St Helen’s Beach sits quietly at the end of one road so it’s often overlooked by holidaymakers. Located opposite Bembridge harbour, this sandy beach has a car park, rock pools and the ruin of a church tower. The rest of this Norman priory was washed into the sea during a storm in 1703 and the tower is all that remains to act as a landmark for sailors.
The beach’s position slightly off the beaten track means there’s always lots of room on the sandy beach so it’s a nice one to visit on a sunny day when some of the neighbouring beaches are packed. Dogs are welcome throughout the year so owners can bring their dogs to enjoy the shore too, and the beach huts are made from old railway wagons, so expect a beach with character and plenty to see. Speaking of character, look out for St Helen’s Fort which stands opposite the beach, it was built in 1967 and is a defence Spithead Fort.
Strong currents mean that there’s no bathing at St Helen’s but it’s a great spot for water sports. It’s common to see kite surfers making the most of the wind, as well as jet skis, kayaks and windsurfers.