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 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.

xoxo

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


More on the Isle of Wight

What’s new at TTS

All articles >>


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the historic Needles Batteries Isle of Wight
the historic Needles Batteries Isle of Wight
the historic Needles Batteries Isle of Wight

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

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The historic Needles Batteries | The Needles Batteries | The Old Battery Isle of Wight | Isle of Wight | Things to do at Isle of Wight | National Trust England | The New Battery Isle of Wight | The Needles Attraction Isle of Wight | The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse | Best Views over the Solent | World War II | Attractions in the Isle of Wight | How to explore the Isle of Wight | South of England | Visit Isle of Wight | Isle of Wight Walks | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/The historic Needles Batteries | The Needles Batteries | The Old Battery Isle of Wight | Isle of Wight | Things to do at Isle of Wight | National Trust England | The New Battery Isle of Wight | The Needles Attraction Isle of Wight | The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse | Best Views over the Solent | World War II | Attractions in the Isle of Wight | How to explore the Isle of Wight | South of England | Visit Isle of Wight | Isle of Wight Walks | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

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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The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse

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:

Booking.com

Peruse offers in Tripadvisor


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 >

Travel Advice

Isle of Wight Travel Advice

Travelling to the UK Advice

UK Foreign Travel Advice


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The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse
The Needles Rocks and Lighthouse
The Needles rocks and lighthouse

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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3 best group tours to the Isle of Wight from London was first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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5 popular city walking tours in Amsterdam

5 Popular City Walking Tours in Amsterdam

Explore the highlights and secrets of Europe’s best liberal city that is infamous for its 17th century historic canals. Join one of these carefully selected city walking tours in Amsterdam and learn more about this inspiring city.


Discover the history of the cannabis culture and get a first hand experience of Amsterdam’s coffee shop when you visit one with a knowledgeable guide. Walk through narrow streets and learn the history of the Red Light District. A walking tour in Amsterdam city gives you a full introduction to the Dutch capital in one day! The overview prepares you to dig deeper into an area or spots at a more opportune time suited to your itinerary.

Choose from the following carefully selected 5 value for money city walking tours in Amsterdam for timeless memories.

1 | Introduction to and Highlights of the City Walking Tours in Amsterdam

introduction to the city walking tours in Amsterdam

The introduction to and highlights of Amsterdam walking tour takes you to the main sights of the city with a knowledgeable tour guide.

1.1 | What to expect from the Introduction to the city walking tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Amsterdam Old Town – Visit the Old Town area and explore the many sights including the Old Church, The Waag, Chinatown, and the smallest house of Amsterdam.

2 | Red Light District | Explore the atmospheric narrow streets of the Red Light area and see the first coffee shop. Learn about the history and the changes in the legal rules that applies to the district;

3 | Jordaan District – Take in the sights of the Dam Square and the Palace as you make your way to the famous Jordaan District. Jordaan area has a rich history and home to Westerkerk and Anne Frank’s house. Jordaan is an area that should top every visitor’s list to Amsterdam.

1.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration – about 3 or 4 hours depending on the provider you choose;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch-free mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

*Tour available in English, German or Spanish

1.3 | Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator:


If you prefer, you could undertake an exclusive, fully customisable private walking tour of the city of Amsterdam with a knowledgeable local guide > more details are provided here.



2 | Red Light District + Coffeeshop Walking Tours in Amsterdam

Red light district and coffeeshop walking tours in Amsterdam

The Red Light District and Coffeeshop tour is an opportunity for you to learn the history and how the city adopted its much known liberal attitudes from a guide.

2.1 | What to expect from the Red Light District and Coffeeshop Walking Tour

The highlights:

1 | An informative tour about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of the Red Light District and how Amsterdam developed its liberal reputation.

2 | Experience the city’s narrowest street, and explore the area’s small shops and restaurants, as you walk through Chinatown;

3 | Visit a coffeeshop.

2.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour with a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration – 2 to 3 hours;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free and mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

7 | Private or small group available.

*Not suitable for under 18.

Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator



3 | About WWII & Anne Frank Walking tours in Amsterdam

about WWII and Anne Frank walking tours in Amsterdam

In this small group tour, you shall learn about the events of World War II, the Jewish Quarter and most interestingly about the life of Anne Frank, and her diary.

