Gurnard is a short distance west of the main town of Cowes on the north coast of the Isle of Wight. From the beach there are stunning views across the Solent and the amazing sunsets are internationally recognized.
Once the Hamlet of Gurnet (the original name for Gurnard) was used as a crossing point to the mainland before Cowes was developed. “The Luck” on the western side, now a tiny river, was once much bigger and boats could navigate inland.
Now the main beach is a good location to watch the liners and large ships entering Southampton Water and is also a fine viewpoint for big yacht races such as the annual Round the Island Race or the Fastnet Race. Gurnard, with its iconic beach huts, is popular with both local families and holidaymakers , bathers, walkers and local artists.
There is a large sloping green and children’s play area located by the beach, a pub/restaurant is very short distance from the sea and light refreshments and ice-creams can be purchased from a beachside outlet.
The public conveniences are well maintained and regularly cleaned.
Sailing and water sports are favoured pastimes: the private members’ sailing club provides colourful dinghy racing spectacles on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, there are swimming groups, such as the Gurnard Dipping Society, whose members swim throughout the year. There is plenty to enjoy on this pretty little beach.
Parking can be found along the seafront towards Cowes. It is also possible to reach Gurnard from Cowes by walking along the Esplanade.
Walk up ‘Winding Way’ past a No Mining sign and the main street, Worsley Road, opens up into the main residential area.
The Village has grown from about 30 houses in the 1850s to about 1000 now – many of the houses built in the 1800s were built with bricks made from local clay and produced in a kiln and brick field, now the location of the Sailing Club and Village Green. The No Mining sign is explained! The Victorian church, another welcoming local pub, village shop and a popular cafe are all to be found on the flower and tree lined main street, as is Gurnard Clock which was put up to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.