Isle of Wight beaches:
Ryde and Appley (Puckpool)

Ryde, situated in the north-east corner of the Isle of Wight, boasts one of the longest stretches of sandy beach on the Isle of Wight (six miles).

It is a popular destination for day-trippers, and rightly so. A short, ten minute crossing by hovercraft from Southsea will bring you, quite literally, on to the beach. Alternatively, a 15 minute trip by Wightlink FastCat from Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth, will deliver you to the end of the pier, minutes from the gorgeous sandy beaches.

And what a fabulous place to spend the day!

Personally I find it a little odd in that you never lose sight of Portsmouth, so although you are 'at the seaside' it looks more like you're on the banks of a very wide river!

Low tide - looking towards Portsmouth

At low tide vast areas of sandy beach are exposed - ideal for games or simply relaxing. However, BE WARNED, the tide turns very quickly here - sometimes cutting off unwary visitors who wander too far out. Those who are familiar with the tides regularly take advantage of the wide expanses of sandy beach for horse riding and dog-walking (out of season).

The beach is also a fabulous places from which to watch ocean-going liners sailing from Southampton out to sea - and all other boating activities in The Solent. The enormous size of modern container ships never ceases to amaze me,

but they're not as big as USS Theodore Roosevelt, seen here from Ryde pier!

Horses enjoy the sand and surf at low tide

In addition to the fabulous sandy beach, you will find some excellent facilities all along the Esplanade. These include a funfair, a road train, an ice-skating rink,

Planet Ice Rink and Arena - adjacent to the hovercraft terminal on the Esplanade

LA Bowl, the only full size tenpin bowling on the island with 22 lanes,

LA Bowl - situated next to Planet Ice on the Esplanade

a covered swimming pool and a good sized boating lake.

Aerial view of Ryde showing the pier, the beach, the Esplanade, and the boating lake

Ryde also has several night clubs for young people, e.g. The Balcony above LA Bowl on the Esplanade. We have not visited any of the clubs, but The Balcony is apparently very popular with young people from all over the island.

If you walk eastwards along the Esplanade and past the boating lake, the coastal path continues round to Appley beach and Puckpool Point. Here a natural, sheltered bay has formed, offering a huge expanse of sand and a gently sloping beach. It's a very popular spot for all ages!

Appley beach (Appley Bay)

In season (April to October) two cafes open here (one at each end of the bay) providing teas, coffees, drinks and light refreshments.

A wide promenade leading to Puckpool Point lines the entire bay. It's great to walk along, and it's perfect for pushchairs, wheelchairs and prams etc.

All along the promenade you will find beach huts set well back from the main walkway. You will also find Public Conveniences (toilets) half way along the bay, and a very popular children's playground.

The road-train from Ryde pier is a popular feature and you will see it whisking happy visitors along the promenade all the way down to Puckpool Point and Puckpool Park.

Road-train from Ryde pier to Puckpool Point

Ryde and Appley are two of the best beaches for families with young children, but there are others to choose from.
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