Very Best Views of The Needles | 4 Top Viewing Points on the Isle of Wight

Where to go for the Very Best Views of The Needles | Isle of Wight

The Needles is the most popular and most photographed attraction on the Isle of Wight. It also features prominently in almost all of the island’s souvenirs. Needless to say the compelling sight is a photographer’s paradise. With this guide, you would be able to capture some amazing best views of The Needles too.

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The Needles | Isle of Wight

Best views of The Needles and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

The impressive sight of the Needles rocks and lighthouse, passionately known as “The Needles” can be seen for miles on the western points of the Isle of Wight. Stretching out to sea and rising up at 30m are a row of three chalk and flint stacks. Together with a formidable lighthouse in red and white strategically located at the end of the stacks, The Needles is a prominent feature of the island. This iconic landmark is also one of the Seven Natural Wonders in the United Kingdom attracting , almost half a million visitors each year.

Without a doubt, you will want to experience the landmark attraction and have some of the very best views of The Needles for timeless memories to cherish.

What to expect from this guide

The Needles is a top destination for visitors to the Isle of Wight and a compelling sight for photographers of all abilities. Whether you wish to capture perfect images or just wanting immersive moments as you experience some of the best views of the Needles, you are in the right place! This easy guide is curated to give some helpful information on where to go for the very best views of The Needles.

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

Where to go for Best Views of the Needles | Isle of Wight

The Needles is visible from many various points in the western Isle of Wight. However, there are 4 locations from whence you could have the utmost best views of this iconic landmark – both near and far.

1 | From the waters | Alum Bay boat rides for Best views of The Needles

Best views of The Needles and Lighthouse from aboard a cruise boat

Take a pleasure cruise for one of the best views of The Needles. This is the only way for a visitor to the Island to get up close for best views of the Needles and the lighthouse. The boat cruises run throughout the seasons. It takes about twenty-minutes or fifteen-minutes depending on your choice of boats. Select from from a slow pleasure cruise or a fast one aboard the speed-boat RIBS.

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

For a perfect photo of The Needles rocks and the lighthouse, opt for the high speed-boat as this boat ride takes you to the south of the Lighthouse.

best views of The Needles and Lighthouse Isle of Wight

When aboard the cruises, don’t forget to turn around for some captivating views of the Alum Bay cliffs and its coloured sands.

best views of The Needles and Lighthouse Isle of Wight
Alum Bay cliffs, Isle of Wight

Good to Know Information about the boat rides at Alum Bay:

1 | Slow cruise

Duration: Generally 20 minutes

Depart: from 10.30 A.M. daily | Every 40 minutes.

Guide price: Adults – £7.00 | Children – £4.00 | Children under 3 are Free | Dogs are welcome | Groups of over 20 attract a discount.


2 | High speed RIBS boat

The fast route covers everything of the slow cruise plus Scratchells Bay and South views of the Needles and Island Shores.

Duration: Generally 15 minutes

Departs: 10:30 A.M. daily | Every 20 – 30 minutes

Guide price: £12.50 per person | £44.00 for a family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 children under 15

Minimum age restrictions of 6 years old.


** Seasonal – From April to November. All rides are weather dependent. Information correct at time of writing – July 2021


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2 | From above – Chairlift, Alum Bay for best views of The Needles

Chairlift, Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight
Chairlift, Needles Rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight | © Red Funnel

Take the Chairlift from Alum Bay beach. An attractive view from above although not as close as a boat ride but equally mesmerising. It’s quite a slow ride down or up and you have plenty of time to capture amazing best views of The Needles.

best views of The Needles and lighthouse Isle of Wight

Pro tip: The boat rides and the chairlift are the two most popular ways to have close-up views of the Needles but between the two, the boat ride aboard the RIBS is an unmissable activity.

For more best views of The Needles you need to go a little further. Add a little adventure to your visit to the Isle of Wight.

3 | The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks

Add a little adventure – Put on your hiking boots and enjoy one of the National Trust Isle of Wight walks, The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks. A meandering seven miles with spectacular views over the white cliffs and the Needles.

View of the Needles rocks and Lighthouse from the Tennyson walk
Stunning best views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse when on The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks
best views of The Needles and lighthouse Isle of Wight
The Needles rocks and Lighthouse Isle of Wight
Views from the Isle of Wight walks | The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks Image: georgina_daniel

Georgina: The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks is completely worth the time and effort. The breathtaking views are spellbinding and you will stop many times just for the views!

This little adventure to your itinerary will also get you a close view of the chalk ridges by visiting the Needles Old Battery and New Battery perched high above the Needles Rocks. As well, a Cold-war rocket test site, an old fort and a monument dedicated to a Victorian poet. Both of these historic sites offer vantage points to capture the best views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse.

