Where to go for the Best Viewing Points of The Needles on Isle of Wight
The Needles is the most popular and most photographed attraction on the Isle of Wight. It also features prominently in almost all of the island’s souvenirs. Needless to say the compelling sight is a photographer’s paradise. With this guide, you would be able to capture some amazing best views of The Needles too.
1 | The Needles | Isle of Wight
The impressive sight of the Needles rocks and lighthouse, passionately known as “The Needles” can be seen for miles on the western points of the Isle of Wight. Stretching out to sea and rising up at 30m are a row of three chalk and flint stacks. Together with a formidable lighthouse in red and white strategically located at the end of the stacks, The Needles is a prominent feature of the island. This iconic landmark is also one of the Seven Natural Wonders in the United Kingdom attracting , almost half a million visitors each year.
Without a doubt, you will want to experience the landmark attraction and have some of the very best views of The Needles for timeless memories to cherish.
2 | What to expect from this guide
The Needles is a top destination for visitors to the Isle of Wight and a compelling sight for photographers of all abilities. Whether you wish to capture perfect images or just wanting immersive moments as you experience some of the best views of the Needles, you are in the right place! This easy guide is curated to give some helpful information on where to go for the very best views of The Needles.
Recommended read: The Unmissable Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight
3 | Where to go for Best Views of the Needles | Isle of Wight
The Needles is visible from many various points in the western Isle of Wight. However, there are 4 locations on the Isle of Wight where you could have the utmost best views of this iconic landmark – both near and far.
3.1 | From the waters | Alum Bay boat rides for Best views of The Needles
Take a pleasure cruise for one of the best views of The Needles. This is the only way for a visitor to the Island to get up close for best views of the Needles and the lighthouse. The boat cruises run throughout the seasons. It takes about twenty-minutes or fifteen-minutes depending on your choice of boats. Select from from a slow pleasure cruise or a fast one aboard the speed-boat RIBS.
For a perfect photo of The Needles rocks and the lighthouse, opt for the high speed-boat as this boat ride takes you to the south of the Lighthouse.
When aboard the cruises, don’t forget to turn around for some captivating views of the Alum Bay cliffs and its coloured sands.
3.1.2 | Good to Know Information about the boat rides at Alum Bay:
1 | Slow cruise
Duration: Generally 20 minutes
Depart: from 10.30 A.M. daily | Every 40 minutes.
Guide price: Adults – £7.00 | Children – £4.00 | Children under 3 are Free | Dogs are welcome | Groups of over 20 attract a discount.
2 | High speed RIBS boat
The fast route covers everything of the slow cruise plus Scratchells Bay and South views of the Needles and Island Shores.
Duration: Generally 15 minutes
Departs: 10:30 A.M. daily | Every 20 – 30 minutes
Guide price: £12.50 per person | £44.00 for a family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 children under 15
Minimum age restrictions of 6 years old.
** Seasonal – From April to November. All rides are weather dependent. Information correct at time of writing – July 2022
3.2 | From above – Chairlift, Alum Bay for best views of The Needles
Take the Chairlift from Alum Bay beach. An attractive view from above although not as close as a boat ride but equally mesmerising. It’s quite a slow ride down or up and you have plenty of time to capture amazing best views of The Needles.
Pro tip: The boat rides and the chairlift are the two most popular ways to have close-up views of the Needles but between the two, the boat ride aboard the RIBS is an unmissable activity.
For more best views of The Needles you need to go a little further. Add a little adventure to your visit to the Isle of Wight.
3.3 | The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks
Add a little adventure – Put on your hiking boots and enjoy one of the National Trust Isle of Wight walks, The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks. A meandering seven miles with spectacular views over the white cliffs and the Needles.
Georgina: The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks is completely worth the time and effort. The breathtaking views are spellbinding and you will stop many times just for the views!
This little adventure to your itinerary will also get you a close view of the chalk ridges by visiting the Needles Old Battery and New Battery perched high above the Needles Rocks. As well, a Cold-war rocket test site, an old fort and a monument dedicated to a Victorian poet. Both of these historic sites offer vantage points to capture the best views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse.
NB: If you wish to start your walk from Alum Bay instead, the actual walk from Alum Bay to Needles Old Battery is only three quarters of a mile and takes about 20 minutes.
