72 Fun Christmas Highlights in London

Christmas in London 2021 – Guide to top 72 Fun & Magical Christmas Highlights in London

72 Fun & Magical Christmas highlights in London 2021?

Christmas highlights in London

Experience London like never before with these Magical Christmas highlights in London

Christmas highlights in London
Christmas highlights in London

1 | The best dazzling London Christmas Lights 2021

magical Christmas highlights in London
magical Christmas highlights in London

1 | Immerse in the kaleidoscope of shimmering neon fluttering butterflies exemplifying transformation, change and hope at Carnaby Street.

2 | Don’t forget to look up when at Regent Street! You will be totally enchanted with the 300,000 lights as the angels glow across the street!

3 | Marvel at one of London’s premier shopping area at Oxford Street as it glows amidst the famous brands.

4 | When shopping in London, venture to the revered Bond Street. Experience the spectacular display of lights by some of the renowned brands. Tiffany’s, Cartier, and Mulberry are just a few of the unmissable displays that must be experienced.

5 | The magical Christmas highlights in London’s South Molton Street is also a must-see. Those blue arches of bright lights are completely captivating against the darkness of the skies.

1.1 | More glorious Christmas lights …

6 | More glorious Christmas lights awaits those who make their way to Chelsea. The Duke of York Square is wonderfully dressed in festive lights.

7 | Be dazzled by the twinkling Christmas highlights at the quaint streets of Seven Dials. Enjoy the array of shops, restaurants and bars.

8 | Christmas highlights in London is never complete without a visit to the infamous Covent Garden. Its spectacular 16.7m/55 feet Christmas tree in the centre of the piazza, all dazzled up offer a perfect photo backdrop.

9 | All throughout London, you will see Christmas trees decked in lights but there is One that you should not miss! Head to Trafalgar Square to see the magnificent Norwegian spruce in the centre of the Square. This 25m/82ft is decorated in Norwegian splendour of vertical strings of lights.

11 | Head a little out of town to Wembley Park, home to the iconic Wembley Stadium. The annual Winterfest at Wembley Park showcases light and art installations across the area.

1.2 | Recommended:

Best Christmas Lights in London


2 | Experience Christmas highlights in London at London’s popular attractions

christmas highlights in London
Christmas highlights in London

In addition to the stunning Christmas lights around the City of London, there are also venues and activities across the metropolis and nearby that are iconic, and magical at this festive time. The following are highly recommended and are totally unmissable events, activities and Christmas highlights in London to get into.

2.1 | Go on a fun and festive cruise


3 | Food experiences in London at Christmas

magical Christmas highlights in London
magical Christmas highlights in London

The food scenes are an absolute Christmas highlights in London!

24 | Visit the historic Chinatown next to theatreland and click-away some striking and vibrant photos. You may find some restaurants are open on Christmas Day.


4 | Highly recommended activities for fun family Christmas in London


5 | Highlights of Christmas Markets in London

35 | Pop in at Leicester Square Christmas market to pay Santa a visit and to tuck into food or drink. There is a good selection of crafts that makes ideal gifts for friends and family. November 12, 2021 to January 9, 2022

37 | You are sure to find the Selfridges Christmas Market on the Mews fascinating! Tucked around towards the back of the world famous department store, this Christmas market is the destination for perfect festive gifts, decorations or a great selection of street food. From hot dogs, sweet waffles to seafood and curries. From Nov 5, 2021 to Dec 23, 2021. Weekdays: 4:00 – 9:00 pm. Weekends: 12:00 – 9:00 pm. Dec 24, 2021 – 12:00 to 4:00 pm.

Southbank, London Bridge and Borough Market also gets festive …

38 | With stunning views of the exemplary Tower Bridge, Tower of London and London’s skyline, Christmas by the River returns this year at Southbank and London Bridge. Along with extended hours at Borough Market, you shall find stalls decorated with twinkly lights and tinsels, offering their daily selections as well as the festive additions. From Nov 16, 2021 to Jan 2, 2022. Sunday to Wednesday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm | Thursday to Saturday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm


6 | Soak up the festive vibes at these Christmas highlights in London …

christmas highlights in london

40 | Witness the dramatic Blessing of the Crib in Trafalgar Square, the best nativity in the City. Experience the music, carols, prayer and a real donkey. Dec 5, 2021 at 5:30 pm.

41 | Sing-a-long to carols and festive songs under the magnificent Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square. More than 40 groups perform each year for an hour each in the run-up to Christmas. This takes place in December but exact dates are not published yet.

42 | Be part of a unique experience at Trafalgar Square! Celebrate the lighting of the Norwegian Christmas Tree along with candlelight, carol singing and Christmas readings. Dec 2, 2021 at 7:30 pm. Note: This is a ticketed event.

6.1 | You might like this instead?

44 | For that special warm and fuzzy Christmassy feeling, head to Battersea Carols. The Battersea Christmas Carols Concert is very special as you will be welcomed by a special guard of honour formed by the Battersea Dogs. Money raised goes towards work carried out by Battersea for dogs and cats. You could enjoy mince pies, mulled wine and purchase gifts. Takes place at St Luke’s & Christ Church, Chelsea at 7 p.m. on Dec 2, and Dec 3 2021. Ticketed event.

6.2 | More unmissable carol events …

46 | One of my favourite places to experience Advent is at Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral. This London landmark hosts free carol concerts throughout Advent. A great experience for everyone but you do need to get there early! From Dec 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2021


7 | Explore some of the magnificent Christmas shopping highlights in London

47 | Be dazzled with some of London’s splendid departmental stores. Head to Selfridges, Liberty, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods where you can go crazy in their dedicated Christmas shop, or shop for gourmet Christmas treats and hampers.

48 | Visit London’s most famous shopping destination at West End. You will find most flagship stores on Oxford Street, Bond Street for opulence and sophistication at Regent Street.

52 | When exploring all the above mentioned shops, spend some time as well to admire and click-away the spectacular window displays. Some of these displays takes imagination to a whole new level!


8 | Watch a festive film or visit filming locations this Christmas in London

54 | Sing along to popular musicals at The Prince Charles Cinema. One of Londoner’s favourite independent cinema, The Prince Charles is tucked away behind Leicester Square and offer tickets at reasonable prices.

56 | For a truly vivid experience in a historic cinema, head to Regent Street Cinema, “the birthplace of British cinema”.

8.1 | How about film locations walking tour?

If you want to give cinemas a miss this year, go on a walking tour of film locations instead. We recommend the following:

57 | Love Actually film locations

58 | Notting Hill Walking tour

59 | Harry Potter Filming Locations Walking tour

60 | 007 James Bond Bus tour

61 | Downton Abbey Filming locations & Highclere Castle tour – day trip


9 | Immerse in a London Christmas musical

62 | From the all time favourite Lion King to incredible The Nutcracker, or Frozen, The Musicalbook ahead for a warm and festive celebration at a London musical.


10 | Ice-skating at Christmas in London

There is something very special about ice-skating and creating unforgettable memories amidst beautiful surroundings.

63 | The Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink offer a Christmassy experience like none other amidst the magnificent backdrop of the King Henry VIII’s castle. While here, you may wish to visit the Hampton Court Castle and its immaculate gardens as well.

64 | Show off your skills and glide across the 18th century courtyard at Somerset House and immerse in truly festive vibes.


11 | Go Somewhere new for the festive season

Do something different and begin a new Christmas tradition. How about venturing to the English countryside on a day trip from London during this festive season?

65 | Spend a day exploring Oxford and the Cotswolds Villages

66 | Explore Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath in a day from London

67 | Visit the renowned white cliffs at Seven Sisters and South Downs on a day trip


12 | Treat yourself to a Special Evening


13 | Stay in London and experience the buzz of the City

London is enormous! Finding a place to stay could be a task as London’s best attractions are dotted throughout the city. In addition, it could be expensive as well during the festive season. Nevertheless, it all depends on one’s budget and what you wish to experience. Here are just a few suggestions for you to consider:

71 | For fabulous Christmas highlights in London, stay at the Copthorne Tara Hotel Kensington for a remarkable stay. Located in the heart of Kensington, this accommodation is within a few minutes walk of Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, and Royal Albert Hall. It has easy connections to London Underground to get you to places or hail a bus for that quintessential London experience. Alternatively, the London taxis are at your disposal, just ask the Concierge to get you one.

