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Compton Bay and Downs, Isle of Wight

One of the Island's favourite beaches and biggest expanses of open downland.

Home to what is generally considered to be one of the best beaches on the Island and backed by fossil-rich cliffs, Compton Bay is the perfect place for families to enjoy soft sands, sparkling waters and dinosaur footprint hunting. From creating a sandcastle and surfing the waves in the summer to talking a wild winter walk along the beach, the many coloured cliffs and the coastal views to Dorset provide a wonderful backdrop and a fascinating geological history stretching back millions of years.

Shaped by the sea, dramatic coastal erosion creates a landscape that is filled with a range of nationally and internationally important plants and animals. From the coast, a network of footpaths crosses the rising chalk downland to the Tennyson Trail on the very top of the ridge, making it perfect walking country. The wildlife-rich grassland that grows here, considered the best on the Island, is home of a great number of flowers and butterflies including the Island’s own Glanville fritillary. We’re currently working to change more areas of this landscape so that the whole of it becomes rich in wildlife for generations to come.


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