3.4 | Best views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse from Needles Old Battery and New Battery, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight
3.4.1 | 3 Viewing points from the Old Battery and the New Battery
There are three viewing points for best views of the Needles rocks and Lighthouse. – the Parade Ground, old tunnels and the former rocket test site. All three viewing points are easily accessible.
i | Parade Ground
There is a viewing platform at the end of the Parade Ground which gives sweeping views of The Needles and the Needles Lighthouse. The viewing platform is wheelchair accessible.
ii | Tunnels
For a closer view, climb down the spiral staircase. Walk through the underground tunnel beneath the perimeter fence. It leads to views over the Needles rocks.
iii | Needles New Battery – former rocket test site | Isle of Wight
The New Battery is at the start of the Needles headland. There are many spectacular cliff-top paths to the Needles viewpoint and an excellent view back to the Needles rocks. There is no charge for visiting this site. Be mindful of the several steps down to the rooms.
If you choose to do The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks, the following tips may be helpful:
There are a number of spots to stop for a picnic if you want to take a breather and admire the landscape.
Some parts of this coastal walk involve a climb and is a little steep but worth the effort if you could make it.
If you are visiting in spring or fall, remember to wrap up warm.
Use appropriate footwear.
Recommended read: Unmissable 9 fun things to do at Carisbrooke Castle
4 | Practical Information to plan ahead | Best views of The Needles Isle of Wight
Here are some practical information for you to consider when planning your trip for the best views of The Needles and the Isle of Wight.
4.1 | How to get to the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight can be reached in 45 minutes by a ferry from the British mainland. There are regular ferry crossings from Portsmouth, Lymington (New Forest) and Southampton provided by Red Funnel, Wightlink and Brittany.
If you are not driving to the ports, plan your journey with Trainline. Trainline has the latest availability on seats and prices for you to select from.
Recommended Read > Trainline in Britain and how to get cheap tickets.
4.2 | How to move around the Isle of Wight
Public transport on the Isle of Wight is provided by Southern Vectis (buses) and the Island Line (train). Southern Vectis runs regular services from all major towns in the Island while the Island Line connects the towns of Ryde, Brading, Sandown and Shanklin. You can pick the service from Ryde Pier.
Recommended read: 4 key ways to explore the Isle of Wight
Plan your train travel journey with Trainline
4.3 | Things to do on the Isle of Wight
As a top holiday destination, the Isle of Wight offer a wide variety of things to do . No matter your age, the Island has something unique for each one. From kids fun, adults fun, on the waters, or up on the hills to history buffs immersing in the numerous historic sites. There are also quiet spots to relax and to just be. Added to this is a thriving foodie scene as well.
4.4 | Places to Stay on the Isle of Wight
There is a fantastic choice of places to stay on the Isle of Wight. Whether it is a stylish and quiet short break for two or a fabulous holiday with excited kids, there is a special place waiting to welcome you.
Recommended read: 26 Very best places to stay on Isle of Wight
A final note on best views of The Needles
Once you have taken the ferry across to the beautiful island, a warm and stunning natural landscape awaits you. The Needles is a landmark best viewed at any time of the day. Near or far, from the waters or from atop the cliffs, at sunrise, sunset or at anytime in between – the sight of The Needles is captivating.
The various viewing points for the very best views of The Needles suggested in this article are unmissable. Brought together to add value to your visit – all you need is a good camera or a fully charged handphone to capture your special best views.
Do return to share your thoughts in comments, I look forward to hearing your stories… and you never know who you might inspire.
Use the links (at no cost to you) embedded in this article and related articles to book your trip by train, your hotel stay or activities to do in this fabulous Isle of Wight. As always, your support is much appreciated.
Isle of Wight at a Glance
Coordinates: Latitude: 50° 40′ 30.59″ N Longitude: -1° 16′ 30.60″ W
Island: Largest island in England
Island’s city: Newport
Population: 141,538 | Second most populous island in England behind Portsea Island.
County: Governed by one unitary authority.
Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) | British Summer Time (BST)
Currency: Pounds Sterling (£)
Credit and Debit cards accepted.
Landmass: The Isle is roughly 380.728 kilometer/147 square miles
Elevation: Maximum elevation: 242 m | Average elevation: 15 m | Minimum elevation: -1 m
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Famous for: Ghosts, Dinosaur bones, Victorian villages + Healing & Wellbeing retreats
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Very Best Views of The Needles | 4 Top Viewing Points on the Isle of Wight first published at timelesstravelsteps.com
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