Book a stay at Copthorne Tara Hotel Kensington

Reserve a stay at Radisson Hotels London


My thoughts …

London is a great city to experience at any time of the year but it is especially fun, magical and festive at Christmas. While there are so many things to do in London as one could imagine, the city is alive with Christmas lights, festive markets, iconic attractions, and ice skating. The music, wonders of the museums, cinemas, theatres and the fabulous array of shopping arcades are special at this time of year also. The mouth-watering international food scene is undeniably an unmissable experience in London.

My sincere wish is for this article on the top 72 Christmas highlights in London to be a valuable guide in your plans to experience London at Christmas and at any time of the year.

What do you think …

It’s your turn 🙂 What do you think? Are the suggestions on this article valuable to you in planning and experiencing a magical, fun and festive Christmas in London? Have I missed any that you would like included here? Do let me know and I shall gladly include then as Reader Recommendation.


Finally …

That is all I have for this article on fun & festive Christmas highlights in London. Have an awesome Christmas with family and friends! Till next time.

Georgina xx

Timeless Christmas in London | Christmas highlights in London
Christmas movie captions inspired by best holiday movies

Things to do at Christmas in London | What to do in London | London at Christmas | Christmas in London | Top fun things to do in London | Top magical things to do in London | Best things to do in London | Very best of London at Christmas via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Things to do at Christmas in London | What to do in London | London at Christmas | Christmas in London | Top fun things to do in London | Top magical things to do in London | Best things to do in London | Very best of London at Christmas via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Top 9 Super Spooky and Haunted Places on the Isle of Wight

Top 9 super spooky and haunted places on the Isle of Wight

haunted places on Isle of Wight

‘Ghost Island’ – Haunted places on the Isle of Wight

Some say the legends hold true to witness accounts of eerie feelings and sightings, and that the spirits will continue to haunt the places for years to come. Some others regard them, simply as stories.

The creepy-aura on the island piqued in the 1970s and earned itself a reputation as ‘Ghost Island’, attracting ghost-hunters and spooky enthusiasts alike ever since. There has been several books written on the witness’ accounts spurring on more interests in all things that goes “bump” in the night!

Whether one believes in the experiences or not is entirely up to the individual. In this article, I share the places where weird sightings, noises and feelings have been reportedly experienced.

Here are the top 9 most spine-tingling haunted places on the Isle of Wight and its stories:

Top 9 Haunted places on the Isle of Wight

1 | The Ghosts of Ventnor Botanic Gardens

Ventnor Botanic Gardens is a tourist hotspot on the Island. It is renowned for its scenic location and the incredible range of flora and fauna along with rare plants from around the globe that grows spectacularly here. The Ventnor Botanic Gardens is also home to a wide range of butterflies and insects not found any where else in UK.

It is hard to believe that this beautiful place could be haunted but it has been said that it is indeed one of the most haunted places on the Isle of Wight.

Before it became famed as Ventnor Botanic Gardens, it was the location of the Old Royal National Hospital. Patients here were treated for the deadly tuberculosis disease. Over the very many years, thousands of patients, sadly died and their souls are said to haunt the site. There has been several reported sightings since the demolition of the hospital building (where the car park for Ventnor Botanic Gardens is now located) in 1969.

Sightings of sickly-looking ghosts, and phantom nurses in old-fashioned uniforms walking between the flower beds has been reported. Ghostly weepings and groanings have also been heard. There are several remnants of the old building still remaining, including an old disuse tunnel leading out to the cliffs from the end of the gardens. The tunnel was once used for disposing of medical waste. A strong scent of ether has been reported at the garden end by some.

The Ventnor Botanic Gardens usually run a Halloween Ghost Walk special event with access to areas not usually open to the general public.

Where: Ventnor Botanic Garden, Undercliff Drive, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 1UL


Recommended read: Anne Boleyn – Britain’s Most Well Travelled Ghost


2 | The Ghosts at St Catherine’s Lighthouse

Built in 1838 and located near the village of Niton, on the most southerly point of the island, the Lighthouse at St Catherine’s Point is a spectacular place on the Isle of Wight. It’s location is a photographer’s paradise for photos of storms working their way across the English Channel and for perfect views of the stars and milkyway at night.

This tranquil location has been home to many spooky tales which makes St Catherine’s Lighthouse to be one of the most haunted places on the Isle of Wight. From ghost animal sightings, unexplained footsteps and noises to slamming doors and missing items but the most striking story of St Catherine’s Lighthouse goes way back to Second World War.

In an enemy raid during the War, three lighthouse keepers were killed by a bomb. The three keepers were buried in the churchyard at Niton. A memorial plaque dedicated to them is placed inside the lighthouse.

The lighthouse has been fully automated since 1997 but it has been said that there is a ghost that still walks the tower with sightings of a figure in the lamp room and beams of light cutting through fog.

Stay at St Catherine’s Lighthouse

Ghostly sightings aside, St Catherine’s Lighthouse is a popular destination for overnight and weekend or short stays on the island for couples and families.

How about a timeless stay at St Catherine’s Lighthouse? Rural Retreats offer three individual accommodations to suit your needs. Select from the following:

Location: St Catherine’s Lighthouse, Niton, Ventnor PO38 2NF


3 | Appuldurcombe House and it’s ghosts hauntings

This incredibly grand and “complete” mansion at Wroxhall is rather deceiving from a distance but it is only when you are close that it reveals itself as nothing more than ruins.

This extraordinary English Baroque mansion began its story in the 18th century as the seat of the Worsley family. Once the grandest house on the island, it is now one of the grandest haunted places on the Isle of Wight!

Where: Appuldurcombe Road, Wroxall, Isle of Wight, PO38 3EW


4 | The mysterious house at Knighton Gorges

Reportedly, the Knighton Gorges location near Newchurch is another of the most haunted places on the Isle of Wight since medieval times.

Once, there stood a grandest Elizabethan-Tudor style manor house that has seen many tragic events and phenomenal curses had followed the residents throughout the ages.

The curse is said to have started with one Sir Hugh de Morville (d.1202) who was one of the four knights who murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett on December 27, 1170. He, along with the three took residence in the manor house. Mysterious deaths and weird happenings followed the owners and tenants of the manor house at Knighton Gorges throughout the centuries. This include the mysterious death of Sir Tristram Dillington in 1718, until the final owner, George Maurice who destroyed the house in 1821. He did so out of spite because he disapproved of his daughter marrying a clegyman, thus preventing her from inheriting the manor.

There are many ghost stories surrounding the manor house at Knighton Gorges. The removed gargoyles at the gates leading to the manor house are said to reappear every now and again and sightings of Sir Tristram riding his horse on the anniversary of his death. By far the greatest draw for thrill-seeking ghost-tourists is the reappearing of the manor house, all lit up with candles on New Year’s Eve. A New Year’s ball was said to have been held every year and ghost-hunters gather in the hope of hearing music echoing along the fields.

No public access

Just so you know – the land is privately owned and there is no public access to the property.


Recommended read: Ghosts of Blickling Hall, Norfolk


5 | The Hare and Hounds, Burnt House Lane

The stories surrounding the Hare and Hounds is unbelievably chilling – even for a ghost story!

This infamous location is the backdrop to the gruesome stories revolving around an infamous Michael Morey. He killed his grandson, James Dove (14 years old) in the nearby woods, known as Burnthouse Woods. Morey burnt his cottage to the ground to conceal his crime. Dove’s dismembered body was found three months later. Morey was eventually executed and his body hung on the gibbet. The gibbet was positioned near a crossroad on Gallows Hill at the end of Burnt House Lane. The scaffold has the date 1737 carved on it and now forms part of a roof beam in the original pub of the nearby Hare & Hounds.

People wandering or driving along Burnt House Lane has reportedly seen a headless torso directing them to take a different route home. Some others have had the unnerving experience of having their car engines turned off and lights dim for no apparent reason.

