Swimming on The IOW

Whether you are a visitor to the Isle of Wight, have just moved here, are new to outdoor swimming or simply want to explore a new swimming destination, we have information and advice from locals who know the area well.

What are the best beaches for swimming?

That depends on what you are looking for.

Below you will find the beginnings of a collaborative guide to swimming from beaches around the Isle of Wight. We are asking local swimmers to contribute to the guide to keep it as up to date as possible.

Beaches and the sea are ever changing in some aspects, so please use the information here as a guide only. Use your own senses, ask questions and only swim if you are confident to do so. We always suggest that you swim in company where possible, have a brightly coloured cap and/ or tow float and make sure someone knows you are going in the water.


Tides around the Isle of Wight are quite “complicated”, with double high tides and low tides in places.

More soon…


Alum Bay

Famous for its coloured sands – available to buy in shop, but please do NOT collect it yourself.

Good views of the Needles


Brook Chine

Brook Chine on the West coast

Compton Bay

Freshwater Bay

Shanklin Small Hope Beach 

History of Swimming on the Isle of Wight

Thanks to the contributions of local Heritage Organisations and individual contributions, we will be bringing you information about local swimming related stories, photographs of favoured swimming spots of old and snippets of information about how people used to learn to swim on the Island.

This is an ongoing project. If you would like to help in any way, let us know.

For now, here is a short piece from Pathe about the evolution of swimming strokes: