The Back of the Wight

The ‘Back of the Wight’ is the south-west facing coast of the Isle of Wight that runs from St Catherines Head to the Needles.

The ‘Back of the Wight’ is the south-west facing coast of the Isle of Wight that runs from St Catherines Head to the Needles.

Isle of Wight Freshwater Bay

This is the Island's most rugged stretch of coastline – the part that faces down the English Chanel to the Western Approaches and the Atlantic Ocean. It is particularly popular with surfers as it holds two of the best known surf spots - Compton Bay and Freshwater Bay - which often catch the ocean swells from the Atlantic. But you will also see windsurfers and kite surfers at Brook Bay when the wind blows.

Surfing at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight


On calm days the cliffs below Tennyson Down and around Freshwater Bay are popular with kayakers and stand up paddleboards (SUP).

The back of the Wight has few sheltered bays, no harbours and lots of shallow water including the once infamous Atherfield Ledges which stretch a mile out to sea and were renound for causing shipwreaks in the days of sail and steam. This area can still catch the accasional unwary sailor – usually during the Round the Island Race.

Before the Military Road was built in the late nineteenth century much of the back of the Wight was inaccessible with just small roads or paths running from the villages along the downs to the coast.

From a visitor's point of view one the best thing about the Military Road is that it follows the coast and provides some great seaviews and access to some of the Isle of Wight's best beaches.


Recent Posts

West Wight Easter

Disconnect from technology and enjoy the unique tranquillity of the West Wight with its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty…

Read More
West Wight Easter Posted: 29 Mar 2023

Dining with Tennyson

The dining room at Farringford was always a sociable space where Tennyson entertained many famous Victorians…

Read More
Dining with Tennyson Posted: 07 Feb 2023

Freshwater Churches

There are two fine old churches in Freshwater; St Agnes Church at Freshwater Bay and All Saints' Church in the old part of Freshwater close to The Causway…

Read More
Freshwater Churches Posted: 22 Apr 2020

6 Fun Things To Do In The West Wight At Half Term

Have you just realised that it is half term next week and are frantically wondering how to entertain the children? Try these six things to do this half term.…

Read More
6 Fun Things To Do In The West Wight At Half Term Posted: 13 Feb 2020
© 2024 Farringford