We discovered an alternative recently that may be even nicer though, at Thorness Bay near Porchfield. The beach's main access requires you to navigate your way through Thorness Bay Holiday Park which is one of the few caravan sites on the northern section of the island. This experience was much like finding your way out of a foreign city with my wife making helpful comments such as "didn't we pass that woman watching Coronation Street 10 minutes ago?" and "Isn't this bit one-way?"
After seeing every single caravan on the site three times we found the bumpy path down to the beach. On post trip research it looks like there are other spots where you can walk down, but not much option if you want to drive.
The beach itself is unlikely to be the one they choose to put on the front of the tourism magazines which fill up the racks on the ferry. It's a bit scrubby and can't really decide if it wants to be sandy or stoney. At low tide though it is a gorgeous landscape with farming fields on one side and woodland on the other.
Best of all was the sunset which slowly turned the sky red. At low tide a huge pool appeared away from the sea meaning it was shallow and static enough to reflect back the sunset. I was so overcome with the whole thing that I nearly got down on one knee to propose, until I remembered I was already married.
A few other happy onlookers gawped out to sea along with several fisherman who I assume had suggested taking the kids away to Thorness Bay with a secret plan to spend the whole week holding a fishing rod.
We headed home, only slightly panicked by the sight of a locked gate on our way out. Thankfully we negotiated our way through and began uploading our #nofilter photos to anyone who was interested and many more people who weren't.