Where: Hare & Hounds, Downend Road, Newport, PO30 2NU


6 | Arreton Manor – Haunted places on the Isle of Wight

Where: Arreton Manor, Main Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 3AA


7 | Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle is a popular destination throughout the year for all the family. Deeply rooted in history since its beginnings in the 11th century, this famous castle had undergone modifications and added defences throughout centuries. Carisbrooke Castle was also a prison at one point in time. Notable prisoners were Charles I who tried to escape but was caught, and later executed in London. His two children, Prince Henry and Princess Elizabeth were sent here as prisoners after his execution. Soon afterwards, Princess Elizabeth, who was just fourteen at that time was found dead. Her face resting on the Bible given to her as gift by her father.

As a famous fortification in English history, Carisbrook Castle has a long-standing reputation of being haunted by all manner of residents. Tales of ghosts, supernatural sightings and horrors of history have all been cited. The moat seems to be one of the most popular locations for ghostly sightings. Reported sightings have been of a grey woman walking around the castle grounds and a huge man in a long white gown around the moat.

If you are up for a bone-chilling experience at Carisbrooke Castle, join-in in their Halloween Week activity designed for 16+ adults.

Where: Carisbrooke Castle, Castle Hill, Newport, PO30 1XY | Isle of Wight

Recommended read: Unmissable 9 fun things to do at Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight


8 | Golden Hill Fort, Freshwater – haunted places on the Isle of Wight

Built in the Victorian era between 1863 and 1869, the Golden Hill Fort was built on highground in Freshwater as a barracks and coastal defence overlooking the Solent. The six-sided fort is a Grade I listed building and was recently converted to a series of luxury homes.

One may wonder why is this remarkable building one of the top haunted places on the Isle of Wight.

The ghostly happenings at the Golden Hill Fort goes way back to its days as an army barracks. There are accounts of the ghost of a much hated sergeant major who died “accidentally” by missing his steps on the spiral staircase. His yells, tobacco smoke and doors slamming have all been seen and felt over the years. There is also the ghost of a sailor who was put to death for espionage roaming the halls of the Fort.

Where: Golden Hill Fort, Norton Green, Freshwater, PO40 9SJ


9 | Whitecroft Hospital – haunted places on the Isle of Wight

After about a century in operation, the Whitecroft Hospital finally closed its doors in 1992. The building is converted to residential apartments as Gatcombe Manor.

Workmen involved in the construction of the apartments have reportedly seen nurses in faded uniforms, and the unnerving feeling of being watched. A regular sighting has been of a doctor strolling along the car park, seemingly arriving for work. He has also been seen peering through the ground floor windows of the building.

Where: Gatcombe Manor, Sandy Lane, Gatcombe PO30 3DW


Read: Best group tours from London to Isle of Wight


On a final note…

Gaynor Baldwin is a world renowned paranormal expert and author who has written several books on the ghostly happenings of this island. Here are a few of them if you wish to learn more:


The Isle of Wight at a Glance

Coordinates: Latitude: 50° 40′ 30.59″ N Longitude: -1° 16′ 30.60″ W

Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight flag
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight Coat of Arms

Basic facts:

Island: Largest island in England

Island’s city: Newport

Population: 141,538 | Second most populous island in England behind Portsea Island.

Landmass: The Isle is roughly 380.728 kilometer/147 square miles

County: Governed by one unitary authority.

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) | British Summer Time (BST)

High season: July – August

Religion: Christianity

Language: English

Money

Currency: Pounds Sterling (£)

Credit and Debit cards accepted.

Topography

Elevation: Maximum elevation: 242 m | Average elevation: 15 m | Minimum elevation: -1 m

Highest point: St Boniface Down – 241 metres (791 ft)

Designation:

1 | Isle of Wight Biosphere Reserve, United Kingdom

2 | Isle of Wight – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Why Visit:

Famous for: Ghosts, Dinosaur bones, Victorian villages, Cycling routes, Walking & Hiking + Healing & Wellbeing retreats

Number of Visitors surpass residents >

Travel Advice

Isle of Wight Travel Advice

Travelling to the UK Advice

UK Foreign Travel Advice

Best European Cities


Best on Resources


What’s new

Keep exploring


Resources used – Haunted places on the Isle of Wight:

hauntedrooms.co.uk

visitisleofwight.co.uk

Even More Ghosts of the Isle of Wight by Gay Baldwin

ghostisland.com


Top 9 Super Spooky and Haunted Places on the Isle of Wight first published at timelesstravelsteps.com in October 2021.

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Apparently you are never alone on this island, regarded as one of England's best haven. Explore the most time-honoured, talked about, spine-chilling haunted places on the Isle of Wight aka 'Ghost Island' in the world for an absolute ghoulish fix! Top spooky places on the Isle of Wight | Top haunted places on the Isle of Wight | Ghost Island | Isle of Fright | Best things to do on the Isle of Wight | Halloween on the Isle of Wight | What to do on Halloween at the Isle of Wight via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Apparently you are never alone on this island, regarded as one of England's best haven. Explore the most time-honoured, talked about, spine-chilling haunted places on the Isle of Wight aka 'Ghost Island' in the world for an absolute ghoulish fix! Top spooky places on the Isle of Wight | Top haunted places on the Isle of Wight | Ghost Island | Isle of Fright | Best things to do on the Isle of Wight | Halloween on the Isle of Wight | What to do on Halloween at the Isle of Wight via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Mallaig – 12 Very best Things To Do at the harbour town in West Coast of the Highlands Scotland

Mallaig – 12 Very best Things To Do at the pretty harbour town in West Coast of the Highlands Scotland

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Mallaig Scotland

Where is Mallaig in Scotland

You can see the location of Mallaig from the map below – rather remote on the west coast of Scotland. Other places are included in the map which will be mentioned in this article to give you some destination inspiration to help design your itinerary.

How to use the map above: Click on + at the top left to open the drop-down list of places on the map. Click on the highlighted marker to learn a little about the destination.

About the historic harbour town, Mallaig

The word “Mallaig” is derived from the old Norse “Mel Vik” which means ‘a sand dune bay’ and is less than 2 centuries old. It began back in 1840 when the owner of the North Morar Estate, Lord Lovat divided his farmstead known as Mallaigvaig which had a population of just 23 into 17 plots of land. He encouraged his tenants from the more populated part of the estate, Loch Morar and Loch Nevis to resettle here and adopt fishing as a way of life. By 1851, the population had grown to 134. The population and economy grew rapidly in the 20th century and became a thriving fishing port thereafter.

How to get to Mallaig | Transport connections to Mallaig

There are several ways to get to Mallaig.

By Rail

By Road

Shiel buses operate many of the local routes between Fort William and Mallaig.

Ferry services

How much time do you have in Mallaig?

What to see and do in Mallaig depends very much on how much time you have.

Most visitors do the round trip journey on the Jacobite Steam Train which means they have about 90 minutes to have lunch and to sightsee. Some stay overnight at this fishing village and immerse in the surroundings, taking a piece of Mallaig with them when they leave. Some others stay a little longer, a couple of days and use the harbour town as base to explore the Isles and other surrounding remote destinations. Depending on how much time you have in this picturesque town, you could select from this comprehensive list to create your itinerary.

Best 12 Things to See and Do at Mallaig

Rather remote in the west coast of the Highland is Mallaig, a pretty harbour town that offer 12 best things to see and do on your visit.

1 | Mallaig Heritage Centre

Just next to Mallaig Railway Station is a nice little spot, home to a treasure trove of stories on West Lochaber, its people and landscape. Mallaig Heritage Centre is a place to learn about the local history. The Centre tells the stories on the history of the fishing industry in Mallaig, the building of the West Highland Railways, and explains everything you need to know about this pretty harbour town. The Mallaig Heritage Centre has a multimedia display, film show, lifeboat exhibition, a model railway and a gift shop. It is worth visiting if you have about an hour or so.

Address: Station Rd, Mallaig PH41 4PY

Opening hours: From 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission: Adults £2.50 : Senior Citizens £2.00 : Students £2.00 : Children free

Special rates are available for groups of 8 persons and over.

