will still be available to you and without the bustling crowds! 

Gurnard offers some of the most breath-taking views of all the places on this list, so be sure to read those reviews and come on down.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes (May to September)
  • Lifeguards: No 
  • Address: Shore Road, Cowes, Isle Of Wight, PO31 8LD, UK 
  • Facilities Near By: Sailing club, cafes, restaurants, toilets, disabled facilities, shops, promenade 

Ryde Beach

Ryde is known for its wide, beautiful stretch of golden sand that is presented at low tide as well as a long list of amenities on and surrounding the beach. The pier happens to be the second-longest in the entirety of the UK, and it’s close to the ever-popular Puckpool Park.

From the pier itself, you are able to notice Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower. Opposite the pier is where the real fun starts, however- thanks to the amusement arcade, the restaurants, the pubs, the shops, the ice rink, the bowling alley and the children’s play area. On the eastern side of the pier, there is also an indoor and outdoor pool and a boating lake for pedalos.

Dogs are welcome during the colder months here. From the 1st of May to the 30th of September, dog bans come into effect. However, due to the fact that all of the amenities are still open during the colder months, visiting in the autumn and winter with your dog could be a great way of taking advantage of the area without having to deal with crowds of tourists! Reviews don’t lie – this area is great for dogs and families.

  • Seasonal Restrictions: Yes 
  • Lifeguards: Yes
  • Address: Esplanade, Ryde, PO33 1JJ
  • Facilities Near By: Pier, food, drink, toilets, shops

Last Word 

The Isle of Wight is a marvellous dog friendly holiday hotspot that many walkers head out from the south of England to enjoy year after year. There are lots of lovely sandy places to explore offshore. Don’t forget to take a look at our guide to the best dog pubs on the Isle of Wight, too – just in case you fancy taking a load off! We make sure to offer you fair, real reviews on everything we present. It’s always worth reading local reviews of dog friendly beaches near the Isle of Wight.

Do also remember that out of all the beach zones on the Isle of Wight, the ones we’ve picked for you and your dogs for this guide are those we like the most. There may be a place or two elsewhere on the Isle that appeal to you more! Once again, it’s well worth reading up on additional reviews before you book accommodation such as a hotel and grab your ferry tickets.

Looking for golf links with a difference and a walk or two that the UK mainland can only dream of? From Sandown to Shanklin and St Helens, the Isle of Wight is a hidden gem for many people. It’s got its share of fishing village scenes as well as lots of attractions to appeal to little ones and big ones alike. There is hotel after hotel here, too, but why not choose quaint accommodation in the shape of dog friendly cottages on the Isle of Wight? We’ve found lots of lovely accommodation close to villages and countryside you’re sure to enjoy.

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