3.1 | What to expect from WWII and Anne Frank Tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Discover one of Amsterdam’s oldest Jewish settlement, the Jewish Quarter. Learn how the area developed over the centuries. Visit a 17th century Portuguese synagogue.

2 | Learn about Anne Frank – the girl who kept a diary when she and her family were hidden in an attic.

3 | During the tour, you will see the Jewish Historical Museum, Auschwitz Monument and the Anne Frank House façade.

4 | Learn about the Dutch Resistance in the Second World War.

3.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour with a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration: 2 hours;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free and mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

7 | Private or small group available.

*Tour available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch

3.3 | Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator


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4 | About Amsterdam’s History – Walking tours in Amsterdam

You may want to discover some of Amsterdam’s most iconic squares, buildings, canals and old streets, while learning about the city’s history, liberal culture and Dutch people.

4.1 | What to expect from History Walking tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Dam Square and an introduction to Dutch culture;

2 | Learn about Oude Kerk and how this historic monument is intertwined with the Dutch culture;

3 | Walk along Amsterdam central and see Damrak, the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk. Learn about their significance to Amsterdam and the royal family.

4 | The Amsterdam Canal Ring – a historic and UNESCO listed heritage site. Learn about the city’s canals rich history and importance, turning a little fishing village into a world trade centre.

5 | In this tour, you will also hear about how freedom and tolerance were born in the Netherlands in the 16th century – the very same values shape the attitudes of Amsterdammers today.

4.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour and a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free and mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

4.3 | Learn more and Book your tour


5 | Highlights and hidden treasures of walking tours in Amsterdam

highlights and hidden treasures walking tours of Amsterdam

Get to know Amsterdam beyond the Red Light district and Coffeeshops. Visit the most important sights of the Dutch capital along with some tucked-away gems in this private walking tours in Amsterdam.

5.1 | What to expect from Highlights + Hidden treasures walking tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Walk through Amsterdam’s historic highlights – Old Town and Jordaan district and learn about their fascinating history;

2 | See interesting architecture and learn about the Dutch culture;

3 | Stroll through Dam Square, the Flower Market, Rembrandt House, the Royal Palace, hidden courtyards and many more;

5.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour and a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration: About 3 hours depending on the tour selected;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

5.3 | Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator:

Peruse all walking tours in Amsterdam provided by your preferred tour operator to suit your interests and itinerary

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

Travel advice Netherlands

Travelling from UK to Netherlands


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5 Popular Walking Tours in Amsterdam first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

Recommended | Royal Windsor Steam Express

TTS logo

Sit back, relax, and let the meditation of steam travel take you through masterpieces of art as you pass through countrysides. Enjoy an unforgettable ride onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express to one of UK’s most popular destinations, the town of Windsor, Berkshire.

About Royal Windsor Steam Express

The Royal Windsor Steam Express is managed by The Steam Dreams Rail Co. Since its inception in 1999, the Company has been making dreams come true for steam train lovers! They have been running services with practical itineraries to popular Cathedral cities, beautiful coastal towns and gardens in the UK. Also on offer are some incredible holidays to The Highlands and Islands with Flying Scotsman and the Emerald Isle Craic Express.

Royal Windsor | Train Travel
Royal Windsor Steam Express | Image: GYG

The Royal Windsor Steam Express takes you through beautiful countryside while experiencing exceptional dining options.

Your journey onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express is one-way, giving you the flexibility to spend as much time in Windsor as you like.

A little about Windsor, Berkshire

Windsor Castle, Berkshire: View from the Cambridge Gate
Windsor Castle, Berkshire: View from the Cambridge Gate

Located on the River Thames in the southeast of England, Windsor has a rich mix of history, culture, heritage, and fun. Windsor is best known for its historical links to the British royal family. Towering over the town of Windsor is Windsor Castle, home to the British monarchy and the largest inhabited castle in the world. Built as a fortress to protect London, the royal castle is now a stately retreat of Queen Elizabeth II.

Things to do in Windsor – An overview

Visit the royal castle and learn about the castle’s 900 years of history. Marvel at the splendour of the State Apartments, renowned as the grandest apartments in England. There are paintings by Van Dyck and Rubens that hang from the walls. The ceilings are painted with elaborate, magnificent murals.

The architecture inside St George's Chapel_Windsor Castle_Berkshire
The architecture inside St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire | Image: georgina_daniel

Pause a little while at St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018. The chapel is also the final resting place of departed kings and queens from England’s illustrious history. These include Henry VIII, Charles I, and now Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Later, take a stroll to Eton. Visit the grounds of its College – one of the largest secondary schools in the country and amongst the most prestigious. 

Aside from the castle, there’s much more to see and do, including visiting the award-winning Savill Garden, taking a guided tour of the town’s numerous cobbled streets and Tudor buildings, or enjoying a walk along the river.

For more ideas on what to do on your visit to the royal town, view article on Windsor Castle and Windsor in 1 day.

What to expect from the Royal Windsor Steam Express Train Ticket activity

Royal Windsor Steam Express
© Royal Windsor Steam Express

Your journey onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express is one-way. You shall begin your journey from London Victoria. The route pass some of London’s famous landmarks including Chelsea Bridge, The Royal Hospital, and Battersea Power Station. Head towards the leafy suburbs, crossing the Thames and passing reservoirs and lakes to reach Windsor and Eton Riverside Station.

After spending an amazing day exploring Windsor, return to London from Windsor and Eton Riverside onboard the South Western Railways. Your destination in London is London Waterloo Station .

Your return ticket is flexible, and can be used anytime on the same day. This gives you as much time you need to explore the town of Windsor independently at your own pace.

Classes of Travel on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

Select between First Class or Standard outbound ticket.

A ride on The Royal Windsor Steam Express is a unique railway experience that offers two classes of travel to suit your occasion and budget.

First Class or Standard Class passengers may order from a range of delicious snacks or hot and cold drinks.

First Class travel on the Royal Windsor

royal windsor steam express first class (2)
© Royal Windsor Steam Express | First Class

First Class passengers are automatically seated on tables for 4 so you may be seated with other passengers if you have less than 4 in your party.

Food and drinks may be purchased on-board. You are also welcome to bring your own food, drink or hampers on board.

Standard Class travel on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

Royal Windsor Steam Express Standard class
© Royal Windsor Steam Express | Standard Class

Passengers who opt to travel in Standard class will be seated in 1960s open carriages with large picture windows. The carriage has individual seating (as opposed to bench style seating) around tables of four.

Food and drinks may be purchased on-board. You are also welcome to bring your own food, drink or hampers on board.

What does Royal Windsor Steam Express Train Ticket activity include?

Royal Windsor Steam Express Train Ticket (1)

This experience onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express is brought to you via Get Your Guide, Trusted Partners of Timeless Travel Steps.

The following Information is from Get Your Guide:

There are three options to starting time:

7:30 A.M. | 10:30 A.M. | 1:30 P.M.

1 | One-way steam train journey from London to Windsor and Eton Riverside;

2 | Reserved seats aboard the steam train;

3 | Flexible return train ticket in standard class from Windsor to London on South Western Railways.

What you need to know before you go on this trip:

Meet the representative at the booked time outside Hotel Chocolat on the main station concourse by platform 7;

Refreshments are available for purchase onboard;

This tour is unescorted;

The outbound steam train departs from London Victoria Station;

Return train is with South Western Railways;

Your return train arrives at London Waterloo Station;

Please note that your return train ticket is flexible but must be used on the same day;

Not suitable for wheelchair users.

COVID-19 Special information – Masks are required, please bring your own.

Note: Windsor Castle is closed to visitors every Tuesday and Wednesday in 2021

On a final note

The most stylish way to travel to Windsor is onboard the Royal Windsor and is available to book now.

From £56.00** > Outbound Royal Windsor Steam Express from Victoria Station, London + flexible return journey on the same day onboard standard South Western Railways to Waterloo Station London.

Plan ahead >> Book your seat onboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express Train

** prices correct at time of writing May 2021.

** Steam Dreams Railway Co.

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Latitude:
 51° 28′ 44.76″ N
Longitude: 0° 36′ 34.20″ E

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An Unforgettable ride on the Royal Windsor Steam Express
An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express
An Unforgettable ride awaits on the Royal Windsor Steam Express

A ride on the Royal Windsor Steam Express first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Step back in time as you travel from London to Windsor in style aboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express, restored from a bygone era. Subscribe-Follow4latest | Royal Windsor | Unique Train Travel experiences | Unique London Experiences | Travel London | London to Windsor by train | London to Windsor travel | London Train Travel | Steam train travel | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Step back in time as you travel from London to Windsor in style aboard the Royal Windsor Steam Express, restored from a bygone era. Subscribe-Follow4latest | Royal Windsor | Unique Train Travel experiences | Unique London Experiences | Travel London | London to Windsor by train | London to Windsor travel | London Train Travel | Steam train travel | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways

Experience a piece of Dutch culture like never before and explore Amsterdam by bike. There are many bike-friendly routes around Amsterdam city that takes you through the city’s historic and cultural sights such as the Dam Square, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House. Exploring Amsterdam by bike is economical. It is also a fast way of discovering the green city, both the hidden and the best of the beaten-track in a few hours.

You can explore Amsterdam by bike in two rewarding ways:

1 |Independently and/or

2 | By guided bike tours.

This article sets out suggestions on the various options available to you to explore Amsterdam by bike along with useful cycling tips to be aware of for a safe bicycling experience.

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

Amsterdam by bike

Exploring Amsterdam by bike independently

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 rewarding ways

With almost 500 kilometres of cycling routes in and around the city, exploring Amsterdam by bike independently is a must-do activity for avid cyclists. Cycling through cobbled streets, quaint bridges, canals and colourful terraces that defines this green city along with 100 km of canals and its close proximity to the North Sea, is a rewarding experience in itself. The outstanding network of cycle paths extends outwards and you can explore for hours or days.

Head southwards along River Amstel to the picturesque town of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (9 kilometres) for a slice of riverside living. While exploring the south of the city, Amsterdamse Bos is the destination to fuel your lust for nature.

Traffic-free cycle paths abound as you venture outwards of Amsterdam city and towards the rural areas. It is an aesthetic wonder, much defined by serene and charming waterways.

Here are 5 of the best ideas to explore Amsterdam by bike independently:

1 | Amstel River

Amsterdam.responsible tourism

Exploring Amsterdam by bike along the Amstel River is one of the most scenic adventures to undertake. The route takes you through the heart of town, passing through some old and new architecture, residential estates, cheese farms and the picturesque village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. The route is 27 kilometres, beginning from the north of Amstel River, (from which Amsterdam derives its name) near Amsterdam Centrum. Follow the waterways. You may have to walk your bike some of the way, a perfect opportunity for you to stop and get some photos.

2 | Zuid and Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdam Zuid is located to the south and southwest of Singelgracht canal with Amsterdamse Bos lying on the edge of the city. The Dutch Forest is a haven of tranquility amidst evergreens and lakes. You may want to take a picnic with you so you could peaceful setting before returning to the buzz of the city.

3 | Flowers of Amsterdam

When you think of flowers in the Netherlands – you think of tulips! Right? When in Amsterdam, you could begin your flower cycle route from the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) in the city and continue on to end in Aalsmeer, near the largest flower auction in the world.

4 | Oost and Ijburg

If you want to see some modern architecture while you explore Amsterdam by bike, then this is the route for you. Start you journey from De Goodyer Windmill through the eastern area of Amsterdam, arriving at IJburg. A beautiful water route, and man-made islands.

5 | Haarlem, Amsterdam by bike

Haarlem, a historic town and a coastal area on the west of Amsterdam is worth exploring by bike. Located about 25 kilometres from the centre of Amsterdam, you will cycle through some of the busiest parts of Amsterdam. Do take care when you ride.


For more scenic routes to explore Amsterdam by bike independently, go to Royal Dutch Automobile Association, simply known as ANWB for guides and maps to design your very own adventure.


Exploring Amsterdam by bike via group cycle tours

Cycling in Amsterdam

There are several options for you to discover Amsterdam by bike if you wish to explore in a group.

1 | Central Amsterdam by bike small group tour

Explore the heart of the city of Amsterdam by bike with an experienced guide. Your journey begins from Central Station, Amsterdam and the highlights of this tour includes:

What to expect:

i | Ride to the western islands , passing through some charming drawbridges and warehouses;

ii | Continue on along Brouwersgracht Canal and visit the trendy Jordaan and 9 Street districts passing through trendy boutiques, and hip eateries;

iii | Enjoy a ride through the famous Museum Quarter, with Westerkerk and Anne Frank’s house in sight, enroute to Vondelpark, the most famous park in Amsterdam.

iv | After a pleasant break in the park, you will circle back to the Museum Quarter but this time passing through Bohemian-influenced De Pijp neighborhood;

v | You will cross the iconic Magere Brug (skinny bridge) over River Amstel before arriving at Maritime Quarter, where you can view the replica of a 17th-century Dutch East Indian Company ship at the Salt Harbour.

vi | You will be guided back to your starting point;

vii | Duration: 3 hours

Live Guide: Available in English, German and Dutch.

Instant confirmation + Mobile ticketing.

Central Amsterdam by bike small group tour includes:

English or German-speaking guide

Small tour group (15 people max)

Bicycle

Helmet

Stroopwafel

Bottled water

Audio guide app (if audio guide tour option selected)

NOT INCLUDED:

Additional food and drinks;

Tips.

NOT SUITABLE

Children under 12 years

Pregnant women

People with mobility impairments

People who can’t ride a bike

Wheelchair users

LEARN MORE & BOOK > Central Amsterdam by bike small group tour

2 | Private bike tour of Ijburg districk – up to 10 people from € 250

Admire the contemporary houses and housing blocks of Ijburg;

Cycle the bike friendly streets and bridges of Amsterdam’s newest neighborhood;

Cross to the Steigereiland (Pier Island) to experience the Collage City Concept;

Marvel at colorful and do-it-yourself houses;

Find out why one of the new bridges is called “Dolly Parton Bridge”;

Pedal the grid-like streets of Haveneiland;

Discover the floating houses of IJburg;

Learn more and Book > Private bike tour of Ijburg districk – up to 10 people from € 250

3 | Amsterdam City Sightseeing tour by bike – 3 hours

practical travel information for Amsterdam

See the major attractions in Amsterdam by bike led by an experienced guide. Begin your journey in downtown Amsterdam and weave through the streets like a local!

What to expect:

i | Explore Amsterdam like a local on a bike tour;

ii | Follow designated bike paths from Dam Square to monuments such as Nieuwe Kerk, Royal Palace and National Monument.

iii | Stop to take photographs;

iv | Learn about the city’s history while you explore Amsterdam by bike;

v | Continue to the beautiful floating flower market of the Bloemenmarkt. 

vi | Pedal along the banks of the historic canals in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Canal Belt.

vii | Admire the 19th-century merchant houses and take a break in Museumplein, where you will find the iconic I Amsterdam sign in bold letters. 

viii | Use of a bike for the duration of the tour.

Not suitable:

Children under 12 years

Pregnant women

People with mobility impairments

People who can’t ride a bike

Wheelchair users.

Learn more and Book > Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour by Bike

4 | Explore Amsterdam by bike – Backstreets and Hidden gems

eco-friendly Amsterdam | rent a bike in Amsterdam

Explore the backstreets and hidden gems of Amsterdam by bike in this 3-hour guided tour

What to expect:

i | Experience Amsterdam like a local with a grassroots bike tour company, Meet your guide to collect your bikes, and head off to find some of the city’s hidden gems.

ii | Start with the popular Jordaan area, riding the safe backstreets to cross over canals. Your guide will take you to courtyards and churches often missed by tourists, telling you the origin and history of each site along the way.

iii | End your tour of the Jordaan area at Anne Frank’s House, and learn about one of Amsterdam’s most famous and heroic former residents.

iv | After a relaxing break in a charming café, cycle to the Vondelpark for a ride in Amsterdam’s favorite urban oasis.

v | Next, go to Museum Square (Museumplein) to learn about the city’s most popular cultural attractions, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Concertgebouw.

Not suitable:

Children under 12 years

Pregnant women

People with mobility impairments

People who can’t ride a bike

Wheelchair users.

Learn more and Book > Explore Amsterdam by bike – Backstreets and Hidden gems

**Guided tours offered by our trusted partner – Get Your Guide


Whilst there are recommended cycle routes which you could explore independently, and cycling in Amsterdam with a group are both fun adventures to undertake, you may want to be aware about the following 6 useful tips for a safe cycling experience:

Useful tips for safe ways to explore Amsterdam by bike

1 | Adhere to traffic rules and regulations

Ensure you are familiar to the traffic rules and regulations in the Netherlands and Amsterdam city in relation to cyclists. In particular a working bicycle bell that can be heard by other traffic users who are at least 25 metres, working lights and reflectors which are mandatory for night-time cycling. As well, keep to the right side of the road and don’t ride on the pavements. Peruse the comprehensive guide on Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands, download the PDF to peruse.

2 | Avoid the Tram rails if you can!

You just need to be careful not to get your wheels stuck in the tram rails. Ensure you cross the tram rails at an angle.

3 | Bike parking policy in Amsterdam

Amsterdam.noparking.sign
No bike parking sign in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a strict bike parking policy! You must not park where there are ‘No bike parking’ sign and words Verboden fietsen te plaatsenand. There are exclusion zones for bike parking areas around train and public transport hubs, so ensure you do not park here.

4 | Park bicycles in designated guarded parking facilities

Theft of bicycles in Amsterdam is high!

You are strongly advised to use one of the guarded parking facilities provided by the Amsterdam City Council. To learn more, visit the Amsterdam City Council web page to locate guarded parking facilities dotted around the city.

5 | Lock your bicycles!

cycling in Amsterdam | cycle locks

Do remember to lock your bicycle at all times when not in use by using certified locks. Certified locks can be purchased from any of the bicycle shops in Amsterdam city. They are little more expensive than ordinary locks but it is worth it.

Lock, securing your bicycle frame to a bike rack or a solid metal post.

6 | Insurance

Ensure your travel insurance cover your bicycle and cycling activities whilst on holiday in Amsterdam or wider Netherlands.

NB: Avoid rush hours and take a poncho with you – it does rain in Amsterdam!


Highly recommended read – Cycling in Amsterdam – 19 Useful tips for an enriched experience – next post.


Have fun exploring Amsterdam by bike!

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

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Amsterdam by bike
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Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Explore Amsterdam by bike | 2 ways to explore Amsterdam by bike | Cycle routes | Bike tours | Visit Europe's famous cycle city | Amsterdam | Amsterdam city | Weekend in Amsterdam | 48 hours in Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Netherlands | Tours to in Amsterdam | A tourist in Amsterdam | Guided tours in Amsterdam | Things to do in Amsterdam | What to do in Amsterdam | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Explore Amsterdam by bike | 2 ways to explore Amsterdam by bike | Cycle routes | Bike tours | Visit Europe's famous cycle city | Amsterdam | Amsterdam city | Weekend in Amsterdam | 48 hours in Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Netherlands | Tours to in Amsterdam | A tourist in Amsterdam | Guided tours in Amsterdam | Things to do in Amsterdam | What to do in Amsterdam | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Fun Canal Biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

Fun Canal biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

Have a unique, fun experience exploring the historic canals of the Dutch capital at leisure. Reduce your carbon footprint by canal biking in Amsterdam.


Canal biking in Amsterdam
Amsterdam centrum

A remarkable city built on waters, Amsterdam boasts all manner of canal cruises with its 200 tour boats, captivating the interests and imagination of its 3 million or so visitors each year. The cruises encompass large tourist boats, smaller boats with fewer passenger, open-top boats, boats with buffet lunch or boats on private hire. Therefore, when visiting Amsterdam, canal cruises are an absolute must experience activity.

Alongside canal cruises, canal biking is an eco-friendly activity that is popular and fun to experience whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

In this simple guide, you shall find 7 reasons on Why canal biking in Amsterdam is worth exploring and how you could experience canal biking in Amsterdam for timeless memories.

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

Why Canal biking in Amsterdam is worth exploring

canal biking in Amsterdam

Canal biking in Amsterdam has been a popular activity since 1984 and is a great way to experience the canal city from the waters.

Rent a canal bike (pedal boats, pedalos) and head out to the waters by yourself, with your special someone or a group of friends for a truly personal experience of the canals. There is nothing quite like experiencing the city of canals from the waters. Enjoy the gentle breeze, summer sunshine, shades of the setting sun along with the spectacular views of the houseboats, incredible architecture of the gable-houses and the numerous bridges you shall pass under – all at your own pace.

canal biking in Amsterdam
Bridges in Amsterdam

Here are 7 reasons why canal biking is worth exploring:

1 | Pedal power!

These engine-free boats are a remarkable sustainable highlight. With zero emission, not only do they contribute to the green environment but it is also a great opportunity for a simple workout. Moreover, if your feet tire, you could always swap with the others in the group.

2 | Noise-free

Engine-free boats means these are also noise-free! No engine-sounds to overcome when you speak or to endure during your cruise.

3 | Pedal at your own pace

canal biking in Amsterdam
The Montelbaanstoren, Amsterdam | Netherlands

Views of Amsterdam’s historic buildings such as Anne Frank’s House, the Old City gates, the skinny bridge, the old tower and so many more are truly stunning. The experience is more rewarding when seen unhurried and self-guided, minus the sounds of the engine. You pedal your way around the canals as fast or as leisurely as you wish.

Suggestion: Pedal boat hire are usually for 1 hour or 1.5 hour but you could always hire the boat for longer by paying a little more.

4 | Money saver

Pedal boats are not only good for the environment but it is also less expensive than a canal boat tour – best of both worlds 🙂

Prices start from € 25.00 per group up to four persons and you may not pay anything if you book through your I Amsterdam City Card.

5 | Fun and close comfort for family

Most pedalos are equipped for four passengers, perfect for small groups.

Pedalling your way around the canals of Amsterdam is certainly a fun way to explore with family and friends. Being in close comfort of each other is definitely more enjoyable for the kids. This also means no unwanted or unpleasant company!

6 | Canal biking in Amsterdam come rain or shine!

Canal biking in Amsterdam is perfect for the summer. Even so, it does rain in this beautiful city. A waterproof hood is fixed onto the tour boat so, you could explore the canals unhindered. However, keep your ponchos handy as the sides are not covered and you may still need put your ponchos on.

7 | Flexibility canal biking in Amsterdam

Maps, directions, instructions and sailing tips are provided so you could navigate with confidence. There are four suggested routes to take ensuring you see all the major sights!

There are 100 pedalos that can be rented from four locations around the city. You have the flexibility to rent the pedal boat from one location and drop-it off at another.

How to experience canal biking in Amsterdam for timeless memories

Amsterdam.responsible tourism.pedal boats | Canal biking in Amsterdam
Pedal boat tours by Stromma Netherlands

There are 2 ways to experience canal biking in Amsterdam – by prior booking a pedal boat rental for your group, use your I Amsterdam City Card and enjoy a free ride and turn-up on the day and purchase your ride.

**Terms and Conditions apply with the I Amsterdam City Card.

1 | Book a pedal boat rental online

Choose a 1 hour or 1.5 hour rental. Customise the route to suit your interests.

What you need to know:

i | You’ll receive a free guidebook containing a map and canal routes around the city;

ii | Customise your route to see the city’s highlights – the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, the Skinny Bridge, and the Amstel River, as well as other attractions such as the Mint Tower, St. Nicholas Church, the Golden Bend, the Royal Palace, the National Monument, Albert Cuyp Market, and the old city gates.

iii | Wi-Fi access is available at the point of departure via the Canal Network;

iv | There is a 20€ deposit per pedal boat;

v | If you decide to return the boat to a different location there is 20€ charge.

What the pedal boat rental includes:

i | Pedal boat rental for the duration;

ii | Free guidebook

iii | Free Wi-Fi at the tour operator’s mooring and shops

Not included with the pedal boat rental:

Live tour guide

20€ deposit per canal bike (please pay on the day of your rental)

Learn more about the pedal boat rental and Book online


2 | Enjoy canal biking in Amsterdam with I Amsterdam City Card

To rent a pedal boat, using your I Amsterdam City Card you need to book a time-slot with Stromma Canal tours. Ensure your City Card is valid at the time of the activity.

Includes:

i | Free guidebook to customise your route;

ii | Rental of pedal boat for the duration;

iii | Free Wi-Fi at the tour operator’s mooring and shops.

To book:

Visit the office at Stationsplein 10 (opposite Amsterdam Central Station) or visit Damrak Pier 5.

Learn more and buy your superb value I Amsterdam City Card


Practical information about pedal biking in Amsterdam

Book in advance

Booking online in advance is highly recommended given that pedal biking in Amsterdam is a popular activity.

Digital ticketing

Touch-free digital ticketing is encouraged. You are also required to adhere to safety measures in place.

Where to go

You could go to one of the following locations:

i | Stromma Shop Rijksmusem – Stadhouderskade 520

ii | Stromma Shop Leidseplein – Leidse Bosje 2

iii | Stromma Shop Anne Frank House – Prinsengracht 279

Operating times

Pedal boats are available for hire from 11:00 in the morning. Last departure is at 4:00 p.m.

Closing times may vary depending on the weather or national holidays.

Recommendation

Highly recommended that you hire the pedal boat for 1.5 hour so you could really take your time and immerse in all the architecture and allure of the city you shall find along the way.

Book online with our trusted partner, Get Your Guide.


Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

Travel advice Netherlands

Travelling from UK to Netherlands

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