2 | St Columba’s Church of Scotland Mallaig

St Columba sits on a small hill overlooking the harbour of Mallaig, with spectacular views over the Small Isles. The church was built in 1903 and has one stained glass window. The window depicts Christ walking on water. A little further up, near the Manse, you have stunning views across the Sound of Sleat, and the Small Isles.

Address: Annies Brae, Mallaig, PH41 4QX

3 | Western Isles Cruises – Wildlife cruise

The Western Isle Cruise operate the Knoydart Ferry Service at Mallaig. They offer a one-hour wildlife cruise which is a great opportunity to spot some wildlife.

The boat travels past the isles of Skye, Rum & Eig on the right, crossing the entrance to Loch Nevis, onwards to Green Island in the Knoydart Peninsula. The waters here are visited by birds, seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales and basking sharks.

Tour details:

The tour is designed to fit in with the Jacobite Steam train and Scotrail arrival and departure times at Mallaig.

Tour departs the harbour at 12:45 p.m. and at 5:00 p.m. daily between April and October. Arriving back in time to catch your trains back to Fort William.

Dogs welcome. Fully licensed bar and toilets.

4 | Mallaig Circular Walk

Ideal if you wish to explore more of this picturesque village. A pleasant, short circular walk around the hills and village of Mallaig offer great views over the Isle of Skye and Small Isles.

Route:

i | Park by the harbour, at East bay car park;

ii | Head away from the village centre, towards your right, to a path signposted as Circular Walk;

iii| Head up the hill at the back of the houses and onto rough pasture. The path passes through a valley.

iv | Continue along the track, past the signpost to the top of the hill. There is a bench ideally placed for best views.

v | The path then heads towards the coast, joining a track, passing some houses to wards Mallaig Beag. On a clear day, you are rewarded with views over the Sleat Peninsula, Small Isles and Knoydart Peninsula.

vi | The track continues to the road. Turn left and return to Mallaig town centre.

**Every now and again, stop to look back at the views. Views of the coast, cliffs, birch and willow are spectacular. Look out also for marine life and coastal birds.

NOTE: This information on Mallaig Circular Walk is intended as an overview and provided in good faith. Walkers are responsible for their own safety, hiking responsibly by properly dressed, using appropriate footwear, have a map and/or compass as well as prior research on the route.

5 | Explore the harbour at Mallaig

Mallaig harbour is lovely. The view of fishing boats, calm waters, the generous curve of the land, sunlight and breeze – moments where no clock can measure. It’s a place to easily dream away your time while watching the boats come in with their catches.

6 | Morar Cross

Morar Cross is located near Mallaig Railway Station. If you can climb to the Morar Cross, you will be rewarded with some spectacular views of the bay. The climb is a little steep and there is a handrail in some parts.

There is a car park next to the train station. At the gate, look out for a sign that says ‘Steps to the Cross’. Takes about 5-7 minutes to reach the top.

7 | Visit Morar

Morar is located to the south of Mallaig, about 4.8 kilometres (3 miles). Morar is ideal for spectacular views. Watch the Steam trains go past on the West Highland line and stunning views of the Small Isles. The beaches of Morar are famous for its silvery sands where movies such as ‘Highlander’ and ‘Local Hero’ were filmed. Take a relaxing stroll along the wide shoreline of soft, pristine sand and crystal clear waters in what seems a paradise.

8 | Loch Morar

Close by is Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch in Europe. It is 19 kilometres (12 miles) long and 300 metres (1000 feet) deep in some places. Here you can hire boats and canoes or try some fishing.

Hiking guide – Map on Loch Morar & Mallaig

8.1 | Morag

If you do decide to head out to the waters, be sure to have your cameras ready to capture a photo of Morag, a monster said to be a long time resident of the waters. Legend has it that the first sightings were in 1887. A reported incident in 1969 of a large creature of 25-30 feet long with three humps led to several surveys of the loch undertaken by the University of London in the 1970s. Three further sightings have been reported since but no one has been able to capture an image of her. Who knows, she may pop her head up when you are out there, so be sure to capture an image of her.

9 | Jacobite Steam Train

If you plan to get to Mallaig by car or bus, then a journey aboard the Jacobite Steam Train from Mallaig to Fort William is highly recommended. Well-known as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, this ride goes over the 21 arch Glenfinnan Viaduct with extraordinary vistas, creating timeless memories. It does not matter if you are not a fan of the wizardry world of Harry Potter, but a ride on the famous Hogwarts Express is a bucket list experience for many travellers. I highly recommend that you give it a go.

Recommended read: Jacobite Steam Train Journey in The Highlands aka Harry Potter Train – Best 6 reasons why you should experience it

Hiking guide – Map of Mallaig & Glenfinnan

10 | Shops

11 | Festivals

12 | Other attractions near Mallaig

You may wish to explore some of the surroundings at Mallaig.

12.1 | Arisaig

Arisaig is located about 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Mallaig and is famous for its beaches and views of Small Isles.

12.2 | Loch Nan Uamh – Loch of the Caves

Located south east of Arisaig, this is where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed to start the Jacobite uprising in 1745. This is also the spot where he fled to France in 1746.

12.3 | Lochailort

Located halfway between Arisaig and Glenfinnan, Lochailort is home to Inverailort Castle that was the headquarters for 42 Commando during the Second World War.

12.4 | Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan is a hamlet located at the head of Loch Shiel. It was here that Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard to regain the throne for the Stuarts. A monument is erected here to commemorate the event.

Sitting in a tranquil spot, the Glenfinnan Monument is 18 meters high and you can climb to the top via a narrow spiral staircase for outstanding views. Surrounded by mountains and overlooking the shores of Loch Shiel, the Glenfinnan Monument is a Highland gem worth visiting.

The Monument is owned by National Trust Scotland. It is open from April to October. The site has a Visitor Centre, gift shop, restaurants and amenities.

Visit the Glenfinnan Railway Station that is home to Glenfinnan Station Museum and if your visit is in mid August, you could witness the Glenfinnan Highland Gathering (Highland Games).

Address: Glenfinnan Monument, Glenfinnan, PH37 4LT


Places to Eat at Mallaig

Mallaig prawns

Mallaig offers varied choices of an abundance in fresh produce from land and sea. There are cafes, takeaways, restaurants and fine dining for all budgets along with panoramic sea and island views. My top 3 are as follows:

1 | Cornerstone

The Cornerstone Seafood Restaurant has a cosy atmosphere and offers elevated views of Mallaig harbour. I dined here and their fish & chips is the one to go for!

Address: Main Street, Mallaig, PH41 4PU

Check Tripadvisor Reviews on The Cornerstone Seafood Restaurant

2 | The Terrace Restaurant

The Terrace Restaurant has a range to offer – from light bites, soups, sandwiches to classic favourites and specialities. It ensures the freshest and locally available produce is used.

Address: Davies Brae, Mallaig, Inverness-shire, PH41 4QZ

Check Tripadvisor Reviews on The Terrace Restaurant

3 | The Fishmarket Restaurant

If you love seafood, the Fishmarket Restaurant is the place to be. Fish and shellfish are as fresh as they can be from the local boats! Ideally situated in the centre of town, with beautiful views of the harbour.

Address: Station Road, Mallaig, Inverness-shire, PH41 4QS

Check Tripadvisor Reviews on The Fishmarket Restaurant

4 | Jaffy’s

The one place in Mallaig that does Oak Smoked Kippers – Jaffy’s

Address: J.Lawrie & Sons ‘Jaffys’ , Station Road, Mallaig, PH41 4QD

Check Tripadvisor Reviews on Jaffy’s


Where to Stay in Mallaig

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A final note on Mallaig

Mallaig is fascinating and it is different to other tourist destinations in The Highland. It is the harbour that is the centre point of activity rather than the town. Visitors soak up the atmosphere of a working fishing port while also relax in the untouched remoteness of this pretty harbour town. Due to its location, Mallaig is the gateway to the archipelago of islands on the west coast of Scotland. Definitely a perfect destination to spend some quality time and an escape to for some island views, seafood dining and sunsets.

Have a splendid time exploring Mallaig and The Highland.

Georgina xoxo

Georgina_Highlands and Steam Train tours
“Just as I board the West Highland and Jacobite Steam Train” – photo by a fellow traveller

Georgina on Scotland

I love going on guided tours especially when I am on my first visit to a destination. I find guided tours to be great value for money activities and an excellent tool to get the best overviews of a region.

I went on a number of small group tours when I visited Scotland. Safety precautions were in place. Guides are Scottish who have first hand knowledge of the regions I visited. They shared fascinating stories of legends and history of the Highland, both the bad and the ugly! With this overview, and time on my hands, I explored specific areas of interests for a more personal experience.

My trip to Scotland was self-funded, and none of the activities were sponsored in any way. All opinions, views and experiences are my own. I happily share them with you to inspire you to visit this magical land.

Quick facts on Scotland

__________

Population: Over 5.4 million (2020)

Common Language: English. Gaelic is spoken by 1.3% of the population mostly in the west and in the Highlands.

Currency: £ – Pound (GBP)

Capital City: Edinburgh. Home to the first fire brigade in the world, and is the second largest city in Scotland. The largest metropolis in Scotland is Glasgow.

High season: Summer (July – August)

Religion: Christianity – 40% Church of Scotland. 15% Roman Catholic and 6% other Christian denominations. Minorities include Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh with a quarter of the population has been recorded as having no religion.

Social courtesies: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. When visiting someone’s home, a small gift such as flowers or a box of chocolates is appreciated.

Scotland: Travel and Transport

Scotland: International Travel

UK Government: Foreign Travel Advice

UK Government: UK nationals travelling abroad

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Mallaig – Very best 12 Things To Do at the pretty harbour town in West Coast of the Highlands Scotland first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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The Historic Needles Batteries | The Old Battery and the New Battery Isle of Wight

The Historic Needles Batteries – The Old Battery and New Battery Isle of Wight

Perched high above the Needles rocks on the Isle of Wight are the historic Needles Batteries – the Old Battery and New Battery. Owned by the National Trust England, both Batteries bring to life the island’s rich and intriguing Victorian history.

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Just off the southern coast of England, across the maritime port and city of Portsmouth is England’s largest island, the Isle of Wight. A Victorian favourite, the island’s world famous feature is The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse. On the clifftop above The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse are two historic Needles Batteries, simply known as the Old Battery and New Battery.

Built on the south-westernmost point of the Isle of Wight, the historic Needles Batteries are two military bases built to defend the island from enemy attacks coming from the West of the Solent. Both batteries give commanding views out over the English Channel and across to the English mainland. The batteries were built three decades apart and both played key roles during the World Wars. A visit to the historic Needles Batteries, both the Old and New makes for an interesting day out for individuals, couples and family.

Whilst we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

THE NEEDLES BATTERIES on Isle of Wight

The Old Battery Isle of Wight | Historic Needles Batteries

The historic Needles Batteries

The Old Battery dates from Victorian times, when Lord Palmerstone was Prime Minister in the 1860s. He ordered a series of defences to be built to protect the naval dockyards at Portsmouth against the attacks by the French under Napoleon III.

Construction of the Old Battery began in 1861 and was completed in 1863. It’s strategic position provided views of both the Solent and the English Channel, hence defending the Needles Passage entrance to the Solent. The Battery was surrounded by a dry ditch to prevent the French invaders climbing up but the invasion never happened. Nicknamed “Palmerston’s Follies”, the Old Battery was used throughout both the World Wars.

The Old Battery Tunnel

The historic Needles Batteries | the Old Battery

In 1885 , a tunnel was dug towards the cliff face from the parade ground and a lift down to the beach was installed in 1887. Searchlight experiments were carried out between 1889 and 1892. If you were to visit today, you will see the observation post housing a searchlight built in 1899. It gives an insight into how a Victorian Battery worked and the life of a soldier during the Second World War.

Things to do at the historic Needles Batteries | The Old Battery

ultimate guide to Isle of Wight England's gem Parade Ground | the historic Needles Batteries Isle of Wight
Guns at the Parade Ground Isle of Wight | © nationaltrust.org.uk

1 | The Parade Ground

There are two guns installed in the same position as they once were, pointing out to sea.

2 | Storage

You could also explore the cartridge store, and the shell store;

3 | Observation post

See the observation post housing a searchlight built in 1899;

4 | Explore the Tunnels

the historic Needles Batteries Isle of Wight |
Explore the tunnels at the historic Needles Batteries for close breathtaking views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse.

Explore the tunnel leading to the observation post (iii) above – it overlooks the Needles rocks and lighthouse and gives you absolutely breathtaking views of the Solent.

5 | Tearoom

There is a tearoom on the first floor of the signal station to take a breather and to enjoy the beautiful views it affords.

Good to know information:

Address: West High Down, Alum Bay PO39 0JH

Opening times: Monday to Sunday | 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.


Recommended read: The Victorian Love Affair


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A little further up the headland is the Needles New Battery. It is a small site but home to some fascinating stories of secret rocket testing during the Cold War (1950s – 1970s).

The New Battery Isle of Wight | Historic Needles Batteries

The New Battery was built about thirty years following the Old Battery. The initial plan for building the New Battery was to replace the Old. It was feared that the vibrations of the guns would cause the cliffs to crumble. More space was also needed to provide spaces for newer, larger guns. The New Battery was built higher up the cliff at 120 metres above sea level. Work on this military base was completed in 1895.

In 1900, two breech-loading guns were emplaced and a third in 1904. These guns were scrapped in 1954. Also, in the 1900s, an artillery store, guardhouse, canteen and a cookhouse were added but were demolished in 1950s. A battery command post was built higher up the hill between 1900 and 1902. This command post gave clear views of the Solent’s western approaches. It continued as the Battery Commander’s post until after the Second World War.

While both the Batteries were in full use during the Second World War, the Batteries were decommissioned soon afterwards. With the dawn of the Cold War, a new use was found for the New Battery in 1954 – as a secret rocket testing site. The ‘Black Knight’ , ‘Black Arrow’ and the satelite ‘Prospero’ were all tested at the New Battery before they were launched in Australia.

Good to know information:

Address: West High Down, Alum Bay PO39 0JH

Opens: 10:30 A.M.

Entry is Free


Practical information | The historic Needles Batteries IOW

Entrance:

The historic Needles Batteries are owned and managed by National Trust England. Entry is free to Members.

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult Standard£5.00 per ticket
Child Standard£2.50 per ticket
Family – one adult£7.50 per ticket
Family Standard£12.50 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis. Prices correct at time of writing: July 2021

Payment methods:

Delta

Maestro

Mastercard

Visa

Groups accepted


Car Park:

The nearest car park to the historic Needles Batteries is about a mile away. It is a paid car park and cost £6.00 (2021).

If walking…

Best views of the Needles rocks and miles and miles of spectacular clifftop views.

Takes about 20 to 25 minutes each way if you elect to walk. Some paths are steep and not recommended if you are unfit or mobility impaired.

Not recommended on a rainy day!

Take the bus:

You could opt for the visitors bus which runs regularly and costs £3.00 single or £5.00 return.

Weather:

The historic Needles Batteries may close in high winds or severe weather conditions. Please phone on the day of visit to check (01983) 754772.

Contact:

West High Down, ALUM BAY, Isle Of Wight, PO39 0JH

Tel: Tel:+44 01983 754772

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/


Things to do in and around the historic Needles Batteries

best views of The Needles and lighthouse Isle of Wight | the historic Needles Batteries
Amazing views of the Needles rocks and Trinity Lighthouse from the Old Battery Isle of Wight

1 | Walk the wall

Walk the stone fortifications for stunning views over The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse as well as Alum Bay. An absolute must for anyone who appreciate incredible views.

2 | Marconi Monument

It was from The Needles that Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor and electrical engineer, established the first wireless communication between France and England across the English Channel in 1899.

Located within The Needles Park is a monument dedicated to Marconi – the Marconi Monument. The monument marks the precise location where Marconi undertook his groundbreaking work that led to radio and telecommunications as we know it today.

Address: Heritage Attractions Ltd, The Needles Park, ALUM BAY, Isle of Wight, PO39 0JD

Opening times: Open 7 days a week except January and Christmas week. From 10:00 A.M. Closing time varies.

3 | The Needles rocks and Lighthouse

Explore one of England’s natural wonders! The Needles rocks is a row of three chalk stacks that stretches out to sea. There is a classic lighthouse at the end of it. Get an unforgettable experience by taking a boat ride for close-up views of this wondrous chalk ridge that turns heads.

Recommended read: The Unmissable Enthralling Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

4 | The Needles Park

The Needles Park and Attraction centre is packed full of fun for all the family, no matter your age. No visit to the Isle of Wight is complete without a visit to the Needles Attraction. There are Jurassic Adventure Golf, open-top bus rides, boat trips, family carousel rides, Victorian games, fascinating glass blowing, sweet making and Alum Bay Sands. Create a souvenir to take back a piece of the Isle of Wight with you.

Address: The Needles Landmark Attraction
Alum Bay New Road, Alum Bay, PO39 0JD

Opening times: 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. *weather dependant


Places to eat in and around the historic Needles Batteries Isle of Wight

The following places to eat are located close to the historic Needles Batteries:

1 | Marconi’s Tea Rooms

A cafe, serving international cuisine. Seating outdoors available.

Address: The Needles Park Alum Bay, Totland Bay PO39 0JD England

Tel: +44 871 720 0022

Check Tripadvisor reviews

2 | Warren Farm Shop & Tea Garden

From 11:00 A.M to 4:30 P.M.

Cafe serving British cuisine. Takeout services available. Plenty of Outdoor Seating. Wheelchair Accessible.

Free off-street parking.

Accepts all major Debit and Credit Cards – American Express, Mastercard, Visa,

Address: Alum Bay, New Road Alum Bay, Totland Bay, PO39 0JB England

Tel: +44 1983 753200

Check TripAdvisor reviews

3 | The Waterfront Bar & Restaurant

From 12:00 noon to 10:00 P.M.

Beachside pub/restaurant serving seafood, Mediterranean and British cuisines. Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, and Gluten Free options are welcomed. Full bar.

Best to make prior reservations.

Outdoor Seating available. Seating.

Table Service, Live Music, Waterfront

Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible,

Parking Available,

Free Wifi.

Accepts all major Credit Cards and Contactless

Address: The Beach Totland Bay, Totland Bay PO39 0BQ England

Tel: +44 1983 756969

Tripadvisor reviews

Plan ahead for the historic Needles Batteries trip

How to get to the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is ideally located for visitors wanting a short-break or weekend getaway. You can reach the Island from London in about 2 hours. The Island is also within easy reach of major airports in UK.

Ferries: There are about 200 ferry crossings a day from Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington. They link to five major towns on the Island – Ryde, Cowes, East Cowes, Fishbourne and Yarmouth.

Trains: There are excellent rail services that connects well with ferry departures. There are timely departures from London stations to any of the ports. Plan your journey and take advantage of train and ferry combined tickets with Trainline.

Coach: Coach travel is another convenient way to get to Portsmouth or Southampton from whence you could board the ferry to the Isle of Wight. There are connecting bus services when you arrive on the island. Look up cheap coach tickets with Trainline.

Flights: Fly into London Heathrow or London Gatwick – both airports have good rail or road connections to the ports. From here, take the ferry across. There are also regional flights into Bournemouth and Southampton to reduce journey times to the Island.


Places to Stay on the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has a multitude of accommodations to suit every need. Be it is a stylish short-break, a longer family stay or a hiking holiday, you are sure to find one to suit.

Stay at Anchor Cottage in East Cowes , Best Western at Cowes or The Royal Ventnor in Ventnor

If you are looking for self-catering accommodation, The Highlands Apartment are highly recommended.


Finally….

The Isle of Wight is a fabulous holiday destination with a myriad of things to do. Visiting the historic Needles Batteries is one that should top every visitor’s list. It takes you through history and gives a glimpse into a soldier’s life during the wars. As well as a secret rocket testing site!

Hope you have enjoyed reading and that this post is valuable towards planning your trip to the historic Needles Batteries in Isle of Wight. If so, use the links in this article and related articles to book train travel, flights and places to stay. TTS earns a commission from qualifying purchases/bookings at no cost to you. As always, your support is much appreciated.

Have a super awesome time in the fabulous Isle of Wight.

Georgina xx

The Isle of Wight at a Glance

Coordinates: Latitude: 50° 40′ 30.59″ N Longitude: -1° 16′ 30.60″ W

Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight flag
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight Coat of Arms

Basic facts:

Island: Largest island in England

Island’s city: Newport

Population: 141,538 | Second most populous island in England behind Portsea Island.

Landmass: The Isle is roughly 380.728 kilometer/147 square miles

County: Governed by one unitary authority.

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) | British Summer Time (BST)

High season: July – August

Religion: Christianity

Language: English

Money

Currency: Pounds Sterling (£)

Credit and Debit cards accepted.

Topography

Elevation: Maximum elevation: 242 m | Average elevation: 15 m | Minimum elevation: -1 m

Designation:

1 | Isle of Wight Biosphere Reserve, United Kingdom

2 | Isle of Wight – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Why Visit:

Famous for: Ghosts, Dinosaur bones, Victorian villages, Cycling routes, Walking & Hiking + Healing & Wellbeing retreats

Number of Visitors surpass residents >

Travel Advice

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The Historic Needles Batteries | The Old Battery and the New Battery Isle of Wight first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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The Unmissable Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

The Unmissable Enthralling Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

The glisten white cones stretches out to sea, peering above the bluest of rhythmic waves has attracted millions of visitors over the years. The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight is a mesmerising aesthetic natural wonder that will captivate your heart and soul from the very first moments you catch a glimpse of it on England’s largest island. This magnificent wonder sits eloquently on the westernmost side of the Isle of Wight just to the southwest of Alum Bay an attraction that cannot be missed.

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needles rocks and lighthouse isle of wight

The Isle of Wight and The Needles Rocks

The Isle of Wight is a glorious island located off the south-coast of England and is a top-of the list holiday destination for visitors to UK. This unique destination encircled by the sea has attracted visitors since Victorian times. The hub of the island undoubtedly is the enthralling Needles Rocks and Lighthouse – an unmissable attraction in Alum Bay, with almost half-a-million visitors each year. It is also generally the first destination on the island for most visitors as it is conveniently located for public transportation.

Who owns The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

The spectacular Needles Rocks and Lighthouse has been in the ownership of Heritage Great Britain. Founded in 1999, Heritage Great Britain are proud custodian of some of UK’s top landmarks and visitor attractions stretching from Land’s End at the Westernmost tip of Cornwall, to remote John O’Groats in the far North of Scotland, with an impeccable array of outstanding attractions in-between.

About the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

The Needles Isle of Wight | best views of the Needles
The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Alum Bay Isle of Wight

The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse is a row of distinctive stacks of chalk that rises up to 30 meters out at sea. At the end of the sea stacks is a formidable historic lighthouse.

Simply known as ‘The Needles’ these head-turning spikes of chalk is one of Seven Natural Wonders in the United Kingdom which makes it much more than a beautiful sight.

The Needles Rocks

Best views of the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight
A magnificent sight – the enthralling cliffs stretching out to sea with The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse at the far end looking out to The Solent| Isle of Wight | Designated Site of Specific Interests | © georgina_daniel

The Needles Rocks are a band of chalk that crosses the centre of the Isle of Wight, stretching to Culver Cliff in the east. This chalk rim continues west under the sea to Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck. It is believed to have been connected to Old Harry Rocks, about 20 miles away at one point in time. The ridge was breached by the Solent River in around 5000 BC, creating the Isle of Wight with its jagged white rocks at the western tip. These unusually vertical rocks are a result of the heavy folding of chalk. 

The origins of the name ‘Needles’ and its shape

The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight
The ‘Needles’ Isle of Wight

The name ‘Needles‘ originated from a fourth chalk stack needle-shaped pillar called “Lot’s Wife“. Lot’s Wife stood at 36.6 meters (120 ft) and was the tallest of the four. This incredible rock collapsed in a great storm in 1764. It’s collapse is said to have felt as far as Portsmouth, England! The name has stuck even though the remaining three chalk stacks are not at all needle-like.

The Needles pointed shape is due to their unusual geology. Formed from chalk and flint, the remaining stacks of hard chalk are extremely resistant to erosion.

Info: ‘Lot’s Wife’ is said to have a religious connection – “The book of Genesis in the Bible records that Lot’s Wife was turned into a pillar of salt as a punishment for looking back after being told not to when she was fleeing from the destruction of Sodom” – nationaltrust.org.uk

The Needles Lighthouse

The Needles Lighthouse | The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse | Isle of Wight | best views of the Needles
close view of The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse when on a boat ride

Rather remote but standing boldly at 33.25 metres (109.1 ft) against the howling gales at the end of the outermost chalk stack overlooking the Solent is the red and white Needles Trinity Lighthouse. The Needles Trinity Lighthouse is an impressive sight. This engineering feat built in 1859 has been automated since 1994.

Dynamites were used to build a platform in the chalk stack to house cellars, coal store and a huge water tank. This ensures that the lighthouse can be manned in severe weather conditions when supplies cannot reach the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is circular in shape and has walls that are three feet thick at its base. It can withstand waves up to twenty feet and its lights can be seen up to seventeen miles away. The lighthouse has a powerful foghorn as well.


How to experience the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

A top of the list attraction in the Isle of Wight, The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse is an unmissable sight for visitors to the island. The best way to experience this magnificent wonder is to take to the waters. A boat ride takes you close enough to get some incredible photos of the iconic landmark. More ways to experience The Needles include taking the Chairlift from Alum Bay, and clifftop views from The Batteries,

Recommended read: Ways to Best Viewing Points of The Needles landmark.

Boat trip of The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse

The Needles rocks and lighthouse viewed from a boat | Alum Bay Isle of Wight
The Needles rocks and lighthouse viewed from a boat | Alum Bay Isle of Wight

Throughout the seasons, there are boat trips from Alum Bay beach on short cruises for close-up best views of the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse. When on one of these cruises, you will also get panoramic views of the coloured sands of Alum Bay.

The Needles rocks and lighthouse _coloured_sands_isle of wight
coloured sands of Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

A boat trip is a popular option and as a visitor, you cannot get any closer to the iconic landmark than on a boat ride. There are two types of cruises available to suit all Needles enthusiasts. Choose from a slow 20-minute cruise or a fast 15-minute trip aboard the high-speed RIBS.

Cruises operate 7-days a week, weather permitting. The cruises are well managed and reasonably priced. Prior booking is not required if you are travelling solo, couples or as family and small groups of less than 20 people.


In and around the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Landmark | Explore Alum Bay

Besides the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse attraction, the area is a paradise for visitors seeking a full-on day of activities – from the historic Needles Old Battery and a Cold War rocket test site (New Battery) to modern day Chairlift and 4D cinema – there is so much to do here! Added to this, you will find the world famous cliffs of coloured sand which forms part of the protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Isle of Wight. 

The Needles Chairlift

The unmissable Needles rocks and lighthouse Isle of Wight
Chairlift, Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

From the top of Alum Bay to the coloured sands of the beach below, The Needles Chairlift is a favourite activity for many. The magnificent Needles and Alum Bay is a spectacular sight during the journey up and down. The ride is reasonably priced and prior booking is not required.

The Needles Batteries

The Old Battery perched high above The Needles Rocks Isle of Wight

The Needles Batteries – the Old Battery and the New Battery are two military coastal defences in Isle of Wight built during the Victorian times. The clifftop fort overlooks The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse and were built to guard the West of Solent. The site has been managed by the National Trust England since 1982 and is open to the public.

Pro tip: The views of The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse from atop the cliffs and from the tunnels are spectacular – don’t miss it! 🙂

Both the Old Battery and the New Battery are generally open 7 days a week and prior booking is not required.

Recommended read: The Old Battery and The New Battery, Isle of Wight


Fun Things to do at The Needles Landmark Attraction

Aside from the boat cruises to the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse, the Chairlift, and the clifftop Batteries, Alum Bay is famed for its coloured sands.

A fixture of Isle of Wight tourist shops is the creation of ornaments and paintings using the Alum Bay Sands. There is a sand shop where visitors could select the sand in various colours to fill bottles and create a personal souvenir.

Other activities at Alum Bay include a 4D cinema, a glass-blowing factory (highly recommended), sweetshops, Teacup rides and a Victorian carousel.


Good to Know Information on Alum Bay to Plan ahead

Plan ahead a visit to experience The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse with the following information on Alum Bay:

Address: The Needles Landmark Attraction, ALUM BAY, Isle of Wight, PO39 0JD

Tel: +44 1983 752401

Opening times:

Open (12 Apr 2021 – 31 Dec 2021)

Monday10:00

Tuesday10:00

Wednesday10:00

Thursday10:00

Friday10:00

Saturday10:00

Sunday10:00

Open (1 Jan 2022 – 31 Dec 2022)

Monday10:00

Tuesday10:00

Wednesday10:00

Thursday10:00

Friday10:00

Saturday10:00

Sunday10:00

*** Open from 10:00am 7 days per week, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day (closing times vary during the year).

Guide to Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
4D Cinema£4.00 per ticket
Alum Bay Glass Demonstration£2.00 per ticket
Chairlift One Way£3.00 per ticket
Chairlift Return£6.00 per ticket
Chairlift Unlimited Travel Wrist Band£9.00 per ticket
Games Kiosk – Per Game£2.00 per ticket
Jurassic Adventure Golf£4.00 per ticket
Sweet Factory Demonstration£2.00 per ticket
Water Walkerz£4.00 per ticket

*Vintage Cars, Carousel & Tea Cup Ride – Tokens and Cash Accepted.


Recommendations to plan ahead and Explore more of the Isle of Wight

After all the action at and about the Needles landmark, you may be enchanted to explore more of this charming isle. From idyllic beaches, windswept clifftops, coastal walks, yacht races, to music festivals, historic castles, favourite royal cathedral, and fresh delicious food. An absolute haven waiting to be explored with no moments to be bored.

You may also be looking for activities to do, places to stay and ways to move around the island. Here are some recommendations for you:

Activities to do in Isle of Wight

Osborne House Isle of Wight bucket list
Osborne House Isle of Wight | Image: georgina_daniel

Things to do on the island are aplenty. Ride the steam railway into a bygone age, visit the time enduring Victorian villages, a monkey haven or a village museum. For history buffs – walk in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and visit her beloved places on the island. Here are three recommended articles to read for great ideas.


Places to Stay in Isle of Wight

isle.of.wight.beach

The Isle of Wight is a small island and you could drive the entire perimeter in three hours but then this is not fun and does not include all the stops you would make! As a small island, you have the advantage of staying anywhere on the island and drive to your destination within a short few minutes.

Select from the following highly rated accommodations to suit your budget and itinerary:

Travelling soon and looking for some awesome Special Deals? Click the link below and see what’s in store for you:

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Moving around the Isle of Wight

The best way to explore the Isle of Wight is by car. It gives you great flexibility to stop for views, stay at one end of the Isle and drive to wherever you want to go. However, a car may not be for everyone visiting the compelling island.

Moving around the Isle of Wight is pretty easy with public transportation. The Southern Vectis buses run regularly. During the summer months between June and August, there are open-top bus tours offering amazing journeys with spectacular sceneries. Plan your journey with Southern Vectis.

As for trains, the Island Line connects the towns of Ryde, Brading, Sandown and Shanklin. Plan your journey with Trainline UK.


Group tours

If transportation is an issue, you could always join one of the many group tours to the Isle of Wight. Tours depart from a central location in London. Departure points are conveniently connected to main transportation hubs. Select from a day to multi-day tours to suit your itinerary.

Recommended read: Best 3 group tours to the Isle of Wight from London for best experiences. Book early to avoid disappointment.