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


NB: If you wish to start your walk from Alum Bay instead, the actual walk from Alum Bay to Needles Old Battery is only three quarters of a mile and takes about 20 minutes.


4 | Best views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse from Needles Old Battery and New Battery, Alum Bay, Isle of Wight

Iale of Wight the Old Battery
The Old Battery perched high above The Needles rocks Isle of Wight

Viewing points from the Old Battery and the New Battery

There are three viewing points for best views of the Needles rocks and Lighthouse. – the Parade Ground, old tunnels and the former rocket test site. All three viewing points are easily accessible.

i | Parade Ground

best views of The Needles and lighthouse Isle of Wight

There is a viewing platform at the end of the Parade Ground which gives sweeping views of The Needles and the Needles Lighthouse. The viewing platform is wheelchair accessible.

best views of the Needles rocks and lighthouse
View of Needles rocks and lighthouse from the Old Battery | Isle of Wight

ii | Tunnels

Tunnel view of the Needles rocks and Lighthouse

For a closer view, climb down the spiral staircase. Walk through the underground tunnel beneath the perimeter fence. It leads to views over the Needles rocks.

iii | Needles New Battery – former rocket test site | Isle of Wight

The New Battery is at the start of the Needles headland. There are many spectacular cliff-top paths to the Needles viewpoint and an excellent view back to the Needles rocks. There is no charge for visiting this site. Be mindful of the several steps down to the rooms.


Georgina suggests:

If you choose to do The Needles Headland and Tennyson Down Walks, the following tips may be helpful:

There are a number of spots to stop for a picnic if you want to take a breather and admire the landscape.

Some parts of this coastal walk involve a climb and is a little steep but worth the effort if you could make it.

If you are visiting in spring or fall, remember to wrap up warm.

Use appropriate footwear.


Recommended read: Unmissable 9 fun things to do at Carisbrooke Castle

Practical Information to plan ahead | Isle of Wight

Here are some practical information for you to consider when planning your trip for the best views of The Needles and the Isle of Wight.

How to get to the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight can be reached in 45 minutes by a ferry from the British mainland. There are regular ferry crossings from Portsmouth, Lymington (New Forest) and Southampton provided by Red Funnel, Wightlink and Brittany.

If you are not driving to the ports, plan your journey with Trainline. Trainline has the latest availability on seats and prices for you to select from.

Recommended Read > Trainline in Britain and how to get cheap tickets.

How to move around the Isle of Wight

Public transport on the Isle of Wight is provided by Southern Vectis (buses) and the Island Line (train). Southern Vectis runs regular services from all major towns in the Island while the Island Line connects the towns of Ryde, Brading, Sandown and Shanklin. You can pick the service from Ryde Pier.

Recommended read: 4 key ways to explore the Isle of Wight


Plan your train travel journey with Trainline


Things to do on the Isle of Wight

As a top holiday destination, the Isle of Wight offer a wide variety of things to do . No matter your age, the Island has something unique for each one. From kids fun, adults fun, on the waters, or up on the hills to history buffs immersing in the numerous historic sites. There are also quiet spots to relax and to just be. Added to this is a thriving foodie scene as well.

Recommended read: The Victorian Love Affair

Places to Stay on the Isle of Wight

There is a fantastic choice of places to stay on the Isle of Wight. Whether it is a stylish and quiet short break for two or a fabulous holiday with excited kids, there is a special place waiting to welcome you.

There are quaint traditional seaside hotels, marvellous self-catering accommodations and a variety of quality properties to suit everyone.

Recommended read: 26 Very best places to stay on Isle of Wight

A final note on best views of The Needles

Once you have taken the ferry across to the beautiful island, a warm and stunning natural landscape awaits you. The Needles is a landmark best viewed at any time of the day. Near or far, from the waters or from atop the cliffs, at sunrise, sunset or at anytime in between – the sight of The Needles is captivating.

The various viewing points for the very best views of The Needles suggested in this article are unmissable. Brought together to add value to your visit – all you need is a good camera or a fully charged handphone to capture your special best views.

Do return to share your thoughts in comments, I look forward to hearing your stories… and you never know who you might inspire.

Use the links (at no cost to you) embedded in this article and related articles to book your trip by train, your hotel stay or activities to do in this fabulous Isle of Wight. As always, your support is much appreciated.

xoxo


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Isle of Wight at a Glance

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

Isle of Wight
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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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Very Best Views of The Needles | 4 Top Viewing Points on the Isle of Wight 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 historic Needles Batteries 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.

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

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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 >

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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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