On a final note

The world famous, one of the most photographed natural wonder – the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse is a beautiful jaw-dropping sight that must be experienced. Together with the Chairlift, the Batteries, the Alum Bay Sands and the Glassblowing activities, your day will be an immensely enjoyable one. When planning your trip, 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.

Do let me know if I could assist in your travel planning or, ask any questions you may have on the Needles Rocks and Lighthouse – I shall be happy to assist.

Have an awesome time discovering the alluring Needles Rocks and Lighthouse in the Isle of Wight.

xoxo

Isle of Wight at a Glance

Coordinates: Latitude: 50° 40′ 30.59″ N Longitude: -1° 16′ 30.60″ W

Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight flag
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Coat of Arms

Basic facts:

Island: Largest island in England

Island’s city: Newport

Population: 141,538 | Second most populous island in England behind Portsea Island.

Landmass: The Isle is roughly 380.728 kilometer/147 square miles

County: Governed by one unitary authority.

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) | British Summer Time (BST)

High season: July – August

Religion: Christianity

Language: English

Money

Currency: Pounds Sterling (£)

Credit and Debit cards accepted.

Topography

Elevation: Maximum elevation: 242 m | Average elevation: 15 m | Minimum elevation: -1 m

Designation:

1 | Isle of Wight Biosphere Reserve, United Kingdom

2 | Isle of Wight – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Why Visit:

Famous for: Ghosts, Dinosaur bones, Victorian villages, Cycling routes, Walking & Hiking + Healing & Wellbeing retreats

Number of Visitors surpass residents >

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Isle of Wight Travel Advice

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The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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The Unmissable Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight | The Needles | The Needles Alum Bay | The Needles Attraction | Isle of Wight top attraction | Best things to see in the Isle of Wight | Things to do in the Isle of Wight | Best attraction in the Isle of Wight via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/The Unmissable Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight | The Needles | The Needles Alum Bay | The Needles Attraction | Isle of Wight top attraction | Best things to see in the Isle of Wight | Things to do in the Isle of Wight | Best attraction in the Isle of Wight via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

3 best group tours to the Isle of Wight

Group tours to the Isle of Wight from Central London

Recommended Group Tours to the Isle of Wight from London

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A short ferry ride from the ports in Southeast England is one of Britain’s best islands – the Isle of Wight. The incredible and alluring Isle of Wight has been a fashionable holiday destination since Victorian times. Host to a multitude of activities for the very young, young, mid-life travellers and retirees, the island is a favourite for visitors to the UK. Renowned for its finest landscapes, the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a treasured area home to unique woodlands, flora and fauna. One of the best ways to discover this diamond in the rough is by joining group tours to the Isle of Wight from central London.

There are numerous group tours to the Isle of Wight from London offered by various tour companies. Each tour is different offering unique experiences. Timeless Travel Steps recommends the following carefully selected group tours to the Isle of Wight to enhance your experiences on the island.

Before we share our selected group tours to the Isle of Wight, let’s take a look at the benefits of group tours.

Benefits of group tours to the Isle of Wight

TTS recommends group tours as a great way to explore the Isle of Wight for the following reasons:

1 | Value for money

Group tours are generally good value for money. For one encompassing price, the group tours to the Isle of Wight begins in London, takes you across the Solent and around the island. The driver waits for you at each destination and takes you to the next highlight. There is no need for public transportation and you probably do not have to walk very far to the car park either. This saves time. At the end of the tour, you return to London. All transportation costs are included in the tour price.

2 | Generally cover major highlights in the Isle of Wight

The tour covers major highlights of the island, with time to explore at each destination. A visit to Osborne House, the former palatial home of Queen Victoria is generally top of the list destination. Also, a visit to Alum Bay, home to the incredible Needles rocks and lighthouse along with other activities to indulge in. However, just note that not all tours will cover these attractions.

A day-long tour will have you visit a selected number of highlights to give you an overview of the island. A longer tour of a few days will inevitably be of more value to you. You will experience more of the island at a steady pace and stay overnight on the island.

Each tour is unique encompassing various destinations. When selecting the tour, ensure that the highlight you wish to experience is included.

3 | Relax and Enjoy

Relax and enjoy while on a pre-planned itinerary. You don’t have to think about hiring a car, driving rules and regulations, sorting out parking or hotel accommodations (if selected). A group tours gives you more time to enjoy and embrace the delightful scenic rugged coast of the Isle and countryside that England is famed for.


Recommended Group Tours to the Isle of Wight

Here is our selection of group tours for you:

The Isle of Wight day trip from London

The Needles Landmark Isle of Wight

A day tour from the city of London transports you to the windswept cliffs and tranquil woodlands of Isle of Wight. Visit the quintessential beach villages of Godshill and Shanklin. Spend some time on the sandy beaches at Sandown and finally visit Osborne House before returning to London.

This tour is approximately 12 hours and departs early at around 7:00 a.m.

Good to know about what is included:

Driver/Guide

Live commentary

Pick-up /Drop-off – central meeting point

Air-conditioned bus

Additional Info:

Book online

Instant digital Confirmation

Cancellation – All sales are final.

Suitable for most travellers.

From £109.00 (2021)

NB: This is a sell-out tour.

From £109.00 (2021) > book your day tour from London to the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight weekend trip from London

Osborne House Isle of Wight bucket list

A weekend trip to Isle of Wight gives you so much more with plenty of time to explore independently as well. Experience the rugged shores and cliffs, of this beautiful island. Visit Shanklin and Ventnor, popular seaside towns in the Isle. You will also visit the unmissable and most photographed, The Needles landmark in Alum Bay.

Good to know about what is included in this multi-day trip

Driver/Guide

Live commentary

Overnight stay as selected

Breakfasts

Entrance to Osborne House

Pick-up/Drop-off – central meeting point

Air-conditioned vehicle

Additional Info:

Limited to maximum of 20 participants

Not suitable for wheelchair users

Book online

Immediate digital confirmation

Cancellation – All sales are final and in cur 100% cancellation fee. If minimum numbers are not met, you will be refunded.

NB: This is popular tour. Book early to secure your place.

From: £225.00 (2021) > book your weekend trip to the Isle of Wight from London

The Isle of Wight and Southern Coast tour from London – 3 days

Isle of Wight coastal walk | group tours to Isle of Wight

Relax and enjoy this pre-planned trip to Isle of Wight and the southern coast of England. Visit the historical landmarks and the main attractions on the island. On your return from Isle of Wight, visit the Bombay Saphire gin house.

Good to know about what is included in this 3-day trip:

Driver/Guide

2 nights accommodation (select type)

Breakfasts

Small group of 16

Minimum age is 5 years

Not suitable for wheelchair users

Air-conditioned vehicle

Commentary

Pick-up/Drop-off – central meeting point

Additional Info:

Book online

Instant digital confirmation

Cancellation – Cancellation rights varies depending on the tour provider is. Check prior to booking

Book with your preferred tour operator:

The Isle of Wight at a Glance

Coordinates: Latitude: 50° 40′ 30.59″ N Longitude: -1° 16′ 30.60″ W

Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight flag
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight Coat of Arms

Basic facts:

Island: Largest island in England

Island’s city: Newport

Population: 141,538 | Second most populous island in England behind Portsea Island.

Landmass: The Isle is roughly 380.728 kilometer/147 square miles

County: Governed by one unitary authority.

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) | British Summer Time (BST)

High season: July – August

Religion: Christianity

Language: English

Money

Currency: Pounds Sterling (£)

Credit and Debit cards accepted.

Topography

Elevation: Maximum elevation: 242 m | Average elevation: 15 m | Minimum elevation: -1 m

Designation:

1 | Isle of Wight Biosphere Reserve, United Kingdom

2 | Isle of Wight – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Why Visit:

Famous for: Ghosts, Dinosaur bones, Victorian villages, Cycling routes, Walking & Hiking + Healing & Wellbeing retreats

Number of Visitors surpass residents >

Travel Advice

Isle of Wight Travel Advice

Travelling to the UK Advice

UK Foreign Travel Advice


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